Trinity College Dublin

Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:01 am

notjim wrote:I just saw the interior of the Long Room Hub, fantastically, even intrusively, good.


notjim probably thought he was getting away with that provocative one-liner . . .

. . . but thanks to culture night, the great unwashed have also been in fingering the wallnut and nosing around.

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the main void . . . . love the green seats

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the theatre, which the Sunday Times critic recently anointed - ''a democratic space'' - because . . . . you might want to sit down for this one . . . . . ''the floor and ceiling are flat and the chairs are moveable'' . . . . .
''more of a big room'' really :rolleyes:

moving on . . .

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the communal spaces do have a bit character about them, although you do start to see walnut climbing up the walls and crossing the ceilings, after a while.

The offices however are mostly disappointing in my opinion, and surprisingly mean. Many of these little rooms seem to share that condition that I think we noted in the internal layout of many of the Timberyard apartments [by fellow Group 91ers, O'D+T] - the internal spaces look compromised by the same fenestration doctrine that delivers the carefully arranged composition externally.

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Again to draw on the insight of the Sunday Times, - the architects have made this an ''effortlessly low-energy building . . . . . by placing each room next to a window'' . . . . . where did they get this guy?
However, in many cases, the full height window that the room is 'placed next to' is frequently off in a corner, or orientated across to another guy's office rather than opening out onto the considerable charms of the Trinity campus outside.

Even though I love this building, I'm having a hard time forgiving the architectural preciousness that imposes a regime like this on little rooms that just want little windows, at a handy level to stare out through, and I'd suspect that the resentment might grow if I was actually obliged to occupy one of these little rooms.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:35 am

. . . . and another thing, we don't need arty photographs to persuade us that this is a fine building

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We ought to be able to appreciate a decent building like this in normal day-light . . . . and not at contrived angles either . . .

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To continue the point made earlier - that the integrity of some of the internal spaces appears to me to have been compromised by the uber-cool external composition, even though the external composition trades on a seemingly infinite flexibility in ope width, within the discipline of a pre-determined height.

In fact, the external design goes out of it's way to conceal what's going on inside. Neither the stairwells at either end, nor the main theatre space, are expressed, or even hinted at, in the elevation treatment.

This slightly brings to mind another exquisite Dublin stone box, the Casino at Marino, which Open House reminds us has sixteen rooms inside, and not actually the one it appears to have.

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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby urbanisto » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:34 am

Go see the Casino on Open House Weekend.....fabulous!
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:48 pm

The dark wood and the green is all a bit "nude" circa 1998 innit?
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby notjim » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:35 pm

Cobble reduction in front square to start next week, schedule to take a long time.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby PTD » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:15 pm

Last post should link to a sketch i did last August
with some sketching friends.

Very interesting thread about a very interesting
enviroment rich in architecture
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby gunter » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:43 pm

Those universal-accessibility granite paths are going in across the front square at the moment without too much drama.

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One interesting revelation is the survival [just below the surface] of the foundations of earlier blocks including the brick-over-stone walls of this secondary cross block that joined up with the old chapel.

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Has anyone identified the exact location of the original tower/spire, the predecessor to the 18th century domed structure that re-fronted the replacement 17th century chapel? Dineley shows it off to the north-east.

If the location isn't built over, it's excavation would make an interesting addition to the layers of history on site.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby missarchi » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:37 am

gunter wrote:Those universal-accessibility granite paths are going in across the front square at the moment without too much drama.


Could you call the people that did this architects/designers/urban planners?
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby gunter » Sat May 07, 2011 9:19 pm

I think the introduction of granite paving across the front square has been a success. It has improved invalid accessibility dramatically and it hasn’t diminished the visual quality of the old random cobbled surface . . .

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. . . but now somebody with obvious obsessive/compulsive tendencies has decided that the little roundy stones all need to face the same way and be marshalled into neat little rows.

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Now I might be only an amateur clinical psychiatrist, but even I can tell that this is a cry for help.

There’s about four acres of cobbles down there and somebody is going to go into meltdown before he reaches the Dining Hall steps, if he doesn’t get the professional help he needs.

I don’t want to be reading about another college-campus-mini-digger-rampage before finals week comes around.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Sun May 08, 2011 11:52 pm

Yes the pattern in which these river stone cobbles are being laid, as well as the material in which they are being drowned, is of concern – what’s going on? It’s bizarre that practices like this still crop up on what is probably the flagship expanse of historic surfacing in the State.

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Where are those 1980s Hands chaps when you need them?

I broadly agree that the mobility access paths have been well handled in Parliament Square, though remembering that this was the loopy scheme initially put forward.

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And also remembering that the above was the ‘compromise’ arrived at after months of consultation in-house in Trinity. Lord only knows what was on the table during those discussions. Thankfully, Dublin City Council omitted the above diagonal paths in the approved version.

Personally, I view the central axial path to the Campanile as being both unnecessary and obtrusive. A miniscule fraction of wheelchair users will ever have the need to move directly from the main entrance at College Green to the Rubrics. Destinations for the vast majority of users are to the sides, where paths are also provided. Using the central path affords no time gain relative to the side paths in approaching these places. The same is true of the horizontal path linking the Chapel with the Examination Hall. Both of these are grossly intrusive relative to their function, visually breaking up the vast expanse of cobbles, and by association diminishing the scale and grandeur of this entire historic enclosure.

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You really have to stand in the square to truly appreciate their impact. Yes, to the casual observer it all probably works fine as vaguely satisfying axial alignments, but that’s not really the point. The corrosive impact on the appearance of the principal public domain surfacing of the college from a random, organic evolution to planned spatial definition is a radical departure from its history.

Those two paths aside, the type of granite that has been chosen for the paving is spot on. It is the perfect colour and granular texture.

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The pattern of its laying is also well chosen – a simple brickwork pattern using small to medium sized square and rectangular slabs.

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Simple and unpretentious - very nice indeed.

Thankfully, the fussy sett edging seen above has not been used everywhere. Nice crisp joints with flanking cobbles predominate.

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This will weather nicely. The jointing of the slabs is also top notch.

Some fine details too.

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There is something immensely satisfying about seeing a precision construct working its way through an untamed wilderness...

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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Sun May 08, 2011 11:59 pm

Overall though, I feel this has been an immensely successful engineering project that unfortunately exhibits little design input or imagination. One would have expected, at the very least, with all of the mighty weight of historic precedent of craft, masonry tradition and design continuity on its shoulders, not to mention the eyes of the little conservation bubble in Ireland on its workings, that something a little more stimulating than precision cuts of a handsaw and an accompanying CAD drawing would be evident on the ground.

The junctions of the paths are thoroughly boring and border on slapdash in places. They in no way accord with the creative flair of the street surface tradition of Dublin of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The angular path outside the Old Library is a case in point. Two different joint details are used in two different places to manage the same angle. This is a wide shot.

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Aside from the obvious clutter of using unduly small pieces, this junction ends like this...

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...while this junction a metre a way ends like this.

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Both of which are hamfisted. A sharp point is the obvious solution to both scenarios.

The contrast with the striking concentrically laid rows of historic setts right next to it addressing the entrance to the Library couldn’t be more stark.

Likewise, many of the junctions of pathways, including this important one outside the Library, are dressed with a manhole.

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Not only does the pattern of stone not acknowledge the importance of junctions, it’s actually downgraded to host of service cover! Unbelievable.

Likewise, the most important junction of all, the crossroads slap bang in the middle of the square, goes completely unacknowledged and is virtually insulted by a jarring ‘almost but not quite’ alignment of joints. Crude stuff.

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The same can be seen at the critical entrance to the square proper from the College Green pathway. Now this isn’t yet finished, as the path will eventually run right up to the entrance, but already you can see a crudely unaligned junction will emerge here.

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This may be viewed as nitpicky, but as the trend-setting, flagship adaptation of an historic urban surface treatment in Ireland with centuries of precedent behind it, one would at least expect to see evidence of somebody sitting down and working these details out with a bit of passion and creative flair.

Anyway, they've a challenge on thei hands to get this lot finished before Herself arrives! At least red carpet covers up a multitude of sins.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby Telchak » Mon May 09, 2011 1:52 pm

Here's a panorama I took during the works if anybody is interested (:

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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby notjim » Tue May 10, 2011 7:29 pm

I think it has on the whole been successful with the caveats Graham H has given. I was particularly disappointed that the granite path hasn't been edged by square setts, the portions that have square sett edging fortuitously, look fabulous.

I wonder what will happen to the old cobbles and setts, they are currently piled up beside Luce Hall. It would be nice to extend the cobbling and granite paths.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby Cathal Dunne » Sat May 14, 2011 12:04 am

notjim wrote:I think it has on the whole been successful with the caveats Graham H has given. I was particularly disappointed that the granite path hasn't been edged by square setts, the portions that have square sett edging fortuitously, look fabulous.

I wonder what will happen to the old cobbles and setts, they are currently piled up beside Luce Hall. It would be nice to extend the cobbling and granite paths.


I agree, the area around the Samuel Beckett Theatre would look better with cobbling and granite paths than the current tarmacked surroundings. They could also build in a small amphitheatre to allow for some open-air performances of works the drama students have created.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby notjim » Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm

I always think the area where the prefab is now between Physics and Botany would be great for a sunken ampitheatre.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby Cathal Dunne » Mon May 16, 2011 4:33 pm

notjim wrote:I always think the area where the prefab is now between Physics and Botany would be great for a sunken ampitheatre.


Yeah, that would be a good spot for one but having one near the theatre would make into more of an area for drama. The area with the prefabs is also ripe for putting in a permanent structure. It's crazy that in amongst all the rest of Trinity's wonderful estate of buildings we have a big pile of prefabs. They must be a nightmare given that they get too cold in winter and too warm in summer. They aren't in keeping with the prestige and architectural standards one expects of the University of Dublin.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby gunter » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:20 pm

The 'Long Room Hub' gets the Raymond Ryan treatment in the current Architecture Ireland

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For its size, this is a building full of aspirations and complexities that are difficult to put into words . . . . . but not for Raymond Ryan;

'This latest addition to Trinity's extensive library system stretches between the Old Library and the 18th century Examination Hall like a thick curtain or inhabited backdrop. It may also suggest a ship, its flanks eroded by floor-to-ceiling openings, its roof punctuated by cubic boxes that function as light chimneys. It succeeds as both fabric and object.'

'. . . it appears less as a Rationalist pavilion [equanimous on all sides]. more as a sliver of built matter ancillary to Thomas Burgh's great linear library, to the Berkeley Library across Fellows Square and the Arts and Social Science Building, also by ABK, rising in stepped section to the south.'

'You approach through the zigzag porch of the Arts Building and discover the Long Room Hub slipping into view like a prosthesis to the 1978 ABK structure . . . .'

'It's playful and elegant, this stereometric sponge with erosions in all directions.' 'It feels like a vertical V.I.P. lounge for the mind, complete with collegial sofas and attractive meeting areas . . . . It feels more like a club, a honeycomb in which to write, sift, discuss, interact.'


So there you have it; It's a thick curtain, an inhabited backdrop, an eroded ship, a sliver of built matter, a wooden leg, a stereometric sponge, a vertical V.I.P lounge and a honeycomb.

Charades with this man, will not be over quickly.

Raymond Ryan, formerly of this parish and now curator of the Heinz Architectural Centre in Pittsburgh, doesn't mention the term monumentality at all, which I would have thought should have been in the mix somewhere, but then Raymond Ryan has form when it comes to Trinity and monumental blocks, witness a School of Botany thesis, in full post-modern power-house mode, from 1981

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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:26 pm

It's been a while since I laughed at a review - but that review demonstrates why the general public believe architects talk out of their orrifaces...

Seriously could he have written than in english rather that architectese?
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby Cathal Dunne » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:07 pm

I must say I had misgivings about the plan to replace some of the cobbles on Front Square with pavements but now that virtually all the work has been completed and they have begun to settle into the fabric of Trinity they certainly are not the calamity one would have expected. If anything they have added to the character of Front Square by emphasising sight-lines and the beauty of the cobblestones by providing a contrast. They also have made Front Square a busier place by making it easier and more inviting for cyclists, women and the disabled to use it. Overall, the project has been a success.

The current project in Trinity is the cleaning of the Museum Building. Scaffolding had stood next to the place for so long that I thought it was going to become a permanent feature (especially when it didn't look as if any activity was taking place) but once it was removed from the east side of the building you could see the thorough job done. Scaffolding has gone up on the north side now to carry on the work.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby notjim » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:13 am

I never worried about the paving; I thought it would be good; I am disappointed by the execution though; the stretch by the campanile where it is lined by square stones, by chance, shows how great it could've looked if they had taken the trouble to relay the cobbles to address the paving. The worst offender is the circular pattering where the walk between the two greens by the front arch meets the main cobbled area, the way it abuts the straight paving is terrible.

The museum building cleaning job is great; how long though is it going to take to make the Berkeley Podium waterproof.

In other news, the College is apparently commissioning a "major" public art work to commemorate Walton, partly I suppose to make up for renaming the LT named after him.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:23 pm

Couple of images, people may not have seen before... The first one of the theatre, I hadn't seen. What happened the dome proposal?

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Image
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby thebig C » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:08 pm

Thanks Paul:) I hadn't seen that Theatre design before! God, you're a great man for digging out those old engravings and illustrations!

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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:25 am

7/6/2012

Finally, after years of neglect, the iconic quaint lamp standards atop the entrance gates of Trinity's West Front were receiving some attention a weekend or two ago.

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The pillars themselves are quite historic, installed as part of the Victorian railings and being of sturdy proportions with charming Corinthian capitals. The lamp heads were only erected c. 1980 but are an extremely convincing Edwardian design - I suspect they may have been salvaged from elsewhere. They feature delicate ribbon-like crosses and delightful frilly hat pinnacles that hover above the globes. A clever little access door too.

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It took the guts of 15 minutes and a bit of head scratching to get to this stage. Off she comes.

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Carefully does it now.

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And settle down.

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Sights were then turned to repairing the bulb holders - this disconcertingly large piece of plastic was produced. Okay, perhaps it is going to be concealed by the lamp when it goes back on.

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Well, no actually. Not only is it to be left exposed, this is the new base for an entirely new lamp. Yes, the old lamps were dumped, and new, ignorantly detailed, factory-produced lamps have been stuck on in their stead. Not only has the old fabric been lost, but the new lamps bear only a passing resemblance to their elegant forebears, with none of the refined profiling or detailed decoration. They are cartoon imitations of their predecessors. The crude bulb holder is also ridiculously tall.

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Before and after, with a nasty plastic top-up and preposterous proportions.

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As ever, Trinity pay lip-service to conservation when it comes to detail and respecting historic fabric. Needless to say, the above also has no planning permission.

It is such a shame to see the city's ever-dwindling stock of decent period style lighting being so carelessly eroded even by supposedly flagship conservation authorities and institutions. There is absolutely no excuse for this. Somebody in authority in there must know this is happening.

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Only one lamp has been put back to date as there seems to be a problem with the other.
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Re: Trinity College Dublin

Postby urbanisto » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:14 am

?????????
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