Cork - patrick street regeneration

Cork - patrick street regeneration

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Feb 18, 2003 9:51 am

How is it going? Am going to Cork on a day out on Saturday and am wondering how far advanced the rejuventation of the street is going?

looking forward to visiting the city again, will take a stack of photographs for archeire....
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Postby Andrew Duffy » Tue Feb 18, 2003 10:16 am

I was there about three months ago, and there was a lot of paving going down, but not much else. What is planned for the street?
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Feb 18, 2003 10:23 am

not sure, think its the usual mixture of pavement, fixtures and fittings....
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Postby bunch » Tue Feb 18, 2003 10:42 am

was there on friday, there is not much to see yet, they have completed one small section between merchants quay and william street lane. Some of the new lighting has been put in place as well.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:04 pm

I think the pace of of development is accelerating - I was there last weekend and just before christmas - they seem to have blocked an entire direction of traffic to do out a fair bit of the street - whereas before they were working around the traffic. Looks great - so far so good - except the tidy Irish public adding their own "decorations" to the pavement!
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Postby Andrew Duffy » Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:01 pm

The Corkonians are a lot cleaner than the Dubs in that respect though.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:12 pm

Yeah - that's kinda true.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Sun Feb 23, 2003 9:52 pm

I think these are f***ing awful. They look like crude lighting fixtures assembled by the local welder in Ballyhoo to floodlight the local catholic church.

Apologies for picture quality but it was lovely and sunny as far as Mallow and then Cork weather took over.

Image
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Postby bunch » Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:11 pm

what's worse, the lights or the building behind on merchants Quay?
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Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Feb 24, 2003 2:10 am

are they going all along the street ?? cause i agree Paul, they are f***ing awful !
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Postby ro_G » Mon Feb 24, 2003 2:44 am

Jesus they are a sight. It's a pity as they are lovely wide pavements, where you could do something much more *ahem* illuminating. Also, what is lighting the strip of pavement behind the poles away from the road? Building mounted lights? Why would you build monstrosities that big without at least addressing the full width of the pavement?

Hmmm ... must visit the peoplesrepublic again soon .. used to live on McCurtain Street and Georges Quay. Georges Quay had already started to become more 'chic' 5 years ago.
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Postby Niall » Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:09 am

Are they out of their minds? That is truly awful and cheap!
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Postby StephenC » Mon Feb 24, 2003 11:03 am

They're a bit silly really aren't they.... is there some marketing gunf about them like '...they represent the cranes of progress...' I'd love to read it...
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Feb 24, 2003 1:17 pm

At first sight, I thought they were the temporary floodlights used to light a building site with work in progress! How terrible, they are exactly the same as the grids being used to light the Port Tunnel site through the night!
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Feb 24, 2003 4:43 pm

I still cannot get over how ugly they are. No doubt theres some architectural bumf about how they look like cranes, reflecting Cork's maritime heritage.
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Postby bunch » Mon Feb 24, 2003 5:19 pm

St. Patrick Street and Grand Parade Project
city council website


"Up until the beginning of the 20th Century the solution for the public space in almost every city in the world consisted in the positioning of specifically codified elements on a well paved base. For example, the siting of pieces of sculpture with a view to centrality or to certain axes was regarded as resolving all of the problems of the urban space: its monumentality, its identity and its representative status in the city. Since that time the codes and the symbols have changed.

Nowadays architects have to look to the architecture itself for this same identity and status, but with different codes and symbols. The urban spaces of the historic centre of Cork have evidently been designed in this latter sense; in other words, looking to the architecture of the urban space as such for the definition of their identity. The present project proposes a construction system compatible with the differentiated character to be established in the streets and squares of the old city centre of Cork. The project thus opts for a construction system that allows the urban space to be designed in terms of categories (as regards their width, significance and position structure of the city) while preserving the architectural constants which, by ensuring continuity, make the historic city centre recognisable. These constants, which we might call the 'skeleton' of the urban space, are the constituent elements of the general construction system.

This system invariably consists of a band of extremely hard wearing natural stone, on which are all the elements that go to make up the urban space (ramps for pedestrians and vehicles, kerbs, litter bins, street lights, traffic signals and so on). This band, formed by a kerb 2.00m wide, divides the space constituted by St. Patrick Street and Grand Parade. Must a street always be symmetrical with respect to the axis of the roadway? That is to say, with kerbs and pavements that are identical on both sides? Of course not.

Above all where the space situated between the facades is irregular and, on account of its size, has a tendency to convert itself into a great plaza in which pedestrians and vehicles can coexist perfectly. There are many urban elements (in addition to the classic kerbs) which effectively facilitate the passage of vehicles though not exclusively for them. Our municipal technicians and architects must make the effort to find the best way of organizing the harmonious coexistance of vehicles and pedestrians, above all in the historic centres of cities. The appropriate and orderd mix of the two is good for the city and consequently for its economic and social dynamics. The different time zones, for example, make it possible to utilize the urban space in many different ways: at certain times of the day to drain traffic from a sector of the city, and at others as a major pedestrian space.

It is therefore essential that spaces of this type are designed on the basis of the binomial street/plaza. In the project we are presenting here this binomial has been embodied by designing an asymmetrical street. In other words, a kerb 18 cm high and 200cm wide, disposed symmetrically, which liberates a considerable amount of the surface area available for the various different uses of the city. Motor vehicles circulate in the space delimited by the kerb itself and by a triangular shaped protection set into the paved surface to form two traffic lanes with a width of 3.50 m each and two service lanes.

In calculating the dimensions of the vehicle routes we have adopted the most recent thinking on traffic in the city. According to which the dimensions of the section designated for vehicular traffic is determined on the basis of the number of vehicles it is desired should pass through the historic centre and not in terms of the greatest possible number of vehicles which can pass through it. This kerb thus acts as an element of dissuasion, from which different materials flow towards the interior streets running off on either side of St. Patrick Street and Grand Parade.

Within this skeleton structure the materials change according to the category and perceived value of the street, ranging from granite to softer materials. The possibilities are infinite. The horizontal plane formed by the streets is an ordered one. With no unnecessary objects where people can genuinely sense the empty space of the town. These tranquil, ordered surfaces are only modified at particular poitnts, like stressed syllables in a sentence. This has the effect of restoring meaning to the urban space. In the case of the corner of the two streets in the project this specific point is accentuated, for example, by the installation of a large clock set into the pavement with an internal light which acts as a liminous reference for this strategic point of the project.

One of the problems affecting the urban space in many towns and cities is the gradual appearance of small objects with certain specialised functions or in many cases simply abandoned, with no function at all. The ever increasing number of small items of street furniture ought to be a cuase of concern to everyone with an interest in improving our public space. These strange occupants of our pavements include the rickety structures of bent metal that serve to accumulate bicycles.

The street furniture in this project has been thought out in terms of the same criterion of versatility as the rest of the project. In other words, a given object can be set down in different ways and serve different uses. The bike park, for instance, is an object that will customarily be used for its intended function while also serving as an ordering element in the public space. Similarly, the street lamp Sarah, especially designed for Cork, has the double function of illuminating the street in two different ways (diffuse or concentrated) as well as exercising the function of ordering and potentiating the asymmetrical form of the street section itself. The architectural and chromatic quality of the facades of the buildings which delimit St. Patrick Street and Grand Parade is expressly highlighted by the simplicity of the project. These facades should be illuminated at night. The existing monuments and fountains emerge directly from the pavement resting directly on the smooth clean surface of the exclusively pedestrian zones.

The Studio BB & GG is run by the architect Beth Gali who's activity encloses industrial and furniture design, architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture. At the moment there are twelve people working in the studio: six architects, one engineer, four students and a secretary: Jaume Benavent, Catrin Dechamps, Olivier Gallez, Beth Gali, Femke Janssen, Nadia Kayat, Oliver Kienzler, Martien Kuipers, Christian Kuttler, Andrea Lotz, Pernilla Magnusson, Shaaf Milani-Nia, Pepa de la Mora, Andrea Morgenstern, Maria Joao Pinto, Arola Tous, Susanne Vecsey and Silvia Vespasiani.

The office has made projects in various European countries: Spain (Barcelona, Huelva, Salamanca), Netherlands (Rotterdam, S'Hertogenbosch, Roermond), France (Paris), Germany (Berlin, Hannover) and Sweden (Malmo)."
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Feb 24, 2003 5:25 pm

Similarly, the street lamp Sarah, especially designed for Cork, has the double function of illuminating the street in two different ways (diffuse or concentrated) as well as exercising the function of ordering and potentiating the asymmetrical form of the street section itself.


yes... quite....
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Postby StephenC » Mon Feb 24, 2003 5:44 pm

Should that mean something to me dear....?
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Postby Niall » Mon Feb 24, 2003 6:44 pm

Incredible... I see there are clocks on these 'things'. Will give them a year of proper working order and then no maintenance thereafter..

I can't believe they commissioned such sh*ite... pardon the language.... Makes the new look Roches in Dublin look alright.. Has the world gone mad... and to think so much talent and competition out there, do they not run competitions anymore?

Big sigh...
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Postby kefu » Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:03 pm

The Irish Times has been raving about this for about two years. Some of the ideas about cutting out traffic and getting rid of clutter are good ideas. I'd prefer to see a more close-in photo than the one included so far before making a final judgement. No offence to your picture-taking Paul - do you have any more detailed.

Plan for revamp of Cork city gets go-ahead
By Olivia Kelleher. May 28, 2002.

Major refurbishment plans for Cork city centre are closer to implementation after a contract was signed between contractors McGinty and O'Shea Ltd and the city council.

In an ambitious city council plan for the city centre, areas such as Patrick's Street, Oliver Plunkett Street, the Huguenot Quarter and the Grand Parade will be significantly improved.

Patrick's Street will be the first area to be transformed at a cost of approximately €10 million with work due to start at the end of this month.

The new design will significantly reduce the space given to traffic on Patrick's Street with over half of the area from Merchant's Quay to Daunt Square being set aside for pedestrians.

The new project will look at shop signs and clear away the clutter that has accumulated over the last few years.

This along with other measures, such as tactile paving means the street will be far more user friendly for the disabled and visually impaired.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Tom O'Driscoll, said the project will enable Cork to maintain its position as a premier business and shopping area.

"The renewal project which will carry through to other areas such as Oliver Plunkett Street and the Huguenot Quarter over time has huge symbolic as well as aesthetic importance," Mr O'Driscoll said.

The contract marks the start of preparations for 2005 when Cork will be European City of Culture.

Cork City Council executives will meet with traders in the near future to outline the programme and method of work.

City manager, Mr Joe Gavin, said the redesign of Patrick's street by renowned Spanish architect, Ms Beth Gali will reflect the pride and spirit of Cork.

Ms Gali is known for her imaginative design of public spaces and buildings in Barcelona.

She began her architectural career working for Barcelona City Council's "Urban Projects Workshop".

The architect is currently working on a number of projects including a shopping centre in Salamanca and an audiovisual campus and bathing area for Forum 2004 in Barcelona.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:23 pm

i don't have a better shot, the weather was foul and light was awful.
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Postby DARA H » Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:51 pm

Architects this/ architects that....Public Spaces.. = Eh, you'd get the immpression that it always has been & is now only the purview of architects to design public spaces/ squares etc. I have to say myself that while they may be well placed to design open spaces on purely aesthetic grounds i'd be far happier to see 'urban designers' do the work - there is a considerable difference in the professions.

For example, urban designers may come up with much more imaginative landscaping & paving ideas or even, town planners might approach things from a different angle & think of someting that the architects might not.
My point - the ability to design a building's interior & exterior does not neccessarily translate into a good designer of open spaces.
I'm sure the people from the Lanscape Institute (?) would agree?
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Postby BTH » Tue Feb 25, 2003 12:09 pm

They look pretty good to me... I don't get where the "cheap" and "ugly" jibes are coming from. There are many many similar examples throughout Barcelona (though none as dynamic looking as these) which work perfectly - The pavement illumination in this case comes from a vertical strip of light running up the side of the main support.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Feb 25, 2003 3:00 pm

There's been loads of noise made about the lamps in the local press - i.e. how does something that costs so much look so cheap? Initially when Beth Gali's plans were unveiled the lamps looked like they'd work quite well. I'm optimistic about the overall plan for the street which will work. All this moaning about the lamps - and no mention about the new paving etc...
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Postby AndrewP » Tue Feb 25, 2003 4:26 pm

Just read that load of shite from Cork City Council. Someone's been using their thesaurus! If anyone knows the meaning of 'liminous', they should let the council know because this guy is obviously being paid by the word.
I'd like to add that I am also in a state of negatorial opinion regarding those free-standing street-based luminosities.
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