Yes, it never fails to amaze how the same mistakes are made over and over and over again, no matter how many glossy documents, public workshops, public consultations, design statements, development plan policy objectives and an overarching crippling waste of taxpayers’ money is thrown at something as primitive as decent, common sense public realm design. What is going on over on Palace Street at the minute is a disgrace and an insult to citizens and everyone who gives up their time and knowledge to Dublin City Council to try and improve standards.
Firstly, the entrance to Dublin Castle is being treated like the construction site of a ghost estate in a field in Roscommon. Is this type of presentation acceptable in the ceremonial heart of any other European capital?
What an embarrassment.
No decent hoarding, no visualisations, no apology, and no public information about what is happening. The various signs hanging off the tatty railings are in themselves a late innovation, arriving a fortnight after site works began.
Secondly, the design itself. What is proposed is a chaotic jumbled mix of design concepts and materials, with the River Poddle demarcated in a jagged path of limestone through the roadway. This in itself will not actually accord with where the Poddle culvert is running underneath, never mind the indignity of such a crass concept for such a prestigious location. This will be flanked on either side by new Leinster granite, in turn flanked by re-laid narrow antique granite pavements. These in turn will be flanked by concrete paving out on Dame Street and the imported white granite used on Barnardo Square. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
The site at present.
Jaw-droppingly, after the past five years of head-banging against a granite wall, STILL a complete balls is being made of the antique granite paving here – one of the most critically important paved locations in the entire city. It beggars belief what is going on. Look at this mess. The historic granite paving sweeping around from the Castle gate to Barnardo Square is being relaid ‘sympathetically’, and yet a modern granite kerb is being reinstated alongside it! Yes, this premier ‘flagship’ antique pavement veers from wide historic granite kerbing outside the Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers, into narrow modern kerbing flanking Robocop, and then back out again into wide kerbing on Dame Street! Someone please shoot these people.
Not only that, look at the ridiculous junction created, with postage stamp infill.
As the pavement approaches Dame Street, it widens back out again into regular historic kerbing.
This, the busiest entrance into the ceremonial Dublin Castle complex...
Also, as can be seen above and below, this is the type of world class jointing being executed around a shore cover. A thick band of cement. You wouldn’t accept this on your suburban patio. Who the heck is in charge of this?
Then we come to the jointing itself. What should be buttery, delicate lines of lime mortar are crude wide crevices apparently filled with cement.
As for the artistic design treatment of the signature curved sweep as it joins with the existing granite pavement on Dame Street...
Truly shocking stuff.