Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby gunter » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:36 pm

Even if . . . tarmac is the new Granite . . . which it fecking isn't, how do you excuse the ever so random concrete block seating? That is, assuming these blocks are intended to be seats and not some fiendish devise to take out the visually impaired.

Have we so completely lost the art of making street furniture that public seating is now reduced to a half meter cube of concrete? . . . with two placement settings; square, and, just a bit twisted.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:39 pm

I notice that streetlighting is now being added (the modern catalogue style) so perhaps this remains a work in progress. It is feasible that a resin coat is to be added once the weather improves (clutching at straws here) to give a final finish. The architects sketch which I saw for the street had a beige surface, suggesting this is the final intended finish. Strangely though the sketch never showed all the clutter...bike stands, bollards, the cubes, etc.

Back to the Public Realm Strategy....the public consultation period closed for this on Wed and below are a couple of submissions made by Dublin Civic Trust and the Green Party. The Green Party submission has some good ideas and borrows from previous reports of the quality of the city centre including Dublinspirations (2004) by An Taisce and Defining Dublin's Historic Core (2010) by Dublin Civic Trust. They also used Twitter to engage public ideas - v novel.

DCT submission http://www.dublincivictrust.ie/news-entry.php?title=trust-submission-on-draft-public-realm-strategy&post=1326880527

Green Party submission http://issuu.com/greenpartyireland/docs/dublin_public_realm_strategy__submission

Back to the real public realm....no movement since Nov on the lighting scheme on College Green.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby missarchi » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:07 am

If true it's quite surprising... There is timing and then there is timing.
Who ever keeps editing wiki for college green is trapped in the past.

I don't think that was a lighting scheme... It was something else.

If anything comes of this I would be quite shocked...
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby Morlan » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:33 am

gunter wrote:Image


Thanks for the pics, gunter. I had a look at the botch job myself recently.

What a disappointment.

This scheme enforces the carriageway for cars by cluttering either side of the street with unnecessary furniture to keep pedestrians penned in. In fact, the street is now even more cluttered than it was before.

- Cube-shaped parking bollards passed off as seats. Why can't we have benches and chairs like any normal city?
- Absolutely massive tree containers that enforce the barrier between the footpath and roadway.
- Those repulsive bin standards from DCC.
- Unsightly "no parking" poles along the street. Get rid of them. There has to be a better way of communicating this information.
- Tarmaced footpaths. How hideously cheap, tacky and downright insulting.
- The road surface is exactly that, a road surface. It's supposed to be attractive to pedestrians first and foremost.

Oh dear. This does not bode well for DCC's Public Realm Strategy.

I am not at all surprised. I'd be kidding myself if I thought DCC would ever have the required talent or aesthetic to pull this off.

I expect Clarendon Row and William Street will get the same dreadful treatment: Designed primarily for cars with miscellaneous municipal junk between the roadway and narrow footpath, all topped off with the cheapest tarmac available from DCC's Roads & Traffic Department.

Disheartened yet again,
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby Smithfield Resi » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:43 pm

Anyone know if the submissions are being published?
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:25 pm

I took an utterly depressing walk this morning from Fairview into the city centre...utterly utterly depressing.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:36 am

I see the resin coat has arrived...its an obvious improvement on bare tar, but ultimately not good enough for a city centre urban street scape...
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:49 pm

Thank god for that...

Image

These look smart

Image

A lot of the dodgy concrete blocks removed, sleeker bollards but in. Looks better - even if it the usual random choice of street furniture.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:24 am

The wooden boxes are nice - wouldnt mind them out around the house, but those bollards look flimsy. It's not bollards we need but enforced tow-away no parking zones, especially for the white van brigade.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:24 am

Well bollards are my pet hate and this business of choosing random designs at different locations around the city also bugs me. However they seem to be viewed as a requirement on all streets and I am really not sure where that idea comes from.

These bollards at least cause less clutter than the concrete blocks originally installed.

Listened to various speakers talk about reducing street clutter at the Thomas Street Study yesterday and of course now included in new City Development Plan and Public Realm Strategy but it does seem to take a while to filter through the ranks to design teams and installation. Traffic signs here could have been tackled differently.

The whole point of Fade Street was to try out simple and cost effective solutions to public realm improvement.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby kefu » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:19 pm

If the aim of the project is a 'simple and cost effective solution' that improves a street, then by that standard it can be viewed as a qualified success.
I suppose the question is how long until the plants are festooned with cigarette butts and glasses, and all the bollards are at 45 degrees, having been hit by the aforementioned white vans.
The biggest issue in Dublin has always been maintenance but if this project shows how a very small budget can go quite far, then it has succeeded.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby Morlan » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:51 pm

Vast improvement, Stephen, but pig's lipstick comes to mind.

It doesn't change the fact that DCC have designated this street as a main roadway for vehicles. Pedestrians come last as always.

Haven't they learnt anything from our European neighbours? You can still have a fully pedestrianised street with feithicil access by the use of simple markings.

Image

How simple was that? Remove the daft poles and use one surface for the street. Now we have an attractive pedestrian street that can still be used by cars.

Christ above. It really isn't that difficult. I dread to think what the eejits in DCC have in store for the rest of the Grafton Street area.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:14 am

Not bad in the end i suppose, if a little loud. Hornbeam with box hedging work very well, nice compact street trees.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:34 pm

I have found the concrete blocks previously mooted for the street...around the corner on Clarendon Street blocking up a parking bay.

Frank McDonald derides Irish attitudes to public realm works in the Irish Times http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/mag ... 44651.html ...and longs for France.

And today works begin on Palace Street to create a more appropriate pedestrian entrance to Dublin Castle. The works are due for completion in July. The details are here http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/r ... ts%3C/a%3E ...minus details of the amendments made during the Part VIII process. One of the first elements to fall foul of DCC Roads was the staggered pedestrian crossing over Dame Street. This crossing would have formed part of the pavement differentiation used to denote the course of the River Poddle.

We shall see how the works progress but I am not particularly happy about the design put forward. A simple scheme of cobbles and Wicklow granite with historic standards would have sufficed. This contemporary scheme just adds to the mishmash around the environs of the Castle in my view.

The works were proposed by DCC Heritage Office (not City Architects) and funded by the NTA.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Thu May 31, 2012 11:59 pm

Pottered down to Palace Street today to see a mini-design disaster unfold. Works are progressing on a public realm scheme for the street which includes retaining what remains of the Wicklow granite in situ and paving the rest of the area in shiny new granite with an odd limestone section, meant to suggest the River Poddle. Designs above - comment on the scheme at this stage: pointless.

Anyhow, in time honoured fashion, sections of new kerbstones are being laid today which dont match the original kerbstones in either look or even width. The effect is dreadful. Totally at odds with what one would expect for a prestigious scheme such as this. The myth that there must be stacks of granite kerbs and slabs in some warehouse somewhere, given that DCC and contractors have spent the last 20 years systematically digging it up, remains just that...a myth.

The site is strewn with broken fragments of paving slabs of Wicklow granite...all carefully numbered to be sure, but its hard to imagine what it is intended to do with them. Set into mortar in a jigsaw effect?

Best of all is the new public lighting scheme...large columns (or one at least) such as those found on the quays. Totally over scaled and stuck up right against No. 2 where it will no doubt provide motorway-level luminescence into the bedrooms of the Sick & Indigent Roomkeepers House. Its appears the DCC Lighting Dept odds and end bin has been raided yet again for this prestigious location.

Its worth a look.

The
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:41 am

Interesting article on the growing privatisation of public space in the UK (and London specifically) http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/s2Z ... =most-read

The comment about London life that you can either work, shop or spend time in a restaurant is quite telling. I have just spent the past few days wandering about looking for some free space to work...not even wanting to use wifi. Few and far between. With libraries under attack here due to funding cuts its more and more obviously how much common social spaces are needed in big urban centres.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:41 am

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?

Image

What an embarrassment.

Image

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.

Image


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.

Image


Not only that, look at the ridiculous junction created, with postage stamp infill.

Image


As the pavement approaches Dame Street, it widens back out again into regular historic kerbing.

Image

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?

Image


Then we come to the jointing itself. What should be buttery, delicate lines of lime mortar are crude wide crevices apparently filled with cement.

Image


Image


As for the artistic design treatment of the signature curved sweep as it joins with the existing granite pavement on Dame Street...

Image

Truly shocking stuff.
Last edited by GrahamH on Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:45 am

What should be a gracious fan equating to this...

Image


Is this.

Image

What an outrage.

Then we come to the public lighting. At the very minimum, one would expect pedestrian scale historic standards with high quality copper or bronze heads addressing the entrance gates to Dublin Castle, acknowledging the ceremony of the location and the intimacy of this small enclave. But no – instead we get a giant, gawd-awful skinny reproduction Scotch standard with slotted-on decorative hoops designed in the 1990s to line arterial routes into the city. This truly beggars belief – you’d think this were a joke, were it not for real sitting there in front of you being paid for with our money.

Image


Image

A farce.

The gimmicky jaggedy line emerging at the Palace Street gate composed of flimsy modern kerbs - an insult to this gracious historic enclave.

Image


If there is a solitary saving grace in this disaster zone, it is the reappearance of new Leinster granite on Dublin streets, probably for the first time in over a decade. It is a beautiful material, with all of the coarse granular qualities and warm rusty tones we are so familiar with.

Image



Image



Image

A joy to behold, unlike the rest of the works being undertaken here in the name of public realm ‘design’ and historic paving ‘conservation’. One truly despairs about the lack of change in this city.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:46 am

An utter disgrace. This scheme was conceived and led by the Heritage Officer of the Council at Part VIII stage and is being supervised by the City Architects division. There isnt even the excuse of blaming it on aesthetically challenged Roads engineers!
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby OisinT » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:04 pm

You couldn't make this stuff up.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby soulsearcher » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:26 am

This might sound naive coming from an emigrant, but could the unbelievably shoddy workmanship have anything to do with the lack of skilled laborers in Ireland - a brain-drain symptom of the recession? Or is it just a lack of proper supervision due to a totally dysfunctional administration in DCC?

I recall a few years back, a landscape architect from Paris once said to me how amazingly impressed he was with the GPO plaza finishing - such pristine quality and careful attention to detail. Shouldn't that project not have set a benchmark for the standard of future street improvement schemes in the city centre? How can the same local authority be so inconsistent?
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:35 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Then we come to the public lighting. At the very minimum, one would expect pedestrian scale historic standards with high quality copper or bronze heads addressing the entrance gates to Dublin Castle, acknowledging the ceremony of the location and the intimacy of this small enclave. But no – instead we get a giant, gawd-awful skinny reproduction Scotch standard with slotted-on decorative hoops designed in the 1990s to line arterial routes into the city. This truly beggars belief – you’d think this were a joke, were it not for real sitting there in front of you being paid for with our money.


Perhaps elegant lamp heads such as these are proposed for this prestigious location.

Image

okay okay so I am being churlish...these were erected on Marlborough Street opposite the Abbey Theatre a couple of months back but are clearly temporary...aren't they?
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Palace Street

Postby urbanisto » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:47 pm

Something like this might be more suitable...

Image

Image

From the new promenade and town centre improvement scheme in Dun Laoghaire. They're generic but quite attractive none the less. The style of lamp you find in many Spainish cities, where they tend to mix modern paving and public realm and smart heritage lamps with a high degree of success.
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:59 pm

The Dun Laoghaire scheme is really impressive...and little commented on.

The lighting scheme extends along much of Marine Road, Crofton Road and Queens Road. It looks very smart...very continental.

Image

Image
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Re: Dublin Public Realm Strategy

Postby urbanisto » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:00 pm

The scheme is intended to complement the new promenade area on Queen Road.

Image

Image

Image

Looks great...bright and colourful.
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