Liberty Hall redevelopment

Should Liberty Hall Be Listed?

Yes
168
46%
No
198
54%
 
Total votes : 366

Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby missarchi » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:36 pm

What are the floor to floors?
It would be nice to combine the two stair cores if possible.
but still have two separate stair cores...
16 meh....
You could gain 2-10 msq per a floor...
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby gunter » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:10 pm

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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby lostexpectation » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:51 pm

can't edit your posts on here can you?

i thought they make a effort for atleast public sentiment to argue why the building doesn't work as an office, then a few a paragraphs and badly photocopied photos.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby Cathal Dunne » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:11 am

It would be good to see this Liberty Hall redevelopment go ahead without slipping on a banana skin at An Bord Pleanála. While I'm sympathetic to the argument that the existing building could be refurbished (with new window glazing, updated decor, revamped street frontage etc.) that fails to address the heart of the problem which is, actually, the heart of the building. The existing Liberty Hall has a problem with the lift-shafts in the centre of the building interfering with the office space surrounding it. Unlike the flowing interiors of its counterpart across the Liffey - Montevetro - Liberty Hall has poky offices constrained by the central shaft. Redeveloping it would solve this problem and provide more effective and attractive office space. SIPTU have also mentioned the idea of centralising their offices in Dublin into Liberty Hall. That sounds like a good idea as it will save on building maintenance, rental and utility costs. Liberty Hall as it stands is too small currently to make that accommodation. Once it's redeveloped with 50% more office-space it will.

Overall, a good decision by DCC and now hopefully the people around the corner in An Bord Pleanála wave this through if it's appealed and Dublin can get a bigger and better Liberty Hall.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby Paddy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:22 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:Yeah I suspect as much myself.

The Irish Times FINALLY printed an obituary of O'Kelly this weekend - however, it doesn't seem to be on their website at this point in time tonight - even though it shows up in Google News, it's presenting a 404


Its pasted on the docomomo blog:
http://docomomo.ie/2011/02/desmond-rea- ... ish-times/
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby GrahamH » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:58 pm

A most unfortunate decision and one that should rightly tumble at the feet of An Bord Pleanála. Notwithstanding Liberty Hall's architectural heritage value, this area of the city centre is not designated for high rise, and it is difficult to see how the Board can grant an application that facilitates the ad hoc redevelopment of tall buildings, especially somewhere as sensitive as the quays, never mind that the very foundations of Dublin high rise policy are based on Local Area Plans being drafted.

The problem in all of this, however, is a discreet provision that was deftly slipped into the Development Plan process in order to facilitate Siptu - indeed, the only one-off deviation from high rise policy in the document. The provision cynically attaches significance to the Liberty Hall site, not the building. How this exceptionally subjective angle on such a critically important building in the city made its way into the Plan without apparent notice by anybody is disquieting.

17.6.2
"In recognition of the national, social and cultural importance of the Liberty Hall site, the height limitations set out in the development plan may be set aside or relaxed in considering a proposal for the redevelopment of the site which will provide for the continuation of its national, historic, social and cultural status. Any such proposal will be considered against the relevant standards set out at Section 17.6.3".

Alas, this is a problematic statement in any planning argument for retaining the building. In effect, the Board can only rely on the building's architectural heritage value to overturn this decision.

The amenity value of the uppermost floors in the proposed new building are an undeniable asset, but one that can be accommodated in considerable style in the existing building. I think the proposed design is distinctly mediocre. Marian Finucane's typically bland assertions on design quality this morning, comparing it to the same architects' Croke Park, are surely a reason not to even consider it. It is not deserving of pride of place as Dublin's signature tall building, never mind the tragic loss of a rare 1960s icon.

The planner's report is not yet available online. It will make for interesting reading.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:01 am

SIPTU, an organisation with plenty of money (don't ye know) abandoned the building long ago. There is no excuse for it, basic maintenance. I laugh as they trumpet the virtue of their fancy new sky deck, with un-parallelled views of the city. They are currently responsible for Dublin's original sky pavillion, and they saw fit to shut it down long ago.

Let's remember, these people are not short of money, and where that money comes from.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby missarchi » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:40 am

So it became a trapezoid after all...
The issue with this building is it does not have old and new...
The core is dominating...
The facade is faceless but does have potential...

Your with us jake...

I remember when churches worshiped the skyline...
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:02 pm

GrahamH wrote:. . . this area of the city is not designated for high-rise development . . . however . . . a discreet provision was deftly slipped into the Development Plan process in order to facilitate Siptu - indeed, the only one-off deviation from high rise policy in the document. The provision cynically attaches significance to the Liberty Hall site, not the building. How this exceptionally subjective angle on such a critically important building in the city made its way into the Plan without apparent notice by anybody is disquieting.


Although, on another level, it is almost refreshing to find out that there are people in Dublin City Council smart enough to be that devious.

Does Dublin have an emotional attachment to Liberty Hall?

Quote from that DOCOMOMO commentary:

‘Liberty Hall though was his [Desmond Rea O’Kelly’s] magnum opus, and Dubliners loved it . . . .’

Not entirely sure that that is true.

Did Liberty Hall not feature regularly in those ‘worst building in Dublin’ polls that the Evening Herald used to run on quiet news days before the arrival of the Civic Offices made the contest redundant?

Until there was talk of knocking it down, I don’t recall much talk of Liberty Hall being a great building, which seems to be the position DOCOMOMO are coming round to suggesting with their various explanations for why it never received the RIAI top award.

In fairness to the Irish branch of DOCOMOMO, they do have a tough brief, how do you celebrate modern architecture in a country which the modern movement largely passed over, without unconsciously gazing at its few mediocre monuments through the improving lens of nostalgia?

I’d keep Liberty Hall, simply because what’s proposed to replace it is infinitely worse and the planning rational for replacing it with an even bigger eyesore is deeply flawed, but my preferred option would still be what the Pivot Dublin guys came up with:

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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby Cathal Dunne » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:27 am

GrahamH wrote:A most unfortunate decision and one that should rightly tumble at the feet of An Bord Pleanála. Notwithstanding Liberty Hall's architectural heritage value, this area of the city centre is not designated for high rise, and it is difficult to see how the Board can grant an application that facilitates the ad hoc redevelopment of tall buildings, especially somewhere as sensitive as the quays, never mind that the very foundations of Dublin high rise policy are based on Local Area Plans being drafted.


But GrahamH, while the building does have merit as an example of a school of Irish architecture, it does have a very dilapidated and shabby quality to it both at streetlevel and further up. In order for it to truly showcase the architecture of the time it was built would require a comprehensive facelift and a return to non-reflective windowpanes. SIPTU would be unwilling to go ahead with such an investment when, as they have pointed out, the building is no longer fit for purpose. It has huge electricity and heating costs which SIPTU are looking to halve with a new, modern-era office building. Liberty Hall, in its current incarnation probably suffers sick building syndrome Moreover, the building is quite poky with the central shaft reducing the effective office space of Liberty Hall. A new building would solve, or at least greatly mitigate, a lot of these problems.

As well as that, the area may not be zoned for high-rise but the existing building establishes a precedent for a tall building and the area does have a number of medium/high rise buildings such as the Ulster Bank HQ and O'Connell Bridge House so it would fit in with those buildings. Indeed, had the original plans for a 100m Ulster Bank HQ gone through it would not be the tallest building in this area and would simply be fitting into an already elevated tableau. Furthermore, even if this tall building is in some way a breach of existing guidelines then its construction will hardly usher in a wave of proposals which will turn Eden Quay into a mini-Manhattan. NIMBYS, an Taisce, a bust building sector and this city's(and country's) phobia about tall buildings will see to that. It is in large part thanks to these groups that Liberty Hall is indeed our signature tall building. It is a crying shame that since it was built in 1975 only two buildings - Montevetro and Millennium Tower have overtaken it in height. Had we developed the docklands like any other city Liberty Hall would probably have been out of the top 10 tallest buildings in Dublin and we wouldn't be as interested in its redevelopment. As it stands, this Liberty Hall proposal is just about the only prospect for proper high rise in this city considering the limbo the Point Watchtower, U2 Tower, Heuston Gate and Aqua Vetro are in. Therefore we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss it.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby missarchi » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:13 pm

This building could be in Saudi Arabia or New York.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby thebig C » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:35 pm

Cathal Dunne wrote:
GrahamH wrote:A most unfortunate decision and one that should rightly tumble at the feet of An Bord Pleanála. Notwithstanding Liberty Hall's architectural heritage value, this area of the city centre is not designated for high rise, and it is difficult to see how the Board can grant an application that facilitates the ad hoc redevelopment of tall buildings, especially somewhere as sensitive as the quays, never mind that the very foundations of Dublin high rise policy are based on Local Area Plans being drafted.


But GrahamH, while the building does have merit as an example of a school of Irish architecture, it does have a very dilapidated and shabby quality to it both at streetlevel and further up. In order for it to truly showcase the architecture of the time it was built would require a comprehensive facelift and a return to non-reflective windowpanes. SIPTU would be unwilling to go ahead with such an investment when, as they have pointed out, the building is no longer fit for purpose. It has huge electricity and heating costs which SIPTU are looking to halve with a new, modern-era office building. Liberty Hall, in its current incarnation probably suffers sick building syndrome Moreover, the building is quite poky with the central shaft reducing the effective office space of Liberty Hall. A new building would solve, or at least greatly mitigate, a lot of these problems.

As well as that, the area may not be zoned for high-rise but the existing building establishes a precedent for a tall building and the area does have a number of medium/high rise buildings such as the Ulster Bank HQ and O'Connell Bridge House so it would fit in with those buildings. Indeed, had the original plans for a 100m Ulster Bank HQ gone through it would not be the tallest building in this area and would simply be fitting into an already elevated tableau. Furthermore, even if this tall building is in some way a breach of existing guidelines then its construction will hardly usher in a wave of proposals which will turn Eden Quay into a mini-Manhattan. NIMBYS, an Taisce, a bust building sector and this city's(and country's) phobia about tall buildings will see to that. It is in large part thanks to these groups that Liberty Hall is indeed our signature tall building. It is a crying shame that since it was built in 1975 only two buildings - Montevetro and Millennium Tower have overtaken it in height. Had we developed the docklands like any other city Liberty Hall would probably have been out of the top 10 tallest buildings in Dublin and we wouldn't be as interested in its redevelopment. As it stands, this Liberty Hall proposal is just about the only prospect for proper high rise in this city considering the limbo the Point Watchtower, U2 Tower, Heuston Gate and Aqua Vetro are in. Therefore we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss it.



Well, Heuston Gate could soon be off the agenda too. An Taisce through James Nix are pushing for a new 8 storey Childrens Hospital to be built on the Heuston Gate site. This is nothing but a cynical attempt to develop a site for which there is still planning permission for just about the only Highrise that ABP didn't refuse. An Taisce know full well that if Heuston Gate were to be built it would set a new precedent as regards height in Dublin.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby thebig C » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:46 pm

GrahamH wrote:A most unfortunate decision and one that should rightly tumble at the feet of An Bord Pleanála. Notwithstanding Liberty Hall's architectural heritage value, this area of the city centre is not designated for high rise, and it is difficult to see how the Board can grant an application that facilitates the ad hoc redevelopment of tall buildings, especially somewhere as sensitive as the quays, never mind that the very foundations of Dublin high rise policy are based on Local Area Plans being drafted.

The problem in all of this, however, is a discreet provision that was deftly slipped into the Development Plan process in order to facilitate Siptu - indeed, the only one-off deviation from high rise policy in the document. The provision cynically attaches significance to the Liberty Hall site, not the building. How this exceptionally subjective angle on such a critically important building in the city made its way into the Plan without apparent notice by anybody is disquieting.

17.6.2
"In recognition of the national, social and cultural importance of the Liberty Hall site, the height limitations set out in the development plan may be set aside or relaxed in considering a proposal for the redevelopment of the site which will provide for the continuation of its national, historic, social and cultural status. Any such proposal will be considered against the relevant standards set out at Section 17.6.3".

Alas, this is a problematic statement in any planning argument for retaining the building. In effect, the Board can only rely on the building's architectural heritage value to overturn this decision.

The amenity value of the uppermost floors in the proposed new building are an undeniable asset, but one that can be accommodated in considerable style in the existing building. I think the proposed design is distinctly mediocre. Marian Finucane's typically bland assertions on design quality this morning, comparing it to the same architects' Croke Park, are surely a reason not to even consider it. It is not deserving of pride of place as Dublin's signature tall building, never mind the tragic loss of a rare 1960s icon.

The planner's report is not yet available online. It will make for interesting reading.


Actually, I am inclined to agree with you. I feel Liberty Hall (in its original incarnation before the 1972 bomb) was one of our finest pieces of post-war architecture. I feel it gets a bad rap based on the fact that it is the tallest and most identifiable building from a period of architectural dross. In short, its frequently blamed for the sins of Hawkins House, O'Connell Bridge House, College House, Telephone House, Apollo House etc. Furthermore, it is often cited as an example of what destroyed Georgian Dublin, when in fact that was overwhelmingly the myriad of 3/5 floor georgian pastiche low-rise crap!

However, the rub is that those now opposing reconstruction of Liberty Hall due to the historic nature and architecturally sensitive location of its site were by and large the same people who used hell fire and brimstone to prevent a highrise district in the docklands! Something which would have soaked up demand and negated most of the need to build in the more historic parts of the City. They can't have it both ways but thats what they want!

Consequently, having seen building after building fanatically rejected purely on the grounds of height rather then architectural merit, using every disengenuous NIMBY arguement in the book , many reasonable (probably myself included) have become ever more exaperated and no just want a highrise building if only to explode this stupid myth that highrises are universally bad!
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby Morlan » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:02 am

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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby Cathal Dunne » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:40 am

Exactly, Morlan. Hawkins House is horrendous, especially considering the beautiful Theatre Royal was thrown aside to make way for that appalling monstrosity.

Apollo House should also go in a wholesale redevelopment of the area between the Loopline Bridge, Pearse and D'Olier Streets. It is a uniquely dingy, particularly now that the Grand Canal Dock area has been revamped, the Custom House given a facelift, the Docklands development finished and O'Connell St. improved.

Hawkins and Apollo House and that building with the permanent Quinn Agnew ad for office space should be knocked. Hawkins House should have a light, glass-paned replacement of at least 20 storeys. Apollo House should be replaced by a bright-coloured brick building, again of at least 20 storeys like these ones in New York. The other buildings should be of similar style but shorter stature. Development should also be mixed use with Apollo House, in particular, divided equally between commercial, residential and retail uses. The area should also be permeated with street cafés, boutiques, restaurants, pubs, benches, cyclelanes and the like to make it an inviting place both by day and night.

Developing this area to this density, along with other elements like Liberty Hall Nua, Luas BXD, Metro North (eventually), taller buildings east of Ulster Bank HQ, the Watchtower and a revived Aqua Vetro would give Dublin a great boost and produce a skyline this city of 1.5 million and a capital city of 4.6 million deserves.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby lostexpectation » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:27 am

just looked again at the paddy cahill documentary and the docomomo submission the inside and working use of the building is barely shown or mentioned, more attention should be paid to the conditions of the people that have to work their, I've had go into stuffy cramped work space and it drives you mad, but surely there are plenty of old buildings around that could be replaced with more efficient ones, is that a reason to knock it down, was this building so badly built that its beyond repair?
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:27 pm

shows how much there is to talk about. This has no chance of being built - you might as well try to stuff a cloud in a suitcase. Might as well just leave the grant and let it lapse rather than bother to appeal it
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby gunter » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:11 am

According to Frank McDonald in today's paper, quote: 'The passion is all on one side - those who want Liberty Hall to be retained as an 'icon' of the emergence of modern Ireland'

Leaving aside the card carrying members of DOCOMOMO, whose passion is a little bit too easily aroused in my opinion, I suspect that the bulk of the people who would be against the demolition of Liberty Hall, and its replacement by a significantly taller and bulkier version, would be people keen on seeing that a bigger mistake isn't made now than was made in the 1960s.

Another issue I have with the current proposal is the scandalously misleading photomontage [reproduced in the McDonald article] which chooses a vantage point from where the entire streetscape of Eden Quay is obscured by foliage, conveniently concealing the jarring contrast in scale. I know they're going to say; hey we sent out a guy to take a picture and this is what he came back with, but deep down they must know that this is a subtle misrepresentation.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby missarchi » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:12 am

What ever happens I don't think anyone will be happy with the result...
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby damcw » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:25 am

Here is the current design:

Image
Image

Does anyone have any more renders, particularly renders from directly across the river? It's hard to tell how bulky this proposal is.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby DOC » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:06 pm

Looks like Des Rea O'Kelly can rest in peace!

http://news.eircom.net/breakingnews/208 ... w=Standard

Another refusal from ABP.
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:49 pm

So Siptu's options
- start again, new architects, new design approach, apply for permission
- look for permission to demolish existing, redevelop later - this would force the city's hand to either list the building or not, then SIPTU would know where they stand. Would seperate the issue of new building height and size from the emotive issue of saving Liberty Hall
- sell up and move to a new building on a new location, or become tenants somewhere else
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby DOC » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:50 pm

...do the usual Irish thing...take a couple storeys off it and re-apply... :yawn:
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby missarchi » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:10 am

Surprised but this has been my experience with the system...
Anything higher than 8 stories or 4 on the Liffey is in great danger of paralysis.

I think Paul hit the nail on the head...
Demolition seems inevitable...
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Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

Postby gunter » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:12 am

No planning authority, not even Dublin City Council, is going to grant permission for demolition on key site like this without first approving the redevelopment. SIPTU's window of opportunity has passed, I think it's time to recognise that we're stuck with the Liberty Hall we have.

Let's hope DOCOMOMO are right and this is a masterpiece that just takes a while to grow on you.
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