Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Peter Fitz » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:32 pm

Concrete !! ?
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby SeamusOG » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:53 pm

I'm living overseas now, but I have been concerned over the last couple of years by the lack of output of one of the neighbours of this monstrosity, namely Frank McDonald. In the old days, this kind of stuff would have received at least a mention from the IT's environment correspondent, but I'm not sure that it has. Has it? (Internet IT version different to the real thing).
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:22 pm

I continue to be angry about this abomination. Having spoken to various people, most are quite simply appalled by the lump. I estimated at the time that the works would cost around €10k - a significant amount that would easily allow for trees to be planted or planters to be set out somewhere deserving (like Thomas Street for example, currently begging for enhancement). I have now heard figures (coming from within Dublin City Council) of €50,000 and €100,000. Astonishing figures..though they might well refer to the whole project which includes a permanent feature here...this being a 'temporary' structure. I have asked a city Councillor to inquire about the cost.

I know that the Council was discussing with the NTA in 2011 on funding for a project here that would address the perceived dangerous nature of the crossing. This measure is apparently temporary although how temporary has not been clarified - Dublin has a history of the temporary that becomes permanent.

However, that this project emitted from Dublin City Architects Division (as I am led to understand)... the same promoters of a Public Realm Strategy (Your City - Your Space!) and a bid for World Design Capital is astonishing. This project displays such fundamental ignorance of the space that it is set within. It just beggars belief that it could have been progressed and that it brought so little critical thinking...from people who publicly profess such knowledge and understanding of this city and other cities.

Perhaps Dublin's sizable division of city architects should pay more attention at the Venice Bieniale.

Its only a lump of concrete....a small traffic measure. Surely we shouldn't get so exercised. But it represents all that is wrong with our City Authorities.

I am sure Frank McDonald is as weary and fed up as all the rest of us at this stage. He is probably wondering how many times he needs to raise issue like this.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:11 am

And the bollards are still there, presumably to stop people driving into the concrete, as well as a line of reflectors, presumably to stop people driving into the bollards.

You couldn't make this stuff up!
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:29 am

The official response of the City Council to various concerns raised by pesky citizens

Press Statement DCC

16th February, 2013.

Statement re temporary traffic management works adjacent to City Hall

A temporary traffic management structure has been erected adjacent to City Hall at the junction of Lord Edward Street/ Cork Hill. It has three flagpoles erected on top and two plaques referencing City Hall and Dublin Castle. As the structure is temporary it was designed to minimise excavation and ground disturbance.

The structure is intended to change traffic behaviour at this location as a precursor to the development of permanent design proposals for this area. The proposed permanent works will be the subject of a Part 8 process to be considered by the City Council. The present structure will be removed and replaced by the proposals when approved.

The impetus for the temporary proposal came from discussions with the OPW when they requested assistance in their management of Castle Street as a forecourt to the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle during Ireland’s presidency of the EU. These traffic management issues had been identified as more urgent due to the increased volumes of traffic arising from the use of Dublin Castle during EU Presidency.

The temporary structure was discussed with a number of departments internally including the Conservation Office and while acknowledging its temporary nature were most concerned to ensure that the permanent proposals would be fully discussed and developed in the context of the Part 8 process. Whereas the present temporary structure deals primarily with the issue of traffic management and pedestrian safety, there are a number of other issues relating to this general area which will have to be addressed by the permanent proposals.

Dublin City Council Roads Design Department had carried out a feasibility study on traffic and pedestrian management on Castle Street which proposed significant footpath widening at the junction of Castle Street and Dame Street. This work will form part of the Part 8 proposal.

It is desirable to provide a fully accessible main entrance to City Hall (present disabled access is via the lower ground floor café entrance at Bernardo Square) The provision of universal access to City Hall is achievable on the Cork Hill elevation, subject to conservation considerations of the works involved. Equally the provision of disability access to the Rates Office is achievable via the existing door on Castle Street, again subject to conservation considerations of the works involved. The remodelling of levels to achieve universal access to both buildings will form part of the Part 8 proposal.

The provision of a vehicular set down area for City Hall needs to be considered as part of the Part 8 proposal.

The provision of disabled car parking spaces and the appropriate route from them to City Hall needs to be considered as part of the Part 8 proposal.

It is envisaged that the permanent paving material for Cork Hill/Castle Street will be Leinster Granite similar to that used recently on Palace Street. Fair-faced concrete was used for the traffic management structure as it is temporary.

ENDS
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:31 am

And some quite interesting discussion on the issue on JoeeeeDuffyyy on Friday 15th Feb

The Plinth for the Skint

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/liveline/
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Punchbowl » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:05 am

StephenC wrote:The official response of the City Council to various concerns raised by pesky citizens

Press Statement DCC

16th February, 2013.

Statement re temporary traffic management works adjacent to City Hall

A temporary traffic management structure has been erected adjacent to City Hall at the junction of Lord Edward Street/ Cork Hill. It has three flagpoles erected on top and two plaques referencing City Hall and Dublin Castle. As the structure is temporary it was designed to minimise excavation and ground disturbance.

The structure is intended to change traffic behaviour at this location as a precursor to the development of permanent design proposals for this area. The proposed permanent works will be the subject of a Part 8 process to be considered by the City Council. The present structure will be removed and replaced by the proposals when approved.

The impetus for the temporary proposal came from discussions with the OPW when they requested assistance in their management of Castle Street as a forecourt to the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle during Ireland’s presidency of the EU. These traffic management issues had been identified as more urgent due to the increased volumes of traffic arising from the use of Dublin Castle during EU Presidency.

The temporary structure was discussed with a number of departments internally including the Conservation Office and while acknowledging its temporary nature were most concerned to ensure that the permanent proposals would be fully discussed and developed in the context of the Part 8 process. Whereas the present temporary structure deals primarily with the issue of traffic management and pedestrian safety, there are a number of other issues relating to this general area which will have to be addressed by the permanent proposals.

Dublin City Council Roads Design Department had carried out a feasibility study on traffic and pedestrian management on Castle Street which proposed significant footpath widening at the junction of Castle Street and Dame Street. This work will form part of the Part 8 proposal.

It is desirable to provide a fully accessible main entrance to City Hall (present disabled access is via the lower ground floor café entrance at Bernardo Square) The provision of universal access to City Hall is achievable on the Cork Hill elevation, subject to conservation considerations of the works involved. Equally the provision of disability access to the Rates Office is achievable via the existing door on Castle Street, again subject to conservation considerations of the works involved. The remodelling of levels to achieve universal access to both buildings will form part of the Part 8 proposal.

The provision of a vehicular set down area for City Hall needs to be considered as part of the Part 8 proposal.

The provision of disabled car parking spaces and the appropriate route from them to City Hall needs to be considered as part of the Part 8 proposal.

It is envisaged that the permanent paving material for Cork Hill/Castle Street will be Leinster Granite similar to that used recently on Palace Street. Fair-faced concrete was used for the traffic management structure as it is temporary.

ENDS


Hang on. So the planned use of Leinster granite is to replace what exactly?

Are they planning to tear up the cobbles to provide a pathway for disabled access?

That's what I'm getting from this, as it would be inconceivable to pull up the existing historic slabs only to replace them. Or probably not.

I'm all for disabled access to public buildings, but in such a sensitive area which affords one of the few unchanged views of Dublin, surely we can dispense with rules and regualtions and simply provide a when-required ramp to and from the building without ripping up what's left of this precious area. I mean, we wouldn't widen the chamber at Newgrange to accomodate wheelcahir access would we?

Again, this 'temporary' installation reeks of the old trojan horse to me. I'm sure whatever eventually emerges here will be better than what's there currently, but only when viewed against the vast concrete bulk that by then will have become a part of the fabric of the city.

A few granite bollards, connected by chains would provide the traffic calming that seems to be so required here, and disabled access could easily be accomodated with a portable ramp or whatever.

But I'm no city planner.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:29 am

Would agree with Punchbowl, Cork Hill needs a bit of repair [a lot more since this concrete podium went in], not a large scale re-design.

Quote from Dublin City Council Press Office Statement:

’The impetus for the temporary proposal came from discussions with the OPW when they requested assistance in their management of Castle Street as a forecourt to the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle during Ireland’s presidency of the EU.’

That is a fair point, I suppose.

Who could have predicted that our turn at the EU presidency would have come around again out of the blue like that, or that the state would want to use Dublin Castle again of all places? These guys are employed to run the city, not to be clairvoyant.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:10 pm

...although it has been suggested to me that OPW 'knew nothing' of this project (as they also appeared to be ignorant of the Palace Street works). They possibly weren't even aware of it until it was constructed, as, you see, the vehicular entrance for staff to the Castle is to the rear via Ship Street and unless you were passing by this in your car on your way home to Termonfeckin then you wouldnt even know it was there, right?


Yes, it does appear that we are to be treated to a wholesale 'redesign' of Cork Hill including:

"The provision of a vehicular set down area for City Hall ...and...The provision of disabled car parking spaces and the appropriate route from them to City Hall [that] needs to be considered as part of the Part 8 proposal."

I'd say that the world city of design architects in DCC are considering lifting the cobbles and building out the pavement with new Leinster granite. The original configuration wont be touched because this is how such stone is preserved 'in situ' as with Palace Street (although the huge sections of granite butchered and removed elsewhere in the city tell a different story). This new public realm with be treated to a line of bollards (the smarter cast iron bollards cause this is a VIP area). All of this at great expense as befits such an important space.

The options of granite bollards with chains across the mouth of the street couldn't possibly work here... there's no precedent in the city (oh wait St Stephen Green) and as for simple planter boxes...naah much to low key.

Meanwhile take a walk further along Castle Street and admire the shit condition of the road surface (probably all cobbles underneath the now broken tarmac), admire the cheap lighting and myriad bollards that impede the narrow pavement. Admire the OPW-owned substation half way down that is a regular rubbish tip. Admire the surface carpark for state employees next door. Admire the historic Castle Steps which are NOT wheelchair accessible.....have to do something there. Pop around the corner to Werburgh Street where the lovely church there languishes for a bit of loving care and imagine the difference €10k of the budget for the temporary structure on Cork Hill might make here. Walk further down to the wasteland space (this way since the Brits left probably) and admire the EU Presidency Media Centre in the back...what they must think. Walk around again onto Ship Street and admire the haphazard mess that was to have been resolved by DCC in 2005 under a long since forgotten framework plan.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:49 pm

An invitation from Dublin City Council Architects today...
http://www.dublincityarchitects.ie/?p=727#more-727

The temporary traffic calming works beside City Hall on Cork Hill have generated much comment. To reassure people, this is a temporary intervention and a precursor to a redesign of that space to address a number of issues: pedestrian safety, improving universal access to historic buildings and improving the public spaces which are ‘the ante-rooms’ for Dublin Castle.

Public interest and comment in how we make and manage public space is always welcome. As part of the design of the longer term proposal we are holding a public workshop at which design professionals, or anyone with an interest in the design of the public realm, can input their ideas as to how the complex demands of today’s public realm can be accommodated in this sensitive historic landscape.

So why change the landscape at all? The main driver for redesigning the public realm of Cork Hill is to improve pedestrian safety, but in achieving a redesign the opportunity exists to provide universal access to City Hall and the Rates Office (Newcomen Bank) from Castle Street, neither of which have satisfactory arrangements at present. There is also an opportunity to greatly improve the experience of this space by creating an ‘ante-room’ for Dublin Castle, similar to the recent landscaping of Palace Street.

The permanent works which follow will be the subject of a ‘Part 8′ planning application process to be considered by the City Council. It is intended that proposals for the Part 8 will be published for consultation in April 2013 with a view to seeking approval July 2013. Pending this, works could commence late 2013/early 2014.

We are planning the workshop at the moment, to take place in March, with the date and venue to be announced shortly. The workshop will be open to both design professionals and non-designers and if you’d like to participate then please email design@dublincity.ie.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:31 pm

cynic's alert - the architects department only doing this because of all the flak they have been getting over it - pr exercise
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:40 am

Dublin City Council are intent on ruining this space in my view. They have repeatedly shown themselves to be ignorant of the quality of spaces around the city. Palace Street (completed last year) is hardly anything to congratulate them on. Nicely paved to be sure but then along comes the obligatory ugly street lamp, topedo bollards, flagpoles and regulation signage.

And the same will happen at Castle Street, rest assured.

I agree with you Paul...this is just a cynical PR exercise to 'reassure' people after City 'Architects' designed that monstrosity that's sitting on the street now. Lots of engaged and enthusiastic (and probably unemployed) people sitting around with superannuated dodos who don't want to listen to anyone. Design agreed (with public) and proceeded with. Space wrecked as Roads Dept get their hands on it and litter the space with signs, bollards and various other clutterage 'in accordance with the Traffic Signs Manual' and the Part M officer over-designs ramps within an inch of their lives. Still at least we will have the Malton print nearby to remind us of what was.

I've seen this before last year at the workshop on Historic Surfaces in the city. Engineers who didn't see any irony in telling me that they 'looked at this in the 1980s' sitting around feigning interest in other people enthusiasm for our city's heritage. Engineers unable to problem-solve their way out of a paper bag.

And judging by this eyesore on Cork Hill...engineers masquerading as Senior Architects. It would be nice if the 'designer' of the carbuncle took some credit. Why remain faceless?

I'll leave them to this one.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:34 pm

Always good to start the week with a decent grumble, Stephen, get Monday off on the right foot.

The Palace Street re-paving is over-designed IMO and, even acknowledging that the Poddle runs under there somewhere, it's incoherent, but reasonably well executed, as is the lower end of Smithfield, finally. The discovery that cobble stones don't need to be re-set in buckets of tar is a major civic breakthrough, we have to take the positives where we can.

On the Cork Hill thing; they might say it's all temporary and it'll be gone in a few months, but you can't tell me they just happened to made it Guinness-barge-shaped just by chance!

Cork Hill is a particular case, it could be argued that the rational for the great sweeping bend around City Hall largely vanished when Lord Edward Street was cut through the west side of the street to continue Dame Street straight up to Christchurch, but that shouldn't mean that the street pattern which survived that intervention for more than a century doesn't still have value.

Image
Shaw's depiction of the west side of Cork Hill in 1850

If there is a pedestrian safety issue here, which I'm not convinced there is, just put in a pedestrian crossing, from corner to corner, [in Basalt and Granite rather than tar and paint] and get on with restoring the cobbles on Castle Street, as should have been done fifteen years ago.

Providing invalid access to buildings on a street that already exceeds the maximum permissible invalid access gradient is going to be an interesting exercise . . . good luck with that.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Smithfield Resi » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:22 pm

Questions.

Why does Cork Hill need to have a one way flow in that direction? Why not reverse the flow (eliminating 99% of the traffic) and require anyone having to drop at or enter the Castle to come up past the Lord Edward pub and back down to the Castle. No pedestrian risk then.

Alternatively close one end of it completely with a kerbed footpath - Better the invention at ground level than eyelevel.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:24 pm

I dunno, cul-de-sacking Castle Street seems like over-kill to me, at least in terms of the scale of the perceived pedestrian peril that's seems to have suddenly arisen here.

About that revamp of the Companies Office building in the Lower Castle Yard . . .

Image

normally, I'd be all for a bit of minimalist landscaping, but come on . . . . one single, solitary, tree!

Image

If ever there was a case for twenty five Leylandii, surely this is it.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:59 pm

Some more information on the carbuncle in today's Irish Times....

Heritage group An Taisce has written to Dublin City Council to formally complain about a new concrete slab erected beside City Hall and to request its removal.

It says the structure, which is eight metres long and has three flagpoles, is “highly injurious” to the setting of City Hall, the main entrance to Dublin Castle and the former Newcomen Bank (now the Rates Office), all protected buildings.

“This is one of the city’s iconic architectural ensembles featuring in a Malton print [from the late 18th century] and State visit arrivals to Dublin Castle,” An Taisce’s heritage officer, Ian Lumley, said in the letter.

Cllr Mannix Flynn called it a “carbuncle” while bloggers on politics.ie branded it an “eyesore”, an “appalling erection that toppled over” and an “over-engineered traffic redirection solution”.

Temporary structure

A spokesman for the council said the slab was a “temporary structure aimed at increasing pedestrian safety” at the junction of Cork Hill and Castle Street “due to the increased traffic volumes at this location during the EU presidency”.

A source in the Office of Public Works, which is responsible for Dublin Castle, said it had made representations to the council to pedestrianise Palace Street and Castle Street. “Palace Street has already been done and we suggested that something should be built to divert traffic away from Castle Street,” the source said. “I don’t like the look and feel of it, but welcome the idea of giving the street back to pedestrians.”

Hazard to pedestrians

City architect Ali Grehan said the hazard to pedestrians of left-turning traffic on Cork Hill had been identified in an initial report on traffic management options for Castle Street, prepared by the council’s roads design division in August 2011.

In her report to the council, she said the concrete structure had been designed to provide a “visual backdrop” for a row of bollards extending half-way across the entrance to Castle Street to “ensure a change of behaviour of drivers in making the left turn”. Ms Grehan said it was considered that bollards alone would not achieve this purpose. Possible ways of “softening” the slab, which cost €15,000 to build, were being considered in response to concerns expressed by councillors.

Noting that it would cost about €4,000 to remove the slab, she said it would remain in place until a permanent solution was approved. However, Mr Lumley maintained there was “no basis” for the council’s claim that the slab, as a “temporary structure”, did not need to go through a consent process under part 8 of the 2000 Planning Act. He also claimed it was “a waste of public money”.


Interesting points here: councillors concerns are taken on board but not those of the public it seems (my email to the Council remains unanswered two weeks later).

Slab costs 15k (to build) plus 4k to remove and unspecified amount to 'soften'. I will be VERY interested to see what softening measures are put on place.

Also OPW: How exactly does this lump 'give the street back to pedestrians'.

The workshop to help Dublin City Architects Division to create a suitable ante-room to the Castle at this location takes place on 15th March if anyone is interested in participating. A detailed knowledge of the limitations and design restrictions imposed by the DoE Traffic Signs Manual would be most advantageous. An ignorance of the value of historic street surfaces, rare cobbled and setted surfaces, and good urban design principles would also be beneficial.

http://www.dublincityarchitects.ie/?p=727#more-727
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Punchbowl » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:41 pm

Made another pilgrimage to it today and I'm glad to report that they have indeed 'softened' it up - by surrounding it with a dozen or so crush barriers.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby lostexpectation » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:01 pm

imho this put in to stop speeding EU pres limos
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:31 am

Council architect Brian Swan's handywork on Cork Hill continues to reverberate and a public workshop to discuss the redesign of this lovely little space looks to be a very interesting and passionate affair.

Dublin Civic Trust have released this highly detailed and informed opinion piece on the what might happen...well worth a read.

http://www.dublincivictrust.ie/news-ent ... 1362662781
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:38 pm

Dublin City Council Architects Division held its workshop on a redesign for Cork Hill on Friday 15th March. The workshop was reasonably attended - approx 50 people although a good 50% of those were City Council staff (no planners though). Perhaps the date for the workshop was an issue - the Friday before bank holiday weekend.

The morning was both interesting and unsatisfying. Proceedings started off with architect Brian Swan who designed the present carbuncle on the street, giving an overview of the rationale behind the push to reinvent the three key entrances into Dublin Castle - Palace Street (done), Cork Hill/ Castle Street (being buggered?), and Ship Street (for future buggering?). The Dubline, the rediscovery of the Castle, a bit of Fáilte Ireland money to do something, the needs of disabled (repeated throughout the morning), the needs of weddings and entertainment uses at Dublin City Hall, the fact that the Barnardos Square entrance isnt a very satisfactory approach to City Hall (no irony here), pedestrian safety at the junction, etc were all mentioned or alluded to.

There was no real explanation of the rationale for the existing €20k concrete structure other than that DCC wanted the 'visual backdrop' to reinforce the new traffic behaviour on this junction and OPW or rather the Castle Management (more dysfunction) wanted the flags to complement all the expensive and tacky branding that has been vomited over every surface of the Castle for the EU presidency.

Brian Swan gave an uninspiring and bland presentation and was careful not to let skip the vaguest whiff of imagination or understanding of the place on his part. Nice guy when I met him...but I am worried about what he might have in store for this street.

Next up Nicki Matthews, the Council's Conservation Officer. Lots of lovely old images showing the Castle in its various guises and many showing the relative unchanged nature of Cork Hill over the centuries. Nicki made an ambiguous pitch for sensitive change to the street by referring to the various criteria used to assess a protected structure (and of course no one mentioned that this section of streetscape was previously listed in City Development Plans)...cultural, scientific, social etc. What Nicki didnt really elaborate on was issue the materials and their increasing rarity in the city, which I think is quite relevant. These sections of setted streets, well-laid swathes of Leinster granite paving, fanned corners, steps, etc have been lost to a shameful and alarming degree in the city and no one has really explained why and how and where all this valuable material went. The rush to adapt every section of streetscape to universal access, or make every space vandal-proof, or the overarching need for everywhere to have a 'use' is creating a much blander and less interesting city in my view...certainly I don't expect to see a Spanish Steps in Dublin during my lifetime.

Cork Hill is only a small section of street, and incidental space for many. Yet it has managed to avoid redesign and serious neglect for most of the 20th century, which is no mean feat in this city of philistines.

Anyhow after the formalities we broke into groups to discuss what we liked about the space, what it meant to Dubliners, what value redesigning the space would be to Dubliners, etc etc. There was some good discussion at my table. Next up were asked to address the needs of various 'personas' who might use the street. Each table was given 2 - ours were Ann the event coordinator using City Hall on a daily basis and all the challenges that that brought and Dave the DHL man who loved using Castle Street as a rat run and convenient parking spot. This section was perhaps the most unsatisfying and distracting element because actually what everyone might have liked to do was just get their thinking caps on and put their thoughts to papers.

What emerged for me from the day was:

That this place will be redesigned and I am not sure it will be to its benefit. It will probably follow what happened on Palace Street and I don't really have faith in City Architects to execute anything exceptional or inspiring at this location.

Perhaps Castle Street may finally be considered as part of a redesign and that issues such as excessive through-traffic (rat running), on street parking, coach parking, pavement quality, poor land use on the street, the sadly underused secondary entrance to Dublin Castle and the Castle Steps, the vacant and litter-strewn OPW owned site at the corner of Castle Steps and Castle Street, the derelict substation (also OPW owned), the lack of access into St Werburgh's graveyard etc, might now be on people's radar. But this seems a big ask and the red line will always win above an holistic approach to an important historic character area.

That there really in the City Council isn't any real interest in valuable older materials in the city - whether setts, paving, streetlamps etc. The more I read council design documents such as the Public Realm Strategy or ACAs the more 'contemporary' jumps out at me. Its not that I don't value good contemporary design...I do. Its just that in Dublin this seems to mean removing older materials and replacing with cheap granite or concrete or temporary materials and catalogue bought street furniture (and lots of it) rather than working with older materials and updating spaces using these high quality features. The comments of one table which included 'dare to be different' , 'defy convention', 'avoid pastiche' (in street surfaces?), 'boo to trees' etc was rather ironic. Its precisely because most follow this shallow thinking that we have such bland functional traffic dominated streets all over the city and very few curious and intimate little spaces such as Cork Hill.

The OPW in Dublin Castle are as bad and as muddled in their thinking and lack of understanding of the place. Witness the way money has been spent in the past year.

The laymen at the workshop...those of us not in DCC... brought up novel ideas such as shared space, greater pedestrian priority on Castle Street that might encourage greater use on the street; that when Barnardos Sq and the remaining plaza is redesigned here (i.e. the concrete toadstools removed) AND if the entrance here was made more attractive and inviting that perhaps those of us less-able might not feel at all uncomfortable using this entrance and its lift instead of pushing ourselves up Cork Hill to a great new ugly ramp tacked onto the side of our City Hall. As someone said, disable people have an appreciation of aesthetic and good design too you know!

So anyhow it was a worthwhile event. What is interesting to me is the degree to which social media is influencing what going on in the city. The fact that some people got angry on Twitter etc about this was worthwhile because the project has had to be rethought. Old habit don't die hard though....in his closing remarks Brian Swan made a big to-do about how the Architects would now need to engage with all those city councillors who had expressed concerns about the waste of money and vandalism of public space that took place here. No mention of the humble citizens to drove the debate on this issue. They don't require an explanation.

Of course, not one city councillor was at the workshop.

A Part VIII is expected later in the year.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:25 pm

An earlier attempt at traffic calming on Cork Hill

Image

this one from 1920 using the WW1 motif of X-frames and barbed wire
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:33 pm

it was considered but didnt cost enough and you couldnt fit flagpoles on.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:45 pm

And the army wanted overtime....
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:05 pm

Another one of those news cuttings from 1975 reporting on plans for a hurried Corpo face-lift of semi-derelict Palace Street ahead of an EEC summit in Dublin Castle.

Image

You have to sympathize with the Corpo, if only we knew ahead of time when these things were going to happen.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby urbanisto » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:08 pm

Aaah yes the civic pride of our Corpo of yesteryear. You'd never get this kind of carry on now would you?

Fascinating collection you have there Mr gunter.
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