What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:41 am

As the Central Bank of Ireland has declared intent to vacate it’s iconic home on Dame Street in search of a single, larger HQ elsewhere in the city – what future for Sam Stephenson’s landmark?

I love the building, and am disappointed that the Central Bank will not retain a presence there. If ever a building said ‘BANK’, this is it.

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Photo - William Murphy http://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/485020693/sizes/l/in/photostream/
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Service charge » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:03 am

I don't see why the CB can't stay there and in fact should be compelled to do so.

So what they have to use more than one location, many of their departments have absolutely no links and don't need to be in the same building. It is crazy that the state should have to expend so much to construct that building only for it to be abandoned when it becomes a little outdated internally.

The Times building for instance is very close by and could house the Regulator, while the policy units etc stay in the Stephenson building. Isn't there also a large empty office building on Georges st?

The alternative is the Stephenson building lying empty for years. Nobody will want to take it over, it needs updating and is too large to rent on its own with the economy in its current state and its location. It is only suitable for a government entity. Unless the CB can arrange a swap with a downsizing company , they should stay were they are.

It is simply the vanity of the senior people in the Bank who want a shiny new HQ in the docks to compete with the lawyers, accountants, and IT whizzes. Money is being poured into the CB right now for obvious reasons and I understand they are snapping up resources even if they can't put them to use. It will be the HSE all over again, lots of money spent and no results, And it will be the city that suffers.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby teak » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:33 pm

If ever a building said ‘BANK’, this is it.

I agree.

If ever a building looked like a stack of fresh-minted notes, it's Sam's baby :angel:

I doubt if the Central Bank would have much chance of getting a new building for themselves in the present time.
As Service Charge says, they just need to use some of the various vacant offices nearby to house the new departments covering their increased oversight duties and keep the senior staff and regular units in the existing block.

Looking at things in the longer term however I see no reason why some other appropriate use couldn't be found for this building.
All architects - Sam Stephenson included - have to have regard to alternative uses for their buildings. Nowadays - I mean since the 1980s - most buildings have very clear alternative uses designed into them. The Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield was rumouredly laid out as it was so that if the shoppers didn't come in sufficient numbers, the place could be offered as a prison location . . . And a lot of Section 23 apartment blocks would be readily adaptable into offices.
The only thing is that the new tenants would have to complement the spirit of this great building.
It would be nice if the general public had more access to see it from within.
I can't think of any people less worthy of having such a workplace than Patrick Neary and his ilk. Oh for the chance of giving him a swift kick in the transom off the top floor . . .
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:45 pm

Looks a done deal according to Neil Callanan.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0416/centra ... quays.html

Central Bank trades downgrades from its landmark to anonymous celtic tiger drivel, pioneered by a particularly toxic blend of Anglo & Carroll.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:33 pm

Yeah, a worrying development to be sure. One would hope should the Central Bank vacate Dame Street completely that it would continue to be some sort of government offices rather than become a Leprechaun Museum or some such tat.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Cathal Dunne » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:00 pm

I think they might keep the Dame Street building. They've got a couple of offices in places like Sandyford which they want to centralise plus they haven't sufficient capacity at Dame Street so they could vacate only a few floors of Dame Street and close down their other offices and put those functions into the new building. Plus, an internal poll was done and the staff favour retaining the Dame Street building.

Either way, it's an opportunity to make the Dame Street edifice a listed building as it is a great example of modernist architecture by the singular Sam Stephenson. Now that the building is established, it would be a great shame to lose it.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby arachne » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:08 pm

I say it has to go. In its own right, as architecture, it is not without merit. But it is not of a quality that justifies its impact on the roofline - it elbows stubbornly into so many vistas where it does not belong. Take a look from South Leinster Street sometime, from College Street, or looking south from Liffey Street. The elegance that can be appreciated from Dame Street is lacking from nearly all of the many other perspectives it inhabits. From any distance, it simply appears plonked incongruously in classic 70s style smack in the middle of the historic core.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Punchbowl » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:59 pm

I like it, and it will certainly stay, but knocking it could potentially create a rather decent urban plaza (something that's lacking in the city centre at the mo)
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Cathal Dunne » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:25 pm

arachne wrote:I say it has to go. In its own right, as architecture, it is not without merit. But it is not of a quality that justifies its impact on the roofline - it elbows stubbornly into so many vistas where it does not belong. Take a look from South Leinster Street sometime, from College Street, or looking south from Liffey Street. The elegance that can be appreciated from Dame Street is lacking from nearly all of the many other perspectives it inhabits. From any distance, it simply appears plonked incongruously in classic 70s style smack in the middle of the historic core.


I'm looking westward from South Leinster Street on Google Streetview link towards where the Central Bank is and I can't see it. Moreover, from College Street, the Central Bank is invisible. Indeed the most visually-intrusive elements of College Street are those blasted trees which block the view of the Old Parliament Building and the ugly College Green Busgate sign erected by DCC.

I disagree with the idea that Central Bank is incongruous. It's one of the signature buildings along the way, like City Hall, the Old Parliament Building and Trinity College. It's the same with the new Criminal Courts Building at Parkgate Street, it's big but it works. We're a big city, we should have big buildings.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:32 am

arachne wrote:I say it has to go. In its own right, as architecture, it is not without merit. But it is not of a quality that justifies its impact on the roofline - it elbows stubbornly into so many vistas where it does not belong. Take a look from South Leinster Street sometime, from College Street, or looking south from Liffey Street. The elegance that can be appreciated from Dame Street is lacking from nearly all of the many other perspectives it inhabits. From any distance, it simply appears plonked incongruously in classic 70s style smack in the middle of the historic core.


I might agree with you if our historic core was like Prague's historic core. But Dublin is already a mish-mash of buildings anyway. Isn't the fact that it's so incongruous half of what's so interesting about it? The contrast between it and the surrounding low-rise buildings as you walk behind is one of the most epically urban experiences in Dublin, which is blighted in so many places with bland uniformity of height.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:00 pm

Always liked the contrast from Trinity Street.

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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Cathal Dunne » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:33 pm

I concur, Peter. I like the way it kind of pops out at you as you're rounding the corner at Pichet on Trinity Street. It certainly makes an impact.

The only problem I find is the wind-tunnel effect on the right-hand side of it as you're looking at it from the opposite side of Dame Street. A solution to this would be a cluster of tall buildings in the area. ;-)
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby kefu » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:28 pm

It should be listed. One of its great strengths is the fact that despite its seemingly monolithic size, it doesn't at all tower over the city. Another couple of storeys and it probably would have. That view from Trinity Street has always been quite arresting.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby StephenC » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:13 pm

Punchbowl wrote:I like it, and it will certainly stay, but knocking it could potentially create a rather decent urban plaza (something that's lacking in the city centre at the mo)


Yup its not as if there is a set piece public space of international quality and importance just beside it...College Green.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby arachne » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:45 pm

Here is the view from South Leinster Street (very poor quality photo, but you can clearly appreciate the 70s bulk over the Trinity campus). As for College Street, it is the very trees that obscure the Corinthian East portico of the Old Parliament House that also obscure the Central Bank towering above.
http://s1128.photobucket.com/albums/m49 ... entral.jpg
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Peter Fitz » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:44 pm

arachne wrote:Here is the view from South Leinster Street (very poor quality photo, but you can clearly appreciate the 70s bulk over the Trinity campus). As for College Street, it is the very trees that obscure the Corinthian East portico of the Old Parliament House that also obscure the Central Bank towering above.
http://s1128.photobucket.com/albums/m49 ... entral.jpg


Don't think that image does your argument any favours.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby arachne » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:46 pm

Well it looks like a multi-storey car park
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby StephenC » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:04 pm

Could be looking at some of these babies...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/pro ... me=2159769
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby thebig C » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:06 pm

In keeping with the Financial theme, maybe the Dept of Finance could move to the Central Bank?! I understand that like many Departments they have separate offices all over the City, notably on Merrion Row. I suspect that whilst the Central Bank would be too small to accommodate all of their staff, they could certainly locate all of the "prestiege" aspects such as the Ministers/Secretary Generals offices to Dame street.

This would then allow the Taoiseachs/Tainaistes Department to occupy the entireity of Government Buildings. It could also "optically separate" the Finance Department from the Executive!!

C
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Telchak » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:18 pm

thebig C wrote:It could also "optically separate" the Finance Department from the Executive!!

And give a lot more space to protesters :L
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby Telchak » Thu May 31, 2012 4:12 pm

Central Bank confirmed as buyer on the old Anglo building, for €7million. Say they're moving all staff except those in the currency centre.

Source: RTÉ
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby PVC King » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:11 pm

Assuming the North Wall Quay building is up and running by early 2015; I suspect that there will be a significant shortage of grade A office space in Dublin City Centre; I suspect hotels will continue to be dramatically over supplied and the social and affordable requirements render residential a non-runner in even a moderately improved climate.

Someone should let the IDA know that this is available late 2015 allowing 9 months for a full refit; new glazing and M & E services and this is a fantiastic EMEA HQ for a technology or media firm; who ever thought bankers should have such proximity to the nightlife of Temple Bar?

3 years should see office rents on a par with Edinburgh by that time for temperature controlled offices.
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby kefu » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:11 pm

An image of the proposed new Central Bank building on the Anglo HQ site.
It's a little bit hazy:
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sect ... -1.1662057
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby fergalr » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:42 pm

From the article:

The 22,500sq m Docklands building is designed by Henry J Lyons and is intended to complement the Criminal Courts of Justice building further along the Liffey, which was also designed by the Irish architects.


In what way? I guess they book end the city centre...
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Re: What future for Stephenson’s Central Bank?

Postby shadow » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:23 pm

Like a grand shopping mall with the two anchor tenants on either end, the law(yers) on one end and the bank(s) and all the small people in between.
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