O' Connell Street, Dublin

Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:22 pm

I love that view of the bridge above...just look at the hoards of people corralled onto narrow pavements on the city's widest bridge while acres of space is afforded to cars. Says it all no?

Thats a brilliant image Graham....a wow factor image.

In saying you overstated the importance of refurbishing the site I wasn't downplaying how desirable it would be. I simply feel that the IAP for O'Connell Street, which sought to substantially reimagine the premier street in the city (and that by some reports spent €70m before it came to a shuddering halt), failed to alter the perception the built environment and public realm of the city in the minds of the citizenry, so I am not sure how refurbishing one terrace would achieve this.

A project of international appeal might be a comprehensive plan for the north Georgian city and a move towards UNESCO status.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:23 pm

I remember when RTE started to relay euronews in the mid 1990’s, that somewhat annoying but oddly compelling news station.

On their weather round up, they would take a whistle stop tour of European capitals, featuring an iconic photo of each city, overlayed with weather graphics.

Sometimes, Dublin even made it in to the mix, oh the glamour.

Euronews decided that parts of this terrace were representative of the Irish capital, and so a shambolic image of Dublin was presented, complete with random neon signage, tacky shop fronts & the general mish mash we’ve become used to.

The image was cringe worthy. I remember thinking the obvious, why couldn’t they just use a shot of the Custom house, Four Courts or whatever?

But then the reality is that given it’s prominence, Dublin leaves itself open to the perception that this terrace is representative of the capital & who could blame that euronews graphics guy from the mid 90’s for thinking so.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Faddyfish » Fri May 03, 2013 12:50 pm

I see that the decision on removing the NOKIA signage etc. has been appealed to ABP. The owner maintains that there are no enforcement proceedings against the current signs. Therefore, without permission for the replacement LED sign the building will not be refurbished and the current signs will remain for twenty years. This will be an interesting case to follow as something has to give.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Fri May 03, 2013 3:39 pm

I know for certain that an enforcement notice was served on this premises in 2010 because I referred it to the Council at the time that the Nokia signage replaced the Baileys sign in September of that year.

I fear that the owner of 33, 34 and 56 will refuse to undertake the works that have been permitted unless he gets new signage.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby missarchi » Fri May 24, 2013 1:13 am

Spot the difference?

2007 (copyright celtcia)

Image

2013 (copyright urban nexus)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/905425_562939793758881_153046239_o.jpg
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Sat May 25, 2013 7:17 pm

Its not exactly rocket science is it.... There's an obvious symmetry to D'Olier/Westmoreland Streets from O'Connell Bridge. Wide pavements, focal points, tree lined etc. These are all logical urban design devices that one would expect here.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby missarchi » Sat May 25, 2013 10:21 pm

Has luas cross city got any new plans?
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Alek Smart » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:32 pm

missarchi wrote:Has luas cross city got any new plans?


Well if they have,I do hope it includes enough € for a few bulbs to fit into the dark,unused,redundant,Public Lighting fittings adorning the facades of Westmoreland St (surely Dublins darkest,least inviting major thoroughfare ?) O Connel St and D'Olier St.

I sincerely hope Mrs O'Bama does'nt express a desire to stroll as far as Temple Bar,cos if it's after dark,she'll run the risk of getting lost.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:11 pm

GrahamH wrote:The more one considers this terrace, the bigger a joke it gets. The very image of the city is being persistently undermined here, in spite of the signage not having planning permission, in spite of being officially designated for removal under a statutory Area of Special Planning Control and an Architectural Conservation Area, and in spite of negatively impacting on the character of Protected Structures. It is such an unholy mess, one would be forgiven for thinking it a Photoshop job.

Image


And yet another Photoshop job tells a thousand words in terms of the impact of reinstating the original end pavilion (lead downpipe optional).

Image


The wider view from O'Connell Bridge. What a transformative effect.

Image

Immediately, a coherent Georgian context and legibility is restored to the setting of the bridge. All that is required is a comprehensive reshaping of the public realm (planned for Luas BXD) to radically alter our perceptions of this critical space in the city

Taking in the adjacent pair of houses - and acknowledging that none of this is without technical challenges - the very image of O'Connell Street, the Liffey quays and the ceremonial spine of the city is reshaped.

Image

Of course we'd ditch the Victorian plate windows, and a handful more chimneys wouldn't go amiss. But this is achievable if the will and, fundamentally, an undertanding of the built form of Dublin was there to do it. Alas, this stuff just isn't trendy enough, is it?


It appears the elaborate shopfront currently under construction at 32 Bachelors Walk will house ....a fro-yo outlet. Seems like a lot of trouble for such an underwhelming use.

http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/r ... ts%3C/a%3E
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Morlan » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:20 am

Image
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:30 pm

We talked previously about this much blighted terrace at Bachelor's Walk.

Image

Despite the high quality fitout and huge passing trade the cafe at the corner didnt last the year. Its not clear whether this affects the proposal to refurbish the corner, previously discussed above.

However, my attention is drawn to forth building along which is currently in the throes of a major (and surprising) refurbishment (Excuse the phone camera images).

Image

Image

Image
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:36 pm

Its a very ambitious reconstruction of the original shopfront. The detailing is lovely and its very interesting to see the engineering behind the front, which is all currently exposed.

I wonder at the wisdom of this however. Normally I would welcome this return to quality...such an antidote from the assorted plastic crap that goes for modern shopfronts.

However, this feels a little strange. The proportions are odd when one stands in front of the finished product. The entrance is quite narrow and I wait to see whether fenestration and doors make its look pokey.

Its very laudable for the owner to undertake this work. The sash windows about are stunning and the building has been transformed by the painting and cleaning.

However, the proposed use is a Yogurt Bar, and I half wonder whether this glamorous shopfront will suit such a use.

Hopefully it all works out. The fitout continues and I will post an image of the finish development.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:41 pm

Of course the 'public realm' here, as with so many parts of the city is an unmitigated disaster.

Image

The tree is ugly and pointless, there is huge scope to widen the space and create a sunny terrace, and much of the 'street furniture' could easily be rationalised or better removed. A very simple project to realise a new space at the entrance to O'Connell Street. And perhaps then the various businesses along the stretch would have the chance to flourish.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:02 am

Yes there is little question that the poor quality and incoherence of the public realm along here is a contributing factor to the mixumgatherum uses and presentation that have proliferated along this stretch for years. Why invest in your premises when the council upholds similar, if not worse, standards that your own?

The reinstatement of the Wide Streets Commission shopfront here is a ground-breaking development. In proportion, detailing, materiality and relationship with the upper floors it is nothing short of exemplary. The Wicklow granite is eye-wateringly good and the masonry construction is robust and substantial. It, along with the major works carried out to the upper facade, deserve some in-depth focus when it's all completed. I believe the arch-headed Georgian grid windows will be arriving very shortly.

StephenC wrote:I wonder at the wisdom of this however. Normally I would welcome this return to quality...such an antidote from the assorted plastic crap that goes for modern shopfronts.

However, this feels a little strange. The proportions are odd when one stands in front of the finished product. The entrance is quite narrow and I wait to see whether fenestration and doors make its look pokey.




I wouldn't be concerned about the shopfront's relative incongruity in its current state. The critical intersection between it and the first floor has yet to be finished, making it look somewhat isolated - a sense heightened by the equally unfinished channelled pier to the laneway corner. Both of these will seamlessly integrate the new frontage with the wider building when finished.

I also think we firmly must get away from the perceived necessity of expansive glazed frontages on all of our streets. It is becoming akin to the scourge of attention-deficiency in the social media world, where every ground floor must be visibly, brazenly 'active'. The most pleasant streets in any city are those that exhibit a mixture of predominantly active, moderately active, and a small percentage of inactive frontages. There is a multitude of service uses, including a plethora further down Bachelors Walk, that are much more suited to moderately active frontages such as this than exposing all of their goings-on to the street.

But I agree that a high grade café or food use (including food products) that plays on the premium that a heritage frontage implies (or should do, and doesn’t in Dublin’s case) is suited to this unit. Indeed, this is now the thinking of the owner, but I believe an arrangement had already been entered into with the proposed yoghurt people. Still, it’s a quirky use that facilitates public access and relies heavily on internal aesthetics – if they get it right.

It absolutely baffles me why a decent operator won’t take that other corner unit by the horns and turn it into a high turnover premium beverage and confectionary shop. The new Peacock Green on Lord Edward Street, another postage stamp outlet, plays on a tried and tested Victorian marketing ploy – stuffing your windows to the gills with eye-watering confections. They can barely manage the crowds in there.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:19 pm

On a recent trip to Istanbul a friend of mine commented on the degree to which businesses there 'stuffed their windows' with all sorts of lovely things to entice customers in. We seem to have lost the art of enticing customers through quality shopfronts and window displays... and we (as customers) perhaps seem to have forgotten how we like to be enticed!

The coffee shop on the corner had quite a nice fitout and an undoubted high level of passing trade but it still failed. I'll hazard that, because this corner is so grimy and chaotic, it simply encourages people to rush by. Or it could have been because it had crap coffee!

Something must change here though. The narrow crossing to O'Connell Bridge is ridiculous...the width of paving on the quay side, bonkers. Check out the awful mess of the adjoining Hickeys Pharmacy beside the former cafe. What a state - where is the pride of an independent business. Add to this the garish greens and pinks of the two other premises on Bachelors Walk. Its all so hideous....why would you want to linger.

Its not that difficult to fix - more a matter of subtraction that expensive addition. Hopefully the restoration of No. 34 will spur further action on the terrace and a demand for a better street environment from DCC.

The windows arrived yesterday Graham, and were installed last night when I passed.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:02 am

Sadly, the predictability of a major multinational chain seems to be what the market wants at this location...

Image

So now we have two Starbucks on O'Connell Street, two on Westmoreland Street and one (thus far) on College Green - all within three minutes' walk of each other.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:13 am

Who are we to argue - clearly this is what the men and women of 1916 wanted for us!
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby fergalr » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:44 pm

Y'know what? I will take Starbucks over any fast food joint or newsagents.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:40 pm

I would tend to agree - relatively tasteful places - no A0 neon posters about breakfast rolls
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby fergalr » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:04 am

Walked past this morning. It's a rinky dink little place. You wouldn't order "for here", believe me.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:25 pm

The appeal of Starbucks has been discussed endlessly for years. I personally dont get its success here given the amount of good coffee shops that have popped up lately. However it is expanding quite aggressively across the city.
Its a smart looking outlet, exactly what this maligned corner needs. Funny that the last cafe operator didn't make it. But hey, the old six month rule for cafes and restaurants.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:34 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Image



And inevitably the adjoining Language School (the blue area of shopfront in this image) sticks up a big printed board of a sign across their frontage - just for that extra impact. Starbuck's must wonder why they bothered.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby exene1 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:48 pm

They should try and get the upstairs of that unit for seating. Then again it would soon get trashed if unsupervised. Tables covered in graffiti and a smell of pee in the corner.

In Korea they have Starbuckses with multiple floors of seating above the ground floor. It works because there is NO anti social behaviour, just floor after floor of perfectly behaved Koreans, quite a sight lol.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby fergalr » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:07 pm

In Korea they have Starbuckses with multiple floors of seating above the ground floor. It works because there is NO anti social behaviour, just floor after floor of perfectly behaved Koreans, quite a sight lol.


After two years in Seoul, Dublin was very hard to return to because of just this.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:47 pm

Why can't somebody just paint this building ... why?!!! White paint isn't that expensive!
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