Look at de state of Cork, like!

Look at de state of Cork, like!

Postby speakeasy » Sun Jul 06, 2003 9:01 pm

This is a great website, really interesting even for the non architect types like me. But whats with all the discussion about Dublin? Cork is Ireland's second largest city and hardly gets a mention! Theres all sorts of bad stuff going on in this City which needs discussion. I strongly beleive that web sites like this do make a difference and are a great voice.

Lots of new developments which seem to have escaped any public scrutiny at the planning stage (surprise surprise) are being thrown up in Cork. The City is losing its character, fast, because of cheap office blocks which are actually worse than the many mistakes built in the 1960's.

Take for example the new development on Lapps Quay opposite the beautiful City Hall and next to the even more aesthetically pleasing Cork Savings Bank (now AIB). This, you would think, should be an area to preserve. But sadly the hideous old Eircom building on the Quay is being made look even more awful and a huge area has also been cleared to make way for air raid shelter type apartments and offices. Up the road at Anglesea street, a nice little area with lots of old well preserved buildings, is a new office block, which looks like it was designed by the same people who came up with the EBS building on dame street Dublin. This thing is monstrous, it dwarfs an adjoining pub and looks totally out of character in this street. What is going on? Who designs these things? Does anyone notice how shocking they are? Does anyone care? Cmon you Dubs, Cork is a part of this nation too... pay us some attention! Ireland's architects are going to get a bad name from all this rubbish being
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Postby sw101 » Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:10 pm

a lot of corks larger developments escape scrutiny in national circles because people are slow to publish them and show them off. For example in the recent aai awards only billy wilson and james leahy (to my knowledge) were recognised for their work. admittedly billys work is a bit dodge, still working off that expo he collaborated on, but surely cork is producing quality work that should be shown proudly on the national stage.

rkd mccarthy lynch and riordan staehli, and also wain morehead, are doing great work, in housing, public projects, and a few good domestics too. i think the question of bad buildings being allowed permission is a matter to be addressed by people being more informed as to whats going on in their area. for example, the redevelopment of the douglas village shopping centre is being fiercely opposed because the local people take active interest in what is built around them, and it has to be said the proposals are pretty horrific, but at the other side of the city, the new blackpool shopping centre went ahead despite the fact that its a hulk, looks more like a defunct departures lounge than the giant tesco boat that it is.

contrast that with dubliner’s attitudes to major projects, especially when they impact their lives through their scale and strategic importance. look at o'connell street. the spike was help up for years because of individuals who were clued in to what was being planned for their streets, but now patricks street is being ripped apart, beth galli's monstrous lights are going up everywhere, and people are looking around wide-eyed wondering how all this came about.

Its easy to understand at times why cork based architects are so slow to make efforts toward gaining recognition. With it comes exposure and from that publicity, which invites difficulties in planning and more scrutiny by locals, press and architectural buffs. Contrasting that with a quiet life and easier planning, its not incomprehensible. And anyway, why bother when everyone who cares is based in dublin. Cork people are personified by the likes of Neil Hegarty, recently retired as city architect. He’s a practical, straight down the middle stalwart of traditional approaches to change and development. What cork needs is a litte adventure. A daring new airport, a renewal of the bus and rail bases and the transport infrastructure, a little madness from the planners, and some crazy young architects given the chance to shine. And a big wrecking ball for that infernal county hall
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Postby sw101 » Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:11 pm

sorry, didint seem that long when i was writing it :)
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Postby speakeasy » Tue Jul 08, 2003 1:29 am

Thanks for taking the time to write such an informed and intelligent reply. Not so sure about Cork people not caring though. I think we do but we dont tell the right people. There really needs to be a system whereby people can easily see plans and give thier views at the planning stage, maybe something web based. I did write about the blackpool s/c and county hall but i lost all id written cos this site seems to go to sleep if you type for too long and then ask you for your password... resulting in the loss of all youve written... grr.

The lack of national press coverage is also a major factor in cork's decline in this regard. RTE news is almost a government information channel only giving quick snippets on the silly little regions. Not that Im bitter or anything...
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Stop The Lights!

Postby speakeasy » Tue Jul 08, 2003 1:36 am

and yeah what is with those horrendous lights? I thought the flourecent bits (which light the pavements) were for builders while they were working but they are apparantly part of the design!

There was a suggestion by a member of Cork City Council to put up some cast iron lamps instead... I shall say no more...
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Postby ew » Tue Jul 08, 2003 9:16 am

What was that story on the news last night about a fire in a listed building in Cork? One that as luck would have it was proposed to be re-developed as apartments....?
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Postby bunch » Tue Jul 08, 2003 12:42 pm

the good sheperd convent in sundays well was burned early yesterday morning. the two wings were 'saved', however, the more impressive central section is in very bad shape, the chapel at the rear is extremely poor. i got access up there yesterday, and fire brigade still attempting to put the fire out. there is little or no timber visible, all destroyed, roof is gone, brickwork and stained/decorative glass destroyed. the building was empty, recently sold by ucc, awaiting redevelopment........protected structure! strange. and very sad
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Jul 08, 2003 4:11 pm

Ugggggleee! It's a little unfair to just sweep all new developments going on in the city as crap or ugly - O'Callaghans Dev on Lavitts Qy looks pretty cool. Although I must say the Anglesea St one and Eircom/Lapps Qy are crimes against built environment. The city core has had ONE new development in the time of the great property boom that gave the rest of urban Ireland a face lift (the Siemens building near the train station). So Cork is only getting started in the rebulding of the nasty derelict sites. Obviously the first built offices in these areas will come under much more scrutiny cos they're the most prominent in a pock marked area. All this is a part of a much greater plan over many years. Take a look at the IFSC - there are loads of shite developments there, alone they'd stand out... but in the mass of the surroundings they get away with it. I think the ugly Lapps Qy redev wont seem so bad once the three adjoining dev's of same height start to rise up, the foundations of those have only just begun.
As for the Anglesea St block - all that area has been ear marked (from there to Albert Rd) as the Civic Gateway for the new docklands so I'd say you'll probably be seeing more of the same in that general area (goodbye Market Tavern???). There's talk for a high rise hotel on the An Post site behind the Garda Station so that would make the others newbie's look timid!
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Postby speakeasy » Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:33 am

A terrible shame about the good shepherd convent. A really beautiful building sadly destroyed. The situation reminds me of rumours I had heard when I lived in Christchurch New Zealand. A very pretty city with lots of old colonial era buildings, which, like the Cork convent, were wanted for the land they were on by very keen developers.

When I was in the city, there were quite a few fires which destroyed some of these listed buildings in 'mysterious circumstances'.

And of course again, while the story of this buildings tragic end facinated a lot of people, RTE just give a quick mention (newsreader reads live over pictures type thing). Like... "Dublin Dublin Dublin... and in other news something or other happened in Cork..."

:P
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Postby speakeasy » Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:43 am

And would they ever return South Mall to it's former glory... a fine street in it's day, sadly plundered by the likes of whoever put up the Eagle Star and Bank of Ireland buildings...

And as for south terrace... did Brooks Haughton think nobody would notice the sheer size of the sinage that dominates the whole street?! Surely the builders who buy stuff from there know where it is. after all its been there for about 150 years. Is there any limit to the size of sinage in this country?

I think all you Dublin architects should have a big day trip to Cork and have debate on the place. Youd argue for days! CIE do good bus rates. Ye'd have a great time! Ive gotta post some pictures... this place is gas! Only in Cork could you get away with building a structure like the opera house... (which is actually worse than the abbey)
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Postby d_d_dallas » Mon Jul 14, 2003 4:40 pm

The Opera House is SO MUCH better now than what it was - and with the introduction of the paving to Emmet Place that whole area has really come on. Johnson and Perrot are moving out to make way for some sort of new dev on that site, I think that whole area will really come up.
As for restoring South Mall to "it's former glory" well that's kinda hard when most of the city was razed by de Brits in 1920 - u should be grateful for what's been preserved/survived!
South Mall is a fine fine street - The BOI building is vile, but Cork is hardly alone in having a monster office building next to more classically designed buildings (look most places in Dublin!). If you want to talk ugly - go look at Connolly Hall.

Check out these images of the "extension" of South Mall - could be alot worse - revitalised boardwalk is a plus.

Image

Image
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Postby corkdood » Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:45 pm

Cork seems to be going through a rapid phase of development of late (the push is on for the cultural capital 2005 celebrations) - lots of derelict sites being cleared. It remains to be seen what will replace them but surely anything is better than falling down buildings
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Postby corkdood » Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:48 pm

Just seen the images above.
Isn't it about time that those terrible girders were removed from the bridge by City Hall (A legacy from the days when the centre span of the bridge could be opened to allow ships through.) It hasn't been opened in decades and all the lifting machinery is long gone so why do these monstrosities remain?
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Postby sw101 » Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:45 pm

i think those girders are great. like the ones by the bus station. if they were cleaned up a bit and given a fresh coat they'd be an improvement. long live over sized simplistic trusses.

btw, where did those images of the boardwalk come from? whos the architect?
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Postby sw101 » Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:47 pm

what does bug me however are those stupid canopies ove what looks like an eatery in the second photo
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Postby d_d_dallas » Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:03 pm

The architect is STW (yawwwwwwwwn - is there any commission they DON'T get) and the developer is Howard Holdings.

As for the girders - an absolute disgrace - and the purple and green "lighting" features installed for the millenium do nothing for them. The girders hardly add a Calatrava-esque flair to the rivers! Tear 'em down.

Speaking of bridges - for a city with as much water as Cork it has never fared well on the bridge front. The new pedestrian bridge to go from Coal Quay to Shandon/Popes Qy area is due to begin construction in November... any ideas what this will look like? I suspect Cork City Council will do their usual concrete slab and utilitarian railings affair... sigh.
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Postby corkdood » Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:32 am

I saw an artists impression on the corkcity.ie website - part of the development plan i believe. There are also plans for a new bridge (footbridge I think) linking the new entrance for the railway station with the quays redevelopment. Its still all up in the air though.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:36 pm

I think most of the images have no reflection on the actual plans - they're just taken from other cities to give a kind of positive ambience to the document. Would be nice though!
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Postby sw101 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:13 pm

wheres that new entrance to the station going? if there was ever a place in need of a major revamp its that kip, and our stinky bus station too. cheapo version of busaras with half heartedly wavy canopy and a facade like a mules hide
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Jul 22, 2003 5:15 pm

The revamped Kent station is going to be very much the focal point for the initial development of the docklands. There are negotiations at present with Treasury and Manor Homes with Cork CC who are developing ALL of Horgan's Qy for CIE (ala Spencer Dock). There's talk of gargantuan numbers of apartments plus "landmark" going in (some estimates mean that the single addition of this development will TRIPLE the number of apartments in the city centre!!!). I think they're being careful about all this so as to pitch future development in the right light (i.e. right densities etc). So there will prob be little news on this till late winter - and the plans for the train station will tie in with this.

In all fairness to the bus station - a true victim of CIE ineptitude - a prime city centre location and yet management couldn't happily pick any developer partner for the site - what a farce! So so much time has slipped that the canopies are being thrown up as a measure for 2005 "cleanliness".
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Postby anto » Wed Jul 23, 2003 9:13 am

Just heard that aer lingus are cancelling their daily flights between dublin & cork, another blow to the real capital. Maybe some other airline will take up the slack
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Postby ewanduffy » Wed Jul 23, 2003 9:17 am

Originally posted by sw101
wheres that new entrance to the station going? if there was ever a place in need of a major revamp its that kip, and our stinky bus station too. cheapo version of busaras with half heartedly wavy canopy and a facade like a mules hide


What are CIEs plans for the 1893 Kent Station?
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Postby sw101 » Wed Jul 23, 2003 11:45 am

burn it!!!
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Postby d_d_dallas » Wed Jul 23, 2003 12:18 pm

The building is going to be preserved and reused - the plans are vague but the word "cultural" crops up - not really sure... think Stack A in the IFSC.

As for Aer Lingus pulling out of Dublin/Cork route... Aer Arran have a sharing agreement with them anyway - so there's prob some arrangement there.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Wed Jul 23, 2003 12:18 pm

The building is going to be preserved and reused - the plans are vague but the word "cultural" crops up - not really sure... think Stack A in the IFSC.

As for Aer Lingus pulling out of Dublin/Cork route... Aer Arran have a sharing agreement with them anyway - so there's prob some arrangement there.
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