new design for eyre square

new design for eyre square

Postby what? » Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:38 pm

has anyone seen the proposed landscape design for eyre square in galway?

i saw something about it briefly on the news. the lanscape designer (apparently "irelands finest"), who looked like a new age traveller described her infinitely subtle and nuanced design process: " the west is the heart of ireland and galway is the heart of the west" so she goes and makes a big heart shape in plan in the middle of the square. give me a f**king brake!

to add injury to this insult they are going to knock down around 80 mature trees to do this.

does anyone know where i can get a better look at this design?
what?
 
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:18 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby shadow » Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:56 pm

Confused, you should be....

The debacle of Eyre Square has been going on for years. The redesign by Mitchell & Associates, after much debate and planning is about to commence on site (my understanding). This included cutting down of quite a number of trees. The response (on of many is due to the culling of the trees amongst other things). The one we see featured on TV this week is by that designer who brought leprachaun world to Chelsea. Unfortunatley this is going to get a great deal of support because of its "easy on the eye (mind)" approach and probably will dismantle a considerable effort on Mitchell & Associates part to redefine Irish Public space.
shadow
Member
 
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2001 1:00 am

Postby notjim » Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:14 pm

i never understand this, eyre square was a georgian square until the storm in the late sixties, after which the railings were removed, railed squares are very successfull, why not restore? there is, in addition, an area of carparking and market north of the square, this could serve as a more informal park area.
notjim
 
Posts: 1708
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Dublin

Postby garethace » Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:12 pm

Well I must admit, having seen the treatment of public spaces in other countries, I do have a real problem with public spaces in this country often getting overgrown like a jungle held inside of these 'railings'.

I mean, after a short while you get something like Harold's Cross park, or Pery Square in Limerick, or even Merrion Square in Dublin. Spaces that are totally forgotten in the city - invisible places.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby what? » Wed Oct 29, 2003 10:11 pm

i have to agree with garethace here in saying i dont think railed off squares are a good solution. i find them offputting, exclusive, intimidating when its dark, they rarely benifit from use through the fact they are shortcuts and then become desolate places if they arnt located somewhere like stephens green. i know there are security and insurance reasons for railing of parks but there must be a better way. i think railings are very over-used in this country, where on the continent more intelligent and forgiving ways of determining space are used.
im interested in why you feel they are successful, notjim. perhaps there are some things i am overlooking?
what?
 
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:18 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby notjim » Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:28 pm

eyre square is located somewhere like stephens green, it is at the end of galway's main shopping street with impressive, formal buildings around it. again, the question is, if the railings around stephen's green were destroyed in a storm, would you want them replaced. i don't think all open space should be railed, but it does help seperate and contain a park and yes, many of the best parks, in dublin and elsewhere (central park anyone) are railed.
notjim
 
Posts: 1708
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Dublin

Postby what? » Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:12 pm

ill take your point that eyers square is central enough to be used by many people whether it is railed or not, similar to stephen's green, but i think there still needs to be provisions of large entrances for inviting flows of people accross them (unlike say merrion square which i think is quite forbidding to cross traffic)

central park is one, on a completely different scale to eyere square etc and is therefore a completely different situation and connot be thought of as relating to the city in the same way. secondly, it is not railed off but has walls ranging from high to sitting height with many places in whcih a pedestrian can enter day or night.

im still not sure if there are any merits to railing off public spaces other than to stop vandalism. if anyone has others id like to hear them.

wolfe tone park eg. they have taken down the railings and it is used far more as a result (might be a bit windswept tho) what do people think of this park better worse?
what?
 
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:18 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby Michael Pat » Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:21 pm

Eyre Square desperately needs something done to it though, and it's hard to imagine anything being worse than what's there now. Galway Corporation did a great job of pedestrianising Shop Street, and renovating the area around the Spanish Arch so I'd be willing to trust them. I don't live in Galway any more so I haven't seen the proposals though, although I've heard they are pedestrianising the side of the Square in front of the Skeff. Not sure if that's true. They really need to do something with that car-parking area in front of Dunnes/Supermacs, it looks awful.
Michael Pat
Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 3:06 pm
Location: Glasgow

Postby notjim » Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:46 pm

i can't believe you would want to take down the merrion park railings, merrion park is lovely.

as for eyre square, my proposal is to rail the square and then turn the open carpark area in front of dunnes/etc into a more informal open space, with a market area and seating etc.

i have heard also that they have pedestrianized infront of the skeff, but haven't seen it. i hope not. has anyone else seen the pedestnianization between trafalgar square and the british ng, its not good, it demeans the square.
notjim
 
Posts: 1708
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Dublin

Postby garethace » Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:48 pm

To my own mind St. Stephen’s Green is a quite interesting study in itself, in a way like Central Park is too. Why? Because if you think about the areas of city directly relating to the four sides of St. Stephen’s Green – they are vastly different. On one side you have Earlsford Terrace, Baggot Street, Ely Place and Lesson Street. On another side you have Harcourt Street, Cuffe Street and another small one with the Surgeon’s college. Then you have the newly paved Street with the Gaiety, Grafton Street and Dawson Street. Leading down to Kildare Street, the Dail, Trinity college. Yet none of these urban areas are in any way, shape or form connected by St. Stephens Green.

Similarly with Trinity college – it totally separates Nassau Street and Leinster Street from Pearse Street, Hawkins Street etc. You have two very strong immovable objects in the centre of Dublin there, and if you include Leinster House, Merrion Square and Dublin Castle on the East to West axis – you suddenly realise the only place for Dublin city centre to expand is a little bit towards South Great George’s Street – which is precisely what it is now currently doing. Notice how little laneways close to Dames Street have got re-vamped – Temple Bar itself was only a series of laneways. Going back further to the west, you have another obstacle in the form of Heuston, Kilmainham, Phoenix Park and a series of By-passes etc.

I just wonder how the Luas thing might eventually change how we move around our city centre, if indeed at all. At the moment the whole south city centre hangs on by its fingernails unfortunately. My own impression, is that cities like Paris had their Hausmann interventions – to massively ventilate those little laneways of Paris. Nowadays you can rely on those massive thoroughfares to bring some kind of meaningful order to the city. Indeed some of those boulevards in Paris behave like long urban linear parks. I think that is what our Georgian Squares should do, but then again that is just my whole crazy notion. But I would not be against a light rail system running straight through the St. Stephens Green park for instance.

I find it strange how no pedestrian route ever occurred between the top of Grafton Street and Lesson Street on the other corner. Surely there is some opportunity to cut straight through there and create a linear open space? A space for all the masses of people marching up and down a dingy hole like Grafton Street to enjoy. Grafton Street is a dingy, disgusting and even sometimes dodgy hole. It feels dangerous and off-putting. I notice that Baggot Street has gotten quite a little Café culture happening now, as opposed to a pub idea. Ranelagh village has turned into quite a café area too. I simply don’t know how that happened overnight, but I am out of touch with Dublin now for a long time. There was a time when Dublin was defined by its public houses. But perhaps shortly it will become known for its coffee districts!

There is something nice about cafes, the idea of casual encounters and watching the world go by. Which public house simply turned their backs on for so long. As you walk towards Baggot Street, you pass a corner of St. Stephen's Green where a chunk of it became part of the footpath, and a sculpture was built there. That entrance/space or whatever you call it, doesn't work, isn't used. WHile the one on Earlford terrace is better somehow.

Dunno.

Brian O' Hanlon.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

el architino to the rescue?

Postby pepe » Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:01 pm

i am sure he will deliver a design that is subtle but manages to capture the hearts and minds of the irish public in the most meanigful way.

Who you gonna call?
pepe
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:26 pm

Postby el architino » Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:05 pm

never one to shy from away from a challenge EL ARCHITINO has returned from his vacation in the west bank full of vigour and zest.
EL ARCHITINO is acutely aware of the complex issues relating to public spaces that could prove taxing for architects endowed with a lower intelligence quotient than himself.
the issue of eyre square and its need for a relevant design solution has weighed heavy on EL ARCHITINO's mind for nigh on ten minutes now. some may ask "to rail or not to rail?" that is a pathetic question.
the social and physical landscape of eyre sq is farmiliar to EL ARCHITINO, having glimpsed it whilst lying on his back in his stretched hummer filled to an uncomfotable level with hookers, as it drove along it's south end en route to EL ARCHITINO's conemara retreat.

EL ARCHITINOs scheme aknowledges the true place of eyre square. it belongs to the lager lout, and forms an important place in the ritual of these fascinating creatures. the climax of any lager louts adventure in galway is surely a visit to the fast food outlet, supermacs at the top of the square. the proposal seeks to grasp on this oportunity to view put on show the truly mesmorising behaviors of this species at the height of its drunkeness.

a plinth of gloss white viynl leads, like a catwalk from outside supermacs and completely covers the existing footprint of eyers square, culminating in a solitary toilet raised above street level, who's function is to subvert the notion "that somethings shouldnt be done in public". this subversion is intended to further liberate the lager lout into attempting even more outrageous acts of antisocialism.

the following morning when the lager lout awakes with a blinding hangover sprawled on the desolate plinth, which is stained with vomit and faeces, his emotions will be heightened by the brilliant reflection from the morning sun shining on the vinyl surface. as he struggles to stumble accross the plinth sheilding his eyes, this will provide the perfect conditions for observing this stage of the lager louts oscillating states of being.

the stark remider of the night before can then be cleaned in redience for the next instalmnet.
el architino
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:46 pm
Location: omnipresent

Postby el architino » Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:31 pm

view of scheme
Attachments
eleyresq1.jpg
eleyresq1.jpg (95.07 KiB) Viewed 7013 times
el architino
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:46 pm
Location: omnipresent

Postby el architino » Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:32 pm

section
Attachments
eleyresq2.jpg
eleyresq2.jpg (92.67 KiB) Viewed 7014 times
el architino
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:46 pm
Location: omnipresent

I knew it

Postby pepe » Wed Nov 05, 2003 5:56 pm

El architino never fails!

Its a shame he is not offered more commisions by underhanded back alley dealings.

I hope he enjoyed his relaxing retreat to the west bank.

The design reminds me of time spent in finland.

Where in the depths of winter the bus station become a comunal toilet for the drunks of the city.
Now this is not all that bad as in most cases the urine freezes on impact with the cold ground.

However the lasting impression comes form the morning after where the sun beats down and defrosts/melts the frozen rivers of piss and the steam clouds from the urine are something that has to be seen and smelt to be believed.

I am sure if you were so inclinded these fumes must be at least 90% proof, but noone has thought of bottling them!

Mind you.

I think that instead of the single toilet, some urinal channels would be much more useful.

Otherwise there is gonna be one almighty queue to sit on the golden thrown!

More challenges for el architino
pepe
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:26 pm

Postby Darcy » Wed Nov 05, 2003 9:11 pm

I think pepe is in love
Darcy
Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 3:14 pm

Mr Darcey

Postby pepe » Mon Nov 10, 2003 1:05 pm

You are a fine one to talk with your referential dickensian name to the greatest love sick puppy that roamed the planet folowing hot on the heels of young romeo!

its defininitely not love i can assure you.

and definitely not in any sordid way.

i just appreciate the sense of humour in el architinos work.

and wish he was given the opportunity to build more!

PR:MARKETTING yes. LOVE:no
pepe
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:26 pm

Postby greenarch » Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:27 pm

Once again I am amazed at the ignornace of people who babble on about topics they have no idea about. You talk about restoring Eyre Square to what it once was because this is what the thrust of Landscape Architecture should be in Ireland. This coming from a set of Irish Architects who have no idea how to build contemporary buildings in a historic city. This is hypocrytical and stupid. Landscape Architecture can have a contemporary niche as well, and it can be contextual and revitalizing.

Why would anyone want to put a fence around a public space....especially one that sits in the middle of one of the most vibrant parts of Galway City....because its what was once there????

The new design by Mitchell and Assoc. responds to the activity and dynamics of this area, and allows for mixed uses. It is historic in the sence that it will become a Public Open Space, which is what it really was originally, and not closed in Park as suggested. Of course it has contemporary components and materials....we live in the year 2003....how can it not. And it certainly does not have a Heart Shape in it. If you want to know what you are talking about before you continue to babble on, have a stroll down to St. Stephens Green and have a look at the scale model and drawings that have been sitting in the lobby of the Corporation Building for months.

You are right that many mature trees are being removed from the site. But what you fail to understand is that they are all dying and need to be removed. A very detailed tree survey has been completed by one of the countries top Arborists, and the suggestion was made by him that these trees NEED to be removed. Another thing that people fail to realise is that they will be replaced by MORE trees than are there currently, and that they will be healthier and more appropriate species for that site.

Just like buildings, public spaces have life spans too...and once those days are up things need to change......the architects in this country have no regard for restoring buildings to what they once were, so why should landscapes be any different, especially one like Eyre Square which was not designed by anyone significant or in any particular style to begin with.
greenarch
Member
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 07, 2002 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby what? » Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:54 pm

ok greenarch ill take it from your personally hurt tone that you are a landscape designer?

before you go tarring all architects with the same brush, remeber it was one person who suggested that the square should be restored and railing put around it. neumerous others(including myself) disagreed wiht that. it would definitely not be my solution.

another thing that would not be my solution is the one that i saw on the news which they claimed was to be put in place(not mitchell assoc) by some hippie girl who wanted to put a big heart in the middle of the square.

i never claimed to know anymore than that about the situation and have not seen the mitchell assoc plans. but whether i do or dont know every little thing about a scheme or not does not have any effect on my right to air my disgust at the childish proposal i saw on television, and without being scalded by an embittered landcape architect, angry because he cant design buildings like he wanted.
what?
 
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:18 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby notjim » Sat Nov 15, 2003 12:57 am

yeah, i was the only one who wanted eyre square restored and in the usual way, i amn't an architect.
notjim
 
Posts: 1708
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Dublin

Postby BTH » Sat Nov 15, 2003 5:34 pm

The saga of the Eyre square renewal scheme rumbles on... Stirring up yet more controversy along the way, even here!
The current proposals by Mitchell & Associates is an extremely well considered, thoughtful approach to the current problems of eyre square. This is their second scheme for the square, havng revised their proposals to accommodate all of the trees of worth that are currently in the square following criticism from some quarters. The layout and circulation proposals - including the arc connecting the two major hubs of the Shop St. corner and the Railway/Bus stations, the relocation of the "sail" sculpture and the creation of level terraces of lawn to counteract the slope of the square - are all sensibly and elegantly resolved and will add immeasurably to the quality of Galway's urban environment.
Images and plans of this layout can be found at the following:
Eyre Sq PDF
There are however some quarters in which this proposal is not so popular, particularly in the local media. Newspaper story after story has come down on the scheme and misinformation is rife. Recent claims in certain papers would have you believe that there won't be a tree left standing in the square, that the whole space is to be concreted over, that the trees that are to be planted will be dead within months etc etc... Its disgraceful and very frustrating that such ignorance can hold up such an important scheme.
Even more frustrating is the fact that many of the people of Galway seem to be falling for the crap that is being spouted by the few. The model of the scheme was being displayed in the Eyre Sq. Shopping Centre a few months back. It drew great crowds and was extremely convincing in displaying the benefits of the scheme. However the amount of comments along the lines of "those trees arent going to be that height for 50 years" or "Thats not really going to be grass" was ridiculous! This despite the fact that it was clearly written on display boards that new trees are to be semi-mature and of at least 5m high before planting, that lawn area would in fact be greater than is there currently etc. etc.
And the latest twist in the tale is this unsolicited (except by the cranks who are hoping to undermine the official proposal)scheme proposing to reconfigure the square into the shape of the claddagh ring... the heart shaped lawn and the statue of Padraig O'Connaire at the crown... Unfortunately I can't find any images of this scheme because I'm sure it would give you all a great laugh! I have never seen anything more kitch or twee in my life, right down to the "celtic patterns" inlaid into the paving around the edges of the square... It even proposed the retention of trees which are currently dead! The only trouble is, this amateurish and fundamentally flawed scheme has received acres of coverage in the local press and even or RTE News as mentioned. And again, a lot of locals who are being fed only misinformation are falling for it and saying "Sure wouldn't it be lovely" and all the rest. the lowest common denominator always having a certain appeal...
So this is where the situation stands at the moment. We have the City council on one side getting ready to move in, cut down the trees that need to be removed, and get to work on turning what is now an eyesore into something Galway can be proud of. On the other side we have the local media, the assorted cranks and crusties and everyone else who has been fooled into believing their bullshit who are getting ready to "resist" by tying themselves to trees and lying in front of bulldozers... It's pathetic.
And by the way, I have nothing to do with the City Council or the architects involved (in case I sound too enthusiastic about the whole thing!). I'm a student of architecture, back in Uni in Dundee this year, but who has lived and worked in Galway City Centre for the previous two years. I walked through Eyre Square every morning and had my lunch there on many afternoons, despite the fact that it's currently a shithole quite frankly! Something needs to be done urgently and I'm convinced that the current Mitchell Associates proposals are worthy of the city. Lets just get on with it for god's sake!!
BTH
Member
 
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Galway

Postby what? » Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:15 pm

thanks for the info BTH very interesting, yet dismaying at the same time.
what?
 
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:18 pm
Location: Dublin

Postby greenarch » Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:27 pm

Dear What

You found me out...and figured me out...well done, and with no clues!

Yes....everyone desires to be a narrow minded arrogant architect like you (not all are, and assuming you are one). I can only dream about prefabrication and cookie cutter buildings plans. What a life you must lead. To only worry about the building with no concern for context and site conditions, you are truly a GOD.

The only purpose your comments serve are to confirm mine, and my decision to be who I am and what I am. I challenged your comments, not your person....you cannot say the same. You my friend showed your insecurities and I feel for you.

I will thank BTH though, those comments were very helpful. I would ask you what you think about the changes that have been made to Galway city already. Mitchell and Assoc. were the designers for the new pedestrian scheme which seems to be very successful, which is why they were choosen to continue on with Eyre Square.

Cheers.
greenarch
Member
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 07, 2002 12:00 am
Location: dublin

Postby BTH » Wed Nov 19, 2003 12:17 pm

Theres no doubting the success of the Shop St. pedestrianisation as a concept and it works for me aesthetically, consisting of simple cobble style concrete pavers in a uniformly natural tone with large "blocks" of light granite paving framed in darker stone which are regularly spaced along the length of the streets involved. It's a simple and elegant solution from a design point of view, which is a comment I think could be applied to the Eyre Square scheme also.

My only issue with the project however is the execution... I'm led to believe that large sections of paving had to be replaced quite soon after the completion of the scheme due to pavers cracking and subsiding under the weight of delivery trucks which rumble up and down the street every morning. It seems to me that a lot of the concrete pavers are laid only on a very weak bed of cement, if not on a sand cement mix, driveway style. There seems to be quite a lot of movement, especially at the Quay St. / Spanish arch end of the pedestrianised area.

Another issue is the lack of care that is taken of the area by the people who use it. Truck drivers regularly uproot bollards and stainless steel flagpoles are constantly covered with stickers and flyers. Its a great shame and can really take away from the look of the place. The other small grumble is the lack of bins along the street and again the abuse of the stainless steel surfaces on the ones that are there! If only steel could be invented that was really stainless, and imperveous to the assorted glues and tapes that get applied to it on Irish streets!

However, due credit to the City Council who do their best to repair damage and who do a great job on cleaning the street every morning. It's a wonderful thoroughfare, not yet completely overrun with chainstores and with a very unique character which has probably been enhanced by the pedestrianisation scheme. Try it on a saturday afternoon on a sunny day with a crepe from the market... It dosent get much better!
BTH
Member
 
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Galway

Postby SteveM » Wed Nov 19, 2003 1:41 pm

Originally posted by BTH
I'm sure it would give you all a great laugh! I have never seen anything more kitch or twee in my life, right down to the "celtic patterns" inlaid into the paving around the edges of the square... The only trouble is, this amateurish and fundamentally flawed scheme has received acres of coverage in the local press and even or RTE News as mentioned.



I believe that it is Mary Reynolds that is being mooted as the landscape designer. On paper she fits the bill for Galway. Her style has been described as 'retro-hippy' so expect lots of designer weeds, etc. You can see some of her work up in Farmleigh. Concentric grass ridges with stones representing the solar system, planets, our celtic ancestry, yadda, yadaa. yadda....
SteveM
Member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 01, 2003 3:40 pm
Location: Dublin

Next

Return to Ireland