Bridges & Boardwalks

Postby garethace » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:50 pm

Okay. Good observation, to look at what is going on in the whole general area. Still that Group 91 Poddle Bridge and Jervis Street route, was about 'that whole general area' too. This DCC bridge and route it has now burrowed through a pile of developer's rubbish is a sad, sad compromise - where does that little alley lead to anyway? How does it improve pedestrian flow, by landing you straight outside a big blank wall elevation of the Jervis Centre?

I mean, if the Poddle bridge location, had been used instead for a new pedestrian bridge, it would have brought in the meeting house square in Temple Bar, and the whole of Jervis St leading up as far as Parnell st, etc into the picture of people movement in Dublin city centre. Pull out that OS map and have a look if you don't believe me.

The new pedestrian bridge which DCC done, in defiance of Group 91 and Temple Bar properties is just in a bad location whichever way you look at it.

I hate, that 'zig-zag' maneuvre you have to make, having crossed the new ped bridge, to get onto the Jervis St, direct route up as far as Henry St, Parnell st. That count-down clock is supposed to be so helpful, but It is really just a waste of money building that new pedestrian bridge where they built it.

Just a very, very sad example of DCC trying to ascert whatever authority they think they have, over the Temple Bar thing, which they weren't part of.

The fact that DCC burrowed through a developer scheme, to make some gesture towards the urban theme, doesn't change one thing I am sorry. And what is going on over in Capel St, is just another typical Archiseek, lets do aesthetic ping-pong.

So how many times, is this now, I have pointed out DCC lack of any clue in anything to do with open space or pedestrian movement?
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Postby Devin » Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:55 pm

No way garethace, the group 91 poddle bridge was absolute shite!
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Postby Devin » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:07 pm

I've tried to point out this before about those new buildings beside millen bridge, they're quayfront GRAIN, and they work well as grain, whereas the fake Georgians at the corner of Jervis Street dont work as grain cos theyre fake and the finish is bad. Nor do the fakes on Bachelors Walk (designed in-house by the council).
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Postby garethace » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:20 pm

LOL! :)

Respectfully, I am too long at this game to get worried with arguments as weak as that. I don't have to even agree with an argument, to enjoy it - just as long as it interests me.

With all due respect, come back when you have something more to offer. My suggestion, would be to read my post carefully again, examine the situation in question, and carefully try and present an argument that would contradict what I have argued.

That would be interesting at least. The above response just isn't, sorry. To tell you the truth, I find it difficult myself to get up off my behind, and look at things - but it is always worth it.

A book you might be able to dig up in Boton Street Library or someplace is Edmund N. Bacon, Design of Cities - a good reference to build up a decent response around. I haven't even read much of it myself, but the pictures in it are still worth a hour or two.
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Postby Devin » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:31 pm

(I know this breaks the rules of the forum, but) I've never read somebody so far up their own arse!
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Postby garethace » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:36 pm

In my general posting or just this post specifically.

Because if the problem, is with my posting in general, then I might agree with you. In fact, I might even do something about it.

But in the case of this post specifically, all I can offer is that, I don't take any prisoners - but I have followed the Poddle Bridge and Aftermath saga since the mid nineties.

So I can assure you, you are not talking to someone who is up their own arse, or any place else in regards to this issue.

BTW, I have mentioned now and again, that I like the boardwalks. At least they got the positioning of them correct, and that is why they perform such a crucial function now.

You are really just being immature - if the only argument you could come up with, was that attempt, respectfully.
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Postby pvdz » Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:44 pm

Back to the kiosks, my god those kiosks on Grattan bridge are absolutely awful! They look like stationary Luas cars with the roundy edges knocked off that could easily have been bought in a portaloo catalogue. Also how do they relate to the already primitive seating that is in place, with their pseudo celtic 'windbreakers?' I thought those seats were a temporary arrangement and the new kiosks would be attached or connected in some masterstroke, but what the crap?
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Postby Devin » Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:59 am

Nobody who has slagged off those buildings beside Millen bridge has said exactly why they think they're crap, or even what they think might look good there instead. They wern't designed by DCC in-house, or an east-european architect. It was an Irish architect, George Morris.

No garethace, you do submit interesting posts. Telling somebody to reread your own posts and your tone in that post is what I was referring to.

The original alignment for the pedestrian bridge (Jervis Street/Meeting House Square) would indeed have created much greater connectivity (sorry about the pretentious word), but I'd prefer the Howley Harrington bridge design any day to the Group 91 bridge, which was an architectural conceit (does an "all hail group 91" thing exist on on this site???).

Millenium bridge is also uncomfortably close to ha'penny bridge - the original bridge site would have been that bit further away.

Given that it's there now, they should at least make the most of the Eustace St/Millenium Walk axis by putting a sign on the blank wall of the Jervis Centre that can be read from across the Liffey, so as to get more people to walk down it.

Another entrance to the Jervis Centre where Millen Walk comes out would be daft given that there's one at the nearby corner. And Dixon's would have to lose some floorspace - so unless that was agreed in their lease......

StephenC, with reference to Capel Street, DCC would have us believe that the "bland and boring box" on the corner of Mary's Abbey and "another planned for opposite" ARE the "judicious urban planning" that will make it a great thoroughfare again!!
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Postby Rory W » Wed Feb 18, 2004 2:44 pm

I can put up with the river side, it's not that offensive. However what about the other side of this development , on Abbey street. It is the 1960s concrete look , so ugly


Two different developers Quartier Bloom (sout of Great Strand Street) - Wallace, Chapel House et al (North of Great Strand Street) - Danninger (Zoe)
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:32 pm

I don't think this development is as bad as is made out either.
Ok, it's standard stuff, using standard materials, but it isn't cringe inducing to look at it.
There are of course bad elements to it, the red-bricked part attached to the tower is very cluttered and messy near the ground floor, and there's more clutter on the other building where the 'new meets the old', with messy windows squeezed in at the top on the side.

And the join with the new stone and the brickwork should not have been made on the quay facade.
The lack of windows in the old building is really awful, and clearly looks it in that pic from earlier, it looks derelict.

I think what the problem with it is, and perhaps the problem you have with it Brian, is that it is a landmark site, clearly noticable, and deserves better than the mundane.
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:34 pm

And yes, the Millenium Bridge is too close to the Ha'penny, and the natural route mentioned should have been used. I often have to make the zig-zag too and is annoying and just silly.
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Postby garethace » Wed Feb 18, 2004 5:50 pm

The original alignment for the pedestrian bridge (Jervis Street/Meeting House Square) would indeed have created much greater connectivity (sorry about the pretentious word), but I'd prefer the Howley Harrington bridge design any day to the Group 91 bridge, which was an architectural conceit (does an "all hail group 91" thing exist on on this site???).


That is very good, you have managed to construct a decent and clear piece of communicative writing there. You have separated the issues excellently:

1) Aesthetic value of Group 91 bridge - I agree with you, I didn't like it at all - it was crap, even if it did try to be 'stylish' etc, etc. The same guy did the lamps up in Smithfield too btw, and many think those are a bit over the top too.

2) The placement of the Group 91 bridge though was far superior. No one will actually use that new burrowed tunnel after a while, and just opt to do the ZIG_ZAG maneuvre instead, which is a disgrace in my opinion, considering these public projects do cost as much as they do and are 'once off'.

It is well worth noting, that Group 91 in their original planning submission to the council, made only one small mistake, which did become their undoing in this matter. They didn't draw their site boundary over as far as the opposite bank of the Liffey to Temple Bar. Instead opting to just draw the boundary along the mid-course of the Liffey. Meaning, when they came to building the Poddle Bridge, they didn't have any jurisdiction on the opposite bank of the river. That is how DCC eventually won - on a technicality.

Apparently, sources tell me that DCC were quite miffed about not being part of the whole Temple Bar thing, and went out of their way to enforce their dominance in this small matter. It was unfortunate that such a public project, with so much potential to improve north/south connectivity in the broader context of Dublin city, became engulfed in such political bashing - but such is life. DCC only know one trick you see - this tunnel burrowing idea, which was kind of novel in the 1980s but has since then gotten very tired indeed. But what do DCC do? They continue to pull this one trick they know, out of the drawer every time they need to actually think.

I think we need to try harder to separate issues in that manner here at Archiseek - it is only a point about communication, but would lend increased weigh and value to contributors writing here. It is definitely harder to do and requires more work, in an effort to express oneself properly, but it is worth practicising - it gets easier with practice - being able to juggle the various strands of an argument about the built environment.

Archiseek is thought of by many people out there involved in the built environment, as an aesthetic ping-pong match, a group of 'style-police' like the Georgian society or something at its lowest and most ridiculous. However, the opportunity does exist here at Archiseek to expand one's own awareness of the many strands associated with problem solving in the area of the built environment - a lot of which I never even knew about until visiting the board here at Archiseek. I am sure I do not stand alone in that experience.
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Postby asdasd » Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:33 pm

Brian/Garethace,

As someone who generally just lurks on this board, I was interested to see you compliment Devin's "communicative" writing skills.

You should learn from him. In fact learn from George Bernard Shaw who - at the end of a long letter to a friend - apologised for it, saying he didn't have time for a short one.

Why not write your spiel offline, go away, re-read it and then re-write it again to make the same sense with half the verbiage.

Sure it take more time but it's worth it - you will get more readers.
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Grattan Bridge Fridges

Postby angels » Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:25 pm

Am I th only person who has seen the four boxes erected on Capel Street Bridge. If I am the only one here is a brief description: Four white boxes, imagine the box section of a refridgerated truck, placed equidistant along the bridge, they are about 20 feet long and 10 feet tall. I presume they are to become cafes, but they ruin the beautiful vistas up and down the river. I really think that they are horrible, am I on my own ?
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Postby LOB » Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:01 pm

They are the long awaited bookstalls &
very disappointing too.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:43 pm

angels - photographs of the kiosks in this thread on page 3

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2150&perpage=15&pagenumber=3
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Postby Devin » Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:12 am

Thanks for the compliment whoever you are, asdasd.

But I do kind of agree with garethace about standards. Sometimes we just bang down something as a quick reaction to what somebody else said in a post, cos we're in a rush out or something. But I guess it is worth taking the time to write something worth reading.

Yeah , 'fridges' is a good word to describe the look of those kiosks at the moment. I'm waiting for them to undergo some kind of transformation....

And why have they been placed directly in front of the wood and glass benches, which were supposed to be for gazing at the view / sun setting in the river etc. ?
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:44 am

The benches face the wrong way anyway - they face up the river across the road instead of down the river.
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Postby blue » Wed Feb 25, 2004 5:49 pm

This area is now very crushed and cluttered compared to what it was beforehand. I think they have over done it on the number of kiosks, one or two maybe but four is over kill. Are there really enough booksellers in Dublin to take up the leases on them all?

I say move the daft seats or even remove the their backs so you can sit and look down the Liffey.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:31 pm

The seats are plonked right in the middle of the pavement, dividing it into two narrow strips.

It's funny here, for once no one's going to saying a word about the kiosks until they're open, but really, with an awning or whatever out, and a big black hole opened up in their fronts, they're not going to look much better.

And whatever about when they're open, what about when they are closed, in the evenings, during early morning rush hour and probably for most of Sundays, they'll look just like what they do now.
Passing today, they really are ugly, esp when seen from the Millenium Bridge, four big containers straddled across Grattan Bridge, like the bad old days in front of the Custom House.

And that beautiful raking angle view of the bridge from just alongside it, taking in the ironwork, the massive iron brackets, the lamp standards and the stone arches looks horrible now.
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Postby garethace » Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:14 pm


But I do kind of agree with garethace about standards. Sometimes we just bang down something as a quick reaction to what somebody else said in a post, cos we're in a rush out or something. But I guess it is worth taking the time to write something worth reading.

]


Well, if you want a really good example of where they made the right decision where to put something, take a walk over by Dawson Street sometime.

When ABK did the new Arts Block there was no entrance from Trinity out onto Nassau Street. So ABK put one in.

But look where they put it though, not in front of Reads, not in front of the Setanta Centre or Kilkenny Design, not in front of Judge Roy Beans..... but right at the bottom of Dawson Street.

I know that 'trinangle' pedestrian island and crossing there is awkward at best, and creates congestion - but from a point of view of coming and going to Trinity, it is in the right place.

What they also did is interesting - they made a nice overflow space with a seat around a tree - that is just enough to take the chokepoint of pedestrians crossing, coming from Trinity, moving along Nassau St etc, and manage.

You can even 'wait around there' for your friend, to meet someone, etc, etc. You can have a smoke there or a drink of coke if you want.

Compare that to the new bridge on the Liffey - where when you get to the oposite side of the road, there is nowhere to really stand and relax, you are shoved literally by the flow of the crowd down the Quays in either direction.

The really nice thing about the board walks is being able to linger around there without bothering anyone.
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Postby phil » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:31 pm

I have always wondered why that footpath is so thin along the Trinity side of Naussau Street and South Leinster Street. It does not make sense when you think of the amount of people waiting to get various buses. I know that if it were to be widened it would mean less space for the buses and cars etc. However, cars are for some reason allowed to park outside the Kilkenny Design shop. Surely the path could be widened slightly?!

I agree with you about the Arts block entrance Garethace. It is a nice little space, so much movement, but as you pointed out, also a chance to sit beside the tree and relax.

Thanks

Phil
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Postby blue » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:35 pm

I have always wondered why that footpath is so thin along the Trinity side of Naussau Street and South Leinster Street. It does not make sense when you think of the amount of people waiting to get various buses.


You could say that about most of the footpaths in Dublin. Its about time the old predestrian reclaimed some street space.
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Postby garethace » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:44 pm

Originally posted by phil
I have always wondered why that footpath is so thin along the Trinity side of Naussau Street and South Leinster Street. It does not make sense when you think of the amount of people waiting to get various buses. I know that if it were to be widened it would mean less space for the buses and cars etc. However, cars are for some reason allowed to park outside the Kilkenny Design shop. Surely the path could be widened slightly?!

I agree with you about the Arts block entrance Garethace. It is a nice little space, so much movement, but as you pointed out, also a chance to sit beside the tree and relax.

Thanks

Phil




Simple answer to any of the above.... Dublin City Council just don't have any eyes in their heads, otherwise all of this would be painfully obvious to them. It is a question of someone taking responsibility for it really - and clearly Dublin city council down through the years have not been able to do anything like that.

Temple Bar Properties/Architects were the only ones in my experience who showed enough assertiveness to go and do anything. Most people do not realise how little land/influence Temple Bar Properties could exert on that area - but what they did do, they did well I think.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Feb 27, 2004 10:25 pm

This place is just waiting for another bus disaster.
At 5 in the evening, the pavement there is choked solid with people waiting for buses, so the many people rushing to Pearse and other places have to walk along the road, often weaving in and out of buses that are parked, moving and about to move.
It's a joke.
Are we going to have to wait for another terrible Wellington Quay incident before something is done?
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