college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby notjim » Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:59 pm

did you read this article:

http://scotland.archiseek.com/news/2004/000220.html

the cool thing is they are intending to make a pedestrian crossing the whole width of the square.

can we have this for college green and for the o'connell st plaza?
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Postby J. Seerski » Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:28 am

Idea - Remove all railings outside the Bank of Ireland and made it more part of the city - the same could be done with the Rotunda - a plaza making a splendid reposte in an otherwise barren part of town
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Postby Frank Taylor » Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:37 pm

What is a 'continental-style pedestrian crossing'? Is it a pedestrian crossing that covers a larger than normal area of roadspace?
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Postby phil » Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:41 pm

A first positive step that the Council Traffic department might take is prolonging the time that the pedestrian crossings stay in favour of pedestrians on College Green! I find it funny that there is a count-down from 40 seconds. It is as if to say "you now have 40 seconds before you can cross the road. Once the 40 seconds is up you will have to run across the road because we only allow 3 seconds for crossing time" It is not possible to cross during the green man period from one side to the other without sprinting!
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:49 pm

Originally posted by J. Seerski
Idea - Remove all railings outside the Bank of Ireland and made it more part of the city - the same could be done with the Rotunda - a plaza making a splendid reposte in an otherwise barren part of town


we've had this discussion before - irish people are not adult enough to have the railings removed yet...

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?s=&threadid=629&highlight=bank+railings
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Re: college green/ o'connel street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Morlan » Fri Sep 24, 2004 3:02 pm

Originally posted by notjim
did you read this article:

http://scotland.archiseek.com/news/2004/000220.html

the cool thing is they are intending to make a pedestrian crossing the whole width of the square.

can we have this for college green and for the o'connell st plaza?


I don't see how this could work.

Lothian Rd is the Edinburgh equivalent of Dame street, it's the second busiest thoroughfare in the city. Are they planning on placing traffic light at each end of the square or just at one point? Either way, it would make the plaza completely redundant because of the volume of traffic that goes through there, unlike O'C street where they have restricted traffic to busses and taxis, blocking traffic to make use of the proposed plaza would seriously disrupt traffic here, I've seen what it's like during the war protests last year.

As for proposed public spaces in Dublin, we NEED more of them. O'C plaza is all well and good but I can't see myself going into town and chilling there just yet! Take a look at the amount of public spaces in Glasgow, it's shocking.

Convert the top of Grafton Street / Stephen's Green into public space

Pedestrianise Exchequer St, Dury St, William St, Clarendon St & Chatam Row, Stephen St. and remove the three car parks in that area.

Somewhere on Dame St., have a plaza of similar size to O'C plaza to allow the large volume of pedestrians to get from Grafton to Templebar.

It would be great to see the whole College Green area turned into a plaza but I can't see it happening anytime soon.
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Postby notjim » Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:00 pm

Morlan, my reading of it was that they had lights at both ends and the stopped the traffice long enought to clear the whole width of the square.

phil the BoI front railings are really beautiful, it would be pity to remove them. what would be nice would be some grass instead of car parking.
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Postby phil » Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:36 pm

Notjim, I did not propose the removal of the railings (I think it was the post above mine by J. Seerski), and I don't think that I would agree with it. I think it would make the building look strange. I agree with you however that removal of the cars from there would be a good idea.
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Postby notjim » Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:28 pm

jeez, phil, sorry about that, i was doing two things at once and got the posts mixed up in my mind.
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Postby PVC King » Fri Sep 24, 2004 6:38 pm

The Bank of Ireland would never remove the railings and convert the car parking, you know what banks think about all forms of security particularly existing security.

But there is definitely a serious issue in relation to traffic calming on College Green and to a lesser extent on Dame St. Just watching the difference in peoples body langauge between the relaxed Grafton St and the exceptionally stressed out Westmoreland St.

I don't think I am exagerating when I say that the walk across College Green to O'Connell St is one of the least pleasant experiences in Dublin.

With the buildings down there such as the BOI, Trinity Westin and others such as Bewleys it should be one of the best.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:46 pm

The BOI railings are magnificent and are more than worthy of retention, esp how they match Trinity's across the way. I see the point of a plaza here being desirable, but were that to be done with the Green at large it wouldn't be necessary to focus on the BOI.

Those ped lights in the middle are the most frustrating in the city - no wonder pedestrians here are so indisciplined. The O'Cll Bridge median is second worst - it traps you.
College Green could be the most pleasant place in the city centre if properly pedestrianised, it has the finest buildings and is the best location. Most people would percieve it to be the heart of the city, even over O' Cll St.
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Postby Morlan » Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:06 pm

Originally posted by Graham Hickey
Most people would percieve it to be the heart of the city, even over O' Cll St.


I definately do Image

And agreed, it really does have the finest buildings in the capital there.
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Postby burge_eye » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:34 pm

On a related issue, I think Foster Place is one of the most attractive streets in Dublin - It's almost an oasis of calm. I used to like Banking there - such a shame they moved to the Westin. Is the AIB bank shut down permanently or is there a plan for redevelopment internally?
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Postby vinnyfitz » Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:01 pm

The AIB in Foster Place was acquired by Trinity. If they had any imagination the College Authorities should include one or more cafes spreading out "Terrasse" style into Foster Place in the redevelopment plans.

But to work well that would require booting the loitering taxis out of Foster Place which probably would not go down well....
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Postby phil » Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:52 am

Vinnyfitz,
I doubt that a decision with regards to Fosters Place would be up to the College Authorities. However, if you look at the Temple Bar Urban Framework Plan 2004 by Howley Harrington you will see that it is proposed to put a link between the bank building and the main spine of Temple Bar and also to put a link between Fosters Place and Angelsea Street.
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Postby urbanisto » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:42 am

Trinity seem to be proposing a restuarant for the corner building at Foster Place - outside seating would seem to be an excellent use of this street. However the trees along this street wouldn't make it very attractive to sitting out in except on really warm days.

The new retail development at the BOI across from Parliament House will surely change the footfall of the area so I think greater pedestrianisation will have to be considered in the future.

The median here is very dark and forbidding at night as it is so poorly lit. However there seems to be some remedial works going on at the moment on the Thomas Davis statue. This might include floodlighting which would change the nighttime appearance dramatically. Also restoring the fountain (AT LAST!).

The ill-fated Metropolitan Street Commission in the 1980s proposed pedestrianisation of the whole of College Green. I even remember visuals of what it would look like including fountains.
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Postby notjim » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:51 am

i think it is difficult to find a use for the aib banking hall, it is protected in a very detailed way, as is right, and the offices above and around it are in use. the original plan was to use it as a single point of access for college services.
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:35 pm

Foster Place is just magical - would make a great period location for drama/film.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:43 pm

Originally posted by StephenC
Trinity seem to be proposing a restuarant for the corner building at Foster Place - outside seating would seem to be an excellent use of this street.


I agree it is an excellent idea to extend retail uses to this location and a restaurant is the perfect use as it would probably be much more profitable as a cafe during the day thus giving a continental flavour from the outdoor tables. I think it would be great to get more activity onto Foster Place it really is a hidden gem that should be shown off more and this building probably presents the only possibility to do it given the listed nature of all the other buildings on this stretch. The old Riada building is also fabulous in its own right.

Originally posted by StephenC
The new retail development at the BOI across from Parliament House will surely change the footfall of the area so I think greater pedestrianisation will have to be considered in the future.


I think you have really hit the nail on the head regarding the problems faced by College Green and Dame St. It is entirely a footfall problem which is execerbated by the number of bus stops, it simply isn't pleasant. In many ways it is directly compariable to O'Connell St before the renovation.

I hope that something gets done with that old BOI building given its scale going back onto Suffolk St. It would be an excellent way to link College Green and Suffolk St mid Terrace without having to knock anything.
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Postby GrahamH » Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:51 pm

Are there definite retail plans for that BOI? That would definitely alter the character of the area - like the idea of a link with Suffolk St.

Good to see that work with Davis, there's also a couple of weird lamposty poles gone up on the Green recently, don't know what they're for - one at the crossing at the BOI, the other outside Trinity.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:51 am

Originally posted by StephenC
The new retail development at the BOI across from Parliament House will surely change the footfall of the area so I think greater pedestrianisation will have to be considered in the future.



Retailer sought for former bank linking College Green and Suffolk




Bank Redevelopment

An international campaign has begun to get tenants for the largest city centre retail space to have come on the market for years. Jack Fagan reports

An international marketing campaign has been launched to find retail tenants for the former Bank of Ireland building linking College Green with Suffolk Street in Dublin 2.

White Glory, a consortium led by the owners of Powerscourt Townhouse, is expected to fetch at least €2 million in rent from the retail areas which will have a total floor are of 3,000 sq m (32,291 sq ft). There will be three levels of retail use at the Suffolk Street end, basement, ground and first floor, and mainly one level fronting on to College Green.

Though the owners would ideally like a single user, the odds are that it will be broken up among two or three leading retailers.

Fergus Keane of agent Hamilton Osborne King says the retail space is easily the largest to have come on the market in Dublin city centre in recent years. The building is currently being extended and redeveloped and is expected to be ready for fit-out by the end of the year.

Keane says it is likely to be of interest to fashion retailers targeting Grafton Street who either can't find suitable premises or are reluctant to pay Grafton Street rents.The Suffolk Street frontage lends itself to being divided into two shop units of 668 sq m (7,190 sq ft) on ground level and 1,530 sq m (16,468 sq ft) over two other levels with back-up space in the basement. Under this arrangement, the College Green end could be let separately with 748.9 sq m (8,061 sq ft) of space available.

Keane expects the building to be of interest to retailers such as Zara, Massimo Durtti Bershkja, Boots and FCUK. Between 20 and 30 retailers are currently seeking representation in Dublin's south city.

In addition to the retail space, the building will also have about 4,000 sq m (43,055 sq ft) of offices on the top floors

The current owners paid around €22 million for the building, which is composed of two distinctly different structures, one a large 19th century double height banking hall fronting on to College Green and, on Suffolk Street, a 1960s building that is being enlarged.
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Postby phil » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:19 am

For me the retention of the Scott Tallon Walker bank building facade is one of the most interesting facade retentions in the city at the moment. It seems that most of its interior has been gutted. With all the preservation of 19th and 20th century facades it is unusual to see a 1960s one being retained.

http://www.irish-architecture.com/buildings_ireland/dublin/southcity/suffolk_street/bankofireland.html
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Postby J. Seerski » Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:34 pm

I thought this facade was really ugly, monotonous and not untypical of any other bland blocks. This area of town really suffers from spectacular banality in parts (Ulster Bank, Kilkenny House, Norwich House, Castle House, Blarney House.....Zzzzzz - such crap
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:25 pm

Agreed - I never liked the BOI on Suffolk St and am usually a fan of STW's buildings from this period. The window clutter and monotony is unfortunate. Norwich House is horrendous, it's filthy now as well as being ugly - is Blarney House actually called that?! Suits it down to the ground.
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Postby J. Seerski » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:57 pm

Graham I dont know whether its called Blarney house! But its dire nonetheless.

Saw a montage of the proposed replacement - its just as banal as its predecessor.

Have to also remark that, as I have said before, trees should not dominate exceptional works of architecture. All of the trees on College Green should be removed as they obscure some of Ireland's best works. Can you think of any similar plaza in Europe so dominated by trees? Imagine the Grand Place in Brussels with these London Plane Trees - no doubt they thought that the fine square looks better without. Clerys and the GPO can at last be well appreciated without those obscuring London Planes.

These trees camofage Foster Place and inhibit uninterrupted views of both Trinity and The Old Parliament, not to mention the fine builings on the south of the street - the detailing on the old Ulster Bank and the Closed Bank of Ireland are particular works of High Victorian skill (and sculpture - note the statue at the top of the closed Bank of Ireland with the lettering 'Erin go Brath!')
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