Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:09 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this site and not an architect, but interested in urban design and planning.
What do people think of the new Mahon point shopping centre in Cork? I got the bus down there at the weekend and nearly got run over by all the cars. They seemed to have forgotten the pedestrians when they were designing this thing.
Just for a laugh, i've decided to put the 3 best and 3 worst new developments in Cork (as I see them) on here. If anyone has difffering views, let me know.

3 Worst:
1. Student apartments at Victoria Cross (a hideos cube of a building that will bring tears to eyes of any Corkonian)
2. The apartments adjacent to the Gate Cinema, opposite The North Mall (appalling, and the empty retail outlets on the ground floor add to the mess)
3. Kyrls Quay /Dunnes Stores Carpark (Visible all the way down the river, this is a disgusting building which clearly should never have been built. Thankfully plans are in place to cover it all up with a design competition recently been launched in conjunction with Cork 2005)

3 Best:
1. Glucksman Gallery at UCC (I was totally opposed to this when it was being built as that was the last bit if grass in UCC, but it looks fabulous , is the only building i've seen which TOTALLY suits its location and the small 'platform' means it takes up even less space than the old tennis courts)
2. New appartments opposite the opera house (think they're called Camden Wharf. Not yet finished but look really good. In keeping with nearby terrace of buildings.)
3. New Patrick Street (This is amazing ... i Love it. I know some people hate it, but it really is a joy to be in Patrick Street on a sunny saturday. lots going on, loads of space for people to meet and chat, etc. The lights are fabulous too.)

So, there you are, my Best and Worst of Cork's new Developments. Do you agree/disagree with me? Whats your best and worst list? Post them here.

P.S. Does anybody know what the new Archives building in Blackpool is going to look like (or have a pic)??
Take care,
Radioactiveman!!!
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby bunch » Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:50 pm

agreed on mahon - access is quite bad and the impact on the south ring road will be enormous - already is in fact. as for the shopping centre itself - it is fitted out and constructed to a high standard - the layout and finishing is effcetive - and is a far better 'experience' than liffey vally for eg, in my opinion. however, its proximity to the tunnel and the south ring road will be a disaster - a centre of this size should have been north and east of the tunnel (little island/cobh cross area) and i predict that the city centre will be just as accessible as mahon.

i disagree about victoria cross apartments - its become a bit of a hobby in cork to whinge about those the echo have done so and other usual suspects - and if they had been 3 storey mock georgian cheap looking buildings - no-one would have peeped - the building...is a strong and distinctive architectural statement, finished to a v high standard is pretty striking and - is not the same as the majority of the student apartment crap we are used to.

(in my opinion) there should be more like it in the city - we need good high qaulity contemporary design. also there are literally hundreds of TERRIBLE buildings in the city - why is this single structure being singled out?

i do agree about the apartments adjacent to derek tynan's cinema at the gate - they are shocking. the glucksman is without doubt one of the city's finest buildings (old and new), pana is the berries and camden quay is shaping up very well - i assume you are referring to the camden quay/knapps square one next to pa johnsons pub and not the one next to the temporary courthouse??
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:14 pm

The reason Victoria Cross is being singled out is because of its prominent position. I agree, there are many other horendous buildings in Cork (and many fine ones also). Victoria Cross, in my humble opinion, looks cheap, totally uninspired...and will someone please tell the students to buy some curtains (I'm a student myself by the way).
I was actually refering to the building adjacent to the temporary Courthouse. I think they look great. In saying this, those further up John Street also look good.
On the subject of the Courthouse (the original one by the way---yes children, that's what was behind those hoardings opposite riordans for all these years) I passed there today. There is now NO access via the steps in front. All access is via a tiny side door at the side. Thsi is incredibly strange. They have actually blocked off the steps so there is no way people can enter through the grand original doorways. Shame on OPW.

Anyway, back to the BEST/WORST of Cork list.... keep the opinions coming please

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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby jungle » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:44 pm

I agree that the Glucksman is a great building. I'm still unhappy about the location and more particularly the fact that nobody has tried to repair the damage the builders did to the lower grounds [or at least they hadn't a month ago].

I like the new Pana and I like the lights. I also like the fact that the lights have separate lighting for the footpaths and the street.

A particular dislike of mine is the Norwich Union building on South Mall. With the white tiling on the outside it looks like a giant public toilet.

As I've already veered from new developments, a building I like that nobody else does is Connolly Hall. Maybe it's because it was one of the few newer buildings when I was growing up in Cork.

I'm not a fan of the changes to the student centre in UCC. I liked the original building, but the extension detracts from it for no obvious practical benefit.

I like the new bus station. It's a pity it couldn't have been integrated with the train station, but that would have meant moving it to a less useful position.

I like the Siemens building behind Penrose Wharf.

One building that worries me is the proposed new 8-storey hotel for Crosses Green. Given the trouble about the height of the Jury's project, I can't believe that this will get the go-ahead right next to St. Finn Barre's cathedral and Elizabeth Fort, but stranger things have happened.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby bunch » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:45 pm

i dont understand when you say 'it looks cheap' ? in what way? i think that it looks the opposite - its clear that a lot of time and money was spent on design and materials - and is finished to a high standard it actually looks the opposite to cheap. also the site can only be described as being slightly prominent from the western approach along the straight road where the profile is only 3 - 4 storeys, the rest of the building is well screened due to tree cover and the site's configuration so th etaller parts are not very visible.

the new red brick apartment development on the blackpool bypass by F Sheahan (I Think - PJ Hegarty were the contractors) is in a prominent position - and its beginning to look awful - also a relatively high structure - up to eight i think - anyone hear complaints??? and if you want to see cheap - look there.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:46 pm

Let me make this clear from the start, there is NOTHING wrong with tall buildings. Build them as high as you want, it doesnt bother me in the least.
The thing that bothers me about Victoria cross i guess is its monolithic appearance. It is so square, so smooth.. i just dont like it and if you ask me, it looks cheap. As regards it not being prominent, approach it via Western Road coming out of town, that sheer wall of glass is disturbing to say the least.
Anyway, its just my opinion and im not going to push it down anybody's throat.
The new building on the Bypass looks good. The rejuvenation of the Blackpool flats further out the bypass look even better.
So, Bunch, you never told us your Best and worst 3!! Cough it up

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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:35 pm

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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby d_d_dallas » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:02 pm

The only time I'd seen the Victoria Cross dev was when it was under construction last year. Imagine my shock when I saw it very recently. The first thing that struck me was Ballymun '05. It looks so cheap. The 2005 equivalent of Hawkins House - not for height, but for inappropriate, badly thought out massing and scale - and awful awful facade treatment which exacerbates the whole problem. The building itself isn't that big (comparative to other schemes nearer to Dennehey's Cross and County Hall). Terrible. Hopefully phase two will lessen it's impact.

Glucksman - fabulous!
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby lexington » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:35 pm

If you think Victoria Mills is bad, don't hold you breath for the proposed 7-storey hotel at Crosses Green also designed by Derek Tynan and Associates. Charles & Helen McCarthy are the developers behind it - the application is in planning. It truly is a monstrosity of architecture. Imagine Victoria Mills, with one or two cheap balconies dropped right into the city centre. DT - what goes through his head???!!! Of course the CCC love him.

Some Victoria Mills images - that actually try to make it look good (below):
Image

See -> http://www.dtarch.com/04current.html for images of Phase 2 at Victoria Mills.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby d_d_dallas » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:43 pm

"Of course the CCC love him"... blinded by love of the Gate cinema no doubt.

A Victoria Mills at Cross's Green... scary.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:28 pm

Glad to see I have some support in my dislike of Victoria Cross.
Still looking for any info./pics on of the new City Archives building in Blackpool. Anybody able to help?
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:52 pm

The Gate Cinema is great. Shame about the apartments to the right of them.
Also, the proximity of the apartments to the left of them makes North Main Street look like a little alleyway when you look across from the bridge.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby satanta99 » Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:42 pm

I have to say I'm a big fan of the Victoria Cross apartment buildings. I think the only thing that detracts from the development is the colour.
I would have to agree that the apartments west of the gate are truly awful! How long has the ground floor remained vacant?
I think the worst building in the city has to be on MacCurtain St. I don't know the name of it, but its the hideous structure on the oppostie side of the street to the metropole. It is a mixture of glass and concrete with yellow claddin. It looks like a Soviet power plant!
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby d_d_dallas » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:04 pm

Thompsons Bakery???
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby bunch » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:10 pm

anyone see yesterday's examiner article by des o sullivan on urban design + architecture in the city? the before and after photos of merchants quay were excellent - merchants quay building is definitely one of my worst. also on maccurtian st. the 4 storey building immediately next to gallaghers - still looks unfinished and terrible-painted pink i think.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby jungle » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:28 pm

The river facing side of the Metropole is awful.

In general, both sides of the river between Patrick's Bridge and Brian Boru Bridge are terrible. The bus station was probably the highlight before it got rebuilt.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Thu Feb 10, 2005 7:17 pm

The bus station looks ok now. Not great. but a big improvement on what went before. Considering the paltry amount of money CIE made available for the job its not bad.
Merchants Quay facing the river is poor, but to be fair, I think there's a bit of romance being built around the 'old' Merchants Quay. It was a tip. Something needed to be done and in the unenlightened 80's, i guess thats the best they could manage. Sad but true. I heard something about planning for a third floor on the centre. What's the story with that?
Re. the retail units under apartments near the Gate, all but one have never had any tenants. There was a bar in the first one, but thats gone for a few years.
What do people think about that yoke west of the opera house? Looks good?... yes/no?
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Pug » Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:32 pm

From those images, the Glucksman Gallery looks like a treehouse! yes, yes I can hear your tut tuts from here. Will wander along someday and check it out a bit closer!

re the bus station, the only addition was the canopys and a bit of painting. I think they havent added to it much and personally would have moved the station to Horgans Quay and put those small little buses as shuttles from the city centre. Such a prime site with a waste of a bus station on it. I dont know if the procedure has changed but certainly it was the worst station layout I have ever come across i.e. when the buses pull out into oncoming traffic to try and back in to a space! And CIE not bothering with Horgans Quay? CPO the sods all the way.

I think apart from the new front, the Opera House is awful, a giant dilapidated brick, both inside and out.

Certainly, the opposite side of the quay to Merchants Quay needs a facelift.

Nice buildings? Clarion adds a bit, 5&6 Lapps Quay, Connolly Hall isnt bad in fairness.

Personally cant wait for the docklands, fingers crossed they get it right and put in nice designs but the vibe certainly seems to be going that way. The high rise as well will be good for Cork. Rock on O Flynns 17 storey tower.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:45 pm

Obviously PUG doesnt get the bus very often. Its completely out of the question to ask people to walk to Horgan's Quay to get a bus to Dublin. Beside's if we were waiting for a move to Horgan's Quay we'd still have the shithole (excuse the language) that we were used to.
Basically the improvements to the station was a new Canopy at front, a less impressive new canopy at the back, a new layout inside and most importantly, a wash.
The new system of boarding and electronic signage is excellent, and for a change, actually works.

Apparently, CIE won't develop Horgan's Quay because CCC wont leave them put shops in there. CCC are damn right, we cant be extending the retail centre like that, its totally misguided. But then we are dealing with CIE here....

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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby bunch » Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:04 pm

the bus station is a vast improvement i agree, it appears to be a more efficient facility. however, it is a half-assed job, it really should have been part of an integrated development, allowing offices/commercial on a number of floors over the bus depot/yard/station building - a developer would have funded this in return for the development opportunity overhead.

however, i think the best site was/is horgan's quay - approx 3-5 mins walk from existing bus station. radioactiveman - people walk to horgans quay to get a train - they would do it to get a (intercity) bus. all city/suburban services do not need to operate from a station facility - they can use the quays as existing and do not need to call to a station to serve their routes. horgans quay would then become an integrated station hub, connecting bus and rail networks in an accessible location - future docklands area - extension to city centre.

as for retail and the train station and the city's policies - the city has a culture of fear in terms of retail - the docklands will need retail for it to proceed - this will bolster the city centre because it will act as an extension and not a competitor to existing city centre retail area. patrick st cannot accomodate the demand from potential tenants as it is - and there has been a situation for a long time of retailers trying to get a foothold in cork - but there is no available city centre space. the city centre retail area needs to expand or the city will suffer - as it has in the past - and cornmarket st + academy st will not be enough to cope with demand in my opinion. its a bit ironic that the city council were happy to grant permission for mahon retail but are afraid of allowing a retail destination at horgans quay as part of a large scale mixed use development which would have underpinned the redevelopment of practically all the north docklands
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Pug » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:07 pm

Radioactiveman wrote:Obviously PUG doesnt get the bus very often. Its completely out of the question to ask people to walk to Horgan's Quay to get a bus to Dublin.


Radioactiveman, the uranium must have melted your eyes as you will see that I wrote about LITTLE SHUTTLE BUSES THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO AND FROM THE CITY CENTRE. And bunch makes the point even further, we all walk to the bloody train station.

I was really taking a pop at CIE for that one, they are an absolute shambles of an organisation, and are obviously running the FAI in their spare time. They are a highly unionised ineffective inefficent ultra orthodox organisation who in any other country would have had their management fired long ago for the inept serivce they provide for hilariously expensive prices.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby mickeydocs » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:09 pm

The plan was to have a bus link between horgan's quay and the city centre


however, i think the best site was/is horgan's quay - approx 3-5 mins walk from existing bus station. radioactiveman - people walk to horgans quay to get a train -
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby shrink2cork » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:30 pm

Mahon Point is pulling the traffic away from Douglas, great. The Shopping Centre is aimed at the teen to late twenties female market. There is no mix of Shops, and the rents are as high as Patrick Street or higher.
Good luck to them.

Regards
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby corklad » Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:34 pm

I have to say I agree that the Victoria Cross development is a hideous mistake. They look like something that was lifted out of the ground in some Soviet backwater city in the 1950's and just dumped in Victoria Cross. The council should pay to have it removed.
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Re: Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

Postby Radioactiveman » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:23 am

I dont see the point in moving the bus station to Horgans quay. It is an essential public service which should remainn where 90% of the users actually requested it stay. After its reorgainising it works perfectly and is coping very well.
Nothing will happen at the Horgan's Quay site for at least another 5-6 years. Thats the way CIE want it and thats what we're stuck with.
Re. Docklands development, there is a beautiful building fronting the west bank of the river (i think its the odlums building) this has to be kept in any re-invention of the docklands. It looks perfect for a public building along the lines of the Tate Gallery in London.
As far as i'm concerned, the rest of the Docklands is a blank canvas, We need something like the Dublin Docklands Committee to get the thing going though.
We've got to watch out for th emistakes though-- remember that thing proposed for Water Street awhile back--- no problem with the height, no problem with the density, but god help us it was a bit bland and uniform. With the docklands as a blank canvas, Cork people expect a masterpiece, not a collection of useless scribbles.


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