Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby lexington » Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:48 pm

Walking off the main thoroughfares - many of Cork city's side-streets offer interesting architectural designs and developments. Some hit the mark, others fall flat on their face - but it strikes me that many of these developments are rarely heard of and I think it would be interesting to bring them to the public light.

It is my hope that every-so-often, I will provide a new image or two of such designs, but I'm hoping that other contributors will lend images of what they believe to be interesting designs too often turned a blind eye at.

One of the first images I'd like to share is of a small apartment development on Henry Street (near the Mercy University Hospital) - part of Cork's older historic island area. This area for too long as been left untapped and uncared for - almost depressingly so. It housed a few council residential units, tyre yards, light industry etc etc. Once in a blue moon, attempts were made to develop the area - at the Mercy Hospital, Paul Kenny's development at Grattan Street, social housing designed by Magee Creedon etc. However now, thankfully, major redevelopment plans are being brought to the area with numerous large-scale developments in planning for Bachelor's Quay, Millerd Street, Sheare's Street and so on.

The aforementioned apartment development was designed by award-winning Magee Creedon Architects (see Coppinger Court) and developed by Tony Macken. It reflects Magee Creedon's unique style with echoes of the area's historic links with Continental Trade activity. It may not be eye-catchingly beautiful, but it stands out unique, in an area that badly needs new life. Corbett Tyres is found to the west of the building (owned by developers Michael and Kevin Corbett) which itself was in-line for redevelopment but refused. New plans are in tow.

Apologises for the poor quality photography but they were taken ad-hoc, under pressure and with poor equipment.

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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby Bob Dole » Mon Jan 03, 2005 1:52 pm

Best of luck with your search for architectural gems amongst the detritus of Cork. Besides some buildings by Magee Creedon and some Corporation schemes, I'm afraid you'll sadly not have much success...
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Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby lexington » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:31 pm

I tend to disagree with you on that Bob. I'm the first to criticise the mundane-ness of much of Cork's structures - there are too many, too prominent. Thankfully, things are slowly starting to change - but if you do look close, there are a few interesting endeavours - usually, unfortunately, too small to notice.

This thread isn't neccessarily out to reveal the 'prettiest' - just interesting designs.
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The Mercy University Hospital's Lee View Block extension (nearby Tony Macken's apartment building in prev. post) was designed by O'Riordan Staehli Architects and constructed by PJ Hegarty & Sons back in 1998 - it received an RIAI Award and represents the 1st Phase of 3 in the Mercy's redevelopment.

Plans are in tow (budget pending) for the construction of a 5-storey private hospital and extended radiology department w/ permanent MRI Unit between Sheare's Street and Thomas Street. A new 6-storey multi-storey car park, offices, urology department and Cork Cancer Research Clinic is planned for the newly purchased Irish Distillers site across the River Lee (bought for 20m euros jointly with UCC). A 4m euro new A&E was scheduled for construction under the Lee View Block last October 2004, but fiscal conditions have restricted this ploughing ahead.

The Lee View Block houses a geriatric ward at Ground Floor, Psychiatric Ward on the 1st Floor, Male & Female Medical Wards on 2nd, Male & Female Surgical Wards at 3 and both Clincal Pharmacology and Lab units on the 4th floor. Originally, the building was envisioned as a perfect square - with four sides - but this vision was diminish due to financial and planning restrictions. A 2-storey 'sky-bridge' links the new block with the older Catherine McCauley block of the hospital across Henry Street. This bridge affords genuinely spectacular views down along the Lee, with the Distillery Fields to the North - overlooked by a magnificient palace like cathedral literally built on a steep 80 degree slope - Fitzgerald Municpal Park on the river banks to the South, and Cork County Hall visible at 16-storeys in the distance.

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Attempts had been made a few years ago by the Mercy's Board of Management to purchase Henry Street from CCC and construct an extension over the street (building down to street level from the link bridge and then back) facilitating increased services, bedspaces and an underground car-park - however this plan as of yet, never got off the ground.

*if you look at the last image closely, though it is small, you may notice Tony Macken's apartment building in the background along Henry Street - to give a sense of proximity. Also, notice the river area in the foreground, it was this area in which Sean Meehan had intended to construct a 3 level multi-storey car-park and commercial units with quay-link vehicular bridge - all over the water on STILTS!!! The application was subsequently withdrawn.
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The Architecture of Magee Creedon

Postby lexington » Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:22 pm

Pretty? Ugly? Weird? Maybe all those things - but nonetheless, it can't be ignored. I intend to update this post with a number of examples of Magee Creedon's work throughout Cork, in the coming days.
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby phatman » Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:42 pm

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Haha this must be of architectural importance, such is the protection it enjoys from CIE. Hmmm, 110 years and if it was colour i couldn't tell the difference...
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby phatman » Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:43 pm

Image

Haha this must be of architectural importance, such is the protection it enjoys from CIE. Hmmm, 110 years and if it was colour i couldn't tell the difference...
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby lexington » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:07 am

Uncanny!!! Will 2005 be the year CIE finally decide to get up off their backsides and get going on the long-awaited, long-overdue and HIGHLY anticipated Horgan's Quay redevelopment??? Will they actually shock us all and proceed with the extensive yet innovative masterplans already conceived or just give us a half-assed attempt for the sake of peace??? I hope the former, but only time will tell!!!

(As a side note, if they do proceed with the plans already conceived, it is estimated that the development - which will be constructed in 3 phases - will cost from anywhere between 375m euros for the so-called "basic plan" to the 550m euro "cool plan".)
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby phatman » Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:29 pm

Well known among us Corkonians, but I think pretty much overlooked on a wider scale, the Butter Market possesses an elegance unmatched by any other building on the north bank. Maybe the new Shandon Bridge will remedy this...

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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:47 pm

Agreed - its a nice building shoehorned into a dense area of narrow streets and houses

http://www.irish-architecture.com/buildings_ireland/cork/cork/butter_market_lge.html
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Coppinger Court by Magee Creedon

Postby lexington » Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:20 pm

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Coppinger Court is a new residential development constructed with the Shandon Renewal Area of Cork city, along the northern quays (Popes Quay).

The developers Michael Finn and David McSweeney hired Cork-based architects Magee Creedon to design the award winning development (2004 RIAI Best Sustainable Building) which was jointly constructed by Jim Davis & Co. Building Contractors and Murnane & O'Shea Ltd.

The development consists of 43-apartments, a licensed premises, restaurant, retail showroom and parking facilities, and is 'hidden' behind a 'wall' of existing, refurbished quayside buildings on a .74 acre site.
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Re: Coppinger Court by Magee Creedon

Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:59 am

lexington wrote:Coppinger Court is a new residential development constructed with the Shandon Renewal Area of Cork city, along the northern quays (Popes Quay).

The developers Michael Finn and David McSweeney hired Cork-based architects Magee Creedon to design the award winning development (2004 RIAI Best Sustainable Building) which was jointly constructed by Jim Davis & Co. Building Contractors and Murnane & O'Shea Ltd.

The development consists of 43-apartments, a licensed premises, restaurant, retail showroom and parking facilities, and is 'hidden' behind a 'wall' of existing, refurbished quayside buildings on a .74 acre site.
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That looks pretty good alright,

I came across reference to an architectural inventory funded by the Irish Heritage Trust (An Taisce spin off run by Nick Robinson) in 1981 of Shandon, I must try and track it down from the pictures in the initial scoping document I'd say there would be some real hidden gems down there.
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby hutton » Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:58 am

Re: Coppinger Court - looks funky. Like the sense of playfulness in terms of different levels, materials etc; any more photos?
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby bunch » Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:17 am

some pics- i hope these appear - Coppinger Court
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby hutton » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:56 pm

Very funky indeed. The scale & layout - eg steps etc seem to be mimicking/ referencing the old-style vernacular architecture of Cork city. Was this deliberate?

Over the last number of years, I have noticed that a lot of Cork's pedestrian alley-ways have been getting shut off, which I think is a real shame. Perhaps that's why this appeals to me - the design seems in some respects to be a visual paraphrase of what was good about Cork, and what set it apart from our other cities. A po-mo celebration of the local vernacular perhaps?

One final idea, might be worthwhile to forward the photos to Bord Scannan/ Film Board - to my eye it looks like a good location for filming. :)
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O'Rahilly Building University College Cork

Postby lexington » Mon Feb 21, 2005 5:00 pm

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The O'Rahilly Building (ORB) in UCC saw its 1st Phase open its doors to students in 1997 - the building, designed by A&D Wejchert, houses the departments of Applied Language and Business. A 4-storey, 26,000sq ft extension was added in 2001, a near mirror of the original, also designed by the same design team.

The building evokes a gothic air about it and makes notable use of limestone cladding, blended with the contemporary element of tinted and clear glass facades.
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby what? » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:20 pm

this building is repulsive. its a bad example from a terrible era. what is your problem Lexington.
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby phil » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:36 pm

I was in this a few years back and I must say I didn't think much of it. It reminds me a bit too much of those really badly cladded buildings in Galway. I am suprised it was by Wejchert.
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby d_d_dallas » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:55 pm

Apparently it was a 'difficult' project for Wejchert to complete. If you wanna see a good example of theirs in UCC - phase 1 of the student centre next door.
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby lexington » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:27 am

what? wrote:this building is repulsive. its a bad example from a terrible era. what is your problem Lexington.


Hey as I've said a million and one times - and read above - I never said I liked any of the buildings on this thread, I'm just pointing them out. And even if I did like it, no need to insult someone's opinion. No two minds are alike. As it stands, I don't particularly like the O'Rahilly Building. Still it's worth noting.
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UCC Student Centre Extension

Postby lexington » Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:39 pm

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Design by O'Riordan Staehli Architects. Constructed by PJ Hegarty & Sons Ltd.

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Cork Opera House facade

Postby lexington » Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:23 pm

Standing on Emmet Place, you could be well forgiven for forgetting about the horrible monstrosity that this Murray O'Laoire designed facade extension hides. The original Opera House, designed by Scott Tallon Walker back in the early-1960s was originally destined for a site adjacent the InterContinental Hotel (Jurys - which itself will now be sooned demolished for a massive redevelopment scheme in conjunction with O'Callaghan Properties) along the Western Road. However the Cork public protested against such a move (surprise surprise) as they longed for the current Lavitts Quay site to be retained, as it was the site of the original Cork Opera House destroyed by a fire in the late 1950s - they've been paying the price ever since. Cork has been punished by the hideously expansive, bland grey-brown North Wall ever since the current Opera House was constructed. MOLA were the winning entry in a competition held by COH and CCC to improve the Opera House's appearance in late 1999. The development was valued at 5m euros and included an extensive refurbishment inside and out. It formed Phase 2 of a 3 Phase plan for the institution. Phase 1 being the auditorium refurbishment and Phase 3 being an extensive recladding and physical adjustment to the North Wall making it more aestically approachable, and enhancing the quayside. So, far, other than the minor alterations enacted as part of Phase 2, the third stage has never proceeded. Funding is the apparent culprit. However with the superb Lavitts Quay enhancement at 21 Lavitts Quay, the project in planning for the former Thomas Crosbie Holdings site at 16 Lavitts Quay by Howard Holdings, an architectural competition in mid-transit to redevelop Kyrls Quay, and plans for the Coal Quay also in the pipeline - we may yet see improvements to the North Wall in the future.

In the meantime, it's nice to take the time to appreciate the wonderfully altered Emmet Place facade of the Opera House. Emmet Place has a very cosmopolitan European feel to it. The extensive pedestrian areas, innovative landscaping, imposing Crawford Gallery building, and many neat Victorian and Georgian stand-alone houses that pop up in the most unexpected areas of the street (e.g. Marble & Lemon building, Meadows & Byrne, Insurances House next to the AA Offices). O'Callaghan Properties also have a huge 6-storey, 150m euro retail and residential development for the former Irish Examiner HQ and Academy Street block in the pipeline - with an application being lodged this Summer. It is hoped that this will all enhance the delicate aesthetic value of the street, which the Opera House has so positively helped support.

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MOLA also won a 2001 Southern Region RIAI Award for the efforts!
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Re: Cork Architecture: Interesting Lesser Knowns

Postby phil » Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:45 pm

phatman wrote:Well known among us Corkonians, but I think pretty much overlooked on a wider scale, the Butter Market possesses an elegance unmatched by any other building on the north bank. Maybe the new Shandon Bridge will remedy this...



I would agree with you on that. It is an interesting network of streets around there too.
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Courts Services House, Emmet Place

Postby lexington » Sun May 01, 2005 1:59 am

Insurances House/Court Services House - out and out, one of my favourite city centre buildings, perhaps because of its placement. The building is flanked by a mixed variety of structures, ranging from the pretty (Crawford Gallery, Meadows & Bynre, Marble & Lemon etc) to the not so pretty (J&P, Grand Circle, Luigi Malones etc) - and it is perhaps because of this company, the house looks so intriguing, out of place yet right at home. It is a clear memory of a history now past. Often commented as being 'a doll-house'. Few remaining houses around Cork reflect the design and rigourously maintained quality of the building, now occupied by the Irish Court Services southern division and Southgate Associates. This is surely no masterpiece of architecture, nor is it a shining example of what is great - but this house, in its own quaint way stands out powerful from its nest along Emmet Place.

OCP will soon be lodging an application for a new 6-storey retail and residential development to the rear and sides of this house - however, the developers have assured that it will not detract negatively from this special little landmark along the street. Until then, here's a little image of the place.

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And from the old to the new, well, in fact so new that it's still under construction - OSB Group's Camden Court development designed by James Leahy & Associates. Phase 1 is nearing completion, just as the larger Phase 2 is about to begin. Now, before people undoubtedly start passing out and condemning that I would even think about recommending this as an interesting piece of architecture - bare with me (and keep in mind too that I'm not plainly talking about so-called 'pretty' architecture). Consider that the building is as yet, incomplete - furthermore, that it only forms part of a larger structure and also that these images fail to encapsulate the whole development. What I find interesting about the design is its unusual shape. The site is a narrow .7 hectare stretch, yet oddly, the economics of the project have undoubtedly forced the design to look elsewhere than bland verticals and flat windows. This, Phase 1, is provided with a jagged series of overhangs along both Carrolls Quay and Knapps Square frontages - a river (Kiln) borders the Carrolls Quay elevation between the building and pathway (unclear in images) and has allowed the building itself to jut out in an unusual overhang. The jagged nature clearly allows for increased spatial areas over ground to facilitate increased units numbers, more so than would be allowed by the natural confines. The building is extensively clad with local limestone and facing Camden Quay/Carrolls Quay, possesses a clever water feature in tribute to the river border (as yet incomplete). The copper roof however provides among the buildings most interesting aspects - it provides a series of exaggerated curves and loops that form part of a greater puzzle in Phase 2. The roof is not seen complete in the images below - which by its end will contain extensive amenity roof gardens and recreation areas for residents. I agree these pictures aren't up to much, but I would ask you to reserve critique pre-completion of the entire project. I'll provide fully, better images of the development when that time comes.


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Construction grime is still very much evident and the project remains incomplete - finishings and overall structure, which will come in Phase 2 soon.

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The exaggerated roof-lines, more is to be done - when complete it will connect with Phase 2 and provide extensive roof-top hanging gardens. (21 Lavitts Quay can be seen in the background).
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