Dundalk

Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:24 pm

I thought I might as well start up a Dundalk thread, so anything relevant to the town can be chucked into it :)

It would be fitting to begin with the town's magnificently austere landmark building, the newly restored Courthouse on Market Square, built between 1813 and 1818/19.

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The portico is directly based on the Temple of Theseus in Athens, as with many public buildings and garden pavilions of its age around Europe, such as at Hagley Hall in Worcestershire.

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® English Heritage


Dundalk Courthouse was designed by Edward Park, brother of Robert Park who made alterations to the Parliament House in Dublin, including the Foster Place portico and colonnade. Edward also designed the original Commercial Buildings down the road on Dame Street.

For such a lavish, finely executed building to be erected in a provincial town in the late Georgian period is quite significant: the portico is built entirely of prized Portland stone, with the main body of the building in Killeavy granite.

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Unfortunately surrounding recent development has sorely impacted on the building, with an intrusive service tower protruding over a flanking terrace as seen above, and more significantly a big pile of mock-traditional crap shovelled in right alongside the building, with a tacked on 'feature' porch and PVC windows. The original building next door has also received the plastic treatment :rolleyes:

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The new extension to the rear of the courthouse by Brian O'Halloran Architects is an elegant composition, its streamlined finish complimenting the rear of the original building and the potent green glass adding a splash of colour to the cold stone environment. It spills out into quite a sizable building to the rear.

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Unfortunately there's quite a bit of clutter in front of it, with access ramps and walls, and they're all clad in thin granite tiles which looks rather dated and stands in contrast with the robust blocks of the original building.

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The courthouse interior was also completely restored, with the stunning stairhall back to its former glory. The project also included the reinsertion of Regency-style railings to the front, which had been removed, possibly in the 1970s. They look very well, except for the granite base which again is lacking in substance, with the slab joints clearly evident.

The front elevation has been magnificently floodlit too, and the portico (which originally looked like granite it was so dirty) looks especially well lit from behind.

And just look at those fantastic chimneys to the rear - typically masculine, authoritative Regency architecture :)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby PVC King » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:08 pm

Graham Hickey wrote: I think Dundalk is finally deserving of a thread of its own.

Now, what to begin with...oh


Now where have I heard that before? :)

Seriously no Dundalk thread would be complete without a full discussion of the Imperial Hotel ;)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby PVC King » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:16 pm

That Brian O'Halloran extension works very well through respect for the existing building lines, the chimneys are good although I don't see a great difference between them and a lot of the simpler Victorian stacks from 1840-60. Nice to see granite detailing on the side elevation of a building that relies so much on its grand Front elevation.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:54 pm

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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:14 am

Where is that Castle Roche Paul? Often wondered when reading about it there...

Yes, the granite of the Courthouse goes all of the way round on both sides. Magnificent!

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As for the chimneys - the Victorians may have imitated, but it was the late Georgians who fully developed the intimidating potless chimney - the power stack :)


Ah the Imperial - Dundalk's Liberty Hall. Alas unlike the former, it is an icon of its age for all the wrong reasons.

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Seen from miles around, instead of the gothic spires and crenellations of the cathedral romantically gracing the town's skyline as its sole landmark, one must observe the fight between it and the Imperial's plant room, disgracefully continuing to be embellished with a host of telecommunications antenae.

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It's going under extensive renovations now - they've completely shut down, a la the Shelbourne - albeit in something of a different league :)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby dc3 » Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:18 pm

Something new & tall is now visible from the bridge, on the right hand side as you come South into Dundalk from the border. Apartments? Shiver.

The "new" racecourse building has a certain elegance, but it looks a little too small on that bleak and windswept site.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby mickeydocs » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:08 pm

The racecourse itself is quite cool.... however it does not blend too well with the estuary... shouldn't have been allowed in this location but sadly inevitable due to the ring-road.


dc3 wrote:Something new & tall is now visible from the bridge, on the right hand side as you come South into Dundalk from the border. Apartments? Shiver.

The "new" racecourse building has a certain elegance, but it looks a little too small on that bleak and windswept site.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:59 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:Where is that Castle Roche Paul - often wondered when reading about it there...:)



in cowboy country near the armagh border - not sure exactly - wasn't paying attention when the sister took me there.... its in Harbison's monunment of ireland with a set of co-ordinates
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:40 am

Yikes - it's up there, the pictures will do just fine thanks :D
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Devin » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:58 am

The Courthouse portico & blank flank walls look incredible in the old B & W photo. Although it still looks great in the 'now' photographs, it seems a bit cluttered to the front.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:03 am

Yes, all of that 70s stuff littered about should be removed completely.

The trees look very stately and picturesque in front though and should be retained I think.
It's a pity the railings had to go down - the drama of the building rising out of the ground has been lost :(
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Re: Dundalk

Postby ewanduffy » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:56 am

[quote="Paul Clerkin"]and for those who like ruins...

outside Dundalk...

Philipstown Mill
http://www.irish-architecture.com/buildings_ireland/louth/dundalk/19thc/philipstown.html

Where is this?
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Apr 14, 2005 6:04 pm

PHILIPSTOWN-NUGENT, a parish, in the barony of UPPER DUNDALK, county of LOUTH, and province of LEINSTER, 2¾ miles (W.N.W.) from Dundalk, on the road to Castle-Blayney and on the river of Philipstown; containing 459 inhabitants. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 1035¾ statute acres of land, chiefly in tillage. Here are the extensive flour-mills of Messrs. Keiran, fitted up in a superior manner; and at Hack*ball's Cross is a station of the constabulary police. It is a curacy, in the diocese of Armagh, forming part of the union of Baronstown; the rectory is appropriate to the dean and chapter of Christ-Church, Dublin. The tithes amount to £107. 13. 5. The glebe-house is a handsome residence surrounded by neatly planted grounds; and nearly adjoining it is the church of the union, which is noticed in the article on Baronstown. In the R.C. divisions also the parish is in the union or district of Baronstown.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby roskav » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:22 am

You have to fiddle with navigation on the site a bit ... I can't give a direct link to the search results for the project ... but here's one to the facade shot of the newly restored Town Hall by Van Dijk Architects.

http://www.roskavanagh.com/php/user_system.php?action=view_photo&resource_id=1342
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:25 pm

Great photo Ros - impossible to get a long shot of the building without a wide lense!

I was exceptionally annoyed (still am) that vast sums were lavished on this building's exterior and interior, yet they failed to reinstate the Victorian sash windows - instead keeping the chunky timber casements put in probably when the building was rebuilt after fire in the 1940s.
They would have made such a difference :(

Otherwise it was a job well done, and the entrance columns, which used to be black, look fantastic in that regal red.

It was built as the town's Corn Exchange in around 1859-64 just at the end of the Italianate craze, but the company went into liquidation inside a few years when it moved into the town's ownership. A quite grand auditorium was built inside I believe, but it was gutted by fire and replaced with a vaguely Art Deco interior.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby roskav » Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:38 pm

Here are a couple more... you can choose the project "Dundalk Town Hall" on the drop down menu on the Architecture section of the site for all the photos!

http://www.roskavanagh.com/php/user_system.php?action=view_photo&resource_id=1329
http://www.roskavanagh.com/php/user_system.php?action=view_photo&resource_id=1332
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Re: Dundalk

Postby roskav » Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:42 pm

BTW Graham ... that pic is a combination of two shots side by side.... couldn't get it all in one shot!.... Actually I still missed bits on either side.... plus had to do on a Sunday to escape the cars parked in front .... interesting place to stand still for a bit ... everyone's in a hurry.... bar those hanging around the entrance to the courts!
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:54 pm

Yes - and scribbling on the newly restored columns too :rolleyes:

Some beautiful images there - thanks! When you look closely you can see the slight distortion alright in the conjoined picture :)
I haven't been in the auditorium since the restoration - apparently complaints about the way the seats are raked, or rather how they aren't...
It's such an inviting building to use now - the difference is extraordinary from the dingy place it once was - though those vast walls and acres of floorspace probably make it even more intimidating now :)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:01 pm

23/6/2005

I took these images a few months ago but forgot about them until I came across the same building recently, sadly on the An Taisce Buildings at Risk register:

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It's made up of a charming and unassuming pair of late Georgian houses at the far end of a street just off the town's main street. There'a a fantastic stock of 19th century domestic classical architecture round here - this one is thankfully one of very few in such poor condition, though it is one of the oldest so is perhaps to be expected.

Another view here showing the remarkably surviving original sash windows and brick chimney; an inappropriate modern one in the middle looks like it was shoved in about 10-15 years ago:

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This house is particularly unusual in that it features a carriage arch - very rare for such a modest building in Dundalk, if not nationally. The associated building next to it is as good as derelict :(

The quote from An Taisce:

"Rare surviving unaltered early 19th century vernacular buildings. Divided into three sections comprising two cottages with boarded up door and window to ground floor and original 3 over 3 single pane sashes to first floor. Additional bay over carriage arch with sash over. Natural slate roof, brick stacks. An adjoining building to the South, which was part of the same development is ruinous with its rubble stone construction exposed. Vernacular buildings of this type retaining their architectural character are rare, not just in Dundalk but Irish towns generally."
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Re: Dundalk

Postby PVC King » Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:34 am

Paul can you post the image from this article please?

http://www.irish-architecture.com/news/2005/000134.html

www.irish-architecture.com wrote:
A new signature landmark development in Dundalk town centre has been granted planning permission from the local authority. The 37,300 sq ft scheme at Market Square in Dundalk has four retail units on basement, ground and mezzanine levels with prime frontage onto the square itself. According to the developer, "Douglas Wallace have designed a landmark development that leads the way forward in the urban regeneration of Dundalk town centre and will greatly enhance the physical and commercial fabric of Market Square."

Charles Robey, Associate Director at Douglas Wallace said, "The development occupies a prime corner site at the western end of Market Square in the historic core of Dundalk town. In addressing frontage onto the square an elegant series of stone-clad vertical bays echo the terraced urban form of the town".

"We have maximised visibility into the retail units which line Market Square with a glazed box wrapping around the corner onto the Demesne where the office entrance is accessed through a giant flat arch. The corner nature of the building is further accentuated by wrap-around louvres which shade the curtain-wall glazed offices at the upper levels. The setback penthouse level is roofed by a lightweight cantilevered plane which hovers above the floor to ceiling glazed walls".

Dundalk Town Council stresses the importance of re-use, redevelopment and regeneration of underused and derelict sites whilst seeking to protect and enhance the character and environment of the town centre.

Martin McCormick of Douglas Wallace Architects, a native of Dundalk, is acting as Client Manager for the Market Square development. "We hope that this new building will bookmark an end of Market Square that has, over recent years, been neglected. We aim to put this part of Dundalk town back on the map, creating a sense of place around the square giving it the prominence it deserves", he says.


It looks very attractive as a stand alone building what do you think of its integration in to Market Square?
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:50 am

The corner is a bit busy to the far left as seen in Paul's pic below - in another view I have of it it looks rather cluttered.
But overall I like it a lot, and it will have quite an impact on Market Square, no doubt about it - an area that is defined in the most part by 18th and 19th century buildings, and a not-so-old familar face in the glass reflection of the new building there :)

The height is much more appropriate to the area than the appalling two-storey development that went up facing it a few years ago (also in reflection). Particularly like the corner grills, though the expansive lower glazing seems a bit much and may offer an either faceless corporate front to the square like the rendering, or look tatty with everything going on inside visible from the exterior.

A decent building overall though - and here's hoping it will spur on the demolition of the terrible 70s rubbish to the rear just visible in the picture.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:50 am

Image

it's a pity that it's not replacing the building behind it on cannotrememberthenameofthe street, but it's not a bad addition to the town. not going to win any awards but not likely to be hated too much either
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Re: Dundalk

Postby PVC King » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:17 am

Thanks for that Paul and I look forward to seeing you images Graham, I think that if it passes the contextual test and was developed speculatively then it would be worthy of an award for best speculatively developed commercial project in a regional town category. As a stand alone building it is a million times better than much of what is developed as offices outside the major urban centres although having said that I have yet to see its context. I fear that decentralisation is going to deliver a litany of horror stories.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:20 am

A rather dodgy scan here from the local paper 'The Argus' - had to delve through the recycling bin for this and now I've tinned bean sauce all over my hands, so appreciate it!

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It shows the wider context of the building, including the neighbouring 19th century buildings clamped between it and the other less pleasing corner building that was reclad about six years ago.
The contrast between the new building and the little Victorian next door is cruel - not sure what can be done though.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:01 am

Nasty looking shopfront there....
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