Smithfield, Dublin

Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby phil » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:06 pm

Devin wrote:Yes Maskhadov, they should be demolished, but you can't say that because it's not PC! You're meant to say something like 'the retention of the existing community in Smithfield is a vital element in the ongoing evolution and rebirth of the square blah-de-blah ...' !

Oh what to do! The houses so clearly don't fit but it's not like you can say they were a mistake on social grounds and should be redeveloped ... Obviously the community should stay, but the houses definitely need to be redeveloped. Anyone any ideas how this might happen??



Devin, would you be of the same view if the houses were Georgian and of a similar scale to these?
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby jdivision » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: The side of Smithfield opposite Smithfield Markets, there is planning application in (not sure if it's been approved or not) to significantly increase the scale on that side of the street - particularly at Chief O'Neills which frankly is a hole.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Bago » Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:10 pm

I like the Winged Gas lamps and i like the new buildings to the west side but don't think they work so close to each other. The lamps lose their importance due to the height and proximity of the buildings and the buildings also lose out lost behind the sails. They should be further apart in my opinion. As everyone says though, there seems to be a huge lack of unity in the whole square.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:59 pm

Bago wrote:I like the Winged Gas lamps and i like the new buildings to the west side but don't think they work so close to each other. The lamps lose their importance due to the height and proximity of the buildings and the buildings also lose out lost behind the sails. They should be further apart in my opinion. As everyone says though, there seems to be a huge lack of unity in the whole square.



well that's not the developer's fault. that's McGarry NiEanaigh's who positioned the masts very far over to that edge of the square.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby kefu » Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:30 pm

The buildings at the North End (Cobblestone included) are all going to be demolished from what I've heard.
I think there's a huge difficulty with the "City Council" houses as it's a much larger estate than it looks at first. There's a lot more houses right in behind and a good few of them have fallen into the hands of "private owners". Not surprising considering the going price is a scarcely believable E485,000.
http://www.propertyshop.ie/printID.asp?id=164618
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby tommyt » Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:14 pm

If I had 485k I'd buy one tmrrw just to keep you undergrad dribblers orf my property!. Seriously if there is any redevelopment of the corpo gaffs the residents deserve to be lavishly recompensed. They were the only pple who wanted to live there in the 80's and were lucky not to have their gaffs demolished during the Inner Tangent Relief Road debacle. Smithfield is a real microcosm of the last 40 years of development in the city. It's a real living, breathing neighbourhood, not some wet dream plaything.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:24 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:well that's not the developer's fault. that's McGarry NiEanaigh's who positioned the masts very far over to that edge of the square.
I don't think they anticipated how big the west side scheme was going to be. It's interesting to remember that when lamp brazier scheme was first proposed, the images of it circulated were of a b&w 1950s picture of the square with the new scheme superimposed over it, showing mostly 3 storey buildings in the background on the west side. But the HKR scheme is now about 3 times bigger than those buildings.




phil wrote:Devin, would you be of the same view if the houses were Georgian and of a similar scale to these?
If they were as out of place as these Council houses are, then yes. But it depends on a number of things. The thing about Smithfield is that the first big redevelopment on the east side (Chief O'Neill's) still respected the existing scale of the square - any 3 storey buildings did not seem dwarfed. But then the west side (Smithfield Market) went so much bigger that it made everything else look ridiculous. But it has to be said that the architectural quality of those houses is fairly poor by today's standards anyway, regardless of their scale. I'm not scoffing at them; I'm just saying that they badly don't fit.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:38 pm

I think the Corpo houses are kinda fun - they bring all the po-faced planned-within-an-inch-of-its-life development back down to earth :). But yes, agreed that they are out of context and they do interrupt on things, but I can't see what can be done about them if most are privately owned. At least they're three storey...

Some great images there (how did you get up so high for the wide?!). I'd tend to side on the demolition side of things regarding the northern terrace. You really have to see it in real life to note just how out of context it is, not that the pics don't do it anyway. Saying that, it is a difficult case as it would be a shame to wipe away the area's past which would be my concern, rather than wiping away a few old buildings. But the two-storeys really are so very lack-lustre in such a prominent location; it's difficult to fight their corner, especially given the many examples of similar stock in the vicinity of the square - it's not as if they're the last ones standing. Perhaps a full facade stripping of all that muck could bring them out well.

The western side's height is very refreshing I think - the disparity between this and the opposite side isn't as great to make it preposterous - just a little awkward, but overall it works very well I think. And there really is so little left of original streetscapes of merit in the area that there's no point compromising height in new development here - if anything the contrast with what is left is quite pleasant. The issue of massing is different to that of height, and if this can be addressed in the sensitive areas where new development meets existing grain, then everything ought to integrate a lot better.

Love the curved street: a format we seemed to have left behind in the 1770s and forgotton all about. The standard of design and materials is also commendable, though agreed with niallig that this cannot make up for the certain lack of soul that's there at present - perhaps it will improve with time. There's so many areas in Dublin like this now that are brand-spanking new with high quality buildings and public spaces, yet they just feel like white elephants without a soul about. They probably all just need time to grow up.


Surely this is a big joke?!

Image


And as for Beaux Lane House's adolescent sibling - sure don't they grow up so fast altogether....

Image
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby tommyt » Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:43 pm

zz
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby phil » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:05 pm

I just thought it was strange that you emmedietly selected these buildings as oppossed to the four that seem to have been allowed to fall into serious disprepair as can be seen in your image below. I also don't see why it should be expected that the people living in these homes should suddenly have to change the way they live and the types of homes that they live in due to the scale of the buildings opposite them.


Devin wrote:

Image

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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby jimg » Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:44 pm

The best thing they could do with Smithfield would be to get rid of every single thing that sticks out of the ground in the square - lampposts, signs, the stainless steel bollards and even the feature "Nuremburg Rally" gas lights. The latter in particular are responsible for most of the lopsidedness; the difference in building heights on both sides isn't as significant as it seems. Without them the large chimney and setbacks on the eastern side would provide some sort of counter balance. Also these features - especially the bollards - create visual "lines" across the square which are ugly and arbitrary and break up the potential "squareness" of the space. After that, they should ensure a uniform paving scheme for the entire square - getting rid of the eastern "road" - for example by extending the cobbling to cover the entire space.

There isn't much you can do with the mishmash of buildings but for me that's part of the square's appeal. I'd hate to see the Cobblestone go I have to say - it's a great pub and one of the few reasons why "outsiders" visit the area at night.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby kefu » Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:24 am

On the subject of the braziers, the bases of them are unbelievably tatty, dirty and defaced by vandalism.
I think they're very attractive from a distance but when you actually walk by them, they look awful like the base of some kind of derelict ESB substation.
On the rare occasions when they are lit, two of them aren't working and haven't for the longest time, which really just about sums up the City Council.
Also, I know people have raised issues about the quality of the cobbling on the square but there's a big patch that has been tarmaced over, which has made it unimaginably worse.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:38 am

In some of the side streets off Smithfield you can still see the beautiful quality of setting/cobbling that Smithfield had before its setts were taken up and relaid circa 2000, like Haymarket, or Red Cow Lane (below).
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:29 am

Image

Regarding the terrace of four in disrepair, it's difficult to know what to do because they are quite bad - the two in the middle are just a front wall! Still (if restored) they would be a reminder of what so much of Dublin was once like. The one on the left supposedly still retains some features of note internally. All four are protected structures. If you wanted to demolish them you would probably have to go through the process of having them removed from the RPS first. It would probably be permitted in the case of the middle two, but not necessarily the other two.




Image

Image

Image

There was a nice ambience of old Dublin at the top of Smithfield. When this pub (top picture) was demolished in 2003, I think it damaged that ambience. The pub - Bo Derrol's - (a non-PS) was originally to have been retained within the big west side development, but they snuck in a demolition application at the last minute, with a report written by a "Conservation Architect" (who specialises in writing off old buildings - some of you will know him) saying the building wasn't worth keeping and the Council went for it.

It was quite a good quality 19th century building, normally the type of building you would retain and repair. And it could have been easily kept within the huge site - it was just greediness that they wanted to get rid of it.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby BTH » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:56 am

It was a nice old building alright and it was extremely sneaky how they went about getting it demolished...
However in fairness, the replacement has a certain elegance - it's a good example of a modern "grain" building as in it dosent scream too loudly for attention in the streetscape...
Quite nicely proportioned opes as well!
Still I agree that sheer greed was the driving force behind this particular corner of the development.

I was actually walking around up there for the first time on Friday (after being dumped in Smithfield off the Luas because of the riots) and it's definitely a very impressive development in general. The emphasis seems to be on quality materials and detailing which is a welcome change. Theres great permeability through the blocks, even though some of the lanes in the middle are potentially a bit grim if retailers turn their backs on them like the new "fresh" store (otherwise pretty exemplary for a supermarket) does.
It's also quite eerie at the moment with so much emptiness - these lovely streets with absolutely nothing and noone on them. Definitely worth experiencing before tacky signage starts to colonize the place!
An awful lot will depend on the mix of retailers. If they get the balance right it has the potential to be a whole new shopping hub for the city, eventually connecting across to the new Markets area. If they can't attract at least one or two destination retailers (im thinking Borders Books, Virgin Megastore, NikeTown, etc) then i'd see them having huge difficulty in making it a viable and vibrant place to travel to to from the city core to shop.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:38 am

Previous thread about one of the buildings at the top of the square...

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=377
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby anto » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:23 pm

BTH wrote:It was a nice old building alright and it was extremely sneaky how they went about getting it demolished...
However in fairness, the replacement has a certain elegance - it's a good example of a modern "grain" building as in it dosent scream too loudly for attention in the streetscape...
Quite nicely proportioned opes as well!
Still I agree that sheer greed was the driving force behind this particular corner of the development.

I was actually walking around up there for the first time on Friday (after being dumped in Smithfield off the Luas because of the riots) and it's definitely a very impressive development in general. The emphasis seems to be on quality materials and detailing which is a welcome change. Theres great permeability through the blocks, even though some of the lanes in the middle are potentially a bit grim if retailers turn their backs on them like the new "fresh" store (otherwise pretty exemplary for a supermarket) does.
It's also quite eerie at the moment with so much emptiness - these lovely streets with absolutely nothing and noone on them. Definitely worth experiencing before tacky signage starts to colonize the place!
An awful lot will depend on the mix of retailers. If they get the balance right it has the potential to be a whole new shopping hub for the city, eventually connecting across to the new Markets area. If they can't attract at least one or two destination retailers (im thinking Borders Books, Virgin Megastore, NikeTown, etc) then i'd see them having huge difficulty in making it a viable and vibrant place to travel to to from the city core to shop.




Be nice if there was a bit of evening life there as well. The whole north side is pretty quite a night except for where Temple bar has spilled over the hay-penny bridge.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Deadonarrival » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:10 am

Most of these apartments are being let to transient twenty-somethings with no connection or interest in the future of Smithfield - this certainly won't help to improve the atmosphere...after all of this developement, the square still looks scuffy with little cohesion visually or in terms of the surrounding community
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Deadonarrival » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:10 am

Most of these apartments are being let to transient twenty-somethings with no connection or interest in the future of Smithfield - this certainly won't help to improve the atmosphere...after all of this developement, the square still looks scuffy with little cohesion visually or in terms of the surrounding community
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby anto » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:47 am

it's all been driven by tax breaks so that's what happens
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby jdivision » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:22 pm

BTH wrote:An awful lot will depend on the mix of retailers. If they get the balance right it has the potential to be a whole new shopping hub for the city, eventually connecting across to the new Markets area. If they can't attract at least one or two destination retailers (im thinking Borders Books, Virgin Megastore, NikeTown, etc) then i'd see them having huge difficulty in making it a viable and vibrant place to travel to to from the city core to shop.


From an interview I did with Simon Kelly (one of the developers of Smithfield Market):
“We see Fresh as the catalyst for the whole Smithfield estate, where you go because there's good stores on offer and it's different to other areas. There'll be a Thomas Reads pub, a Starbucks, a few health shops and an O'Brien's sandwich bar there too. We want to bring something a bit different,” he said.

“That's why we control all of the retail we developed in Smithfield.

“Over the investment cycle it will pay you, if you take in some of the people who aren't as strong but who bring customers. If you just go for the highest rent and the most boring brands, there will be nothing in the end.”
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby simp » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:03 pm

jdivision wrote:it's different to other areas. There'll be a Thomas Reads pub, a Starbucks, a few health shops and an O'Brien's sandwich bar there too. We want to bring something a bit different,


That all sounds pretty generic to me...

And as for Fresh... I went in there the other night to get some parsley. It took three (very helpful) shop assistants to establish between them what parsely was. And no, they didn't have any.

There are already two excellent destination retailers just off the square - Little Italy (http://www.littleitalyltd.com/) and Kish Fish (http://www.kishfish.ie) - but neither have been incorporated into the new retail plans. Fresh's fish comes from Wrights of Howth (and seems to just lie there rotting all day from what I can see). And while there is some crossover between Little Italy's range and Fresh's, the difference in price is striking. A tin of premium Cirio tomatoes costing 99c in the former, retails for e1.79 in the latter.

The Smithfield development has all the character and genuineness of an airport. It's all about fleecing yuppies who don't know better, while quietly sidelining the actual culture of the area.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:08 am

I wouldn't be too cynical about this development. While I would be critical of some aspects of it - namely the sheer scale of it and the scorched earth policy in regard to any remaining historic buildings on site (by contrast the development on the opposite side of the square retained and incorporated a plethora of historic buildings and other structures) - I would give it a chance. If Fresh’s fish is not selling yet it’s probably because people don’t know about it yet - It only opened the other week after all. Smithfield has been ‘about to happen’ for so long now that I am dying to see if it actually will happen, if this new development will provide the critical mass to create a vibrant area.


[align=center]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align]


Good picture of the fire in No. 80 King Street in that linked thread, Paul. I suppose there’s not much left inside it now!
The ‘accidental’ fire in a historic building – such a tiresome stunt. Another happened recently on the top two floors of an Aungier Street house, the one that used to be the hat shop, Coyle’s.

This picture is from 2000, at the time the two small ones were being demolished behind the facades:
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Maskhadov » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:16 pm

this might not be popular but personally i would knock down all the above buildings and build them in line with the new buildings
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby modular man » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:33 pm

Maskhadov wrote:this might not be popular but personally i would knock down all the above buildings and build them in line with the new buildings


It is a shame that they have fallen into such disrepair and I really do not know what will become of them. If they are restored it would merely be an act of facadism as that seems to be all that is left of them.

Having said that, No.81 North King Street (The building to the left of the above photo) has been undergoing a very successful restoration these last few years and James Kelly is to be commended as it will probably be all that will stay of the old Smithfield. I somehow get the feeling that the scale of this building is more appropriate for the space as a whole, but too late now.

Does anybody know if this building was part of a terrace as it seems to have a fairly established gable?
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