Grafton Street, Dublin

Re: Grafton Street

Postby a boyle » Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:41 am

ihateawake wrote:looks like i got what i was looking for, although on a much smaller scale:D
a television screen advertising smart telecom has been erected just under the budweiser sign on the top of grafton. Its my hope that this area will evolve into dublins time square/piccadilly circus... :o well not that cluttered as it is a small area, but i think a larger screen or two would suit. how does everyone else feel about screens in the city???


I feel that you should shoot yourself ? Times square is kind of cool,but the billboards are simply hiding ugly buildings. Piccadilly circus is a cesspool of muck that makes temple bar look rarefied. It fails utterly to recreate the buzz of times square.Theres a place for garish lighting and tv billboards but it's not on grafton street. i'm not sure we have somewhere that would suit. The newer buildings facing temple bar square would work, but that would cement temple bar as the dungeon of booze.The building to the east of the central bank (facing dame street ) might be an appropriate place . But on the whole it's just a bad idea. Null points.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby ihateawake » Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:56 am

:p Harsh, i dont think the area should be covered with them, but as the center of dublins commercial lifestyle, i think a little modernisation wouldnt hurt. The corner building over bus stop was certainly ugly enough to completely cover with that giant blue "Manpower" ad for a week or two. The old style buildings add class, I think, but not with a scrap metal budweiser sign and other ads hanging off them, I think they should take the ads down, or make them uniform and neat(a screen). The point village seems like it would be an ideal place.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby a boyle » Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:43 am

ihateawake wrote::Harsh
Sorry! sarcasm just comes across as rudeness through de wonderfuul mediam ov de tinternett. My experience of times squares is that it works as it is an area full , no bursting , with theatres and "eateries" and such. I think that's why The lighting on Piccadilly doesn't work : there just aren't enough places like theatres and cinemas . Piccadilly happens to have lots of people going by that's all.It has no buzz at all. Grafton street would be the same. That's why i suggested the square in temple bar , but there again no .Because i don't think that would look quite right. The point village maybe , i'm not sure though. The top of liffey street , maybe the side of the central bank that faces dame street ( that might be cool , as the screens would be angled towards the ground). Maybe on the pedestrian area leading to talbot street from o'connell street .
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby ihateawake » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:42 pm

Np, I like sarcasm, once I cop onto it:D You're right about piccadilly having no buzz, I suppose grafton is similar. Seems there is a large temporary screen fitted in the square in temple bar every year... http://www.eyecandymediapartners.com/press/stpatricksday_dublin2006/

Mabey they should strap one to the spire
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby a boyle » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:02 pm

Heinous as it might sound , i really really like the the spike. Especially at night.Wait maybe it's a great idea ! The next time right wing nationalists go a marching down the liberator's street we could display the level of support for their cause. Or flash nuggets of history onto the screen. I really like to see the reaction of a load of these loonies to "Robert Emmet was a prod , and so was Wolf Tone" scrolling across a big screen.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby ihateawake » Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:05 am

heh, the poor telly wouldnt work too well with €50,000 worth of street lodged in it
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby The Denouncer » Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:07 pm

Why not fly a blimp over the city, with a huge screen displaying news, information and advertisments? It'd be a huge attraction "There's the famous Dublin blimp!" they'd say.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby modular man » Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:36 pm

The Harp building would be a great place for a big sparkly screen.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby MT » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:20 pm

I just feel that screens and flashy advertising look better in an area of height and scale, not to mention modernity. Highrise buildings or skyscrapers would reduce the impact and in a way make the dazzling signs seem somewhat more fitting. In a low rise street like Grafton, which is narrow and has much historic architecture a concentration of Time Square type advertising would look garishly out of place.

There's a screen tacked onto an old building in Shaftesbury Square in Belfast. It disfigures the Victorian(?) architecture and so looks a bit ridiculous. However, as the area is quite large and has already been fill with architectural crap over the past few decades it seems slightly less obtrusive than might have been the case.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby Morlan » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:51 pm

Yes, O'Connell House would be a good spot. The bridge and Westmorland St will be rid of cars soon anyway.

Or how about BOI on college green? Perfect! ;)
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby Maskhadov » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:59 pm

Are they thinking of putting up a permament sign ??
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby a boyle » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:31 pm

Maskhadov wrote:Are they thinking of putting up a permament sign ??

no no ihateawake was just fantasising , it's ok though i sent some hitmen to rough him up .
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby Frobisher » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:44 pm

ihateawake wrote:looks like i got what i was looking for, although on a much smaller scale:D
a television screen advertising smart telecom has been erected just under the budweiser sign on the top of grafton. Its my hope that this area will evolve into dublins time square/piccadilly circus... :o well not that cluttered as it is a small area, but i think a larger screen or two would suit. how does everyone else feel about screens in the city???


I think the screen on Grafton St. will just make it harder for other screens to get PP and generate interest in potential advertisers for future screens, and for the record ihateawake, it's an LED screen not a television!;)

LED screens combine the colours red, green and blue at varying intensities to produce full colour video imaging. At the right viewing distance and intensity level these colours combine in each pixel to produce white. The screen on Grafton St. isn't doing this. It also has at least one IM (an LED array) that isn't producing colour.

Another rather rudimentary factor to consider with LED screens is viewing angles. Depending on the mounting technology used the LEDs can block each other out from certain angles. There are also louvres between each row of LEDs to help with shading, sometimes these are pointed downwards for extra effect. Either way, these louvres are designed to run parallel with the horizon. The screen on Grafton St. is the only screen of its type I've ever seen that doesn't do this. Why? It appears that the entire unit has been turned 90 degrees to make it fit on the wall. :eek: This makes the viewing angles far narrower than is usually acceptable for typical urban spaces and may have an impact on the IP65 ingress rating.

There is definitely scope for the development of LED screens in Dublin but like everything else it needs to be done properly. Every screen that is poorly conceived and implemented makes it harder for the next one to get PP. Many cities have badly integrated LED screens that look poor and are in a state of disrepair. Hopefully Dublin will get it right.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby ihateawake » Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:26 pm

LED sry:rolleyes: Although I like city center screens, I agree that the grafton st one is terrible, and is in the wrong place. Like many other things new to our city, its faults are the result of bad planning or the complete lack thereof. Hopefully tellys;) will be considered in jc decaux's new advertising scheme for dublin, such a reputable company should be able to integrate them into our city fairly well.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby Frobisher » Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:33 pm

ihateawake wrote:LED sry:rolleyes: Although I like city center screens, I agree that the grafton st one is terrible, and is in the wrong place. Like many other things new to our city, its faults are the result of bad planning or the complete lack thereof. Hopefully tellys]new advertising scheme for dublin[/URL], such a reputable company should be able to integrate them into our city fairly well.


That's a very interesting link. I wonder if it will see private operators trying to maximise site revenue by turning to LED screens instead of hoarding sites. A small poster site could well be a large LED screen site. It'll be interesting to see where it all ends up.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby StephenC » Sat May 20, 2006 2:49 pm

This might be of some interest. The full plans were published in the week and I suppose as always comments from the public are welcome.

Gratfon Street Architectural Conservation Area
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby GrahamH » Sat May 20, 2006 6:57 pm

Thanks for that Stephen. Glad to see improvement works to the public domain is one of the core objectives of implementing the ACA at this point - the paving has deteriorated hugely in recent years (I'll get some pics). It's hardly surprising given the footfall of 15,000-20,000 people per hour during peak hours, nearly every day for the past 18 years.

Cobblelock surfaces, being made up of small pieces, gradually lose their tightness and fall apart under such pressure. Similarly there must be hundreds of broken white paving tiles lining the street at this stage. The City Council are gradually losing the battle in keeping up the maintenance of what is simply a disintegrating surface - there's constantly road works on the street solving only the worst problems, while the others wait their turn, deteriorating themselves.


A few extracts from the ACA introduction:

Grafton Street is one of Dublin’s best known destinations, celebrated in song, verse, film and literature with a long and rich history dating back to the early 17th century. The unique form of the street combined with the architectural quality of many of its buildings creates a distinctive physical character, which enhances the commercial and social functions of the street.

Despite its strong physical character and economic performance, a number of recent trends is detracting from its attractiveness and threatening the long term viability of the street. These trends relate largely to the increasing imbalance in the mix of uses in the street, the deteriorating quality in the design of shopfronts and the public domain, including the condition of street paving and street furniture. As part of an initiative to address these issues Dublin City Council is proposing to designate the street as an Architectural Conservation Area. The character of Grafton Street is not rooted in any one dimension but is multi-faceted with economic, physical and social aspects, all of which contribute in part to its unique quality. It is this unique character that Dublin City council wishes to protect and enhance.

Notably it says:

It is an objective to carry out a co-ordinated street improvement scheme for Grafton Street that will upgrade the existing paving and street furniture. Paving work will be to a high design standard and of high quality paving materials and complementary in slab size, colour and texture with the architectural character of the street. As yet there is no time scale proposed for this work.

As part of the proposed street improvement scheme it is proposed to create a new public space at the top of Grafton St at its junction with St Stephens Green and to provide for a special treatment of the space at the junction with Nassau St/Suffolk St.


The latter in particular is good news - Lower Grafton Street is a complete shambles, so much so that most people don't even know it is a street al all, let alone Grafton Street. It has no coherence whatsoever, packed to the rafters with urban clutter, bus stops, buses and more buses, bus queues, parking bays, bicycle parking, vans constantly unloading, shocking paving, motorway street lighting, wholly inadequate space for pedestrians etc etc etc. Bit like Nassau Street so :) :rolleyes:

Whatever public scheme is devised for Grafton Street proper must be pulled out into Lower Grafton St to spacially link the two areas. The character of the scheme also ought to be similar to that we currently have – a warm distinctive paving, kept simple without acres of granite cobble being plonked down every few metres to denote every nodal point, entrance and crossing on the street, and with traditionally-influenced street furnishings. Indeed I’d even suggest retaining the current lampposts but updating them with more contemporary heads. It’d be terrible to see the pleasant welcoming character of the street (even if only created 20 years ago) replaced with a cold and sterile Barcelona treatment. Certainly update it – just keep that warmth.

Indeed looking back, it was a major undertaking in 1988 or so to pave that entire street – a massive project by any standards, especially in a city that had never done anything like this before, and with such tight resources. Does anyone know if the granite used in the paving is Irish? It’s lovely and coarse-grained, and also warmer than the Chinese and Portuguese stuff we’re getting today. Perhaps the last use of Irish granite in the paving of the capital?
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby StephenC » Mon May 22, 2006 12:50 pm

The DCC published plans by the Road Works Department to redesign and improve the pedestrian areas on Suffolk Street just recently. Unfortunately I never got to have a look and wouldnt you know it, its not on the website. I imagine they are widening the pavements in light of all the new retail going in here. No doubt the Habitat developers demanded it from the not inconsiderable development levies they had to pay.

Really the whole area needs a coherent plan, and I agree fully with what you say about lower Grafton Street. Its a mess and always has been, especially when one considers its footfall.

I think an architectural competition is required to get a really interesting vision for the street. More chinese granite and stainless steel would not be welcome.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby TLM » Wed May 24, 2006 4:01 pm

From today's Independent. As has been said a slight case of the horse having bolted but better late than never I suppose...

Council to wage war on shopfront shockers

DUBLIN City Council has deemed that Grafton Street is in danger of growing old disgracefully.

It has set itself the task of restoring some "old decency" to the thoroughfare.

The city fathers are concerned the area is in real danger of becoming more bargain basement than haute couture.

They have issued an SOS - save our status - in the hope of restoring the street's fading grandeur, and reviving its high class shopping ambiance.

A similar plan was successfully used to bring dignity back to O'Connell Street more than a decade ago, when it was deemed that burger joints and amusement arcades were draining its character.

Under the council's radical new proposals, fashion stores, beauticians and art galleries would be favoured.

But no more fast food shops, betting shops, phone call outlets or banks will get planning permission on the capital's premier shopping street.

Loud music, showy shop signs and flashy advertising would be banished from the area which has become "tired", according to the council. Among the "worst offenders" for overly colourful branding are Vodafone and Spar, its report claims.

It says too many mobile phone shops, newsagents and pharmacies are threatening Grafton Street's position as Ireland's most upmarket shopping area.

The council claims heavy branding, "jarring" signs and broken paving have reduced the street's appeal.

In the proposed draft variation of the Dublin City Development Plan, it is claimed this has "serious implications" for the future of Grafton Street" and its role in the city centre.

The council wants to make Grafton Street an architectural conservation area (ACA), which would mean any changes to a shopfront would require planning permission. There would be an upgrade of the street's paving, bins and signs.

Feedback on the plan is being sought at present, but it is expected to be introduced before the autumn.

The council says that the street "has a warm and intimate character", but this has been damaged in recent years.

It states the growing number of non-fashion shops have created "an imbalance in the mix of units in the street".

If Grafton Street gets ACA status, a new public space would be created near St Stephen's Green and special planning controls would be put in place to help improve the mix of retailers and encourage high fashion stores.

Flashy colours would have to "be avoided" and corporate branding would have to blend in with historical buildings.

However, the high rents on Grafton Street have already pushed many retailers out of the street.

Critics of the council's plan are likely to point out that mobile phone giants and convenience stores are the only type of outlets which can now afford to locate there.

SPAR Ireland said last night that it was an international brand but would continue to talk to Dublin City Council about store design. Vodafone said it would contribute to the consultation process and was complying with planning permission.

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Re: Grafton Street

Postby StephenC » Wed May 24, 2006 4:11 pm

Samantha sounds like she is from another city, especially at the start. The difference in the style between the Time s and the Indo is so obvious in stories such as these.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 25, 2006 12:39 am

"the street has a warm and intimate character" - nice to see this is acknowledged, as is the poor state of the paving.

Below is only a fraction of the damage at the paving at the southern (Green) end. The northern end is actually much worse - possibly down to the heavy traffic entering here that disperses into side streets before reaching the south.

Image

Image


These are everywhere:

Image


Loose bricks all about too:

Image


And typical remedial works:

Image


The place was in a terrible state after Christmas - a lot of work has taken place since then to patch things up.
To consider how bad Grafton Street has become in places, just think of how pleasant Henry Street is to walk on - its acres of billiard table-like paving is a joy to walk on, by far the best pedestrian surface in the entire city, with no kerbs or tree holes or crossings or raised areas; you don't even have to look where you're walking.
Grafton Street is a disaster by comparision - it's very easy to trip up if you're not careful. Thankfully this is going to be addressed.

As suspected, the Grafton St lampposts appear to be original Hammond Lane models, probably from the inner suburbs. Here's the stamp on the base:

Image

There are repro versions of these about the city too though - indeed it is just about conceivable even these are repros, cast from originals with the stamp retained! Hopefully not.
Always hate these wonky extension arms though - they look ridiculous, and elevate high above the street what should be intimate pedestrian street lighting:

Image

They seem to have been raised to accomodate the flower baskets. THey do look magnificent in high summer (though arguably should be a single colour), but could be moved a bit lower down to preserve the lampposts as designed. And the light emitted is secondary anyway - they're really only decorative, not least as there's domestic CFL bulbs in them :rolleyes:. Grafton Street is mainly lit by lamps attached to the buildings.

Also some of the lovely granite - surely Irish?

Image
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby jdivision » Thu May 25, 2006 11:28 am

I think that one of the first things they should do is introduce a standardised signage for shops on the street. Most of the Champs Elysees has shopfront names in silver lettering that are suspended a few inches from the shopfront. I think that could work on Grafton Street, particularly if the maximum size of each letters was set in stone (It should be around 10-12 inches I think). That way the gaudy fast food/Londis/HMV/Next signage would be gone.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby StephenC » Thu May 25, 2006 1:03 pm

I think Graham its more likely the extended sections were introduced because the lamp kept getting smashed by gurriers. They were how enough to scale up a bit and take a good swipe. Interestingly some of the mlamps on Talbot St are of this height without an extra attachment.

Regent St in London is also a good example of standardised shopfronts/signage
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby PVC King » Thu May 25, 2006 1:11 pm

I can see where you are coming from in relation to signage and lets be honest there has been a terrible attitude towards what is considered acceptable in Ireland in common with many other places.

However I do not feel that introducing a manditory signage regime would be ideal either given the architectural diversity on our main streets with particular reference to places like Pana or Grafton Street.

For a start a prescriptive regime would eliminate all possibility for innovative contemporary designs and this would be retrograde in my opinion. If the concept of ACAs were enforced signage would present a medium for retailers to drawn attention to their pitches without undermining the architectural integrity of their location.

A good example of good signage is the Spar shop on Camden Street where simple contemporary metal lettering has been used on a period building.
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Re: Grafton Street

Postby jdivision » Thu May 25, 2006 3:36 pm

Thomond Park wrote:For a start a prescriptive regime would eliminate all possibility for innovative contemporary designs and this would be retrograde in my opinion. If the concept of ACAs were enforced signage would present a medium for retailers to drawn attention to their pitches without undermining the architectural integrity of their location.

A good example of good signage is the Spar shop on Camden Street where simple contemporary metal lettering has been used on a period building.

Which is pretty much what i suggested. As for the innovative contemporary designs, they could still use them in shopping centres. I don't think there should be big Golden Arches etc on Grafton St. In Krakow, Paris etc they use metallic/silver lettering on the main street and I think that should be the case here too - they could still use them on streets other than Grafton St , Henry St and O'Connell St.
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