architecture of cork city

Cork Courthouse - Washington Street

Postby lexington » Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:14 am

First off, an image of the Courthouse on Washington Street - one I've tried, but failed to capture in my own time, and I believe gives a good perspective of the building which is often difficult to encompass through photography from this angle given its proximity to buildings on the south side of the street.

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The present Cork Courthouse was built in 1895 and stands on the site of the original 1836 Courthouse designed by George Richard Pain and his brother James which was destroyed by fire in 1891. A competition was subsequently instigated by the Corporation of Cork and the Commissioners, in which there was a condition requiring the preservation of the portico and façade on Washington Street, which was all that remained intact after the fire. The winning scheme designed by W. H. Hill Architect was completed in 1895.

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A drawing of the Courthouse's Northern Elevation as part of the 1891 Restoration Competition.

In the early 1990’s the Government decided to transfer responsibility for funding courthouses from the local authorities to the Department of Justice. The Department called the City Architect to a meeting on 16th February 1995 to discuss the future of the building. A concept to integrate disabled and general access by introducing a new internal street east/west through the building at ground floor level while still allowing exit through the first floor doors under the portico was developed and forwarded to the Department in June 1995. The viability of the scheme depended on a number of key factors:

- The suitability of the existing courtrooms for modern use and the building’s ability to accommodate extra courtrooms, judge’s chambers, consultation rooms etc.

- Whether the ground floor, which was previously only storage and remand cells because of very low ceilings, could be made fully usable.

- Whether the building could be made accessible to all, including disabled visitors, whilst also improving its security.

- The feasibility of installing sufficient modern mechanical and electrical plant equipment to ensure that it conformed to the highest environmental and technological standards.

Some images inside the recent 'long-awaited' completion at the Courthouse.
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The revived central dome.

The 1895 building was designed with an open courtyard at its centre, in which the bar room was located, providing the barristers immediate access to the two main courtrooms. By removing the old bar room and glazing over the courtyard at roof level, natural light has been introduced deep into the heart of the building at all levels. A new fire-rated glass floor was inserted at first floor level in this zone (the atrium) creating an assembly area which links the two main courtrooms, while still providing daylight to the staff offices underneath. This new enclosed atrium is lined with the existing glazed bricks and has a new fully glazed roof supported by coffered glass beams, which also serve as acoustic baffles. Cold Cathode lighting gently illuminates the reveals of the existing atrium windows and an Italian polished plaster finish on the walls defines where the original Bar Room was removed.

By reducing the ground floor level of the whole building by 0.75 metres, the ceiling height has been greatly increased throughout this level, effectively adding an extra floor to the building. This enabled the addition of three new courtrooms, eight consultation rooms, family law staff office and barristers/ solicitors offices at the existing upper levels, without compromising any of the existing four courtrooms in the building.

The ground floor now includes two new stone-lined entrances on either side of the portico steps, leading to a central foyer, flanked by new reception/security facilities. The top edge of the polished stone plinth lining the walls and hefty piers in this area represents the original floor level of the building. A new stone staircase rises from the foyer between the two principle service cores accommodating lifts and toilets at all 3 levels. The ground floor now provides spacious, well-lit and well ventilated offices and facilities for the court staff, as well as a victim support suite with video link room.

Wherever possible, the original architecture of the building has been retained and carefully restored. This included all courtroom furniture, upholstery, baldachinni over the Judge’s podia, flooring, fireplaces, cornices, doors, architraves, skirtings and particularly the stone, mosaic, terrazzo and decorative plaster finishes under the dome in the entrance hall. The dome itself has been comprehensively restored, re-fenestrated and re-clad externally in copper with a flag pole as proposed by W. H. Hill in his competition drawings but not completed in the works of 1895. Mr. Hill’s competition drawings are still available for inspection at the Cork Archive Institute.

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The Courthouse as it stood during the 1930s.

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The Courthouse as it stands today.

Source includes: Cork City Council Architect

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Radioactiveman wrote:
Found that image of Rope Walk very interesting. is that row of houses still there?


Some I believe. If you walk up Sunday's Well, passed the former Kingfisher Bar, you'll notice a row of terraced houses to your left - behind which, a narrow slip road off toward what was once Rope Walk. Some good views to be had too.

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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:12 pm

Regarding the statue of Justice on top of the Courthouse....It might be my imagination, but was that missing for years?
Im not talking about during the renovations, but before that, I cant remember it being in place and there are certainly some images which i've seen from the 80's/90's which dont include the statue. Any ideas?
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby anto » Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:31 pm

Court house looks very well now, scandal it took so long to complete.
Yeah it's a shame that it's not at the end of some long vista. The Fransiscan church behind the court house suffers from this as well. Not sure if that Bysantine concotion is everybody's cup of tea
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby brainscan » Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:16 pm

Radioactiveman wrote:Regarding the statue of Justice on top of the Courthouse....It might be my imagination, but was that missing for years?
Im not talking about during the renovations, but before that, I cant remember it being in place and there are certainly some images which i've seen from the 80's/90's which dont include the statue. Any ideas?


I remember watching it being removed about 10 years ago. A few years later I met a Dublin Art student who had come down to Cork to write a thesis about sculptures of Hibernia. She told me that is was strewn about the National Scuplture Factory in a very poor state of repair. Great to see it back in its original glory atop one of my favourite buildings in Cork.

PS. The sculpture is titled "Justice, Hibernia & Commerce" by Thomas Kirk.
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Cork City Hall

Postby lexington » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:44 pm

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The foundation stone of Cork City Hall along Terence MacSweeney Quay was laid by Eamon de Valera on the 9 July 1932. The present building replaces the former City Hall which was destroyed during the burning of Cork in 1920 and was designed by the Dublin-based architectural practice Jones & Kelly. Constructed by John Sisk & Sons Ltd, some departments of Cork Corporation opened in the new building in March 1935 and on the 24 April 1935 Cork Corporation held a meeting in the new hall for the first time. The City Hall was officially opened by Eamon de Valera on the 8 September 1936.

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Not long after construction - Cork City Hall, late 1930s.

The building is faced with dressed limestone quarried in Little Island and incorporates an elegant concert hall.

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City Hall at Night

Faced with growing pressures on office accommodation - more and more departments of Cork City Council were forced to occupy numerous premises off-site and away from City Hall. The City Council initiated a plan to develop a 'one-stop' civic offices destination on a site to the rear (south) of City Hall between Eglinton Street and Anglesea Street. A competition was tendered by the council which was won by a bid from Cleary Doyle Contractors and their design team, ABK Architects. Construction commenced on site in late 2004/early 2005 for an extension comprising of 90,000sq ft of news offices and 400 + parking spaces (basementa and roof-top).

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Images of the new Cork City Hall Extension designed by ABK Architects, built by Cleary Doyle Contractors - construction is scheduled for completion in early 2006.

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Some images of Cork City Hall facing south from Lapps Quay and South Mall respectively.
Images the copyright of John Herriott.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby GrahamH » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:03 am

How does it impact on the side elevation?
Whereas it's no great shakes as a piece of civic architecture, it is a stand-alone building, with multiple elevations, a riverside positioning, and of a severe design suited to such isolation.

A great pity it is to be invaded on like that. The corner park there proves especially pleasant with the side elevation as backdrop - especially as you come over the bridge or along the approaching quay.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby dowlingm » Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:02 pm

I have less problem with the addition than I have the monstrous carbuncle of a carpark they shoved on the other side.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby POM » Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 pm

The extension plans for City Hall fail to excite me, they're rather boring. Surely something more engaging was worthy of this location?
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:29 pm

Its standard ABK at this stage - see the interior of Tullamore offices for example
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby d_d_dallas » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:26 pm

Here's the extension as it appears at the moment (apologies for image quality).

And an image of the STW "designed" webworks on other side (most. boring. building. ever.)

[Post updated with slightly clearer images]
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby kite » Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:34 pm

d_d_dallas wrote:Here's the extension as it appears at the moment (apologies for image quality).

And an image of the STW "designed" webworks on other side (most. boring. building. ever.)


:o A case of maximizing the profit margin no matter what cost to the city??
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:00 am

Ah, the extension's on that side, to the rear. Glad I made a mistake so :o

Hard to make out much of the exterior there, and nothing on their site...
Looks rather cluttered and confusing, but the materials may resolve themselves.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:41 pm

My problem with the extension is that it's massing tends to dominate that side of city hall - which is an ominous omen considering the approved project behind is of a much greater scale.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby POM » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:55 pm

d_d_dallas wrote:My problem with the extension is that it's massing tends to dominate that side of city hall - which is an ominous omen considering the approved project behind is of a much greater scale.


What approved project behind City Hall is of greater scale???

I'm going to cut the Webworks a little slack until I see the finished product but taking it for what it is as is I would have to agree its utterly dull. Its hard to comprehend that looking across the river at City Quarter the 2 projects came from the same firm, the latter being much more colourful and tasteful in my opinion.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby d_d_dallas » Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:23 pm

The eglinton st project which has been discussed on other threads...
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby phil » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:02 pm

d_d_dallas wrote:Here's the extension as it appears at the moment (apologies for image quality).

And an image of the STW "designed" webworks on other side (most. boring. building. ever.)

[Post updated with slightly clearer images]


How is this extention shaping up now d_d? Has much more progress been made on it in the last two months or so?
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby d_d_dallas » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:05 pm

sorry - haven't seen it recently.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby phil » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:15 pm

No problem D_D. I was just interested to see how it was progressing.

Thanks,

Phil
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby PVC King » Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:59 am

I think the Court House must be one of the finest buildings of its period in the country; was the money spent on its restoration well spent?
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Hive Iron Works, Hanover Street

Postby lexington » Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:06 pm

:p I meant to post this up yesterday whilst posting images of the Kino redevelopment nearby - I came across this image on CorkSpace as reminded of how much I genuinely like this much overlooked building at the junction of Hanover Street and Washington Street. Though plans for a 9-storey office building at Clontarf Street, currently in planning, may relate more to that of the Flatiron Building in Manhattan in terms of height and effect, this historic structure stands as an affectionately thought of 'mini-version' of the famous Daniel Burnham-designed building.

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Copyright of CorkSpace

The Hive Iron Works was founded by Thomas Addison Barnes in 1800 but by 1819 it had been taken over by the Perrott family. The family is commemorated in the place name Perrott Avenue. The fortunes of the factory declined during the latter part of the nineteenth century although the Hive Iron Works was still producing iron castings well into the twentieth century. The building seen today at Hanover Street was occupied by the business from 1935 onwards following a takeover of the company's original premises near Clarke's Bridge.

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An old image taken showing the context of the building with respect to Washington Street - the northern elevation of the building has been subdivided into various commercial units and still bares the original painted signage (albeit much faded) of the Hive Iron operation.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby PVC King » Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:17 pm

Stunning image I'm sure the designer of this building laboured long and hard over how to turn the corner
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Cork City Hall Extension

Postby lexington » Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:58 pm

Just to build on and update the details mentioned earlier in this thread on Cork City Hall's ABK Architects designed extension: this is probably more suited to the Developments in Cork thread but here goes anyway...

The proposal involves the centralisation of Cork City Council offices in a 90,000sq ft 4-storey extension to the rear of Cork City Hall - the winning design-build team was Cleary Doyle Contractors who had enlisted ABK Architects (as mentioned); here are the most up-to-date images available of the extension work.

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The extension's main Anglesea Street elevation and its relation to Cork City Hall.

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The south-western corner of the Anglesea Street frontage - detailling the panelled/lourve system designed to provide circulation and insulation (temperature according) to the new building. The panels coat an interior frame with a gap of approx. 0.25 metres between shells.

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A perspective of the extension when viewed from lower South Mall - note the "FUN"nels atop - a maritime ventilation tribute? :p

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A courtyard between blocks - linked by an interior public walkway.
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby d_d_dallas » Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:06 pm

Another image of extension to add...
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby d_d_dallas » Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:07 pm

Not a fan of camden wharf, what do people think?
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Re: architecture of cork city

Postby kite » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:27 am

d_d_dallas wrote:Not a fan of camden wharf, what do people think?


:(
It certainly would not be in my top ten either, neither would the building to its left with what I assume is a copper clad roof, looking at this from the angle of your photograph it looks like the roof line was bent to shape as required with lumps and bumps everywhere.
Micko makes a very good point on the “developments in cork” thread in relation to the Jacobs Mill building, he states;
“There's far too much focus on building height and not enough focus on the materials and looks of the building. The roof on that is a complete disgrace. And let I add that it took them at least 12 months just to get to the stage where they are at now”.

Now do we blame the developers for asking for this type of building, or the planners for allowing them?
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