Parnell Square redevelopment

Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:16 am

DJM wrote:Could someone please re-direct me, as I can no longer find my way :o


This one, or this one is better.

If you're inserting an image (as you did above) rather than linking to an image hosted elsewhere (Photobucket etc.) you must first change the size wherever you have it stored on your computer. Can't be changed once it's been inserted, I don't think.
If it's linked from a hosting site you can play around with it there and any changes to the image on the hosting site will be reflected in the image here, including moving or removing the file in your account.

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It's interesting how much of a difference that set-back picture makes. I still think the glazed section is a mistake, but at least set back the edge of the main house is clearly visible and the facade reads as a symmetrical whole rather than the lob-sided affair that we've been left with now.:( The balancing section to the left is pretty urgent now. Perhaps that was the intention all along?

I don't see how extending the gallery in this manner 'saved a fine Georgian building.' It was hardly derelict before, and not having this extension wouldn't have meant the wrecking ball...
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby BTH » Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:08 am

Graham Hickey wrote:This unique setting in Dublin of a mansion house framed by flanking purpose-designed terraces ought not have been touched with a barge-pole. This fashionable concept of inserting new structures into highly sensitive locations simply on the basis of their 'radical' materials has reached ridiculous proportions at Charlemont House - the idea having garnered acceptability amongst the architectural elite is now flung at nearly every project going, almost as a requirement in order to give the 'conservation' project a certain dazzle and get the tongues wagging. Some of it will be regretted into the future, and is sorely so already in this instance.


I really have to disagree here Graham, the choice in this case was fairly stark: Build the extension and allow the Hugh Lane Gallery to expand, or leave the building as it was and force the Hugh Lane Gallery to either find another, larger home or to split the collection between two buildings. To suggest that this intervention is down to "fashion" or to create "dazzle" is quite misleading as it suggests that the extension is somehow frivolous or unnescessary.

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I also think people are forgetting what was there before work started on the building - a big blank plastered wall. Obviously the image of the building with nothing on either side of the townhouse is the most attractive but I think that the Gilroy Mcmahon addition strikes a good balance between practicality and aesthetics and most importantly ensures the future of the Hugh Lane Gallery on it's current site.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby crestfield » Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:59 pm

Personnaly I see the extention as a mistake, not say that there should'nt have been an extenstion rather it could have been done in a more sensitive manor. The house and its surrounds are a unit, considering that it is largly an eightheen century terrance of houses with Charlemont at its centre.

This intervention is arogent in its use of materails and in particular the way it is almost flush with the facade.The house is now lob sided.

A recent intervention to leinster house to the area flanking it shows much more thought and sympathy for an historic context.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby a boyle » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:09 pm

crestfield wrote:Personnaly I see the extention as a mistake, not say that there should'nt have been an extenstion rather it could have been done in a more sensitive manor. The house and its surrounds are a unit, considering that it is largly an eightheen century terrance of houses with Charlemont at its centre.

This intervention is arogent in its use of materails and in particular the way it is almost flush with the facade.The house is now lob sided.

A recent intervention to leinster house to the area flanking it shows much more thought and sympathy for an historic context.


I don't agree, leinster house now looks busy to me , as result of the stone's youth and that it doesn't exactly match the original stone, it shouts for attention. But i think we shall just have to disagree. All buildings (except the truly dire) are Marmite.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby GrahamH » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:45 pm

I think crestfield may be referring to the extension to Leinster Lawn(?), in which case I would agree.

BTH wrote:To suggest that this intervention is down to "fashion" or to create "dazzle" is quite misleading as it suggests that the extension is somehow frivolous or unnecessary.


A fair point BTH, though that was not my intention. However to claim that fashion does not play a part is to discard the fact that the use of features such as this uber-sheek glazing is made acceptable by these very trends. Were it not fashionable to use it - as it wouldn’]own site[/b] says: "the design for Charlemont House was unique in that it provided a majestic centrepiece for the streetscape and was unrivalled in Irish Georgian squares."
This beautiful architectural composition has been destroyed :mad:
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:00 am

22/6/2006

Well after many years of dereliction, the three Georgian townhouses at 49-51 Parnell Square have finally been rebuilt, and are currently nearing completion.
A typical Dublin scene until recently, there was nothing here other than a weed-strewn site surrounded by palisade railings, a straggling remnant of an 18th century doorcase, and ubiquitous timber supports buttressing the neighbouring house; this photograph dates from as late as c.1998:

Image


Designated a tax-incentiveised site in the O’Connell Street IAP as part of Site Cluster No. 2 which encompasses this whole western side of Parnell Square, the Plan stated: “This square was designed as an architectural entity, and the correct solution for this site is to build a facsimile of the previous design. The design should be a scholarly work, undertaken by an architect qualified in architectural conservation or with proven experience in conservation work.”

It is most satisfying to observe that this objective has been achieved in its entirety.
Here is the terrace today:

Image
(apologies for the buses)

The difference the infill has made to the terrace is extraordinary; it immediately unifies it once again, replacing the missing tooth that for so long blemished this impressive sloping Georgian streetscape, also concealing the hideous side elevation of the opposing replica townhouse. No doubt this is what was proposed for this site originally – indeed when were these houses demolished, and by whom? No mention was ever made in The Destruction of Dublin, in contrast to all of the demo jobs highlighted on Cavendish Row.


Some views of the new ‘houses’ – currently being marketed as suitable for medical or office use.

Image

The brick is a bit pink, but will tone down with time; most Dublin red brick was probably this colour originally.
As far as can be made out, they replicate the former houses pretty much exactly, including the different types of doorcase and window courses. Anyone got a pic of the original houses?

They seem to be late rather than mid-18th century in design; it’s hard to say, especially given the Gardiners' fondness for a lack of flights of steps which usually helps in identifying in other parts of the city. The brick courses of the far left house and the right-hand pair have been deliberately mismatched to separate the structures as originally built; the brick itself also seems to subtly differ in colour between the two.

Image


The chimneys are eh, unusual in design. One slight objection perhaps is the use of red brick which is not very common either in colour or in being exposed in this part of the city – the rest of the terrace’s chimneys are pretty much all rendered over now, or of stock brick. These new ones do stand out a bit as a result, giving them something of a Zoe quality…

Image

Image


Still, they look well even if a bit false. Otherwise the attention to detail has been superb, even extending to shuttering for the windows that you can see in the above picture. The sashes are of course perfect – not a horn to be seen : )

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They are also single-glazed by the looks of things, and individually paned to give them the traditional light-flashing quality.
Even the vents are decorative, if overly so for Georgian ironwork.

Image

They also ought to be painted a more subtle colour – they stand out too regimentally on the facade:

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As posted before, here’s what it all should look like including doorcases and railings:

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A job exceedingly well done job. There’s a modern office buiulding inserted to the rear of the houses, and a stack of apartments going in in a semi-separate development further down the lane – the upper floors of the houses are probably apartments too. However I do think that these buildings have more integrity than most replicas by virtue of the domestically scaled interiors; this doesn’t appear to be a concrete office block with suspended ceilings covering the windows, all shrouded in red brick, but rather there’s a certain synergy taking place between the interiors and exterior - they credibly relate to each other with minimum, if any, contrivance in an attempt to make it work. Also the houses replicate as best as possible what was originally on the site – there is a connection to the location and wider context in this respect, and a relevance in design.

Unfortunately out of the nine designated site clusters identified in the IAP, this is the sole project to either have been started or successfully executed, with Parnell Street sites still lying idle, the Carlton Cinema in limbo, shopfronts and facades yet to be touched on O’Connell Street, Marlborough Street sites and terraces still a shambles, and the Eden Quay Laughter Lounge and to a lesser extent Schuh building developments hardly what the IAP drafters had in mind as sensitive regenerations.

The Parnell Square houses are encouraging progress however, especially if they were stimulated by the incentives. Parnell Street West is definitely next on the list – what a disaster zone.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:17 am

Wow. They're looking really good - the detail is certainly there.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby urbanisto » Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:16 am

Definately one for the anti-"pastiche" brigade. That is an excellent pice of work and extremely important for the Georgian city. It shows that facimiles (a much better word) at sensitive sites can work. I would like to see similar for the gap in Harcourt Street. Stephens Green Hotel recently proposed a starkly modern design but I think it was withdrawn. A replica would be much more suitable.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby phil » Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:58 am

I am pretty sure I will be on my own here on this, but I really think that there is enough architectural difference between the various houses on this square to have allowed a modern infill on this site. I don't agree that the square was designed as an architectural entity, and I therefore believe that a design that fitted in to its surrounings in terms of scale, proportions and materials should have been sought. It was a mistake that the original buildings here were allowed to fall into disprepair and eventually be taken down (Fall down? Knocked down?), but that cannot be undone.

Incidently, I recently noticed that the National Ballroom Dancing sign is gone from the North side of the square. I personally think this is a pity, as it was part of that building and part of the history of the square.

As a general comment I think present thinking on our Georgain heritage is attempting to fashion everything as it might have been during that period, instead of respecting these buildings and areas as spaces that have lived through history.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:14 pm

Don't know about everyone else, but I'll have to disagree, phil. Sure, there wasn't uniformity as such, but I think reinstating these three was the right decision.

One observation, though: I'm not sure that the second floor windows should have been 12 pane sashes (6 over 6). Wouldn't 9 panes (3 over 6) have been better?
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby phil » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:15 pm

If the discussion is then about reproducing what was there before, I would question the extent to which this has actually been done, or is possible. Your windows question probably illustrates this in that it is impossible to reproduce exactly what was there originally anyway, so therefore something original but in keeping with its surrounding context might have been a better response to the site. Bear in mind that I am not trying to propose a solution that would have stood out in contrast to the terrace, but merely stating that through properly thought out design a solution can be found that does not rely on attempted replication alone.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby a boyle » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:23 pm

phil wrote:If the discussion is then about reproducing what was there before, I would question the extent to which this has actually been done, or is possible. Your windows question probably illustrates this in that it is impossible to reproduce exactly what was there originally anyway, so therefore something original but in keeping with its surrounding context might have been a better response to the site. Bear in mind that I am not trying to propose a solution that would have stood out in contrast to the terrace, but merely stating that through properly thought out design a solution can be found that does not rely on attempted replication alone.


Yes i agree but not here. There are three places which need pastiche : fitzwilliam square and street , parnell and mountjoy square. I do think that the uniformity of goergian (pretend of otherwise) is crucial in these three areas.

All the other streets could probably accomodate modern infill. I certainly think a striking modern building could look well on harcourt street. note use of the word could!
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby phil » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:29 pm

What I think is often forgotten in Dublin is that much of the uniformity comes from the rythm and proportions of the buildings, not necessarily the replication of features. Parnell Square is probably the best example of this.

Please also note, as I have already said, that I am not proposing a 'striking modern building', but simply something that has more of a contemporary stamp.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:45 pm

I disagree. Personally I find the current popular viewpoint of insisting on a contemporary stamp on absolutely everything rather irritating - in other countries there seems to be a post post-modern :) thinking, arguably a maturity of sorts, that deems reproduction buildings in sensitive locations like this to be not only desirable, but preferable to contemporary designs - notable to an (admittedly over-) extent in UK housing, and terraced housing located within conservation areas there, and for many years at that.

As far as I remember Phil, you don't agree with this type of building because it simply does not reflect our times and sets out to skew our relationship with and perceptions of our building stock (sorry if I'm putting words in your mouth). However for me, this type of construction does the exact opposite: it reflects our times and current thinking regarding use of reproduction in a nutshell - surely these houses faithfully rebuilt on this site are a monument to our times and current thinking re sensitive infill? In 20/40/50/100 years time will they not stand as such?

I don't accept that a new-build building here could have worked as well. Certainly I agree it would have been a challenge to any architect, and an innovative and sensitive contemporary design could have been created, but this does not eliminate the intrusive impact on the terrace as a whole. To insert a modern building here in the middle of an 18th century terrace, however considerate and sympathetic, would have smacked to me of a certain ridiculousness, almost as if ‘sorry, this is all we can do for this site I’m afraid – we’re constrained by current Irish architectural thinking in what we can build’, ignoring the wider impact on the terrace. To almost any person, however ill-educated in this respect, the logical thing to do is to rebuild the previous houses – it just makes sense. We don’t always have to make a statement, however subtle.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby crestfield » Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:28 pm

I think it important as StephenC pointed out , it is fairer to call these houses examples of facsimilies or reconstructions, not pastiche. As pastiche is a word you use for the crap churned out a long the quays in particular, and countless other examples else where in the city. The Parnell Sq. houseses may have their critics but there quality can't be disputed.

Even if the houses are not a coordinated unit and of differing ages, they don't differ by 200 years in age and were all built as houses in mush the same format, thus are unit with an individual streak. To put a contemporary building in would be like building a Georgian house in La Defence.

So whats say we start polishing the demolition ball for the ESB offices on Fitzwilliam St. and undo one of the worst wrongs of modern Dublin developemnt.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby a boyle » Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:33 pm

demolishing esb would be great but methinks it could only happen with government money . Otherwise i think recladding is the best that will happen.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby Frank Taylor » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:00 am

Why are the bases of the first floor windows not aligned in the two buildings on the right?

And do these facsimiles have copies of the original interior room layouts? Do they have the same plasterwork? Where was the line drawn?
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:36 am

The windows appear to be mimicking the original houses, when in the late 18th century it was quite common to extend your old first floor windows down to the floor. It’s also possible that the developer who built these two houses lived in one and rented out the other – a typical Georgian practice – and so installed expensive to-floor windows in his reception rooms, but went for the cheaper option for his nest-egg development next door.
Less romantically, there could be an air con unit behind, necessitating the discrepancy :)

As for the interiors and room layouts, it’s hard to say at the minute. From what little can be seen through the first floor windows, there’s standard-issue architraving round the doors up there anyway. I doubt the rooms match exactly, though Georgian rooms are pretty logical to begin with so it may have turned that they match regardless.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:11 am

Indeed just looking at the rendering of the development, the window-extending explanation seems the most likely, with the openings lengthened and iron balconies added maybe in the Regency period.

Image

It's possible they're original to the 18thC build too though - just Georgian balconies were pretty rare.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby phil » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:12 am

Graham Hickey wrote:I disagree. Personally I find the current popular viewpoint of insisting on a contemporary stamp on absolutely everything rather irritating - in other countries there seems to be a post post-modern :) thinking, arguably a maturity of sorts, that deems reproduction buildings in sensitive locations like this to be not only desirable, but preferable to contemporary designs - notable to an (admittedly over-) extent in UK housing, and terraced housing located within conservation areas there, and for many years at that.

As far as I remember Phil, you don't agree with this type of building because it simply does not reflect our times and sets out to skew our relationship with and perceptions of our building stock (sorry if I'm putting words in your mouth). However for me, this type of construction does the exact opposite: it reflects our times and current thinking regarding use of reproduction in a nutshell - surely these houses faithfully rebuilt on this site are a monument to our times and current thinking re sensitive infill? In 20/40/50/100 years time will they not stand as such?


Of course they won't stand out as much in 100 years. But then again does anyone ever comment on the victorian house at the end of Fitzwilliam Street? It seems to have blended into the terrace over the years because of its proportions and scale. I am sure there are features on some of those houses that would have stuck out like sore thumbs to our Georgian ancestors, such as elongated windows :D, that have eventually become part and parcel of what the square is.

In terms of my reasoning against this type of building I would have to say that I have actually mellowed with age regarding reproduction of past forms ;). I think that if houses in a terrace that are completely uniform are desroyed for some reason, then due to their role in the whole architectural ensemble their facade should match the surroundings when rebuilt. However, as I have already said about Parnell Square, there seems to have been enough variation within the buildings to have allowed a building of similar proportions and scale to have been built on this site without detracting from the overall character of the terrace. I am not saying that something like that monstrosity on the corner of Bolton Street and Henrietta Street should have been built here, but merely pointing to the fact that it is possible to add to a historic streetscape without creating a reproduction of the original facades.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby Devin » Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:45 am

Image
These 3 new buildings are the best replica-Georgian buildings yet built in Dublin. It’s so refreshing to see it done right, compared to some of the excrement that’s been put in to sensitive Georgian areas over the past 30+ years in the name of ‘Georgian replica’ ….. the DIT college on Mountjoy Square South comes to mind.

And as said the internal room proportions looking onto the square have been maintained, which is important.

I too think it was the only thing that could or should have been done here, especially when see that amazing long, intact terrace of Georgian houses stepping up the west side of the square in Graham’s picture above (but phil I agree with your point that 'it is possible to add to a historic streetscape without creating reproduction facades’ – just depends on the location).
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:51 am

Lovely crisp limestone doorcases are now being installed.

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It is now clear that the far left new house is the last building in a terrace of matching houses built by a Georgian developer - its fanlighted doorcase has just been installed, perfectly matching the neighbouring house as visible in Devin's post above. It looks like Portland stone, but has a strange hue to it and a very smooth finish, perhaps suggesting reconstituted stone considering it may well be painted.

The new pair of matching houses to the right seem to have been built as a seperate scheme originally, and will have matching exposed limestone doorcases as pictured.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby Morlan » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:08 am

Do you think the ESB/Government will ever replace the Georgian terrace that once existed on Merrion Sq.? If they did, it would create the longest Georgian street in the world, would it not?
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby a boyle » Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:46 am

perhaps. propably not.
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Re: Parnell Square redevelopment

Postby munsterman » Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:37 pm

Morlan wrote:Do you think the ESB/Government will ever replace the Georgian terrace that once existed on Merrion Sq.? If they did, it would create the longest Georgian street in the world, would it not?


It'd be the longest Georgian/fake Georgian street in the world then.
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