National Gallery Extension

National Gallery Extension

Postby Jas » Fri Sep 21, 2001 3:49 pm

I passed the new Clare Street extension of the NGI yesterday. It looks very well, very crisp and clean. It looks best from Clare Street rather than Sth Leinster Street as it allows you to see the layering of the facade.

I think this is going to be a great building.
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Postby PaulC » Sat Sep 22, 2001 11:44 am

Yea - it looks great alright - I cant wait to see it when it finishes.
Has anyone any idea when it is opening?
I would say they will do well have it finished this side of Christmas.
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Postby PaulC » Sat Sep 22, 2001 11:48 am

Actually to answer my own question - I got this from the National Gallery's website( www.nationalgallery.ie ), regarding opening of the extension...

The construction and design of the National Gallery of Ireland's 4,000 sq m Millennium Wing is now nearing completion. To manage the final critical stages of the project, it will be necessary to close the Gallery to the public for a projected period of two months prior to Christmas, ahead of the opening in January 2002. This period will allow for a re-hang of the collection and an opportunity for the redecoration of the existing galleries.
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Postby Declan » Sat Sep 22, 2001 2:33 pm

Anyone else think the projecting screen and opening look overscaled?
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Sep 24, 2001 9:58 am

state of the building on saturday 22nd september.....


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Postby MG » Mon Sep 24, 2001 11:14 am

Declan, it does to me also, but remember until the conservation lobby had their way, the victorian building next door was to be demolished and the facade was to be longer. It was saved to protect the small Georgian ballroom to the rear of the house which i now believe is going to be a small pavilion inside the new gallery space..
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Postby GregF » Mon Sep 24, 2001 4:50 pm

I thought this brutalist stuff was long gone out of fashion......Huge minimalist slabs of windowsless concrete. Wait till this gets weathered too it will look just crap.
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Postby James » Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:55 pm

MG the 'Victorian' building which you refer to dates from around 1770 and is almost entirely intact internally, the ballroom is a little later.


Bloody old buildings - always getting in the way. We should knock the lot!!!


[This message has been edited by James (edited 24 September 2001).]
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Postby GregF » Tue Sep 25, 2001 11:04 am

This looks overly obtrusive in the streetscape ......trying to emulate the Guggenheim?....will be on a par with the ESB offices on FitzWilliam Street in years to come on reflection.
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Postby Hugh » Tue Sep 25, 2001 12:38 pm

Quite a bit of Denys Lasdun, circa 1960, in that. Which is a compliment, if you like Lasdun.
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Postby GregF » Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:52 pm

......Does'nt it pick up on the nuances of the original main building......echoes of the rather ugly interpenetrated columns with block......is that the same type of stone used too in the cladding......however I'll say the interior will be good.
By it's outward appearance this would be an ideal gallery space dedidicated solely to the cubists.



[This message has been edited by GregF (edited 25 September 2001).]
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Postby MG » Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:59 pm

Greg, with galleries you do not want a whole lot of natural light. Direct light isnt great for the paintings.

Really James? I was in the building years ago when it was Maptec and the Drawing Centre was underneath. Upstairs was in poor enough condition even then. What are they going to do with the building now? Administrative offices?
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Postby GregF » Tue Sep 25, 2001 2:09 pm

That's true MG...but I did'nt really mean direct natural sunlight...but rather 'cheeriness' as opposed to it's rather 'austere' exterior

[This message has been edited by GregF (edited 25 September 2001).]
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Postby MG » Tue Sep 25, 2001 2:14 pm

I follow ya. I do quite like the austerity of the building myself. Most of the galleries in the current gallery are completely uninteresting spaces so hopefully this new extension will add a focus / people space for the ensemble.

A city needs contrast and Clare Street is reasonably intact (with the exception of the rather bland pastiche Gov Dept building) but South Leinster Street is full of bland uninteresting buildings - think of the two awful blocks before the Georgian building. I think it will act as a full stop to the street just as it runs into Clare Street.
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Postby DARA H » Tue Sep 25, 2001 3:04 pm

I passed by this builing recently and i thought it looked odd but kind of nice and impressive. Not sure it will look quite so hot if it is allowed to become black with grime.
I hope that the bottom right corner of the facade as seen on the photo above uses a lot of glazing 'cos i think it would be a nice contrast to the rest of the building. If it were all plainish wall like what can be seen now however, it would look as if a box had been dropped into the terrace which would not look very nice streetwise.

[This message has been edited by DARA H (edited 25 September 2001).]
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Postby Declan » Tue Sep 25, 2001 7:13 pm

I like the extension - especially as the model proposes it to be; however, it looks like a rather less successful relative of their Museum of Scotland; the scaling and compostion used for an Edinburgh streetscape seems to have just been transferred across to a very differently composed Dublin streetscape.
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Postby trace » Tue Sep 25, 2001 8:31 pm

Arthur Gibney and Partners have been appointed architects for the adjoining 'retained' building, No 5 South Leinster Street, which is to be restored under a separate contract.
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Postby Rory W » Wed Sep 26, 2001 11:34 am

The reason it doesn't blend in as well as the museum of Scotland is that the stone is in contrast to the surrounding streetscape (brick) whereas the Edinburgh building uses the same material as the surrounding buildings
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Postby quirkey » Wed Sep 26, 2001 12:36 pm

exactly what i was thinking.
In design we talk so much about context and respect for surrounding buildings, yet so many of us have to be FLASH. Aparently in design, material isnt part of the nature of a place. Our own building is somehow more important than the rest and therefore aparently deserves to be distinct (i.e. stick out or not fit in ) at least material wise.
Well o.k. maybe the national gallery is a worthwhile exception,
Otherwise, if the inside is goingto be like the model and drawings i've seen, it's going to be a pretty fabulous place.
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Postby MG » Thu Oct 25, 2001 2:15 pm

From AJPlus

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Construction is about to begin on the £17.5 million extension to the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, designed by Benson & Forsyth. The design, which had to be changed considerably to accommodate a listed building, is in three parallel zones running north to south. The most easterly of these houses the larger portion of the temporary gallery on the upper levels with ancillary accommodation below. The central zone comprises a full-height orientation space plus the bulk of the building's circulation. In the westerly zone is a full-height conservatory space plus coffee and resturant facilities and additional gallery space above.
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Postby Hugh » Thu Oct 25, 2001 2:30 pm

I like the Museum of Scotland, but I'm not so sure about this matching-stone business. Modern buildings seldom model stone in the same way as old ones did - they merely use stone as a surface material.

Consequently, identical stone on a new building can look very different to that of its neighbours. Given which, a contrast may well be better than a match.

- same applies to brick. New British Library is suposedly the same red brick as 19th century St. Pancras Station next door. Even with the station cleaned, it looks nothing like.

Even when old-fashioned mouldings are used, matching stone still doesn't necessarily work. Think of Norman Foster's South Portico in the British Museum Great Court. The French limestone is actually identical to Portland stone, as used on the 150-year old surrounding facades. But Foster's portico is brand-new and looks it. Not least because it hasn't been weathered for a century and a half.
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Postby Paolo » Thu Oct 25, 2001 3:22 pm

There is an interesting use of stone facing/cladding on the new office/retail building beside the Mansion House, Dawson St. Two different colours are used, a creamy coloured sandstone (possibly?) and a reddish coloured stone, both contrasting but fitting in with the red brick on one side and the lighter coloured Mansion House on the other.
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Postby James » Thu Oct 25, 2001 9:19 pm

Interesting point re: new stonework - however the facts are somewhat different re: 'old' stone:

Since the widespread advent of brick as a building material in the 1500's most stone faced buildings are actually clad in stone over brick structural walls - (Actually the Romans started this form of construction - see the Forum etc - all brick).

Most stone faced buildings in Dublin are either of brick construction with stone facing or of rough calp construction beneath a stone skin.
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Postby James » Thu Oct 25, 2001 9:22 pm

PS - as to Foster's British Museum - in fact the French 'portland' is quite dissimilar both geologically and visually. It is worth noting incidentally that the grand court was covered in almost from inception - there was no weathering of the existing stone - the effect referred to is simply that of a poor choice of stone on the part of the contractors.

Re: Brick - a lot depends on the pointing perhaps even more than the brick tone itself.
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Postby Hugh » Thu Oct 25, 2001 11:34 pm

Pedantry time: Walls of Great Court were in fact exposed to the weather - not covered in as James says, although much of the floor area of the court was indeed covered in bookstacks. A gap was left open to the elements around the edges. You can clearly see the effects of water on the facade surfaces down the years.

As for Foster's famous "Anstruther Claire" stone portico, my understanding is that this is the same geological bed as Portland where it surfaces in France. Which is not to say that the Museum wasn't diddled, only that the end result is the same.

There's a lot of xenophobia in the hysterical response from some quarters - what, French stone in our glorious imperial museum? (nobody ever talks about the smooth new Spanish limestone now cladding the Round Reading Room in the centre of the Court).

I have seen a sample of "real" Portland set against the new portico, and there is no discernible difference in texture or colour. Though I admit you'd have to have a very large sample - like, a complete second portico - to be absolutely sure.

Indeed, elsewhere in the Great Court, new "real" Portland has been used for patch repairs (and in a new band just beneath the new glass roof). This looks identical to Foster's supposed "wrong" stone in the portico. Because it is new.

Others have pointed out that, since any stone - particularly a sedimentary stone such as limestone - differs from layer to layer, there is no hope of ever getting an exact match anyway, since the areas being quarried now are far removed from those which sourced the original stone for the Museum.

So it's a real storm in a conservationist's teacup. But - personally, I'd like to know - what's Foster doing producing a classical stone portico anyway? As the original had long vanished, a good case could be made for a modernist equivalent, or none at all.

But Foster can (just) justify the huge expense and weight of the South Portico on good modernist functional grounds: it is the grandest of grand liftshafts. No, I don't think it's much of an excuse, either.

Removing my anorak of stone, I see that this thread is meant to be about the National Gallery extension in Dublin by Benson and Forsyth.
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