South Great George's Street

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Postby Devin » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:11 pm

NEW BUILDINGS AT THE JUNCTION OF CHANCERY LANE AND GOLDEN LANE


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To avoid starting a new thread I’ll put these here, as they are quite close to George’s Street.

The L-shaped street Chancery Lane, which links Bride Street and Golden Lane, has been almost completely rebuilt over the past two years or so. These buildings (above) are at the top end. I think the scale is appropriate. It’s fine to go higher here because it’s in a ‘no man’s land’ between Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.





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And stepping down to existing buildings adjoining – nice to see a bit of manners!!





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The buildings are coordinated too. The architecture may be fairly standard with a few ‘hi-spec’ touches, but you’re not looking for Pritzker prize material here – you just need a decent standard of backdrop to the historic ‘character areas’ that adjoin (castle & cathedral).

This is what repair of the city should be about imo - respecting the surroundings, achieving coordination and going higher where appropriate – not the awful results we’ve seen in some places. I know I’ve gone on about it before, but the dog’s dinner of unrelated new buildings at the junction of Ardee St & the Coombe bypass is my favourite.





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Feature ‘wedgy bit’.
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Re: .

Postby jdivision » Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:13 pm

While i agree with your point about height, I find them completely bland and uninteresting. I'm also curious at this new trend of leaving cladding in between windows. Is there a reason for this. It also appears to be proposed for Arnotts. I think it looks absolutely terrible.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby jimg » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:38 pm

Compared to what you'll find in glossy architecture books, they may be "bland and uniteresting" but compared with the masses of apartments that have filled the city (especially around this area - Christchurch, Patrick St, etc.) during the last 15 years, this looks like a big step up.
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Re: .

Postby Devin » Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:58 am

jdivision wrote:I'm also curious at this new trend of leaving cladding in between windows. Is there a reason for this. It also appears to be proposed for Arnotts.
It's just another way of breaking up the facade when there's a large site to be filled.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby GrahamH » Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:15 am

Yep - by and large this area is coming along very well with block infill development of a decent standard. Crucially, the buildings relate to their context appropriately, including the nice little 1950ish Corpo blocks across the road, which admittedly are probably for the chop soon if a decision is made not to refurbish them. The height, massing and stepping down is finely tuned for once.

Personally I don't have a problem with cladding between floors if it's executed well, such as with a refined 'louvre course' or similar - but certainly blank plastic panels, still unbelievably cropping up everywhere in window apertures, are a big no no.

As an aside, note how the 1950s concrete lampposts on that little street off Golden Lane help ground the awkwardly immature development into its context. Features like these make all the difference in helping to establish new structures, creating a sense of place and familiarity while the new builds find their feet and begin to generate an identity of their own that people can connect with. Alas, like everywhere else, they'll more than likely just vanish when a gas main has to be rerouted

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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby Devin » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:11 pm

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The other end of Chancery Lane. I wonder what will be built on the derelict site (on the right) where the Napper Tandy pub was.





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Also worth noting in the area is this recently built block (centre).




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Together with the Adelaide Square complex, it frames a new view of St. Patrick's spire. Nice views make me smile.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby jdivision » Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:10 pm

That new block is an extension to Adelaide Square, I don't like the grey balconies but otherwise it looks good.

By the way an application is up in the Dunnes Homestore window for a sizable extension (nearly 400 sq m if memory serves) of the shop into the office space behind. I wonder if they're planning to put drapery in there. I hope they don't move the homewares to the back as it's a good shop and the window displays add to the street.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby adhoc » Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:26 pm

That application (5941/06) was declared invalid: <i>insufficient</i> information on site notice, <i>invalid</i> newspaper notice, <i>sub-minimum</i> submission of plans, drawings, elevations etc, and <i>insufficient</i> Conservation Method Statement to support an application for change to a protected structure.

Computer Says No.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:06 pm

jdivision wrote:I wonder if they're planning to put drapery in there. I hope they don't move the homewares to the back as it's a good shop and the window displays add to the street.

The displays certainly seemed to have attracted a pigeon today at lunchtime, spotted browsing through the soft furnishings. I guess it's not only cash-rich/time-poor Dubs who like a bargain...;)
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby fjp » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:54 pm

a bit late, but more of the old stuff:

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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby Morlan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:24 am

Thanks for those, fjp. That 747 travel shopfront on the corner is an absolute disgrace. It's not still there, is it? :mad:
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby fjp » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:15 pm

I'm pretty certain that 747 is still there, complete with the huge lighty-up sign on the wall facing down georges street.

at this stage I'd almost miss it if it was gone. but only the lighty-up bit...
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby phil » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:33 pm

For some reason I really like that 747 neon sign. Would definitely miss it if it were gone.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby TLM » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:38 pm

I think it would make a big difference to Geroge's St if the block at the Dame Street end of the street on the city hall side could be given a bit of a face lift .... it really is an eyesore.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:16 pm

There were plans to completely redevelop that site back around 2000 but it just like the Hawkins House plan evaporated in the 2001 office market slump. Now that the office market is strong again there is no reason why something might not emerge again although I doubt complete redevelopment would be on the cards unless the Revenue Commisioners Lease expires and that the specific divions are staying in Dublin.

Re The 747 shop front; I hate to say it but the shop fronts on the west side of Aungier St are so bad that this one might actually be the best of them; the dead frontage of the casino and hostal really does p**s me off.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby TLM » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:50 pm

Thanks for that pvc king, here's hoping..

Agreed about the state of the shopfronts on Aungier Street... this whole stretch has loads of potential but needs some serious improving first.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:03 pm

Here is some details on that plan. Very dissapointing that it didn't materialise, especially the pedestrian link into the Castle opposite Exchequer Street.


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MINI URBAN PLAN WILL OPEN CASTLE TO THE CITY

A route once called Informer's Lane is to be opened linking South Great George's Street to a new civic courtyard in the grounds of Dublin Castle. It's part of an ambitious plan that also involves renovating several office blocks Frank McDonald, Environment Editor, reports

Anyone attending the Flood Tribunal in Dublin should know what the Office of Public Works means when it refers to the "unsavoury mess" that exists in the "no man's land" between the Stamping Building in Dublin Castle and the rear ends of Wicklow House and Castle House, on South Great George's Street. But now, in a fine example of public-private partnership, the OPW is collaborating with the owners of these two awful office blocks of early 1970s vintage on what it calls a "mini urban plan" for this quarter of the city. And the declared aim is to integrate the Castle with the surrounding urban fabric by creating an exciting new pedestrian route.

The idea of opening up Informer's Lane, as it used to be called, to provide a new entrance to the Castle on the axis of Exchequer Street was first mooted some years ago by Dick Gleeson, now Dublin Corporation's deputy chief planning officer. All it needed to be realised was a willingness by the OPW and the office block owners to get together.

Within the next few weeks, the corporation is expected to grant planning permission for a complete overhaul of the two aggressively horizontal office blocks, including much more sympathetic elevations to South Great George's Street and a two-storey arcade on Informer's Lane, leading to a new "civic courtyard" in the grounds of Dublin Castle.

Surprisingly, however, the opportunity is not being taken to redevelop the Stamping Branch building itself. Designed by Frank du Berry, then a senior OPW architect, and completed in 1973, its running balconies led Plan magazine to liken it to hotels on the Spanish costas. "Where is that Mediterranean sun and the bathing towels," an article asked.

The building's skewed angle to the established grid of the castle might suggest a forward extension to bring it into line. But David Byers, OPW assistant principal architect and one-time manager of the Castle, said it was so intensively used by the Revenue that the disruption to those working there would have been too great for a relatively small gain.

Some years ago, consideration was given to recladding it in brick more sympathetic to its setting, but nothing happened. Now there is a view that it is "quite an interesting example of its period, as Byers says, and one of the best-built buildings I've ever seen, with the plant-draped balconies providing sun screening in the absence of air conditioning.

Not a shred of merit can be attached to the two office blocks on George's Street. Designed by English architects Arthur Swift and Partners for Guardian Properties, they were plonked on the site of Pimms department store with no concession whatever in terms of colour, materials or proportions to the Victorian character of the area.

The advantage to their current owners of doing something to rectify this ghastly mistake is that they will get double the depth of the two buildings, gaining an extra 110,837 sq ft of office space separated by atriums from the existing streetfront blocks, while the city gains immeasurably from a remodelling of their facades.

And because this scheme, designed by John O'Keeffe and Associates, has been effectively amalgamated with the OPW's civic courtyard, the net effect is to reduce the developers plot ratio from 5.5:1 to 2.4:1. This seems to be quite a reasonable trade-off for the planning gain of a new east-west pedestrian route where one is sorely needed.

When it is completed, not only will the terrible pair of buildings have smart new fronts sympathetic to their surroundings, but the public will have access via a two-storey arcade to a sunlit circular courtyard to the rear, within the precincts of the castle, and onwards to the award-winning Chester Beatty Library and Little Ship Street gate.

The courtyard, with a diameter of 90 feet, will incorporate a circular ramp for disabled access to compensate for a three-metre drop in levels between George's Street and the Castle. It is to be clad in Penryn-type green slate and enclosed by a cylindrical curtain of stainless steel grillework, which will include a sliding security gate.

The circular form of the courtyard echoes the design of the Castle's Dubhlinn Garden, which doubles as a helicopter landing pad (the lighting is cleverly concealed in its spiral pathways). Though inspired by Stirling's Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, it will be less heavy, according to David Byers, and softened by trees and park benches for relaxation.

The Printworks building, with its curious undulating roof, which has housed the Flood Tribunal's public hearings for so long, is to get a new foyer overlooking the courtyard. And in deference to the idea of creating a new civic space, the rear elevations of the extended office blocks on George's Street are designed as if they were fronts.

The opening up of a two-storey arcaded entrance to Dublin Castle should offer a glimpse of the Bermingham Tower from Exchequer Street. But more than that - it will open up the Devil's half-acre, as Michael Collins once called it, to the rest of the city centre by puncturing the existing hard edge on George's Street to the southside retail zone.

The raggle-taggle of buildings that currently occupy the proposed courtyard will be swept away - but not, it should be emphasised, the rather more impressive group still occupied by the Garda. A new building is being planned for the southern side of the courtyard to re-house some of the facilities in those earmarked for demolition.

The pay-off for the Revenue is a new penthouse floor on the Stamping Branch, providing an additional 5,920 sq ft. This will be a lightweight steel structure, prefabricated and metal-clad, with terraces and a light overhanging roof. Of course, no attempt is being made to eliminate the clutter of cars in the Lower Castle Yard.

The new pedestrian route, which will be open to the public during all reasonable hours, is seen as one element of an integrated architectural sequence linking Dublin Castle with Leinster House. All that's missing is a name for the circular courtyard; the informal working title, incidentally, is Flood Court, in honour of Mr Justice Fergus Flood.

© The Irish Times, February 15, 2001
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby fjp » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:03 pm

btw - does anyone know of any photos showing the street before the huge office block? that's something I would really really like to see...

re the stretch that needs improving - shame there isn't something that would force business/building owners to keep building facades to a certain standard without the requirement for the businesses themselves to be taken over by topshop. whilst I'm not the biggest fan of the "run-down" look, I do sort of like streets that can be perused by people who are NOT stinking with money. there's probably a whole world of social wrongness with what I just suggested, and a few grammatical errors too.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:07 pm

the old Pimms Department Store was there - have a picture at home
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:12 pm

I don't know where there's any photos of that - I don't recall seeing it myself.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:23 pm

I think I saw a photograph of it somewhere; otherwise there's this pretty common sketch of it.
A monument to Victorian industry if ever there was one - a truly remarkable building:

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Though perspective and scale are inevitably exaggerated in such depictions, this was still an enormous store by any standards, which is why I can never get over the apparent lack of fuss or controversy surrounding its demolition - even leaving aside any conservation arguements. For such a ginormous structure, forming half a street if not a city quarter (like the South City Markets do today) to disappear virtually overnight is extraordinary.

Perhaps by the 1970s it was much-altered, stuffed to the gills with aluminium windows and had a facade of peeling paint. I love the mindless marching procession of windows - so indicative of a series of building that have been tacked together and pasted over with a unifying facade, or modest buildings that have been replaced with a blown up version of same. A classic Victorian solution to this new type of structure :D

The stucco always reminds me of Dearey's (formerly Patteson's store) in Dundalk.

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The proposed elevations for the office buildings on Sth Great George's St look very much of the Arnotts' extension era...
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby TLM » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:33 pm

Thanks for that Devin, that looks like it was a really inspired plan not only hugely improving Georges St but also opening up Dublin Castle to the public. Really hope it re-surfaces..
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby phil » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:53 pm

Thanks for that image Graham. In a strange way there are actually some similarities between that building and what is there now; serial monotony etc etc.

I have alway wondered if it is possible to get to Dublin Castle through the underpass that presently exists in the current building and proposed as a pedestrian route in the 2001 proposal. I have never quite had to guts to walk in. Always scared that some security guard or another will think I am up to no good and chuck me out :D

On a slightly different topic, but same street, I noticed that the tiles on the front of the Long Haul have been restored/replaced recently. Seems to have been a pretty good job done.
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby fjp » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:51 pm

ooh - many thanks indeed to paul and grahamH!
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Re: South Great George's Street

Postby dc3 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:03 pm

If I recall correctly, and it was a very long time ago now, Pims had been demolished for many years before the replacement buildings eventually emerged. Probably very soon after the shop closed, (in the mid / late 1960's?) it was demolished.

I recall passing a hoarding there for what seems like ages, but then time is relative, except for the purpose of an appeal.
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