Should the Clarence Hotel redevelopment get permission?

Should the Clarence Hotel redevelopment get permission?

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No
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Should the Clarence Hotel redevelopment get permission?

Postby Zap » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:59 pm

Dublin's Clarence Hotel, owned by U2's Bono and the Edge, in partnership with property developer Paddy McKillen, is to be redeveloped at a cost of €150 million as "one of the most spectacular city hotels in Europe".

The scheme, designed by international architects Foster and Partners, is to be submitted shortly to Dublin City Council. It would incorporate the former Dollard printing works and four Georgian buildings on Wellington Quay.

Only the quayside facades of the existing hotel and adjoining buildings - all of which are protected structures - would be retained, although the oak panelling from the Clarence's Octagon Bar is to be salvaged for re-use.

The rear elevations of the hotel and adjoining buildings on East Essex Street would be demolished in their entirety and replaced by a undulating glazed facade, with shops and cafés at street level and bedrooms above.

The existing hotel, which has only 34 bedrooms, has lost up to €12 million since its refurbishment 10 years' ago. Bono (Paul Hewson) and the Edge (David Evans) were advised to sell, but decided to bring Mr McKillen on board.

They set up the Clarence Partnership, which is split 50-50 between the two U2 band members on the one hand and Mr McKillen on the other. His largest project in Dublin to date has been the Jervis Centre on Mary Street.

A hotel for the past 140 years, the new Clarence will have 114 bedrooms and 28 suites, if planning permission is granted for the project. It will also have a 1,360sq m (14,640sq ft) spa - the first on this scale in central Dublin.

Andy Bow, a senior partner in Norman Foster's practice, said the new hotel would be organised around a "skycatcher" atrium - shaped like an elongated hourglass - rising from a 25-metre swimming pool in the basement to the roof.

An elliptical canopy with a reflective surface - a "white hovering halo", as Mr Bow described it - would cover the structure, uniting its different elements, and this would be topped by a fully-glazed "skyroom" with panoramic views.

The development will incorporate a number of sustainability strategies, including natural light and ventilation, to ensure that it will function as an energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive mixed-use hotel, spa and conference facility.

Mr Bow said the city council's planners were "hugely supportive" of the scheme, while conservationists were also positive. "There's a sense that people think it would be great to have a 21st century hotel like this in Dublin."

Norman Foster described it as "an ambitious project - architecturally and structurally [ that] presents an exciting opportunity to regenerate Temple Bar's river frontage, while also creating a bold new addition to Dublin's skyline."


This would mean quite a bit of destruction on Essex St. including the back of the Dollard Building:
http://www.irish-architecture.com/buildings_ireland/dublin/southcity/templebar/essex_street/dollards.html

Does Dublin really need more glazed frontage where it does not belong? It glass preferable to the cut stone and artisanship of the buildings currently on East Essex St.?

There are still so much vacant areas throughout the city (many attributable to the LUAS and still not rectified more than 2 years after the start of that tram service) - why mess with a street that looks quite well as it is and with buildings of fine craftsmanship in pretty good shape?
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby PVC King » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:03 pm

I'd like to see some images before taking a stance on this;

are there any available?
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:43 pm

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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby GregF » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:21 pm

As it is, 34 bedrooms is'nt much for a city centre hotel. Not very competative. However, I'm kinda tired of all this gutting and restructuring of buildings in Dublin. Don't forget across the river the Ormonde faces the same fate. It's got now that it's hard to find a commercial building in Dublin which has remained intact since the day it was first built. Still Foster's plan looks good. Temple Bar is a bit staid too now. At least I bet if it gets the go ahead it will be completed before the U2 Tower. Anyway, anyone who buys this hotel will gut it and do the same, so may as well let Foster have a go than some other firm of half wits.

Compare this make-over of the Clarence to that of the Ormonde's. The Clarence looks far more swankier.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby jdivision » Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:51 pm

GregF wrote:
Compare this make-over of the Clarence to that of the Ormonde's. The Clarence looks far more swankier.

I don't think the Ormonde will reopen, it's part of a landbanking process
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby Zap » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:29 pm

I think it comes down to how much of the city should not be touched. There are plenty of stately but unspectacular 19th century architecture in the city centre. Do we want Dublin to be a glazed city wth a few remnants of the past or a reflection of its history with modern additions in the many vacant sites which would allow this?

I see no reason why these fine buildings on Essex St should be sacrificed for something that can be built anyway - Dublin, Barcelona, Shanghai - wherever - at the expense of buildings that would have been the product of Dublin artisanship and building.

Its just more chipping away at the city.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby GrahamH » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:06 pm

The Clarence itself also has an elegant rear facade that I'd probably be even more concerned about disappearing. In particular though, this typically evasive image is of greatest concern:

Image

What's this about? Is a daylight image not beyond the bounds of possibility? From what can be made out here, it's the Westin all over again - token conservation gestures with facade retentions, and a lumpen sprawling blanket of nondescriptness dumped on top of the lot. This may be an unfair assesment given the limited images available, but that's what you get from being 'creative' with releases.

Without question the greatest charm of the Printworks is its chimneyed and gabled roofline, evocative of the Custom House of old and the early 18th century riverscape, and ought not be intruded on. The other parts of the site can accommodate extra height. Otherwise the plans sound impressive, and the news of the Printworks being put to such an appropriate use very welcome indeed.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:49 pm

I think it's very telling in that picture that the flanking buildings are in darkness except for their lower floors. It makes height comparisons difficult, which is surely the point.
It seems that the attic storeys currently in place on the hotel will be removed and replaced by the UFO landing pad seen above, stretching across three properties. Pity, as this section of the quays is marked by its varied roofline rather than the uniformity found elsewhere. IMO, the current incarnation of the Clarence is a shade too tall already, though is justified (just about) by the variety of ridge and roof heights in the vicinity. This will be lost in the redevelopment, with the retained facades looking for all the world like historicist wallpaper. (Or should that be 'historicist wallpaper*'?:rolleyes: )

A few quotes in the press release set alarm bells ringing for me:
"...the sensitive insertion of new additions..." - 'sensitive' how? The buildings are being gutted.
"...uniting ... the existing buildings..." - And this is a good thing why exactly?
"Only the quayside facades of the existing hotel and adjoining buildings - all of which are protected structures - would be retained..." - Was this discussed in pre-planning with DCC? Are the interiors of value? The only one I know is the Clarence itself, which has some worthy features iirc. (I'm open to correction on this.)

The sustainability aspects, such as the natural light and ventilation, and the energy efficiency, are positive elements, but I don't think they can balance or excuse the other interventions.

Lastly, the words of Norman himself- "The redevelopment of the Clarence Hotel is an ambitious project – architecturally and structurally – with a confident yet sympathetic civic presence. It presents an exciting opportunity to regenerate Temple Bar’s river frontage, while also creating a bold new addition to Dublin’s skyline."
Ambitious? Yes. Confident? Yes. Sympathetic? I can't see it.
And Temple Bar's river frontage mightn't need to be regenerated if it hadn't been allowed to deteriorate by... Remind me who was responsible again?

More pics please, Norm. The daylight view from the Ha'penny Bridge, for example, might be instructive.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby hutton » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:02 am

ctesiphon wrote:I think it's very telling in that picture that the flanking buildings are in darkness except for their lower floors. It makes height comparisons difficult, which is surely the point.
It seems that the attic storeys currently in place on the hotel will be removed and replaced by the UFO landing pad seen above, stretching across three properties. Pity, as this section of the quays is marked by its varied roofline rather than the uniformity found elsewhere. IMO, the current incarnation of the Clarence is a shade too tall already, though is justified (just about) by the variety of ridge and roof heights in the vicinity. This will be lost in the redevelopment, with the retained facades looking for all the world like historicist wallpaper. (Or should that be 'historicist wallpaper*'?:rolleyes: )

A few quotes in the press release set alarm bells ringing for me:
"...the sensitive insertion of new additions..." - 'sensitive' how? The buildings are being gutted.
"...uniting ... the existing buildings..." - And this is a good thing why exactly?
"Only the quayside facades of the existing hotel and adjoining buildings - all of which are protected structures - would be retained..." - Was this discussed in pre-planning with DCC? Are the interiors of value? The only one I know is the Clarence itself, which has some worthy features iirc. (I'm open to correction on this.)

The sustainability aspects, such as the natural light and ventilation, and the energy efficiency, are positive elements, but I don't think they can balance or excuse the other interventions.

Lastly, the words of Norman himself- "The redevelopment of the Clarence Hotel is an ambitious project – architecturally and structurally – with a confident yet sympathetic civic presence. It presents an exciting opportunity to regenerate Temple Bar’s river frontage, while also creating a bold new addition to Dublin’s skyline."
Ambitious? Yes. Confident? Yes. Sympathetic? I can't see it.
And Temple Bar's river frontage mightn't need to be regenerated if it hadn't been allowed to deteriorate by... Remind me who was responsible again?

More pics please, Norm. The daylight view from the Ha'penny Bridge, for example, might be instructive.


Well said - couldnt put it any better myself.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby shadow » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:02 am

ET phone home
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby urbanisto » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:24 pm

I've actually seen more images of this and I am appalled. Some elements of the scheme are undoubtably ambitious and imagnative and as similar type building would suit Docklands very well.

However, the facade of this new hotel will be a mockery of the original. The proposals will simply slice off the top of the existing hotel and the adjoining building. The other smaller properties will be brought up by means of a glass curtain wall box. And of course the whole thing is topped off with the enormous ridiculous flying saucer.

The photomontage for Essex Street is at least an improvement... the original drawings I saw had Essex Street resembling a tress lined boulevard the width of Dawson Street which of course made the building look more suitable to the street in terms of scale. I think the building will dwarf the street though I actually like this facade.

The 'by day' photomontages show clearly that the proposed building will dominate the quays in the way that the the Four Courts and Custom House have previously. I know the current Clarence is quite dominant with its copper clad mansard but it is at least subtle and complementary to the surrounding area. This oval monstrosity will give two fingers to anything that comes near it.

Inside was ingenious though. A U shaped central looby with an open skylight. Very futuristic.

I for one will be objecting!
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby jimg » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:23 pm

IMO, the current incarnation of the Clarence is a shade too tall already, though is justified (just about) by the variety of ridge and roof heights in the vicinity.

I think you are being too generous here. From the quays, the current hotel is already too bulky, in my opinion. From memory, I'd guess it's 40-50% taller than the ajoining buildings. It also has quite a bit of "girth" relative to it's neighbours on that section of the quays. The result is that while the old fascade is quite nice, even the current building always stuck out dramatically for me as being too bulky for the context.

This new proposal is simply all wrong in this regard for this location. I'd guess that it's 70-100% taller than it's neighbours (hard to make out exactly with that sneaky nighttime picture). But it's not the height alone which is problematic - it's the huge span also. If you take the area (height by width) of the fascade of what is being proposed, then it's probably about 15 times the size of the typical buildings along that stretch. If that's not ignoring the "grain" of it's context, nothing is; "sympathetic" and "sensitive"? :rolleyes:
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby GregF » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:09 pm

However, as I said already, this is the dilemma, If U2 sell it it is likely to be sadly gutted as well as the adjacent vacant buildings one way or another as 32 bedrooms is not economically viable for a hotel.
So would this Foster concoction be better than another one at the end of the day?
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:12 pm

that night time render is awful, it looks like jury's custom house quay with a hollywood spaceship on top ... the back looks interesting however, can't really judge it until day time renders show it in context but the quay frontage doesn't look promising.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby archipig » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:50 pm

Uugggggh, absolutly hideous.
Especially the monuental Duvet floating on top of the thing. And such a pity becaust the Clanence is one of the most unique, original and nicly proportioned buildings on the quays. Ive kown for several years that they were planning extending next door but this is way over the top. Rear facade is shite aswell. Who are you and what have you done with Norman!
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby aj » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:12 pm

that looks f**king awful ... object object object..... its far to bulky for the Quays an would dominant everything.. i am really disappointed that this is the best Foster can come up with.

We have made this mistake to many times in Dublin pulling down what elegant buildings ,, keeping a facade and throwing up any old shit behind them.

Surely this will never get through planning!!!!
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:29 pm

For context (taken from elsewhere on this site):
Image
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby shaun » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:44 pm

It would be helpful if we could view more and clearer images of this project.You can't relly see what's happening.

Having said that, the Clarence as it is is just a provincially sized hotel and you can hardly blame these ambitious people for wanting to expand. Norman Foster is in good form these last few years so maybe we may just get something to enhance the beauty of the present Clarnence.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby blaise » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:09 am

This proposal is more suited to a brown field site and not an attractive historic building which is a protected structure. This really annoys me that Foster is proposing this type of rubbish for dublin as he knows he wouldnt have a chance of getting permission to bastardise a listed building on his own turf in this type of manner. This should be strongly resisted by all those who look at this website and have an empathy for good design , conservation and sustainable development.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby nil » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:39 am

blaise wrote:This really annoys me that Foster is proposing this type of rubbish for dublin as he knows he wouldnt have a chance of getting permission to bastardise a listed building on his own turf in this type of manner.


I think he has :p The impressive English Electric Company building on London's Strand has recently been demolished and the listed Marconi House completely gutted to facilitate Foster's Silken Hotel. Here's a photographic record of the destruction and a description of the boring looking new hotel. "The concept was to create a seamless relationship between the existing building and the contemporary additions" :rolleyes: : http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Strandmusikhall/GaietyTheatreSiteThenAndNow.htm
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:12 am

God!! Pretty shocking stuff there. Was it not opposed?


Btw all six Clarence plan buildings on the Liffey side are Protected Structures - Dollard House (printworks), the main hotel building and the four Georgian houses, with all that entails.
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby shadow » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:52 am

If the gaiety in London is anything to go by then it is very worrying
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:08 pm

I don't know who "Devan" is but it's not me!
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:20 pm

Lies! All lies!!

You're only trying to stir up a bit of controversy by pretending that there's someone in this city who actually likes this proposal.:D

Joking aside, is there anyone out there who does like it and can give a good, reasoned argument for such an opinion?
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Re: A new Clarence Hotel re-development with destruction on Essex St., Temple Bar

Postby urbanisto » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:41 pm

Bono?
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