Liberty Hall redevelopment

Should Liberty Hall Be Listed?

Yes
168
46%
No
198
54%
 
Total votes : 366

Re: Liberty Hall

Postby jdivision » Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:31 pm

Paul, unfortunately unless they do something with the rail bridge the sightlines of the Custom House are already ruined
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby PVC King » Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:15 pm

Has a consensus emerged on whether Liberty Hall should go at all?

jdivision wrote:Paul, unfortunately unless they do something with the rail bridge the sightlines of the Custom House are already ruined


The image is interesting in that it shows views of the north Dublin hills prior to development of the Irish Life Centre and that the loopline had no advertising hoardings at least as late mid 1960's

I thought about this on the way to work this morning; I couldn't think of any reason why converting a 60m tower into a 90-120m would do any harm. Then it hit me the shodow analysis test may prove that it would have an effect as the tower is due west of the Custom House which may result in shadowing of the Custom House. An independent shadow analysis would sort this out.

One aspect of SIPTU's argument for replacement that disturbs me is their assertion that it is jaded office space and that they have a right of equivelence to new third or fourth generation space to be paid for by an additional quantum of development. My view on this is that the building must in circumstances where it is owner occupied be considered to be a landlord's void i.e. the landlord must decide whether they wish to invest to bring the specification up to contemporary norms to attract a tenant on passing income streams.

Why should SIPTU have the planning rules bent so that they can have free offices?
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby jimg » Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:58 pm

Has a consensus emerged on whether Liberty Hall should go at all?

Sounds like a good idea for an archiseek poll?

I'd be very strongly against getting rid of it at this stage but it certainly needs to be refreshed - preferably restored to it's original "transparent" form. Whatever your opinions on it, it's unarguably a Dublin icon and I'm not in favour of iconoclasm. It's not like we have a large heritage of interesting buildings from that era.

Given its iconic status, you'd imagine that there would be robust arguments for it's removal in terms of aesthetics. Going on the contents of this thread, all I can find are expressions of personal dislike without any attempt to justify the dislike.

One of the arguments for its replacement amusingly acknowledges its status; paraphrasing from memory: "we want to replace it with something that will acquire similar iconic status after 40 years". So Liberty Hall is built and is viewed with wonder by Dubliners but shortly afterwards becomes the building everyone loves to say they hate. Then after 30 years of being hated, just as its iconic status is becoming established, knock it down and replace it with a building which will be hated for 40 years before it reaches the status of the current building. :rolleyes:

Especially in it "transparent" form, the building is quite "light" and elegant. The contrast with O'Connell Bridge House is stark and I wouldn't have any problem with the removal of the latter. Since the primary reason for knocking it is to increase the floor area, its replacement is guaranteed to be heavier and bulkier.

I remember about 10 or 15 years ago trying to argue with friends that what Dublin needed was a SECOND liberty hall across the river on Tara Street. :D The idea appealed to my contrarian nature given that at the time expressing hatred of Liberty Hall was even more popular than it is now.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby shaun » Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:38 pm

I say knock the damn thing down, a lone tall building looks so provincial, tall buildings need a background of another few tall buildings, that's been it's downfall, nothing wrong with the thing itself, just its isolated location.

While we're at it, bulldoze that monstrosity next to it, the hidious "Irish life mall", it just screams 80's sadness from every brick, god, things were bad back then, what....
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby paul h » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:36 pm

In an ideal world liberty hall would be levelled and 4 or 5 story building replace it

The loop line underground, with the glory of the customs house fully exposed to rest of the inner city area

Then with the docklands developed into a 21st century fully functional high rise 20, 30 ,even 40 story mini city.
The liffey would be lined with buildings increasing in height all the way to the mouth
This would draw your eye right down to the poolbeg chimneys, (which would no longer be there of course)
with the new city/ old city contrast spectacular
Alas as this did not happen(thank you DDDA and nimbys) i still need my high rise fix
so a taller improved liberty hall will have to do.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby GrahamH » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:23 pm

I disagree about the Irish Life Centre: it's not a bad piece of design, just the crude concrete base doesn't sit well with the dressed brick upper facades, and the tinted glazing is too dark and faintly sleazy for today's chic tastes. And the copper roofing has aged to a pukey yellowish green that'd remind you of disconcerting stains on an old sofa, rather than a more typical, even green patina. Perhaps it needs more time.

There is no way that a taller tower will be permitted on the Liberty Hall site next to the Custom House, save perhaps an extra 2-3 storeys. Its impact would simply be too great. The slenderness ratio will also have to be retained, so there's little scope for lateral expansion either - in fact this aspect is even more important than height given the level of impact of additional bulk or volume. So both additional height and width would be necessary in a rebuild, and simply would not be acceptable on such a sensitive site.

One option perhaps could be to sink the theatre underground (part of the complex is already below ground level), and make use of the space it currently occupies, with the potential for a minor setback from the quay parapet. It is a tiny site though.

Image
Ken Finlay Collection

I think it's largely acknowledged at this stage that the only reason Liberty Hall is acceptable today on that site (and on an already smaller scale then anything proposed) is because of its heritage value. It and the Custom House have become odd bedfellows in a by-now familiar vista that would otherwise be entirely inappropriate on an objective basis. Even to visitors it is clearly an icon of its age and of interest in that respect - for good or bad as they may perceive it. As the state's first 'skyscaper' it has so much heritage value attached, and also because of its association with Ireland's first post-independence boom.

To knock it down and replace it with a more arrogant tower you not only increase the impact on the neighbouring Custom House and surrounding area, you also lose something of heritage value, and indeed thirdly even the option to restore the quayline and primacy of the Custom House as a next best solution. You lose on all fronts.

Good point jimg on the icon front ;)

The old Liberty Hall that got a few sticking plasters after 1916 - it survived up until the tower was built.

Image
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Andy O » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:29 pm

I think it would be a pity if it got the chop, its been there for a generation and I can't help but like it.

Aesthetically, its cheap and nasty look is mainly due to the windows, A fresh set of windows can't be that expensive in the scheme of things. Either bring back the original transparent look, or make the reflective windows shinier and sleeker (the mirror style isn't bad in itself, its the lack of uniformity that makes it look crap).

Compared to Hawkins House, Liberty Hall is the frickin Taj Mahal.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby paul h » Fri May 04, 2007 2:15 am

Design competition to replace Liberty Hall

Redevelopment Siptu is to opt for an architectural competition to design a replacement for its headquarters, although it will be a few years yet before Liberty Hall faces the wrecker's ball, writes Gretchen Friemann

Debate over Liberty Hall's planned demolition is likely to intensify over the next two weeks when Siptu advertises an architectural competition to design a replacement for the iconic tower.

A large scale heritage centre and a performing arts space are among the features that architects will have to include in their proposal for a new skyscraper.

A notice announcing the competition is due to be published in the EU Official Journal by the end of next week.

Although any decision regarding the 16-storey building's fate must be taken in conjunction with the planning authorities, the move brings Liberty Hall's date with the wrecker's ball ever closer.

However, Siptu's general secretary, Joe O'Flynn, claims the architectural competition will "realise the very best design" for the union's next headquarters and insists the new skyscraper will "over time become equally as iconic" as the existing 1960s tower.

The organisation hopes that a comprehensive heritage centre - covering the birth of the labour movement in the early 20th century to the formation of Siptu from the merger of the ITGWU and the FWUI unions in 1990 - will prove to be one of the building's most popular attractions.

According to O'Flynn, the exhibition will explore the turbulent periods of the 1913 Lockout and the 1916 Rising, as well as provide in-depth analysis of the union's founding fathers, Jim Larkin and James Connolly.

Siptu expects the widespread interest in the labour movement and its rich history in the foundation of the State will ensure the venture is self-financing, and "can wash its own face", as one source close to the design process of the new headquarters put it.

The redeveloped site will also include a 200-seat performing arts space, which will double as a theatre and a lecture hall for the heritage centre.

O'Flynn was keen to emphasise the tower's green credentials, claiming it will be a "zero-energy building" with the latest modern technologies.

However, he also indicated that Siptu would not be embarking on a joint venture with a developer and said the union would prefer to maintain control of the project by contracting out the building work.

The advertisement for the architectural competition will stipulate a large number of design requirements although it will not specify how high the new tower should be.

However, O'Flynn said that if there is sufficient public interest in the design brief for Liberty Hall's replacement, Siptu will consider publishing a booklet on the architectural requirements.

One thing is certain though, the demolition of the city's first skyscraper is going to be a long drawn out process.

A decision on the design will not be taken until the end of the year at the earliest and construction on the new tower is likely to be delayed until 2011.

© 2007 The Irish Times


So they are planning a shiny new 'skyscraper' to replace this iconic (:confused: ) 1960's structure
I'm prepared to be bored silly with endless setbacks and changes, anti high rise protests......and so on
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri May 04, 2007 3:38 am

the thing is, it's such a good site (yet small site) that a replacement need not be enormous to be an iconic replacement - witness how the current 13 stories are a symbol of Dublin

the site needs only a good design to work - its not about excessive height or overindulgent "design" but a thoughtul site orientated medium height tower could really work here - odds on Irish winner becuase local knowledge and respect will be more important that any " international iconic" style design here.

we could end up with a reasonable height replacement with reflective elements for the river; podium height that respect both the railway and the custom house yet provide an exclaimation point from o'connell bridge without breaking 15/17 stories
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Keen » Fri May 04, 2007 9:27 am

I always envisioned a 'transamerica pyramid' syle building to replace liberty hall, it would look sooo right on that site and would cut down on the 'blocky' look of liberty hall in order to reduce a shadow effect over the customs house and neighbouring streets. With that i reckon it could go 20 or more stories and still look inconspicuous but at the same time sleek and eyecatching. The tip of the pyramid could be lit up to mirror the spire and retain the feeling of liberty hall...green perhaps, or does the city centre have enough neon green? And only a meter or so..
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Rory W » Fri May 04, 2007 2:22 pm

paul h wrote:it will be a "zero-energy building"

Are Siptu just going to be very lazy then?
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby PVC King » Fri May 04, 2007 9:44 pm

Rory W wrote:Are Siptu just going to be very lazy then?


Digging the heels in is a fairly energy intensive activity.

Carbon Neutral is the way the business is going. A leading London fund has informed all its managers that all shopping centres in their portfolio are to be carbon neutral by 2010 are they will lose their instructions.

Shopping centres are probably the least energy efficient of any development class.

On Liberty Hall as inefficient as it is the carbon footprint of a replacement would be huge in the absense of green concrete being the industry norm.

As their nearest neighbour spends millions telling reuse, recycle.

This story has a long way to run.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Morlan » Fri May 04, 2007 11:03 pm

So were stuck with the tattered old façade for another 5 years.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Blisterman » Sat May 05, 2007 12:02 am

Well, I think one of the problems with liberty hall, is that it is horizontally striped, which as any fashion enthusiast would tell, you, makes it look fatter. A similar sized building, with vertical stripes, a la, the empire state building, would probably look more sleek and graceful, and be more inconspicuous.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby PVC King » Sat May 05, 2007 9:09 am

Morlan wrote:So were stuck with the tattered old façade for another 5 years.


Only if they isolate removal of the existing city icon to replace it with another new similar building.

If the existing building were reclad attractively they could be on site within six months. There is nothing to preclude the owners increasing scale on the Eden Quay section of the site to a more appropriate scale.

Agree on the vertical cladding in common with subtle cladding designs has less impact.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby AndrewP » Sat May 05, 2007 10:03 am

If this site was virgin territory, only a lunatic would build a high-rise tower in front of the Custom House, so why is that being discussed now as if it's a done deal? This is the same city that has a collective heart attack every time someone suggests anything taller than a bungalow within 10 miles of a Georgian.
CPOs don't seem to be a problem when it comes to motorways and sports stadiums. Why can't the council do a swap with SIPTU and take over the site? Why can't its future be based on aesthetics and heritage instead of whether some union official has enough desk space for his mousepad? It's mind-boggling that what's built on one of the most visually sensitive sites in the country is in the hands of the trade union that happens to own it, and made a hames of it 40 years ago.
As it stands, Liberty Hall only makes sense as a 1960s tower, its presence on the skyline tells the story of Ireland in its first boom decade. Love it or hate it, it's Dublin's most evocative building of the 20th century. The only justification for knocking it would be to replace it with a low-rise and restore the line of sight to the Custom House. Even then I think it would take a generation to get over the shock of not seeing it.
I don't think a taller, more "tasteful" tower can be built on this site. I have absolutely no faith in the planners delivering it.
I'm afraid the worst possible outcome is the most likely - a fat, ugly 10-storey compromise that people will be scratching their heads over in 2047.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby AndrewP » Sat May 05, 2007 10:08 am

If this site was virgin territory, only a lunatic would build a high-rise tower in front of the Custom House, so why is that being discussed now as if it's a done deal? This is the same city that has a collective heart attack every time someone suggests anything taller than a bungalow within 10 miles of a Georgian.
CPOs don't seem to be a problem when it comes to motorways and sports stadiums. Why can't the council do a swap with SIPTU and take over the site? Why can't its future be based on aesthetics and heritage instead of whether some union official has enough desk space for his mousepad? It's mind-boggling that what's built on one of the most visually sensitive sites in the country is in the hands of the trade union that happens to own it, and made a hames of it 40 years ago.
As it stands, Liberty Hall only makes sense as a 1960s tower, its presence on the skyline tells the story of Ireland in its first boom decade. Love it or hate it, it's Dublin's most evocative building of the 20th century. The only justification for knocking it would be to replace it with a low-rise and restore the line of sight to the Custom House. Even then I think it would take a generation to get over the shock of not seeing it.
I don't think a taller, more "tasteful" tower can be built on this site. I have absolutely no faith in the planners delivering it.
I'm afraid the worst possible outcome is the most likely - a fat, ugly 10-storey compromise that people will be scratching their heads over in 2047.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby fergalr » Sat May 05, 2007 12:25 pm

The biggest problem with Custom House sight-lines is the Loop Line Bridge, so if you want to get exercised over something, there's your target.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby PVC King » Sat May 05, 2007 12:27 pm

No arguing against the negative impacts of the historic Loopline inheritance.

However two wrongs do not make a right and Liberty Hall in its present incarnation detracts much focus from the Loopline and is although inappropriately sited it has become part of the furniture.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby AndrewP » Sat May 05, 2007 1:23 pm

fergalr wrote:The biggest problem with Custom House sight-lines is the Loop Line Bridge, so if you want to get exercised over something, there's your target.


In an ideal world...
But at least the loopline is a major piece of infrastructure, not a privately-owned stand alone building. And noboby's proposing to replace it with something potentially uglier.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Paddy » Sat May 05, 2007 5:15 pm

I'm a film student making a documentary on the present Liberty Hall, I have some archive film and some photos from IAA but if anyone has images (even postcards) or suggestions of where to get some it would be much appreciated. I'm especially interested in anything before the glass was changed after the car bomb in 1972.
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby Paddy » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:18 pm

Todays Irish times,


Liberty Hall, which has been open since 1965, is scheduled to be demolished in 2009 and its replacement completed 18 months later.
Photograph: Bryan O'Brien

A shortlist of six architects firms has been drawn up to design a replacement for Liberty Hall in the centre of Dublin.

The winning candidate will be chosen at the end of this month after 34 architects firms expressed an interest in the project.

Last year Siptu announced that it wants to replace its headquarters, which was once the highest building in Ireland.

The building brief for the plan envisages a tower which will double the floor space from about 5,500 square metres to 11,000 square metres. That target could be achieved by building slightly higher than the present 16 stories while also building out.

The current Liberty Hall takes up only 40 per cent of the footprint of the site.

There are plans for an auditorium, a sky deck cafe and a union heritage centre.

Opened in 1965, Liberty Hall has been a controversial building since its inception and has now outlasted its usefulness.

Siptu advertised internationally in August and the initial list was whittled down from 34 to six last week.

A team of three consultant architects and two senior Siptu officials, general secretary Joe O'Flynn and the president Jack O'Connor, will decide the winning firm after interviews later this month.

The winner will be put to the union's national executive committee for approval next month.

The design stage will only begin after the winning bid is chosen.

Consultant architect Brian Hogan said: "Siptu would much prefer to appoint an architect on the basis of his past work, his experience and his reputation."

Mr Hogan said the trade union would work with that architect from the beginning "looking at the options available so that the union feels that it owns the concept".

Siptu hopes to have planning permission secured in the middle of next year.

All going to plan, Liberty Hall will be demolished in 2009 and the project will be completed 18 months after that.

No figure has been given by Siptu for the cost of replacing Liberty Hall, but the union envisages 4,000 square metres (or about 40 per cent of the total floor space) will be left for commercial development to help pay for it.

Mr O'Flynn said Siptu would consider a commercial partner for the project, but only if it was felt that one was needed.

"A number of commercial interests have visited us and spoken to us about getting involved in the project, but we have decided that all of the initial preparation will be done directly by ourselves, "he added.

"The preferred option is to complete the project by ourselves."

© 2007 The Irish Times
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby shamrockmetro » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:39 pm

any one know the short list???
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby ake » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:42 pm

this is dreadful. Liberty Hall is an icon and better than anything new in the docklands or elsewhere
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Re: Liberty Hall

Postby geraghtyg » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:10 am

Ah its feckin ugly!!!! One of the worst eyesores in Dublin. Not quite as bad as Hawkins House, thank god but ugly all the same. At least Liberty and Hawkins will be finally laid to rest!!! If they had done some sort or renovation, it "may" have looked nice but as it is, it's just a low/medium rise 1960's ugly piece of crap with horrible floor space utiliaztion. Can't wait for the new plans to come to fruition. :D
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