Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:30 pm

hutton wrote:
*gets coat*


There are different time zones hutton. Just because it't Friday evening where you, are doesn't mean it couldn't be Tuesday morning here!
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:09 pm

Just to balance the usual negitivity with a bit of positivity, the College of Art extension into the old Thomas St. Fire Station seems to be scrubbing up good.

Image

Now back to negitivity.

Image
How could an early 18th century city mansion not be on the list of protected structures?

Image
Unexpected archway evident on the left side of the facade during replacement of facia boards.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby johnglas » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:22 pm

Yes, that really is a shocker; the archway suggests some kind of a 'pend' or passageway through to the rear, which could be a real feature. Whoever owns this building has no sense of anything architectural very much. Why the poorly- maintained render? Why not strip it back to the original brick? It looks as though someone tried to give it the 'Art Deco' treatment in the past - bizarre! Even the cheap tiling on the ground-floor facade (do. next door) is awful, and those trailing wires!! Next door has deteriorating brickwork and boarded-up windows.
This is surely (non-) benign neglect by DCC - what does its Planning Dept do?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:02 pm

johnglas: the building was a much loved department store and, as such has doubtless been gutted several times over the last hundred years or so.

I'll try and fish out my Rocque maps and see if the passageway shows up on the 1750s map.

The Art Deco thing was probably a attempt to blend this wing of the store with the 1930s wing to the right of the top picture. The end pilasters, which I had thought were an original and unusual feature, appear to be just part of that 1930s make-over, as you can just make out flush granite quoins in the archway photograph, which would tie in better with the 1720s or so date.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby johnglas » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:47 pm

Yes, and if they are typical Dublin granite, they would really sparkle given a bit of tlc; can't for the life of me understand why DCC tolerate Thomas St. Since I first got to know Dublin in the early 1990s, it's looked utterly decrepit and neglected. Some people are so hooked on 'character' that they can't recognise squalor and neglect when they see it. Some combination of carrot and stick would seem approprioate. I'm sure the old fire station will look splendid when it's cleaned; the combination of red brick and golden sandstone (I think it's sandstone) is classic.Thomas St has enough punctuation mark buildings to give it real character, while the rest could be restored or rebuilt as appropriate - and it must be prime residential area if only the air of neglect could be removed.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby hutton » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:03 am

gunter wrote:Just to balance the usual negitivity with a bit of positivity, the College of Art extension into the old Thomas St. Fire Station seems to be scrubbing up good.

Image


Agreed. Good to see this one buck the trend. Looks like a good job too :)
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Devin » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:55 pm

Ahhh ... that Frawley's fascia was vitrolite, wasn't it.

Will also miss the mad island entrance with terrazzo floor:

Image
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Sarsfield » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:01 pm

Devin wrote:Ahhh ... that Frawley's fascia was vitrolite, wasn't it.

Will also miss the mad island entrance with terrazzo floor:


There's a new shop for plus-size ladies & gents opening up soon. Don't know what, if any, changes will be made to the front.

Also, while passing along Thomas/James St today I saw a what looks like a new planning permission sign up on the old delapidated house beside the Bank of Ireland at the corner of Watling St. Anyone know what it says. Can't find anything on the DCC website.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:46 am

Sarsfield wrote:
Also, while passing along Thomas/James St today I saw a what looks like a new planning permission sign up on the old delapidated house beside the Bank of Ireland at the corner of Watling St. Anyone know what it says. Can't find anything on the DCC website.


That site notice is for the new application for the Windmill site (Digital Hub). Apparently it's phase one (office blocks) of a pending proposal for the whole site. The Reg. no. is 1712/08, but in the on-line planning file, the 'documents' refuse to open for me. The five weeks must be nearly up. I don't like not knowing what's happening here, will have to get into the counter tomorrow.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby jdivision » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:56 am

Presumably because they have to provide the State with a certain amount of office space as part of the deal to buy the site
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:58 am

Yes jdivision, I understand that, and also that the delivery of the office content is hemmed in by a tight time frame because of the refusal last time. I would just be concerned whether this split approach to the overall site is going to deliver a genuinely 'mixed use' scheme. Thomas St. / James's St. is dead enough over most of it's length without sticking in offices as the only use category on the upper floors of a nice, south facing, street frontage.

It just sounds a bit 'Plan B' and a bit rushed.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:11 pm

Got a quick look at that Digital Hub, P Elliot & Co. planning application for the Windmill site opposite Guinness on Thomas St/James's St. (Reg. no. 1712/08, lodged 29 Feb.)

Sorry about the poor quality of the images, I had to resort to a bit of guntering to get them to post at all.

Image
Image
I suppose for HKR, this is bordering on sensitive.

I think we can take it that they're bound and determined that this thing is going to make a big impact one way or the other. I don't think background in-fill was one of the options considered.

I'm glad they've retained the informal approach to the windmill from the first scheme. The windmill should make an interesting focal point when you come upon it casually, it's not strong enough for any big formal set-piece setting.

I think the relationship to the retained protected structure adjoining the bank on the west edge of the site is better than the last scheme and shouldn't jar too much. The stacked icecube block on the eastern edge is a massive improvement of that appalling mini-Centrepoint that was proposed the last time, but it's still pretty aggressive and it's going to present a lot of blank wall towards Thomas Street over the roof tops of IAWS.

There's one objection in so far from the 'National Conservation and Heritage Group' signed by Damien Cassidy, and people said they were just a flash in the pan!

It will be interesting to see how the planning office go about reversing the decision ABP made the last time.

All in all, a nice little headache for some planning officer. I'm actually fine with that.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby notjim » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:32 pm

How funny, it is a corporatization of the new museum:

http://www.newmuseum.org/

looses some of the elegance, some of the playfulness and most of the beauty, but still fun and attractive. Even the looming facade looks quite handsome in is own way, unforgiving though of poor workmanship. Certainly a big improvement and hence a victory for the planning process, probably a good building if built.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Peter Fitz » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:12 am

Quite like the stacked cubes, but it really is very heavy on IAWS, it would help if there was some kind of bridge between them to carry on the parapet & line before going off on such a bender ... though obviously space is tight. The scale of the curtain wall is more objectionable ... surely other options here ?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Landarch » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:54 am

The stacked box thing reminds me of the Herzog & deMeuron design for the new Tate extension.

Image
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby johnglas » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:43 am

Alas, the caricature of 'modern' architecture as being 'shoeboxes stacked one on top of another'. This would be OK in a 'business park' (the nadir of contemporary design), but not in a prominent and sensitive inner-city location. It's just crass and artless (cf. the new bldg near City Hall for the likely public reaction.). A tall narrow frontage reflecting the form and function of what lies behind, detailed using contemporary materials, would be more appropriate here.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:15 am

jonhglas:

I told you we'd be falling out, I think that was two days wasn't it?

Your're fundamentally wrong on one thing: Thomas Street isn't shoeboxes stacked on top of each other, I think you'll find it's ice cubes stacked on top of each other!
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:42 pm

It sort of reminds me of a glass version of Molyneux House in the 'eyecatching front bit stuck onto a big bland box' approach. Or a glassy version of some Benson & Forsyth confection. It's pretty huge, no? That second image is quite deceptive.

On the other hand, I don't mind the apartments (apartments, yes? the bld to the left) too much- the scale, at least, seems sympathetic. Was that bld applied for at this stage too, or will it be later? And if so, will it change in the interim?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby jimg » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:11 pm

I like the design but really the scale is awful; it's at least twice the height of it's neighbours. I think they are being a bit disingenious to show it in the context of one one existing building on the street.

I'm still dreaming that at some point in the future that the remaining historic stock and streetscapes of the city will become treasured among the public, planners, property owners and developers and that the whole Thomas St/James St stretch could be restored in a historically sympathetic way. As the historical high street of the city, such a restoration would provide a far more noteworthy icon for the city than some planner & developers egotistical notion of what will be an "iconic" building. There is a lot of dereliction on this street but even then there is enough left that something stunning could be done here. Without having to look to the continent, looking across the water to the royal mile in Edinburgh shows what can be achieved.

Ok it would be unfair to say that this building alone would ruin the chance of my fanciful dream ever being realised (we've already f*cked up the Christchurch end of this stretch) but it certainly would not help. So I'm agin it in this location.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby johnglas » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:51 pm

gunter: and icecubes will melt...
jimq: the 'Royal Mile' in Edinburgh - Walt Scottery and Walt Disneyana, not the bit at the top (the 'real' bit), nor at the bottom (1950s and 60s attempts at human-scale domestic - apart from that carbuncle the Scottish P*******t Bldg, grhh!), but the commercial debris in the centre. Totally agree with the spirit of your comments.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:15 pm

jimg wrote:I like the design but really the scale is awful; it's at least twice the height of it's neighbours. I think they are being a bit disingenious to show it in the context of one one existing building on the street.

I'm still dreaming that at some point in the future that the remaining historic stock and streetscapes of the city will become treasured among the public, planners, property owners and developers and that the whole Thomas St/James St stretch could be restored in a historically sympathetic way. As the historical high street of the city, such a restoration would provide a far more noteworthy icon for the city than some planner & developers egotistical notion of what will be an "iconic" building. There is a lot of dereliction on this street but even then there is enough left that something stunning could be done here. Without having to look to the continent, looking across the water to the royal mile in Edinburgh shows what can be achieved.

Ok it would be unfair to say that this building alone would ruin the chance of my fanciful dream ever being realised (we've already f*cked up the Christchurch end of this stretch) but it certainly would not help. So I'm agin it in this location.


jimg: I think you're absolutely right on the value of Thomas St./James's St. Enough of the street has survived for repair rather that re-making to be the order of the day. The presence of the Guinness buildings has ensured that the street retains a civic scale which is, in large part, still in reasonably good condition.The hope is that the older 18th. century housing stock ( see Devins photographs further back in the thread) has survived just about long enough to be cherished and conserved, although there is little obvious evidence of this just now.

It would be fantastic if the two Digital Hub schemes could be scaled down to a level of responsible in-fill from that of aggressive interloper, but what are the chances of that happening? In fairness to HKR and the planners, (assuming there's been some consultation), this scheme does make an effort to respect the streetscape and there is the arguement that the two buildings proposed frame the entrance to something like a new street winding it's way down through the site past the windmill towards Bonham Street

Here's another of the submitted renders from the west. Apologies again for the quality, I use the point and shoot method of photography.

Image

johnglas: The Scottish Parliament building is eccentric, in no way is it a carbuncle.

ctesiphon: Both building are offices! The building on the left looks like apartments, but as far as I know the apartment element of the scheme isn't ready yet. Does that suggest to you that a 'tower' may be involved?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby notjim » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:28 pm

Normally I would think the scale excessive but isn't this part of the street all about big buildings, the old guinness buildings, looming over small, more domestic-scall ones?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Ciaran » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:11 pm

Completely off topic, but still on James Street, my Grandfather used to own a bar on James street, in the 50's and 60's called the Fountain Bar. It was right at the west end of the street where the Luas goes now ( I think) and around the corner from Stevens Lane. Anyway there used to be a fountain in front of it and I think there was a public WC there also.

As my Grandparents lived upstairs I have many fond memories of having a glass of club orange and some crisps passed through the "money hole" in the stair case.

Anyway I've been trying forever to find a picture of the building with absolutely no success, does anyone have one or have any ideas of where I might possibly find such a picture?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby johnglas » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:05 pm

gunter: you did not have to (a) pay for it or (b) live with the hype (or incompetence). It owes nothing to Edinburgh or Scottish tradition, it is in fact three disparate and not very much at ease buildings, the entrance is incredibly gloomy, it is faced internally in concrete and it grovels perceptibly in front of the 'royal' presence in nearby Holyrood House (there's even one of HM's heraldic lions sticking its tongue out right at it). It's an over-priced, over-designed, over-engineered mess. Did I say I don't like it? Eccentric doesn't get anywhere near it.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Peter Fitz » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:56 pm

notjim wrote:Normally I would think the scale excessive but isn't this part of the street all about big buildings, the old guinness buildings, looming over small, more domestic-scall ones?


Good point notjim, hadn't thought ... still have a problem with the massive walled gable to the right, nice to see the left has a face.
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