National Gallery Extension

Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby gunter » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:17 pm

My memory is that it was a full, wall to wall, glass shop front, with rounded granite steps up to a central door. I think it looked like it was designed to be one big shop, but it had been crudely divided into two shops, one of them an iron mongers called Davis something.

I can't locate any photographs just now.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:17 pm

Ahhh - well that cetainly puts a different spin on matters. Certainly explains the dubious doorcase. I also thought the chanelling looked a tad weak and very fresh, but let it go. As with Paul, it's been under wraps for so long I just imagined the ground floor to be like that of the adjacent Tegral house - seems to be where they've taken their cue from for the door anyway.

The only record I can find of the building in former times is Shaw's Pictorial Directory of 1850.

Image


However, if the shopfront was beyond repair and/or significantly altered, a case could be made for its removal and replacement with a form suited to its new use, namely offices. In this instance that would naturally take the form of the original Georgian ground floor facade.

The removal of upper floor additions is not justified in those cirumstances in my opinion, and have rightly been left alone.

Yes the railings are idential to Westland Row, gunter. I couldn't place where I'd seen them before.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:38 pm

The ground floor was an art supply / drawing board shop at one stage.....
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby gunter » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:24 pm

Graham:

I'm 95% certain that the shopfront, as shown in Shaw's, was replaced by a simple all glass affair with a narrow glass door in the centre, but I could be thinking of somewhere else.

If this was the front I'm thinking of, it could have made a great gallery book shop, but, I suppose they didn't want to diminish the impact of the actual gallery entrance by having a, more visually open, side way in.

Your photographs show that they've done a thorough job on the house, my main issue with it is with the selective retention of bits of Victoriana, when the thrust of the effort seems to have been towards the restoration of the house in it's original Georgian form. I was pretty much of the view that the strapwork details and the big Victorian shopfront (if it was there) all went together, so if You were getting rid of one, why would you not get rid of the other. The same applies to the glazing bars, are we doing Georgian?, or are we doing Victorian?

I don't know anyone else who shares this view, but I have this real nagging feeling that this generation has lost it's way on conservation. We seem terrified of being accused of Disneyfication more than anything else. Every conservation project seems to need to scream out 'Look I'm not pretending to be original' when we should all just relax a bit and have a bit of confidence in our ability to restore something that's obviously valuable, when restoration is the logical option.

There's nothing to stop an architect from putting a small plaque on the front of a restored building, explaining exactly what bits he's restored, if he thinks there's any chance someone in the future will be deceived and offended by the high quality of the work.

It seems clear to me that, in contrast to every other branch of contemporary architectural practice, conservation has become dominated by the international charter codes of conduct, and that these sets of predetermined prescriptions have replaced common sense and informed judgement as the tools of the practice.

I could be wrong, but I think this National Gallery House is another example of conservation idealogy getting in the way of conservation common sense. There are bits here to please everyone, as I think you suggested yourself, but, to me, the stand out feature is the compromise. It suited the client's requirements to close up the ground floor, so the've gone down the restoration road, but then, to keep on-side of the Burra Charter, they've stop short of removing a few trinkets of the 19th century revamp.

It is a decent job, the property is renovated and finally back in use, but I don't see a fine Georgian house restored, I don't see a Victorian make-over reinvigorated, and I don't see a contemporary statement made. Any one of the above would have done me.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:06 pm

gunter, I understand where you’re coming from. Indeed I agree with nearly everything you say (as expressed in other threads). However from what I’m seeing across the city, as most evident in fenestration, the opposite is increasingly the case with regard to conservation ethics. Everywhere you turn reproduction Georgian sashes are going back into townhouses and public buildings. Similarly other later additions are regularly being removed and restored back to their former state, often involving replication. Frustratingly, given the countless examples I’ve encountered, none immediately spring to mind save this case in Dundalk where Victorian plate was unnecessarily returned back to Georgian grid (and hideous mock-traditional shopfront applied).

Image



Image

Why retain the c. 1900 shopfront and ironwork but ditch the sashes?

Of course every circumstance is different, and should be treated as such – not in a faddish fashion as is so often the case at the moment. For example plate glass fanlights should generally be returned to their original form where possible, sheet sashes in attic storeys ought to be replaced if it unifies a house, render ought to be stripped if negating from the character of a structure etc etc. By contrast sheet sashes if just a feature of the principal rooms of the typical townhouse generally ought to be retained as an example of both social and engineering change. If however they were installed as part of a heavy-handed institutional use, a case could be made for their replacement. Similarly at Dublin Castle all Victorian sheet in the State Apartments was rightfully removed between the 1960s and the 1980s, thus restoring the wider Upper Yard to its late Georgian appearance. Real commitment to architectural purity was also demonstrated in the removal of the 19th century attic storey from the Bedford Tower, one of the few – if not only – examples in Dublin of such scholarly thought and plain hard cash being invested in a conservation project (even if the storey was also causing structural problems). The reopening of Robinson’s arcade in the 1960s reconstruction a more modest and often unremarked upon example of such considered thought.

Every case is different, and I think a conservation ethos has to be carefully devised according to the scenario faced, but always balancing historic fabric with what's right for the character of the building, as subjective as that may be.

I believe the correct route was taken regarding the National Gallery House. Just because the shopfront was lost/had to be replaced did not mean the entire house had to be altered accordingly. That would be extreme, unnecessary, and wasteful of both money and extensive historic fabric. If the Victorian alterations had been less all-pervading, a better case could be made.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:33 am

GrahamH wrote:
I believe the correct route was taken regarding the National Gallery House. Just because the shopfront was lost/had to be replaced did not mean the entire house had to be altered accordingly. That would be extreme, unnecessary, and wasteful of both money and extensive historic fabric. If the Victorian alterations had been less all-pervading, a better case could be made.


Graham: I would have knocked off that Victorian icing sugar fringe myself with a lump hammer, if cost was the issue.

It may be just a personal thing, but these Georgian houses, including your example from Dundalk, depend so heavily on the proportions of their window fenestration for their aesthetic appeal, that not to reinstate their glazing bars just seem like a slap in the face to the original designer, IMO.

I don't think that we need to grant equal respect to everyone who's had a go at any given building over a couple of centuries. In my opinion, the first intention, the original design, should have an assumption of primacy in any hierarchical evaluation of the conservation priorities. No. 10 Mill St. (as we've discussed before), a definite case in point.

I believe that the opposite position (which seems, to me, to be the current dominant position), where the various accretions demand as much respect as the original design, is just plain wrong.

There are obvious exceptions like the Rubricks block in Trinity, where the Victorian additions added a whole level of interest and scale that wasn't really there before, but usually alterations (often by the Victorians) were pretty shallow and usually took away more than they added to the character of the building they altered.

There's probably an Archiseek thread on conservation that it might be better to continue this discussion on.

On the National Gallery house. I'm going to wait until I find a pre-renovation photograph before I shoot my mouth off any more about this. My gut feeling is, that the Victorian shopfront, the window replacement and the frilly trim, were (or appeared to be) a package deal, and it might have been better to retain this version of the house, or put the clock back to the Georgian original, in full, rather than do a bit of both.

We'll dig out a photograph and take it from there.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:54 am

gunter wrote:There's probably an Archiseek thread on conservation that it might be better to continue this discussion on.


Maybe this one on the List of Protected Structures?

Also, I've referred before to the attitude you mention, gunter, but only in passing, here. (Taken from this thread.)

Looking forward to your input there, gunter.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:23 pm

ctesiphon wrote:
Looking forward to your input there, gunter.


Sorry ctesiphon, that was a pretty scary thread you had going there. I think I may have got hold of a couple of points though, as the rest sailed clean over my head.

1. [INDENT]All buildings require maintenance and renewal, as time goes by, and frequently this involved replacing actual fabric. To me, and apparently now the Japanese, this is fine.[/INDENT]

2. [INDENT]The disgraceful state of much of our urban environment for much of the 20th century, was in part, deemed acceptible to a large section of irish society by virtue of it's status as a legacy of the Brits.[/INDENT]

3. [INDENT]It's very difficult to communicate ideas of architectural value and the differing concepts of authenticity that apply to the design of a building and to the fabric of a building, without slipping into incomprehensible sentences, like this one.[/INDENT]

Coming back to the issue of the National Gallery. Has anyone got a photograph of the wretched house?
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:37 pm

I don't but I don't seem to recall the shopfront as having much architectural merit - but then I'm old and my memory is foggy now - and at the time I worked in the area, I was living in kennedy's
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby gunter » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:18 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:I don't but I don't seem to recall the shopfront as having much architectural merit - but then I'm old and my memory is foggy now - and at the time I worked in the area, I was living in kennedy's


You're probably right about this, the shopfront probably didn't have a whole lot of architectural merit. It's not a good sign that none of us can remember the thing very clearly.

I know it's a bit pedantic to go on about the decision to retain the victorian fenestration and the plaster quoin details, but we get to see so few brave attempts to actually 'restore' buildings instead of just 'conserve' them that it just seems a pity to me that they couldn'd bring themselve to go that last ten yards.

As an aside, while fruitlessly searching for a photograph of no. 5 South Leinster Street (the house in question), I came across these pictures (in Pearson) of it's original neighbour, no. 29 Clare Street, which was demolished for the Nation Gallery extension in 1989. Does anyone know what happened to the excellent cut-stone door case and the great sweeping steps? Did stuff like this go to land fill, or does it now adorn a gazebo in some gallery director's garden?
ImageImage

Just in case there's any missunderstanding about this, I love the National Gallery extension (with a few small reservations), and huge credit is due to Benson & Forsyth for the way that they adapted their plans to address the ABP decision in 1998 that required the retention of 5 Clare Street, and to the late lamented Uinseann MacEoin for taking the appeal that forced that decision.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby lostexpectation » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:28 pm

what about the buildings cafe shop etc and above opposite the NG any comment on them they seem to be worked on continuously for years
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:34 pm

etching of the opening of the NGI

His excellency the Earl of Carlisle opening the National Gallery of Ireland, Genuine original antique engraving, 1864

Image
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby urbanisto » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:45 pm

For anyone left in Dublin...

The National Gallery currently have an exhibition in place showing the proposed new masterplan for the Gallery, including a major new extension.

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Its quite interesting and full of some interesting historical photos...worth a look.

Image

Image

Image
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:46 pm

How much of that is the 1960s block refaced?
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby thebig C » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:43 pm

Exactly Paul!

When I first looked at the illustrations I was scratching my head wondering where they got all the space for such a large new extension!

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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:27 pm

Where's the funding for this? In place? or a 10 year plan?
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby urbanisto » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:48 pm

I can't imagine any funding will be forthcoming in the near future however the Gallery appears to be fundraising for the new extension.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby urbanisto » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:19 am

I must eat my words of above. A welcome investment of €20m and a timeframe for completion by end of 2015.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/bre ... ing32.html
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:42 pm

ngi.jpg


Well looking at the map, it still seems that they have a plan to shoehorn in another strip of building alongside the 60s wing, and then refacing it to match. No mention of it in the press release.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:02 pm

The media in this country is a joke. How on earth is nobody taking an interest in this project, never mind running with a departmental press release at face value?

This project - one of the largest construction sites in the country - has been beavering away for over a year, involving high level conservation and the input of heavy hitters Heneghan Peng Architects, yet nobody has an iota that this is going on! One of the largest roofing contracts ever undertaken in Dublin has already been completed. Is there any civic pride left in Dublin? The €20 million figure is also way out.

The usual scatty report on RTÉ News last night was equally diabolical, with barely a mention of the architectural significance of the building or the architects involved, nor the radical proposals to re-open and reinstate a number of concealed Victorian features, or the proposed contemporary interventions which will significantly re-shape the complex. Where was the Director of the National Gallery last night? Why wasn't the conservation team interviewed? Why weren't we told of the building's operating challenges and proposed solutions? Where are the experts on the complex telling us about this magnificent national amenity and their vision for it?

This is one of the most important projects happening in Dublin - as it would be in either boom time or recession - and yet it is all but being concealed from the populace, inadvertently aided by a blindly ignorant media. It is also patently apparent that all this stock being placed on 1916 is to conceal the fact that the GPO reordering is a dead duck and there is nothing else in the pipeline. So much easier to tenuously latch a national commemorative event onto an existing construction project, even if it is as removed as the National Gallery of Ireland. It wouldn't surprise me if it was attached to the refurb of the Spar on Dame Street if it was seen as the only game in town.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby urbanisto » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:24 pm

Actually the Spar on Dame Street is on the site of the coiffeurs that Countess Markievitz used to get a rinse and set the day before the Rising...so actually you may be in to something Graham.

I agree that the use of this as a flagship cultural project to commemorate 1916 is a bit of a stretch. The revelations by the National Museum of Ireland as to the fate of that museums Court of Casts over the 20th century (1920 - 1970) by our republican ideals is still fresh in my mind. At a lecture on Sat last, ostensibly to educate the masses on the incredible decorative features of the NMI, the lecturer informed us all that most of the casts (exact replicas of various architectural masterpieces across Europe) were smashed up by UCD students in the 1960s to protest at Govt reorganisation of third level.

The republic sadly retains an enormous legacy of cultural vandalism from its first 100yrs.

Perhaps this great project will address that to some measure.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:42 pm

Well media uses what's in the press release
http://www.ahg.gov.ie/en/PressReleases/ ... 33,en.html
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Dilitante » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:38 am

Does anyone have any further information about the extension and how it is progressing? Neither the NGI nor Heneghan Peng's website give any update. Thanks.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby urbanisto » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:21 pm

I understand the extension has been shelved due to funding (surprise surprise). The work on the Dargan Wing (including a new roof) has been completed. The works to renovate the Milton Wing are due to being later this year. The gallery will be completed in 2016! Until then we have the Millennium Wing and the the few other rooms that are open.
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Re: National Gallery Extension

Postby Dilitante » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:42 pm

Thanks for that. I 'm surprised that it is being put partially on hold. I thought this was meant to be the showpiece for the 1916 commemoration.
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