I see the Dept. of Environment have had a right good go at DCC for handing a planning permission to this little piece of urban vandalism. We need to see a lot more of this, whenever a local authority loses the plot. From day one, this scheme had nothing going for it, but it's label. Dublin was going to get a Foster to add to it's Libeskind and two Calatravas!
The Clarence building is a decent example of 20th century urban in-fill (especially the back), and Dollard house, if it was opened up a bit at street level, is a decent piece of 19th century in-fill, with some nice design echoes of it's predecessor, the Old Custom House. However I'm inclined to agree with the Edge's critique of the four protected houses on Wellington Quay. For 'Protected' structures, these are pretty low grade examples, certainly when compared to other structures that we've lost recently, or are in the process of losing.
Maybe Dublin can ill afford to lose much more of it's quay side Georgian frontage, but if the new Clarence had to have a contemporary statement, something outstanding might be justified as a replacement for these four houses, and perhaps also at the back of Dollard. Facade retention, however, is just not an option here. If the buildings don't really merit retention when compared to some outstanding contemporary alternative, then hiding the outstanding new build behind retained mediocre facades achieves nothing.
The one certainty is that any proposal that attempts to put a sinle hat on such a disparate group of buildings, not only deserves to be thrown out, but deserves a good dose of ridicule in the process, and Mr. Smith's little black dress comment is a good start.
I hadn't seen this section before (from todays Herald AM), it explains the relationship between the sky-catcher and the swimming pool, which I think it's important that we know.
A huge amount of the architectural effort has clearly gone into filtering a small amount of borrowed light into the interior of this block, where it's then squandered on a tiny oval 'swimming pool' no bigger than a millionaire's jacuzzi. When you look at it again, the whole interior of this hotel has been hollowed out and contorted to accommodate a couple of pretty dubious elements presenting themselves as iconic concepts.
The guys I feel sorry for are the future archaeologists who did this thing up in three thousand years time. There's no way they're not going to see this a some bizarre ritualistic temple to some mother goddess figure. It'll all be there, the ritual subteranean birthing pool, the uterus shaped light shaft, the high status viewing pod, they'll be wetting themselves. Even the sky platter itself is bound to be re-interpreted as a charnel platform, where eagles clense the putrified flesh off the pure bones of the city state's aristocracy class. What other purpose could it have had?
This is giving me some fresh insight. I'm going to look again at my pictures of Stonehenge. Maybe we've been too quick to see this as a ritual temple, a bronze age, equinox aligned, solar / lunar observatory. I'm starting to think stonehenge may have been an iconic, landmark,entrance foyer to some bronze age, celebrity, straw bale eco-hotel.