DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby alonso » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:42 pm

gunter wrote:Dublin Port Company are doing some very aggressive public relations in the papers and on billboards. I presume that this is some junior manager's idea of demonstrating the Port Company's commitment to stay in Dublin, if only Bord Pleanála will let expand their holding by in-filling the bay!.

I suspect that's a boat load of Icelandic bankers coming over to fund the whole thing.



:) nice one.

yeh it was a strange coincidence to see all these billboards around at this time eh?. But considering there's a committee of committes reporting to a taskforce which will advise a board who in turn will report to 2 Ministers who will then bring forward a preferred set of combined and non-contradictory actions to cabinet on the set of possible scenarios which may emerge vis-a-vis Dublin port, I think we can all sleep easy
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby johnglas » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:09 am

alonso: how did you get so close to the heart of government? (All government.)
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby tommyt » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:29 am

johnglas wrote:alonso: how did you get so close to the heart of government? (All government.)


Anyone with the audacity to use the term vizz-a-vee in a post is obviously on the inside track with the mandarins on Merrion st;)
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby alonso » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:45 pm

tommyt wrote:Anyone with the audacity to use the term vizz-a-vee in a post is obviously on the inside track with the mandarins on Merrion st;)


When it comes to Dublin Bay, Dublin Port and any matters which require the setting up of a taskforce and the drawing up of a report, perhaps the words of Sir Humphrey are the most apt:

"How to discredit an unwelcome report:

Stage One: Refuse to publish in the public interest saying
1. There are security considerations.
2. The findings could be misinterpreted.
3. You are waiting for the results of a wider and more detailed report which is still in preparation. (If there isn't one, commission it; this gives you even more time).

Stage Two: Discredit the evidence you are not publishing, saying
1. It leaves important questions unanswered.
2. Much of the evidence is inconclusive.
3. The figures are open to other interpretations.
4. Certain findings are contradictory.
5. Some of the main conclusions have been questioned. (If they haven't, question them yourself; then they have).

Stage Three: Undermine the recommendations. Suggested phrases:
1. 'Not really a basis for long term decisions'.
2. 'Not sufficient information on which to base a valid assessment'.
3. 'No reason for any fundamental rethink of existing policy'.
4. 'Broadly speaking, it endorses current practice'.

Stage Four: Discredit the person who produced the report. Explain (off the record) that
1. He is harbouring a grudge against the Department.
2. He is a publicity seeker.
3. He is trying to get a Knighthood/Chair/Vice Chancellorship.
4. He used to be a consultant to a multinational.
5. He wants to be a consultant to a multinational."

http://www.jonathanlynn.com/tv/yes_minister_series/yes_minister_episode_quotes.htm


Let's see what happens with the 2 reports on the bay and port currently being drawn up. Do any of the above not apply? ;)
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:33 pm

Tonight's Prime Time (RTE 1, 9:30 pm) is examining the inner workings and value for money of the DDDA. Should be worth a look.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:25 pm

ctesiphon wrote:Tonight's Prime Time (RTE 1, 9:30 pm) is examining the inner workings and value for money of the DDDA. Should be worth a look.


Interesting indeed.

I happen to possess a dated dictaphone recording of DDDA's public talk in last May '08. Where the authority gloated over its achievement and presented their prize new office scheme. That which is now halted. Also sitting on the panel that evening, giving her own presentation was Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect for DCC.

? ? ? How can everyone claim now, there was something secret ? ? ?

? ? ? When it was the subject of public presentation lectures ? ? ?

It is a cynical example of how a public service works. How one public body, in this case RTE broadcasting (the one with the biggest megaphone) can be employed to do 'damage control' for another. Who need the CCTV building in Beijing eh? Particularly revealing for those of you familiar with Noam Chomsky, is the sophisticated employment of a token 'expert' in urban design, Frank McDonald to accrue some level of credibility to this report.

Noam Chomsky's points raised in You Tube broadcasts on the 'Myth of the Liberal' media, spring to mind here. The media rolls some credible 'expert' onto the stage, at the opportune time. That in turn allows the media it to say what it wants to say, and rubber stamp it.

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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby gunter » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:38 pm

I think they mean the deal to assist Liam Carroll's office block plans in return for the gift of land (which would become their canal), using their 'best endeavours'.

That was the only, very oblique, reference to the 'Liffey Island'.

Can we assume that that particular, light coloured, elephant has left the room?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:57 pm

gunter wrote:I think they mean the deal to assist Liam Carroll's office block plans in return for the gift of land (which would become their canal), using their 'best endeavours'.

That was the only, very oblique, reference to the 'Liffey Island'.

Can we assume that that particular, light coloured, elephant has left the room?


Oblique indeed. In fairness to DDDA, what you suggest might be true. That white elephant seems to have been, well and truly buried in the back acre.

I believe John McLoughlin's phrase that night in May '08 was, 'We are working with developers . . .' At many opportunities in the talk, he did refer to the fact that DDDA owned very little land. In contrast to Ali Grehan's experience at Ballymun, where the authority owned most of it. And s****, that seems to be the major fault with Bono too, the fact he didn't own enough of a patch to accommodate the base of the tower he got Norman Foster to sketch up. (Major loss of face) While I have some sympathy for DDDA, I don't have any for Bono who was made of cash, back when Sir John Rogerson's quay could be had for buttons. I should have bought it myself, but no use crying over spilt milk now. I can understand the DDDA's desire, as a would-be, vibrant public body to get into the action. With some control over a piece of land. How that desire became so great, as to push them beyond the limits of their statutory authority. The Docklands Authority were developing a vision akin to London's Thames riverside, and that of the Seine in Paris. To increase the greenery and soft nature in the area.

It is hard for us to remember now, how burning hot the property fever was back in the days of 06/07. The sky, quite literally seemed to be the limit. Like Beijing city in 08/09, post and prior to their Olympics. There were some very ambitious projects on display that evening of the May '08 lecture. McGarry Ni Eanaigh, designers of the award winning Liffey boardwalk, presented a scheme commissioned by Harry Crosby to run a sky high cable car down the length of the river Liffey. In order to give city dwellers a different experience of the river. (Even that was a semi-realistic project) A very nice looking project was the one proposed for the banks of the canal and areas around Spencer Dock station. What John McLoughlin's whole presentation did emphasise was the shere duration of history and activities associated with the river banks. Going right back to the Viking age. How the decline of the importance of the river, for the city, is only a recent phenomenon. The challenge being to re-assert its importance for the city as a social and economic generating form. The RTE report on prime time, cuts out this relevant context also.

But what the broadcast by RTE really doesn't manage to do, is highlight the blatant poor performance of the DDDA, in delivering basic stuff. Namely, the shere lack of progress by the Docklands Authority, from a hard nosed project management point of view. Whatever disfunctionality seems to exist within DDDA and DCC, they seem incapable of deciding on anything. The RTE report only highlights the latest chapter in a long drawn out saga. Perhaps taking a leaf from the Beijing local authorities would be a good thing. The building of some simple roads on land that they ALREADY control. Several developments have been completed and are sitting idle for a few years waiting for a bit of tarmac to arrive at their doorstep! After developers have personally funded water mains and other critical infrastructure!

But compare this lack lustre performance, to that displayed by the Dublin Airport Authority, another 100% government owned, non-government funded ajency. Which could organise 130 different projects, amounting to 2 billion Euros in costs, without closing down a busy airport of 20 million persons/year capacity. In fairness, I would hurl all the Docklands Authority out on their ear, and simply expand Dublin Airport Authority's project management team, to deliver the few basic road projects that were promised in the original DDDA masterplan. I think that would save everyone a considerable amount of money, right there. The RTE documentary didn't dig this deep though. It is a hard won lesson, but a valuable lesson, on the difference between seductive CG imagery and hard nosed engineering/project management.

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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby lostexpectation » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:29 pm

how many different buildings were going to be office space only in this deal?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:03 pm

lostexpectation wrote:how many different buildings were going to be office space only in this deal?



I included the Joe Stiglitz quote below, because it does say a lot about our own misperception of how development works. Developers in the docklands area supplied thousands of units of housing. Many of which now sit idle. Many of which now sit idle, only a stone's throw away from the North Wall Quay site. There is uproar in the Irish Auctioneer and Valuers Institute over it. It is best not to put property on the market, if the demand isn't there. There is not much use putting more residential units on North Wall Quay than already are there. Lets face it, we are talking about Carroll, a developer who has sold over 10,000 residential units in Dublin alone. He practically wrote the book on the practice of building apartments. The challenge of providing additional residential units in the future is a trivial matter to Carroll. What is important though, is the sequence of development. There is one miserable convenience store now serving over a thousand existing residential units (many empty or under utilised) in the North Lotts area. The convenience store made most of its revenue off construction workers building in the area. Go to the new square in Mayor St, completed a number of years and its doesn't even have a late opening Spar. No lights turn on in the evening time. That is the sterile environment our Dublin Docklands masterplan has produced.

Whichever level of political governance you look at in this country, we do suffer from a flawed vision of development. Including the so called experts. To understand development, you have to get involved in it. Sitting by a typewriter, or even being a consultant architect who waves his/her clutch pencil in the air, simply isn't enough. In the 1980s we produced graduates for export. People who were young at the time, will testify to the level of disillusionment it created. To have worked so hard to achieve academic success, but receive no reward. We privatised our telephone network without fully understanding the consequences of that. We built roads, to get from A to B, without trying to improve the situation in either A or B. We are always getting the sequencing wrong. From my several years of experience working for developers I learned a lot of basics. There is much more to the game than meets the eye. The fact is, in the docklands area, there currently isn't enough activity to promote a reasonable demand to live there. I would love to have seen DDDA sponsor a young architectural firm to design and realise a new school for the area. Did that happen? No. Yet we speak about hypothetical families who will live in family apartments, but we have no schools. What did happen was 30 million Euro the DDDA had in its piggy bank, got lumped into a botched property deal with Bernie Mac. We aren't facing up to the full extent of the problem, in thinking we can first build the apartments. It is worse than what happened in Tallaght and Clondalkin in the seventies. It is only when people work in an area, and begin to like the area - they wonder, hey, why am I driving from the midlands everyday. Why don't I work/live in the docklands. To enable this, it is best to provide the work there first. Then demand for residiential will grow organically. Carroll is the only one who seems to get that.

While I am at it, I might as well say something about China. It always makes sense to say something about China, these days. The RTE report on prime time, rolled out some auctioneer who posed as an expert. Talking about an office development of 1/2 million square feet. Arup engineers alone, I know have 400 engineers working on mainland China on around 50 million square feet of new development. The smallest projects on Arup's drawing boards are a million square feet. So in global terms (and lets try to think global) our total output of office space in Dublin per year is only equivalent to one and a half mini-sized projects in Beijing. Carroll's project wouldn't even be the size of a small project in Beijing. I love James Coburn's line in A Fist Full Of Dynamite, "I was involved in a wee fart of a revolution back in Ireland."

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Managing change is extraordinarily difficult. It is clear that rushing into major reforms does not work. Shock therapy failed in Russia. China's Great Leap Forward in the 1960s was a catastrophe. What matters, of course, is not just the pace of change but the sequencing of reforms. Privatization was done in Russia before adequate systems of collecting taxes and regulating newly privatized enterprises were put in place. Liberalizing the free flow of foreign exchange before the banking system was strengthened turned out to be a disaster in Indonesia and Thailand. Educating people but not having jobs for them is a recipe for disaffection and instability, not for growth. Balance is also important: allowing urban-rural income differences to grow is another prescription for trouble. Many of the development strategies that were not well implemented failed because they were based on a flawed vision of development. Successful countries have a broader vision of what develpoment entrails and a more comprehensive strategy for brining it about. Sensitive to concerns such as those just described, they were better at implementing change.

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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:34 pm

For those of you hoping to update your knowledge on modern office development, I decided to write the following. For those of you in the public service, you might want to avail of this opportunity to learn something.

We are competing on a global scale with places in Europe, America and Asia. Countries who understand and operate in the 21st century. Not to mention the dozens of emerging economies like our own. If the Irish collective, including McNamara, Dunne, Carroll, DDDA and DCC could learn to cooperate rather than blow each other out of the water, the Docklands might realise some of its potential. The Dublin Airport Authority, formally Aer Rianta was dragged into the 21st century by visionaries like Michael O'Leary. Who could see the potential of Dublin as a destination. (Even still, the Greens are in denial over the fact Dublin is now a 35 million/year passenger airport) The developer Liam Carroll is having a harder job dragging our DDDA and DCC into the present day. International organisations routinely look for office space as large as 150,000 sq. feet in Ireland. That is not unusual by todays standards. We are unable to anwser such requests because the size of our developments are too small. It is the same in Logistics, the size of warehouse we use to operate in this country is many times too small. Ironically, one of the few sites which got the scale correct, was in the backwater city of Limerick. Where Dell computers have over 10 years of successful operation from the same campus.

If you look at the opposite end of the Tallaght/City Centre LUAS line, Carroll has over a thousand residential units ready for occupation. If DCC/DDDA would allow sufficient workspace to happen in the docklands, instead of blocking it, we would see a situation where white collar workers commuted each day from Tallaght to the docklands. Imagine the kind of change that would make to a place like Tallaght? Having financial services workers living in the area. It seemed intelligent to me, to piggyback the publically paid LUAS project with new innovative ways of working and living. I mean, if we were afraid of this innovation why did we build the LUAS in the first place? I was personally engaged with Carroll in efforts to provide enhanced service concepts, as a part of the workspace rollout program in the Dublin Docklands. Using a a model like that developed by Regus and Siemens in Europe. Sadly, I won't see the completion of this project now.

Taken from Wikipedia Page on Regus: In 1989 while on a business trip to Brussels, a British entrepreneur, Mark Dixon, noted the lack of office space available to travelling business people; they were often forced to work from hotels. He identified a need for office space that was maintained, staffed, and available for companies to use on a flexible basis and went on to found his first business center in Brussels in Belgium.


Here is a link to a modern development in Vienna, Austria.

http://meetingrooms.regus.co.il/locations/AT/Vienna/ViennaTwinTowers.htm

And another in Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers.

http://offices.regus.co.za/locations/MY/KualaLumpur/KualaLumpurPetronasTowers.htm

Taken from Office Buildings: A Design Manual by Rainer Hascher: The landlords of the Twin Towers supply tenants with a wide range of services that they can use before, during and after moving in. These services range from planning support for moving preparations to the supply of routine operational services. Facilities that can be used in common, event venues and high-tech facilities optimise business processes and promote tenants' identification with the site. The Regus Group offers short-term tenancies of small amounts of space and thereby contributes to the flexibility of existing tenants and encourages potential tenants to establish themselves on the site.


Carroll is one of the few developers, that Ireland has, capable of acting on such an idea. Part of his concept was to provide fully furnished apartments in the docklands area. And so he did. So that business executives thinking of setting up in Ireland, could work out of their own apartment for the duration of the start up. Whilst, paperwork and documentation was being organised for their new branch company. Many Irish business people working in Eastern Europe now, will vouch for the difficulty of 'setting up base' in countries like Poland and others. For the initial stages, a small team based in the country using laptops and a pre-furnished apartment is all that is needed.

Taken from the web site of the Irish branch of Regus. The following services are available to you when using any of our Office options.

http://offices.regus.ie/services/default.htm#top

The world of work is becoming more dynamic. Our products and services are diverse enough to support you however you work. At home, on the move and in the office.

http://www.regus.ie/workstyles

With a virtual office from Regus, your business will benefit from the presence of a high-profile office at a fraction of the cost of a traditional office.

http://virtualoffices.regus.ie/products/default.htm

You get the picture. Office space in 2008, is a broad spectrum of services, from the 'virtual office' right up to the 500,000 sq foot building. It is a pity I will not get a chance to build this new economy now in Ireland. Since the DDDA saw it fit, to remove the underlying player who could bring most of that vision to fruition. Its a bit like a parent killing its own child.

It is also obvious that the bundling of the purchasing of goods and services for a single site will generate synergetic effects for the occupants. They can benefit from a small cost premium per square meter for office and telephone services without the overheads involved while still retaining flexibility.


Given the sorry state of our comms utilities (I personally have had to deal with this situation), looking for value for money in IT infrastructure makes sound sense to me. It would be unwise for any prospective business to build bespoke office accomodation in Ireland. We have seen the folly of this exercise many times before in examples like Seagate etc. Successive Irish governments have been suckers for repeating the same blunders. Instead of the IDA providing inflexible exhibition buildings in the middle of Tipperary, with a life cycle of 2 years. It makes sense to embrace flexibility, and allow a private developer take on the risk at a central location such as North Wall Quay.

The property can and should support the organisational, spatial and temporal flexibility of the enterprise. In the past, added-value services were seldom offered, because they were not sought after. The Regus Group demonstrates how office space can be successfully marketed with full service.


The major problem facing Ireland, is that whenever a private sector innovation is underway, the public sector feel they are being cut out of the loop. The knee gerk response by a local authority, when they cease to be central in all matters, is to throw their toys out of their pram with great indignation. It happened between Temple Bar Properties and Dublin City Council. Evidence of that is readily available if you speak to those involved in the early 90s development. The same pattern that played out in Temple Bar, is now repeating itself in the Dublin Docklands Area. The public sector on our island, ultimately has to ascertain how it can achieve self-control. Whether it be through Zen style of deep meditation, or whatever means possible. The public body has to appreciate the difference between providing public benches, and providing a modern workplace eco-system. The only criticism I would have of Carroll's enterprise, is that it went about its business as efficiently as possible. Without sucking off the hind tit of the local authority.

Now, lets look at another model, that of Siemens Retail Estate.

https://www.realestate.siemens.com/hq/en/projects/vienna-city.html

Siemens Real Estate is in the process of developing a full service concept for its own tenants and others. They provide extensive services according to the motto "more freedom for your free time", an internet market place for groceries, drugstore articles, flowers, theatre tickets, shopping, car maintenanance, insurance and travel bookings, etc. The goods are paid for by credit card and delivered to the workplace, to lockers in the reception area or to the home, depending on buyers' preferences.


Many natively grown services like car mechanics and flower sellers struggle today, in parts of the docklands area. Imagine the boost to commerce, had a world class headquarters accomdoation been allowed to be built. Instead of taking a wrecking ball to one that is half built. Trully speaking, we must be the laughing stock of Europe right now. Not only are we failing to compete on a global stage, we are actively pursuing ways to hammer ourselves back into the stone age. People in the war torn Balkans region taught they had deeply engrained dis-functionality! But check out Ireland for size, why don't you.

At Siemens, all those involved benefit greatly. When staff are liberated "from the burdensome necessity of dealing with the daily tasks of everyday life immediately after office hours or shortly before the shops close, valuable time credit is won" which can be profitably used for the company, for families and for leisure-time activities. In addition, the enterprise gains an edge over the competition by being able to attract highly qualified workers.


When I think now of all those pre-furnished apartments I helped to commission in North Wall Quay. When I think of all those 'valuable time credits' I helped to try and win. To be honest, I have to grit my teeth. I am sure going to phone Regus Irish branch this week, and ask what they think of our approach in Ireland. What should we be doing, that we aren't doing? Do they understand why we knock down office buildings? Are we really doing our best to attract 'highly qualified workers'?

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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby johnglas » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:58 pm

Was this really a philosophical excursion, an apologia for developers or just a straightforward commercial punt? I was actually interested for the first couple of paragraphs, but there is nothing more blatant than working girls plying their trade in full daylight (unless it's plying your trade under cover of something else).
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:05 am

All responses, comments and input welcome, as always, to my writing. Stimulating any kind of debate is worthwhile in my view.

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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby johnglas » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:58 pm

Yes, but it's best to keep to the philosophising, which is provocative and interesting and does make a contribution to the urban debate.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby GregF » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:20 pm

I had a ramble around the docks at the weekend and while there are the makings of some nice vistas and views, (particulary the Grand Canal basin area) it is however very disappointing that the docks remain unfinished overall . After more than 15 years of a massive building boom it should look substantially a lot better. The O2 (Point Depot) doesn't look that impressive either from across the river. Pity the Point Tower is postponed as well as the U2 tower being a non event. Compared to the massively scaled Canary Wharf in London which they built and completed in the 1980's (not forgetting the IRA blowing part of it up in the 90's) the Dublin docks is again very disappointing as it remains half built and very unfinished.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby phil » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:25 pm

GregF wrote: Compared to the massively scaled Canary Wharf in London which they built and completed in the 1980's (not forgetting the IRA blowing part of it up in the 90's) the Dublin docks is again very disappointing as it remains half built and very unfinished.


Greg, with Olympia & York going bankrupt in 1992 (associated with the commercial property slump which hit London at the time), much of Canary Wharf remained unbuilt until the late 1990s, and early 2000s.

ps, nice photos. Particularly the first one
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby GregF » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:57 pm

:) Aye, indeed Phil about the completion date of Canary Wharf, I'm just rabble rousing!


But No. 1 Canada Square was built (the tallest building in Europe) even though the top floors were unoccupied for a while. Most of all it was a great focal point and anchor for every subsequent development to be built around it!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canary_Wharf
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby phil » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:06 pm

GregF wrote:
But No. 1 Canada Square was built (the tallest building in Europe) even though the top floors were unoccupied for a while. Most of all it was a great focal point and anchor for every subsequent development to be built around it!



Greg, do you think Canary Wharf is something that the Dublin Docklands should be looking towards for inspiration?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby lostexpectation » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:10 pm

garethace wrote:I included the Joe Stiglitz quote below, because it does say a lot about our own misperception of how development works. Developers in the docklands area supplied thousands of units of housing. Many of which now sit idle. Many of which now sit idle, only a stone's throw away from the North Wall Quay site. There is uproar in the Irish Auctioneer and Valuers Institute over it. It is best not to put property on the market, if the demand isn't there. There is not much use putting more residential units on North Wall Quay than already are there. Lets face it, we are talking about Carroll, a developer who has sold over 10,000 residential units in Dublin alone. He practically wrote the book on the practice of building apartments. The challenge of providing additional residential units in the future is a trivial matter to Carroll. What is important though, is the sequence of development. There is one miserable convenience store now serving over a thousand existing residential units (many empty or under utilised) in the North Lotts area. The convenience store made most of its revenue off construction workers building in the area. Go to the new square in Mayor St, completed a number of years and its doesn't even have a late opening Spar. No lights turn on in the evening time. That is the sterile environment our Dublin Docklands masterplan has produced.

Whichever level of political governance you look at in this country, we do suffer from a flawed vision of development. Including the so called experts. To understand development, you have to get involved in it. Sitting by a typewriter, or even being a consultant architect who waves his/her clutch pencil in the air, simply isn't enough. In the 1980s we produced graduates for export. People who were young at the time, will testify to the level of disillusionment it created. To have worked so hard to achieve academic success, but receive no reward. We privatised our telephone network without fully understanding the consequences of that. We built roads, to get from A to B, without trying to improve the situation in either A or B. We are always getting the sequencing wrong. From my several years of experience working for developers I learned a lot of basics. There is much more to the game than meets the eye. The fact is, in the docklands area, there currently isn't enough activity to promote a reasonable demand to live there. I would love to have seen DDDA sponsor a young architectural firm to design and realise a new school for the area. Did that happen? No. Yet we speak about hypothetical families who will live in family apartments, but we have no schools. What did happen was 30 million Euro the DDDA had in its piggy bank, got lumped into a botched property deal with Bernie Mac. We aren't facing up to the full extent of the problem, in thinking we can first build the apartments. It is worse than what happened in Tallaght and Clondalkin in the seventies. It is only when people work in an area, and begin to like the area - they wonder, hey, why am I driving from the midlands everyday. Why don't I work/live in the docklands. To enable this, it is best to provide the work there first. Then demand for residiential will grow organically. Carroll is the only one who seems to get that.

While I am at it, I might as well say something about China. It always makes sense to say something about China, these days. The RTE report on prime time, rolled out some auctioneer who posed as an expert. Talking about an office development of 1/2 million square feet. Arup engineers alone, I know have 400 engineers working on mainland China on around 50 million square feet of new development. The smallest projects on Arup's drawing boards are a million square feet. So in global terms (and lets try to think global) our total output of office space in Dublin per year is only equivalent to one and a half mini-sized projects in Beijing. Carroll's project wouldn't even be the size of a small project in Beijing. I love James Coburn's line in A Fist Full Of Dynamite, "I was involved in a wee fart of a revolution back in Ireland."

Brian O' Hanlon


so the answer is you don't know?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:02 pm

GregF wrote:I had a ramble around the docks at the weekend and while there are the makings of some nice vistas and views, (particulary the Grand Canal basin area) it is however very disappointing that the docks remain unfinished overall . After more than 15 years of a massive building boom it should look substantially a lot better. The O2 (Point Depot) doesn't look that impressive either from across the river. Pity the Point Tower is postponed as well as the U2 tower being a non event. Compared to the massively scaled Canary Wharf in London which they built and completed in the 1980's (not forgetting the IRA blowing part of it up in the 90's) the Dublin docks is again very disappointing as it remains half built and very unfinished.


You have to realise, the docklands was mostly about 'stunted growth'. From the initial projects such as Charlotte Quay by the Carroll/OMP partnership, which James Pike refers to himself as a 'stump'. Paul Maloney is going on about this 5 billion in investment, and 7 million sq feet of new development. Heck the Chinesse accomodated 7 million sq feet in one development alone, the CCTV building designed by Rem Koolhaas. The docklands projects were mostly small and stunted developments. The investments were wasteful and fanciful. Many projects (Some on Townsend St spring to my mind) spending an absolute fortune, to achieve very little.

Mind you, similar observations were made about post 1990s boom Berlin city also. The city's regeneration was much publicised. But the concensus from many who visited the new area and new projects was a disappointing one. The only regeneration in recent years that has met with widespread surprise and approval was that of Barcelona's transformation from the 1980s through to early 1990s.

Brian O' Hanlon
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby alonso » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:18 pm

Barcelona had 2 major things going for it - Leadership and an impending Olympics. no chance of the latter but how about the former any time soon?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:19 pm

lostexpectation wrote:so the answer is you don't know?


And will not even try to muddy the waters, by trying to speculate.

Basically, you could imagine a pretty dense, part extra high rise all commercial development. (Extra high rise as in 30 office block storeys) A series of commercial towers, with an extra height strong tower element on North Wall Quay. To echo that of McNamara/Crosby's tower at the point, and that of U2 across the river.

Niall McCullough, Architect, that same evening back in May '08 gave an interesting presentation of a scheme for a series of strategically located towers in the Digital Hub quarter. So the idea of multiple towers, seems like a useful overall urban strategy. Not to mention the fact, that every developer wants to be given at least one skyscraper on their land bank!

Bear in mind though, that DCC were forcefully attempting to CPO land required for the U2 tower from Carroll. Of course, not that it would come out in the RTE primetime report, in case, something like a full story might see the light. I have a transcript in preparation of John McLoughlin's presentation of the project in preparation - it should be interesting to re-visit now.

Brian O' Hanlon.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:25 pm

phil wrote:Greg, with Olympia & York going bankrupt in 1992 (associated with the commercial property slump which hit London at the time), much of Canary Wharf remained unbuilt until the late 1990s, and early 2000s.

ps, nice photos. Particularly the first one


I think the Sears tower, was it in Chicago? Sears had to vacate the building shortly after building it, so cut costs. That is a common fact of life in today's office buildings. It is quite a challenge to make a return on a building type that has such a short life cycle of around 20 yrs.

In Terminal 2, in Dublin Airport they are installing information/comms services which they hope will have a lifespan of 10 yrs. Recall also, the Llyods building by Rogers in London, where he exposed the service ducting, in the hope it might extend the useful life of the structure. Given the temporal nature of these building types, I find it hard to understand why people get their nickers in a knot over a banking HQ on North Wall Quay.

Brian O' Hanlon
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:32 pm

phil wrote:Greg, do you think Canary Wharf is something that the Dublin Docklands should be looking towards for inspiration?


Indeed, as Beijing did use Canary Wharf's Canada tower as a direct reference. Arup Engineers describe the CCTV building as like 4 no. One Canada Square buildings, put together. If you can imagine it as doubled, with two horizontal Canada Square towers, top and bottom in the attached image.

The North Wall Quay scheme's highest part, wouldn't even have been half the height of the CCTV building. But it would have had a critical mass and scale about it, that would have been seen from all points along Liffey campshires.

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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby garethace » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:54 pm

SOM Partnership in the United States had some old images on their web site. Obviously a scheme that was tried out at some stage, amongst several.

http://www.som.com/content.cfm/north_wall_quay

One of the images though, demonstrates the concept of the three towers working together, as you view down the river Liffey. Bear in mind, that the building in question, to be demolished shortly, was only one of the low level blocks, which would 'nestle' around the big Daddy of towering over them all.

But standing back from the issue of 'high rise' for a minute. As Dick Gleeson, James Pike and others pointed out recently in a forum: is a commonly made mistake, to confuse density with high rise. They are two distinct issues. It has been shown from examples around the world, that 6 storey development, is the most sustainable way to achieve good overall densities. Going for a grander tower element, is only about developers wanting to make statements. As you can see from the images below, there is only enough skyline to go around. You can see Carroll's tower, Crosby's tower and Bono's tower. I suppose it did leave the question, where did Mr. Sean Dunne fit into the picture? I guess we now know the answer to that now!

Brian O' Hanlon
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