a boyle wrote:A few people have said that it looks poorly from kings street and bolton street , fine. It looks quite good from henrietta street and that is what actually matters.
As previously outlined, Henrietta Street is one of the most important urban set pieces in Dublin. Not only are its houses some of the grandest town houses anywhere in the country, it also possesses a feature which makes it unique among its peers. The Georgian era followed a classical model in both architecture and urban design. The rules of proportion and harmony in building design had a wider application in the formal layout of streets and spaces, as evidenced in Dublin by such compositions as Fitzwilliam, Merrion and Mountjoy Squares, and the works of the Wide Streets Commissioners. This rational process was also manifest in the hierarchical design of the streets, where the sequence of main street, subsidiary street and mews lane was reflected in the diminishing scale of the buildings associated with each. Georgian buildings also display a markedly frontal character, the classical symmetry not extending to the rere or sides, and this results in subsidiary streets seeming to split the continuity of terrace facades. This was the case with Bolton Street and Henrietta Street in their original form: standard plots on Bolton Street of a street-fronted house with a rere yard and mews building, divided by the entrance to Henrietta Street.
However, what makes this example unique is that instead of a lesser scale, as would be expected, Henrietta Street is considerably grander than Bolton Street. This is not apparent from vantage points further along Bolton Street, and part of the character of the street is the surprise experienced as this semi-formal set piece is revealed in such an unlikely situation, an effect heightened by its narrow ‘entrance’ at the eastern end.
The proposed development would diminish this sense of discovery by announcing the location of the junction from afar, and would soften the abrupt juxtaposition of scales on which the surprise is based due to its imposing height and volume. While the Planner’s Report argues that ‘The proposal… provides a presence of scale onto both Henrietta Street and Bolton Street, which is essential at this prominent corner location.’ (Evaluation), we would submit that this opinion derives from an understanding of urban form consistent with contemporary trends, but inconsistent with the Georgian tradition of planarity, linearity and sequential hierarchy.
Any development that would serve to undermine the character of this area should be resisted. We realise that the site underwent many subsequent changes throughout the nineteenth century, with the original relationships of scale blurred by infill buildings facing Henrietta Street, and we would generally be in favour of acknowledging all phases of urban evolution. But owing to the uniqueness of this setting, there is a strong argument to be made for re-establishing the original form.
‘A [conservation area] scheme…may include objectives for:
(c) the renewal, preservation, conservation, restoration, development or redevelopment of the streetscape, layout and building pattern…’ (Emphasis added.)
(Part IV, Section 84, subsection 2, Planning and Development Act 2000)
Although the completion of the Conservation Plan may be some time away (currently intended for September 2004), the fact that the process has begun is a positive development for the area. There is a danger that any scheme undertaken in the meantime would not be consistent with the findings and recommendations of such a plan and could compromise the future proper planning and development of the area. According to the Planning & Development Act 2000 (4th Schedule, Section 3), refusal without compensation is appropriate where:
‘Development of the kind proposed would be premature by reference to the order of priority, if any, for development indicated in the development plan or pending the adoption of a local area plan in accordance with the development plan.’ (Emphasis added.)
[The extension doc has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]
Incidentally, I've heard that Hidden Dublin on Newstalk 106 have recorded an episode on Henrietta Street that is due to be aired in the very near future. I think the shows go out on Mondays/Tuesdays at about 12pm, but it'll be available on the web via Podcasting in any event.
As a matter of fact I have lodged an objection to the off license and signage design for a Spar convenience store in the ground floor of the building (Ref. 1199/06).publicrealm wrote:Maybe you should have lodged an objection (I often do).
ps. the latest (2006) application is for an off licence. (and you are too late to object).
What?!! Are you serious?! Well they had bloody well better be able to prevail when thereâ€™s a site like the Henrietta Street corner at stake!! (Ok, Iâ€™m being OTT, but you get the drift).publicrealm wrote:I really think it is unreasonable to expect planners to prevail in such circumstances.
The answer is - would you believe - MORE RESOURCES!publicrealm wrote:I do not know what the answer is but a large part of the problem stems from the greedy and underdesigned applications