Reply To: south docks….
In relation to the points about personal taste and planning.Planners are not architects, and do not receive training in any ‘architectural sense’.This does not automatically mean that planners are tasteless either. The poor standards of architecture particularly along much of Dublin’s quayside, are as much a reflection on the standards in the architectural profession in Ireland as anything else.However, I think that it is pointless to start blaming individual groups of people, when in fact, it is the fault of a whole system that encourages and permits blandness, mediocrity and underwhelming architectural standards. For example, the time- limitations attached to tax concessions in Designateed Areas since 1986 resulted in hasty planning decisions being made, and in consideration of the economic climate at that time, it is understandable that attracting private capital to the inner city took priority over design standards.These urban renewal programmes were introduced by the Dept. of the Environment with a sense of urgency. Today however we have a radically different situation, there is intense competition for space and that should ensure higher standards.While taste is not the privilege of a select few, high urban design standards should be enforced as much as possible. In relation to considerations of local’s opinions. If local people appear to be automatic in their opposition to anything unusual, tall, or striking it reflects poorly on planners, and architects alike. The merits and attractions of ambitious developments need to be demonstrated to ‘Locals’. They need to be given evidence from other European cities, e.g. educate people that high density does not equal congestion and/or deprivation and that it can have very positive environmental, and social effects, that uniformity is not ‘good’ in terms of urban design, and that ambitious architecture should be encouraged whenever possible. In any case, these last few points…i hope do not come across as being condescending or patronising, if they do it is not the intention and means that i could have presented them more effectively.