Reply To: Spencer dock development

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I agree – Mayor street is indeed coming on well. It is even starting to have a european, neighbourhood, community feel. This is already enhanced by the opening up of the square at the college and will be further improved by the LUAS. It still has a long way to go but does seem to be learning from mistakes made in IFSC phase one and other business parks.

AS far as I know the height of buildings on this street are restricted to allow light get to the street. There are many pictures in the EIS and Master plan which show the light angles, time of day, shadows etc. It seems to me that if there is to be light on the street for a reasonable length of time during the day, a balance with the height needs to be reached. I don’t know what rules were used but the balance seems about right and is also the balance point they reached in a lot of post war european development. Given our climate, people don’t see shade as an asset. For the street to be lively and develop the busy community feel, it needs to be attractive – sunlight is one of the factors that needs to be considered. If you increase the heights then the road would have to be in shade or wider – which would lead to an empty feel.

In this context, the suggestion to double the height of all the buildings fronting the river seems ridiculous to me. That really is just height for heights sake. Surely for any mixed development it is vital to get the street level right and build to enhace that rather than build a wall of high buildings on the south of a site and hope someone wants to live and work in the shade behind them..?

Tall can be good, but this environment in moderation. I hope there will be the odd high quality tall tower introduced down there. But as there will be a higher proportion of 5, 6, 7 story buildings built I’d love to know why they appear so hard to do. The crap that’s there is not bad because its 5 stories – It’s bad cos they bore. Do the talented people refuse to work on buildings this height? or is there a general lack of talent in Ireland? I was trying to think of some buildings this size that were well done, and can only think of Fingal and Herbert park at the moment. Surely there’s some more.

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