Reply To: We need tall buildings in Dublin and we need them now!

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Hello 3KIC –

1) Temple Bar: Refering to the built environment of the Temple Bar rather than its unfortunate conalisation by superpubs. The area is lively, full of interesting architecture, largely sensitive to the its history; well managed; civic minded and scaled (free films – markets – programmed events etc). If the HARP area, the docks, Thomas Street and the Liberties were to develop to this quality then much of the pressure on Temple Bar would be reduced. What do you propose as a model for developing the docks – where these tall building would be built? The developer lead, medium-high rise, American style docks developments in London? What were seeing in Diblin does not seem to have learned from London’s mistakes. Mono-functional, isolationist boxes that have no relationship with the street are the death of the vibrant, fine-grained, mixed-use, high quality urban areas we should be creating.

4) Quality: My argument here is that the quality design of tall buildings is much harder to achieve. Given the disproportionate negative effect that poor tall building have on a city we should proceed very carefully. Look at the cities of Englad or Europe and consider the generally appaling quality of the majority of tall buildings. Of course if somebody comes up with something exceptional and in the right location then go fo it but only then.

6) Polarisation: Only wealthy people at this time can be persuaded to live in tall buildings. Flat design in Dublin (esp in poorer neighbourhoods) generally turns its back on the city and has no relationship the street. We end up with wealthly ghettos that barricade themselves from the communities of which they should be a part. This is a cautionary note rather then a damning agrument.

8) Compact Dublin: Its my firm belief that we would be in a far better shape in 15 years time if we developed accoring to the compact, mixed-use, sustainable urban models. This is a call to action! Tall building are but 10% of this solution. Of course its better that the docks are being developed rathar than remain vacant and derelict but most of what has gone up makes me cringe. We’re turning the docks into a out of town business park.

9) Industry: Well look around you at the general quality of new (last 10 years) developments in Dublin. They don’t enspire confidence. We’re slowly getting better but that is due to acknowledgement of the urban principals above where buildings are considered in the context of neighbourshoods rather than stand alone monuments to the ignorance of the development and building trades. Again – a cautionary note.

Shane Clarke

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