Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
Home › Forums › Ireland › college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians › Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
Well first I agree, cgcsb, that the toilet railings are attractive, and could do with some pragmatic recycling elsewhere. Also to clarify about the toilets I mentioned earlier with their pavilions and whatnot, this referred to new toilets that are proposed for this site above ground level. Whether they’re part of the JCDecaux deal I’m not sure, and by all accounts they form a welcome and well-designed and engineered redevelopment, but in entirely in the wrong location. It’s like saying back in the 1950s that there has been a car park on O’Connell Bridge for the past 20 years, so let’s keep it that way, but tart it up with architect-designed distractions and futuristic pay and display machines. Such a short-sighted decision, let’s hope it doesn’t go ahead. Also please missarchi say those railings made up of lamp heads didn’t/don’t actually exist…
gunter, yes okay there has to be some acceptance that removing Trinity’s railings might actually ‘work’. More than any other classical in Dublin, the West Front has a certain St. Petersburgian quality to it – grand, expansive, showy, egalitarian and welcoming with its comforting arms and pavilions, as well as exhibiting a two-dimensional theatre set quality that shouts “I’m forming a set-piece here – give me something to work with”. But the fact that the complex is orientated so awkwardly relative to surrounding streets and buildings, and the fact that there is no ‘official’ view of the building – largely because one was never designated on the basis that one could not be achieved from Dame Street – means that a European piazza, certainly along the typical militaristic model, is not attainable here.
Hence the reluctance to remove the railings on my part. But most of this is arbitrary without hard visual references, and as such photomontages and mock-ups down on the ground could yet influence matters dramatically.
And yep I accept there was a brief spell of enlightenment or call it what you will in the second quarter of the 18th century – one that was quickly quashed not only at Trinity but also at the Parliament House, where full-scale railings are also evident by the 1750s.
Not only is a civic space required in front of the Lords, but College Street in its entirely needs attention. It has a D’Olier Street quality – featuring a ridiculously expansive roadway, plays host to surely some of the most hostile traffic in the entire city (clearly the nerve ends are exposed and blowing in the wind by the time motorists have experienced the joys of the bridge and quays), and fundamentally and quite remarkably just serves no purpose whatsoever. It leads nowhere, has nothing on it, and links one traffic island to another. And yet it is located in one of the most enviable and central parts of the capital with some of its best buildings. Such a wasting asset.
Also it could not be any more hostile to the pedestrian if it tried, as anyone who has had the joy of trying to cross the road at its middle or the Pearse Street end will tell you. You have to go right down and around the corner onto D’Olier Street, wait at the pedestrian lights at Fleet Street, then wait at the pedestrian lights on D’Olier Street, then cross over and wait at the lights at Townsend Street, and the cross the island and wait at the lights at Pearse Street! Trying to jump the racing blind traffic here at any point is taking your life in your hands.
Hence the entire street needs to be addressed, given some purpose and dignity (and its concrete lampposts restored ).
Opening up the grounds of the Chief Steward’s house is an interesting concept notjim, though I don’t think I’d go as far as incorporating its space into a public square, not least as the elevation of the Trinity accommodation block is unresolved and faced in rubble stone (ironically its lesser colleague on the Provost’s House side is faced in ashlar, in deference to the Provost’s delicate sensibilities looking out the bedroom window first thing in the morning). It was mentioned before on the Westmoreland thread what a shame it is this College Street elevation was never given proper treatment to complement the Lords – if ever there was a monument to the Act of Union, this is one of them. Surely this would have been properly resolved if the WSC and Parliament combined has desired it on foot of the neighbouring street improvement schemes.
A low-walled or railed (;)) public park flanking the square would be more desirable I think. Agreed about the delightful mystery factor nonetheless.