Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
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Many thanks lauder. Okay, so the above is a tad ranty for what some may see as comparitively minor quibbles. But these poorly detailed works are symptomatic of a broader ignorance in the city of the importance of a well-presented public realm. It is frustrating to see one of the few oases of sophistication and good craftsmanship in the city centre, that was entirely self-maintaining year round, with a timeless, hard-wearing charm, being so crudely butchered with finnicky, badly thought out and unnecessary detailing. Never mind generating it from new, we cannot even recognise when we already have quality.
Passing this evening, the rusty setts have, as expected, since been relaid with a surgical scar running along the length of the driveway, while some of the larger angular gaps between the Chinese granite kerbing and the paving stones have just been filled with cement. The Chinese curved stones look ridiculous emerging from the Dublin kerbs of a third wider dimension. And as if to prove the unnecessity of the fawn tiles, the Dame Street side driveway has been left as was, with simple dished slopes of granite.
It is deeply sad that there appears to be no mainstream contractor capable of carrying out repaving in the robust but elegant spirit of the Dublin tradition. This is not just a matter of laying slabs and choosing the right pointing in a localised fashion. It demands designing an entire pavement as a coherent architectural ensemble, with correctly chosen or tailor-made pieces to compose the picture. The ingenuity of the 19th century paving recently featured over on Lincoln Place is but a minor example of such artistry.
Such craftsmanship applied on College Green would dictate that there would be no angular gaps plugged with cement, curved sweeps of kerbstones would be robustly and generously scaled. and surfaces comprised of increasingly scrappy off-cuts of granite generated by service interventions over the years would be rationalised. And need it even be said that expensive and well-sourced granite setts would be treated as an asset and long-term investment of the public realm – not something to be slashed through with a chainsaw at the public’s expense.
The outrageous condition of the granite paving over at Trinity beside the gates has long been a blight on the presentation of the environs of the West Front. However, things are so bad thus far that one almost hopes this will not be ‘refurbished’ as part of these works.
As Stephen mentioned also, not a single item of clutter has been rationalised anywhere on College Green or College Street. Even the rank of three preposterous traffic signal megaboxes dumped outside Fox’s have not been sunk underground – they still sit alongside a redundant international telephone kiosk, a car park display, numerous traffic signal poles, a Malton View, a rank of Eircom phoneboxes and various other random municipal knick-knacks. What a wasted opportunity this project has been. A quick-fix engineering job at its most short-sighted.