Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
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Yes I had a wander in today – agreed Fergal that it’s a fine space. The convolution derives from the stairs being located at the back of the plan, but more specifically from the change in levels between the front and rear portions of the building as described above, and from the requirement for fire lobbies, which, in the scheme of things, are pretty sexy fire lobbies.
The distinction between the front and rear parts is really quite stark: modest, late Georgian domesticity to the back – airy, commercial, high Victoriana to the front. The fragments of original staircase feature somwhat awkward, transitional-style balusters typical of 1835-45. But unusually dinky and quite charming. The same can be said of a rear room that has yet to open to the public – it currently has riotous wallpaper and quaint, homely proportions.
There are exposed red brick walls in many areas of the front part, with the usual battered lines of bonding timbers. These almost certainly date to the 1830s and not the 1880s, adding credence to the notion that the carcass of the late Georgian predecessor remains. Personally, I’m finding the growing trend of stripping back historic buildings to a state of undress for trendy restaurants and cafés a little lazy and disrespectful to the character of the structures. This I think is especially true here. The fabulous first floor space is an important public room hosted within a well presented effeminate facade, while looking out on vistas of dressy commercial and public architecture. The aesthetic jarrs.
Fabulous views down Dame Street though, and yes, the George’s Street view is a surprising vista in its axiality. Not what you’d expect from outside.