Re: Re: Cork Street Ghetto

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You do realise there was a fatal shooting there not too long ago, ctesiphon?! 😮


Just on this ‘SoHo’ thing, there was a recent ‘Times architecture page devoted to all the new development in the Coombe area, which I found to be surprisingly approving in tone.

There is some good, appropriate new development alright, especially at the upper (Dolphin’s Barn) end of the new road. The 12-storey building by FKL Architects (above) looks brilliant – I am sure they are thrilled with it. It shows you how good a mid-tall building can be in the right place.

But the area around the Ardee Street crossroads at the lower end is a complete write-off in terms of the relationship of the new buildings with each other, and, more particularly, the marriage of the new buildings with the old – and needless to say the older buildings have come off worse. Protected Structures have been overwhelmed and dominated by huge new buildings in direct proximity to them. The former industrial brewing and malting character of the area has been all but wiped out by this aggressive new development. The argument of Dublin City Council planner Kieran Rose (as quoted in the piece) that the scale is needed to “contain” the new street is seriously deficient when applied to the sensitive Ardee Street area.

The Department of the Environment issued guidelines to planning authorities a couple of years ago, giving detailed advice on the considerations that need to be made when assessing proposals for new development affecting the curtilage and setting of Protected Structures, but it is doubtful these guidelines were so much as glanced at by Mr. Rose & Co. when processing plans for the Ardee Street part of the Coombe bypass.

I don’t know what the situation was with regard to 3rd party involvement, if any (I wasn’t around myself when most of it went through planning), but I’m pretty sure that the worst of these schemes would not have had such an easy time from An Bord Pleanala, had they been sent there.

If there is an upside to this, Ardee Street will stand as an example of how not to develop a historic corner of the city.

The HKR building at the northwest corner of the crossroads is gone even higher than before. Here it is with its original 6-storey design printed on the banner. But they’ve since gone back for one more storey (doubtless when they saw how monstrously big the KMD 7-storey one across the road was). This extra storey is under construction at the moment behind the scaffolding.

Designing a 6-storey composition then arbitrarily adding one more storey on top because the building across the road is gone up to that does not make good urban design!!
(Having said that, the internal areas and courtyards of the HKR scheme don’t look too bad.)

The new height of it now makes Ardee Court (foreground, discussed earlier) – which is quite a substantial development – look undersized. You can be sure the Ardee Court developers are pulling their hair out now wishing they’d tried to get one or two more floors than they did! Another 4 or 5 apartments maybe? All that missed lolly! 😡
What a mess!
(The Georgian houses on the extreme left and right were once huge in relation to most buildings in the area.)

Where having a number of different architects working on the redevelopment of an area should be a virtue – as for example at the West End of Temple Bar – here, it has just resulted in a retarded, uncoordinated mess.

This one right at the very bottom of the bypass is fine; it’s not bullying any historic buildings.

And what of the last undeveloped (southeast) corner of the Ardee Street crossroads? The approved scheme is a sensitive, appropriately-scaled one, and would have been a model for all the new development in the Ardee Street area. But will they be back for bigger heights now that most everything else around is gone so big? – It won’t surprise me.

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