Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany
I’d sooner let this one go by and wait for a less ‘intoxicated’ review to come along, but he has a clear take on the many failings of the docklands, so maybe it’s worth looking again at his comments on the historic city.
‘A walk across Dublin’s historic center is a walk through a series of interconnected rooms’.
Surely Dublin is one of the few European cities where this isn’t the case! I can’t think of two urban spaces in Dublin that are contextually complementary. You can find them within institutions, Dublin Castle (upper Castle Yard to Lower Castle Yard), Trinity (the smaller squares to parliement Sq.), but in the actual urban fabric?
Even the relationship of Parliement Sq. in Trinity, to College Green is compromised by the fortress scale railings and the volume of traffic.
‘The city has . . . a sense of volume through linear quays, symetrical squares and even a few geometrically aware streets’
We’ve got to stop trotting out this fiction that Dublin has great squares. Our Georgian Squares are not urban squares in the way that they appear on a small scale map. They are the enclosed parks of 18th century housing estates. The best of our spaces, 17th century Stephen’s Green, is a wonderful urban park, but it’s not an urban space in the sence of a legible enclosure, it’s too big to read as an urban space.
The best urban spaces that Dublin had were Smithfield, Newmarket and Weavers Sq., and look at these today. They are either imitation docklands, or they’re probably about to become imitation docklands.
I agree with his emphasis on the quays, but the quays disappoint as much as they excite.
Paul Keogh wrote a good article in the Irish Times at the start of the docklands redevelopment, when the Kevin Roche scheme was on the table. If I can find it I’ll try to scan it onto this thread. I think he covered a lot of this ground, and it might be interesting to see how his analysis stands up now that so much has been developed.