Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany
DCC have been seriously misguided in their information regarding the needs of the modern enterprise! They are passing projects which are unsuitable for the creation of a modern knowledge economy in Ireland. Right there you have an example of what is poisonous about the Irish planning system. . . . (Note: Dick Gleeson was on the panel at the Tall Building conference a couple of years ago. . . where a Quantity Surveyor from Britain expounded his ‘fat is happy’ theory on high rise developments. Gleeson should have listened better on that occasion.
Brian O’ Hanlon
What kind of a half-assed ‘Knowledge economy’ are we trying to create if it can’t even function properly if does have a 13m floor plate? What happened to flexibility? adaptability? all those ‘abilities’ that we were told brought humans to the top of the food chain?
If I understand Gleeson’s point, it was that a city, like Dublin, could very quickly be destroyed if it gave in to the temptation to build big, bulky, corporate office blocks in a vain attempt to emulate Canary Warf, or some such corporate financial district from the Yuppy era.
That may not have been his point, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I think his reference to church spires is very useful. Cities do trade in various ways on their prestige, and prestige seems to be an element in a city’s economic success, or otherwise, and it is in that context that the ‘church spire’ concept is important. Church spires were always horribly expensive, difficult to construct and funcionally useless, but thriving cities had them and struggling cities didn’t. There is a argument that the contemporary city also needs vertical punctuation to nail down it’s position in some kind of global urban pecking order, but I think, in the context of a historic city, like Dublin is supposed to be, the same ‘church spire’ rules need to apply.
Instead of seeing a major corporate development proposal (say in the docklands) as an occassion to bulk-up high, there is an argument that permission for pockets of fairly intense density should come with an obligation to build one or two, horribly expensive, and very slender, towers that would never stand up economically on their own, as prestige statements, like church spires.
As long as we keep hoping that a high rise proposal will come along that: (a) is slender enough to be elegant, (b) happens to be strategically positioned to enhance, not detract from the skyline, and (c) is economically viable,
I suspect we’re destined to continue to be disappointed.