Re: Re: Department of Finance, Merrion Row – Grafton Architects
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While I wouldn’t quite go along with that weehamster, it certainly could have been interesting to have brick used in a crisp modern fashion along the lines of deB&M’s new Cork Institute of Technology building. Indeed the decorative use of brick in an almost-blind elevation would have been treatment enough for the side facade, given gable ends rarely received architectural treatment in Dublin and so would continue to highlight the unique nature of the site, but nonetheless acknowledging that the facade is deserving of some treatment with a brick dressing.
Yes I think you cleared up neatly the problem of the side elevation, ctesiphon, both in itself and relative to the front facade. Indeed the busy all-consuming side facade does the exact opposite of what it should: essentially turning this secondary part of the building into the principal elevation – working completely against the grain of the street pattern and the sensitivity deserving of the location. The vast volume of windows looks greedy and uncouth – by contrast, the elegant and restrained ‘I’m not really looking’ tall vertical windows near the corner offer a clue as to what could have more considerately been used on this elevation. Essentially the front is appropriate to the side, and the side, well, appropriate to neither.
I agree with your whittling down of the ‘signature’ argument – there is indeed nothing worse than a case being made based upon an assumption. But I think this site is capable of adopting a signature building: ‘signature’ simply in terms of height and modernity which by definition is going to stand out at this location, not an ‘iconic’ design. The site is capable of an extra floor, the pleasing contrast in scale between the cemetery and its surroundings is heightened – and it in itself made more enclosed – and it achieves a better density. I think the scale is appropriate, the idiom of design is appropriate, the materials likewise, but the execution of the concept specific to this location is not.
Out of interest, why do you not think the building is appropriate to this location, ctesiphon? What would you have like to have seen – as with those who do not like it?