Re: Re: Derelict Sites Act & Buildings At Risk

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Reinventing Dublin Part II

This is bordering on false advertising at this stage, like one of those 1950s movies with the word Naked in the title.

Frank’s piece has all the depth of a conversation you’d have with a stranger in a lift, except the stranger is Paul Keogh and the conversation is the same conversation we’ve heard over and over again; ‘And I’m not talking about high-rise [said the man who designed an apartment tower in Heuston high enough to see the tigers in the zoo in the Phoenix Park], buildings on the scale of Georgian Dublin would be adequate to meet all development criteria.’

On the abandoned plans to redevelop the reviled Corporation housing blocks in St. Michael’s Estate and elsewhere, the article just notes that these have been shelved, there’s no mention that the properties have been transferred out of the control of the various, broadly-based, Regeneration Boards and vested instead in the Corpo’s new EDU [the economic Development Unit] headed up by Kieran Rose, a guy who you could kill stone dead if you got up close to him and said the word –heritage – in his ear.

‘What to do with an unfinished urban estate?’ is a gentle piece by Olivia Kelly, in conversation with Merritt Bucholz, dealing with the mixed use, sustainable, eco-ghost estate called Elm Park he designed on a site on the Merrion Road that some astute nuns sold in 2001 for 36 million quid. Bucholz, now professor of architecture in Limerick University, isn’t losing any sleep over it, this is a victimless crime; ‘A building has no idea what it is.’ explains Bucholz. The bigger problem is that the building has no idea where it is. This is a scheme of urban scale and urban density, but it is located in suburbia, three or four miles from the CBD, or the Docklands extension to it. Had it been located in the central business district, it could have done some good. Out here, empty or full, it can only do harm.

The planning office that was responsible for Elm Park is as unrepentant as Bucholz as far as I can see and this article lets them off the hook.

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