Re: Re: Dorset St (Upper)
Indeed it could, but it must be noted that should a retention be made, it would involve much more than the meagre substance that the term ‘facade retention’ implies – in this case, from what can be gathered, all four walls of the building still stand, not just a remnant of the front elevation. We also don’t know the extent of original fabric to interior, but it’s fair to assume that given it’s roofed over, there’s at least something of merit inside.
There are quite a few examples of attic storey rebuilds about the city (I can’t think of them offhand), a method that has saved many townhouses from demolition or at best from botched restoration jobs. Whilst a 1.5 storey rebuild is probably in order in this case, it’s largely fair to assume these upper floors to be the least architecturally and historically significant parts of the house. Indeed even if the building had been habitable, one would have to question just how much original fabric would have been retained organically up there as bedsits or studio flats; the reality is that even most of the houses of Merrion Square have virtually nothing of interest or indeed probably of original fabric in their uppermost floors. Please feel free to pick holes in this strain of argument.
This is also not a case of a low-rise rebuild preventing the ‘densifying’ of the inner city: a four storey over basement house of substantial floorplates along with neighbouring new-build infill is more than an acceptable outcome.
I genuinely agree that if little other than a low front elevation remains, in most cases it ought not impede on the wider improvement of an area, but with the substantial fabric still intact here, along with the strong historical and literary connections, a valid case can be made for structural retention – a more apt term I think.