Re: Re: Dublin skyline

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@Frank Taylor wrote:

La Defense is a single district outside the city centre. There is a difference between building a bunch of high rise together in a planned layout and dotting them throughout the city. It looks fantastic like a Flash Gordon backdrop come to life. It’s good for the image of France. However it has proved to be a dysfunctional style of building. I’ve worked in La Defense and I soon missed my previous office with its tall oak doors, in a Haussmann building in the 9th. My colleagues agreed and we were paid a premium to city centre rates to work in what we called the ‘Frigo’

Ask anyone who has worked in a low rise spaced out business campus type environment and they will have the same perspective as what you have just outlined. Lifeless and without any sense of centre or heart. This is not a problem with height, it is also a problem of spatial layout and the socio-cultural infrastructure that is put in place to hold the whole development together. What you describe is not an inherent problem of high-rise development, rather of spatial layout and architectural aesthetics. Like you I also prefer older city streetscape (they are more homely, interesting and human), but Ireland has more than its fair share of low-lying social cemetries with about as much atmosphere as outer space, whether they be business parks, retail parks, or university campuses.

@Frank Taylor wrote:

Nobody in their right mind would want to use the Paris Banlieue as a model for human habitation. Miles and miles of Shitsville

I didn’t say that the suburban tower blocks of Paris were utopian models of human habitation – just pointed out that Paris does have its fair share of high rise buildings. I could be mistaken, but the miles and miles of council house suburbia that surrounds Dublin and other irish towns is not my dream of urban paradise either.

@Frank Taylor wrote:

The problem with allowing tall buildings on grounds of freedom of expression is that they have a fascist tendency to dwarf evrything else

Fascism is a matter of perspective. It could be argued that those who favour a 4 storey high Dublin and who block any development that raises its nose above that are also fascist in that they are denying those who might want an alternative vision for the capital city from expressing that vision.

@Frank Taylor wrote:

How are you defining a city’s image if the result is an image that’s the same as every other city – a cluster of shiny cuboids?

One could argue the same about Georgian and Neoclassical architecture (the latter being very much driven by the principle of creating an international impression of prestige and wealth – look at London’s finest Neoclassical buildings which were very much interlinked with the early imperial concept of British order and splendour spreading its prowess over the globe). If a city with skyscrapers is merely replicating the image of other cities (and is therefore not a unique ‘signature’ at all) then surely the same applies with regard to Georgian and Neoclassical architecture – how many cities in Britain have a fair share of both styles. In this regard, the image of Georgian Dublin is an image of a city thats the same as many other British cities. Why then privilege low-lying Dublin (and, by extension, I presume Georgian Dublin) over a Dublin that has both an historic core and a vibrant high-rise cluster in the docklands, for example?

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