Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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@gunter wrote:

When you see the house on Google Earth it’s clear that the main axial twin roof volumes, even though they are hipped to front and rear (with apparently early cornice details), incorporate one defining twin ‘Billy’ characteristic that would be unnecessary if the hipped roofs and parapet gutters had been there at the start. The central transverse roof volume, (the equivalent of the cruciform roof of the standard Billy) which we can see (from the side elevations) the house wants to have, is absent, as it is absent from almost every known twin ‘Billy’ in Dublin.

Roof profile visible here. Note that the four views (N, S, E & W) were taken at different times- the N view shows the scaffolding, but the others show it pre-‘sensitive interventions’.

It would seem from the planning documents (<a href=">%204981/06), that the architects in question were at least aware of the ambiguous history of the building. How they managed to jump from ‘The early origins and design history are unknown’ to ‘The scars on the facade where the type of brick and pointing style alter starkly show us that the original facade was formed by a double gable at this level’ and ‘The proposal is to reinstate the double gabled front based on the evidence of the roof form and using as historical guideline the roof of No 30 Jervis Street and other…’ is beyond me.

The paragraph on the impact on the front facade bears quoting in full:

The proposed works will restore this building to its original form, the gable front house was prevalent throughout Dublin in the 18th century but has now disappeared and it is because we recognise that this house was double-gabled that we consider it of great historical value. The alteration to parapet form that was made do not complement the original aesthetic of the house. In visual terms it made a false facade which had no connection to the roof form it was designed to conceal. Although we have no image of the house prior to alteration it is absolutely clear from the evidence of the roof structure – the central beam running from front to back at right angles to the facade – and the plan form with its angled corner chimneys that this house did have a double gabled front. We have based our proposed works on no 30 Jervis Street – a house that has many similarities to this one – which was recorded in the Georgian Society Records prior to its demolition c.1903.

Is this ‘conservation’? For such a proposal to be acceptable, the sources should be unambiguous, and even then there’s still a debate to be had. With sources that are at best ambiguous, this was never the right course of action.

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