Re: Re: Heuston framework plan
I agree that the view to the Infirmary from RHK terrace is not much at the moment, but it could be restored . .
Devin, how do you restore a view that’s virtually impossible to see in the first place without binoculars? and more importantly, why?
Granted, my eyesight wouldn’t be 100%, and some of my difficulty with this vista to the cupola on the Infirmary, may have do do with the fact that I can’t actually see it, but what I can see is the full-blown urban quarter springing up on the edge of the formal gardens and it’s this immediate relationship that strikes me as more important.
The context of RHK is that it’s a 17th cen public building in a natural landscape setting. . . . there’s no basis, in historical context terms, for developing along the edge of the formal garden.
I would very much doubt that there’s much basis, ‘in historical context terms’, for developing anything of the scale proposed anywhere near such a significant ’17th century public building in a natural landscape setting’.
I understand the temptation (with or without the distraction of the sight cone issue) to step the development down on the west side, towards the edge with the RHK formal gardens, I just don’t think it works.
If it was all just park land, I think it would work, but the presence of the formal gardens presents a different challenge and one that this wretched ‘sight cone’ issue has given them the opportunity to dodge.
In the Additional Information submission, the applicants assert that one of their ‘goals’ is to:
‘Create a gradual transition in height along the east-west axis of the site, mediating between the urban scale of the masterplan and the park landscape of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham’
No mention there of the Formal Gardens! nothing to suggest that the particular challenge of addressing the particular formalities of a 17th century formal garden ever entered their thinking in any meaningful way, other that to just keep the scale down and hope nobody notices.
I like the urban scale of HSQ and I also like several of the buildings, including the Eircom building and most of Military Road. I also like the fact that, in the re-design of Blocks 5B & 6, they’re attempting something different than the orthogonal blocks and straight line planning of the rest of the development, but don’t think that this stepped bulky form is the right solution for a formal context that, itself, has enough ‘urban square’ characteristics to sustain a hard edge (as I’ve stated before) albeit with lots of gaps and punctuation to link into the mass of the urban quarter behind.
Unfortunately the scanned images on the planning file are too poor in quality to post, but when I look at the images from the formal gardens, I see the kind of jumble of unrelated buildings that you tend to see in places where there is no real concept of ‘planning’, lots of urban energy, but no evidence of a guiding hand making it all look resolved and respectful of it’s immensly important setting.
Obviously, I could be completely wrong!