Re: Re: “Iconic” building proposal by VHI, Abbey Street
Sorry ctesiphon, I slightly cherry picked that phrase out of your post.
On the ‘protected structures’ issue, I had it in my head that the DCC ‘Protected status’ person had probably strolled down the street with a blank clipboard and ticked off ‘Granite church behind railings’ more out of habit than any deeper assessment of it’s worth. I don’t put this church in the same category as the little gem on Stephen’s Green, it just looks like a stock design to me with little acknowledgement of it’s urban setting, and I’m not sure that I see any of the streetscape qualities in it that you see.
I’m starting from a position that I don’t have a lot of faith in the schedule of protected structures. I can see a lot of structures that ought to be on the schedule, but aren’t, and I’m quite prepared to believe that there are more than a few structures on the schedule that may not merit inclusion.
Obviously this church has some merit, but I don’t think it has much streetscape merit, and I don’t think it’s important enough to dictate the form of development around it, which is what’s happening now.
My suggestion isn’t going to please everyone, but here goes:
Reduce the structure down to it’s best bits, presumably a church with two side aisles like this has a decent stone arcade on both sides of the nave, why not retain these arcades in-situ and incorporate them into the public areas of a strong contemporary corporate headquarters that would have a strong streetscape presence. There could be planning conditions about reconstructing the dismantled hall off-site, as a marriage chapel or whatever. That kind of solution would retain, on-site, a record of the history of the site, retain the best of the original stonework, in-situ, and do both in ways that would not prevent the creation of a fine new structure in place of the hotch potch which is currently proposed.
I think the gothic arcades would be the perfect backdrop to the lobby of a blood sucking organisation like the VHI.