Re: Re: “Iconic” building proposal by VHI, Abbey Street

Home Forums Ireland "Iconic" building proposal by VHI, Abbey Street Re: Re: “Iconic” building proposal by VHI, Abbey Street


A few things come to mind in the light of the Jones Road demolition:

1. How did the VHI church on Abbey Street get listed in the first place, when the nearly identical (but prettier) church on Jones Road was passed over?

2. The decent suburban design qualities of the Jones Road church appear to contribute positively to the semi-suburban streetscape here, whereas the equally decent suburban qualities of the Abbey Street church contribute little or nothing to the full blown urban context of Abbey St. (imo).

3. It should never just be a choice between preserve or demolish, some buildings may not merit total preservation in the context of a proposal for a good quality, urban scale, redevelopment, but perhaps parts of the structure merit retention and not always the obvious parts like the facade.

4. Very few ordinary decent urban regeneration projects are so ‘pure’ and ‘iconic’ in their contemporary perfection that they wouldn’t benefit from the incorporation into their design of some well crafted stone arcades from a pre-existing structure on the site.

5. Really getting to grips with the value of heritage in the urban context and the role that a deeper understanding of the potential for heritage to underlay and enrich the urban layer cake will involve moving away from the either/or scenario we have now, where every case comes down to: either the preservation lobby wins, or the developer wins. This will only happen if there’s imaginative leadership from the top.

In my opinion, the retention of the Abbey St. church, and more particularly the design of a contorted glass office block extension arround it and over it’s neighbouringing hall, is a mistake bourne out of muddled conservation thinking and a lack of confidence in our own architectural ability (probably justified).

Jones Road church after illegal partial demolition

If the Abbey Sreet. church nave arcades are anything like the exposed Jones Road church arcades, like I said before, instead of retaining the whole structure and have this decision dictate the shape and form of the redevelopment around it, I would just retain these beautiful and expertly crafted elements, in-situ, in a double height glazed ground floor of a fully urban scale corporate HQ redevelopment.

Latest News