Re: Re: Liberty Hall redevelopment

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Anonymous
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@Cathal Dunne wrote:

@GrahamH wrote:

A most unfortunate decision and one that should rightly tumble at the feet of An Bord Pleanála. Notwithstanding Liberty Hall’s architectural heritage value, this area of the city centre is not designated for high rise, and it is difficult to see how the Board can grant an application that facilitates the ad hoc redevelopment of tall buildings, especially somewhere as sensitive as the quays, never mind that the very foundations of Dublin high rise policy are based on Local Area Plans being drafted.

But GrahamH, while the building does have merit as an example of a school of Irish architecture, it does have a very dilapidated and shabby quality to it both at streetlevel and further up. In order for it to truly showcase the architecture of the time it was built would require a comprehensive facelift and a return to non-reflective windowpanes. SIPTU would be unwilling to go ahead with such an investment when, as they have pointed out, the building is no longer fit for purpose. It has huge electricity and heating costs which SIPTU are looking to halve with a new, modern-era office building. Liberty Hall, in its current incarnation probably suffers sick building syndrome Moreover, the building is quite poky with the central shaft reducing the effective office space of Liberty Hall. A new building would solve, or at least greatly mitigate, a lot of these problems.

As well as that, the area may not be zoned for high-rise but the existing building establishes a precedent for a tall building and the area does have a number of medium/high rise buildings such as the Ulster Bank HQ and O’Connell Bridge House so it would fit in with those buildings. Indeed, had the original plans for a 100m Ulster Bank HQ gone through it would not be the tallest building in this area and would simply be fitting into an already elevated tableau. Furthermore, even if this tall building is in some way a breach of existing guidelines then its construction will hardly usher in a wave of proposals which will turn Eden Quay into a mini-Manhattan. NIMBYS, an Taisce, a bust building sector and this city’s(and country’s) phobia about tall buildings will see to that. It is in large part thanks to these groups that Liberty Hall is indeed our signature tall building. It is a crying shame that since it was built in 1975 only two buildings – Montevetro and Millennium Tower have overtaken it in height. Had we developed the docklands like any other city Liberty Hall would probably have been out of the top 10 tallest buildings in Dublin and we wouldn’t be as interested in its redevelopment. As it stands, this Liberty Hall proposal is just about the only prospect for proper high rise in this city considering the limbo the Point Watchtower, U2 Tower, Heuston Gate and Aqua Vetro are in. Therefore we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it.

Well, Heuston Gate could soon be off the agenda too. An Taisce through James Nix are pushing for a new 8 storey Childrens Hospital to be built on the Heuston Gate site. This is nothing but a cynical attempt to develop a site for which there is still planning permission for just about the only Highrise that ABP didn’t refuse. An Taisce know full well that if Heuston Gate were to be built it would set a new precedent as regards height in Dublin.

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