Re: Re: Should the Clarence Hotel redevelopment get permission?

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This plan is a catastrophe. I cannot fathom how seven members of ABP could take this grossly overscaled Disneyland facadism and hold it up as ‘exceptional design’.

Whatever about the bombastic flying saucer roof, it’s the double-height glazed box that lurches out of the facades of the small houses on Wellington Quay that kills me. It looks like someone has just plonked a curtain-walled office block directly on top of these cowering buildings. There’s barely even a set-back. And then there’s the huge strip of blank two-storey gable wall saying fuck you to O’Connell Bridge and the rest of the city, wrecking one of the city’s few classic vistas. Plus the baffling consensus that the Essex Street facades are blank and worthless. I just don’t get it.

It’s groups of small-scale buildings like those around the Clarence that give Dublin its distinctive character. It’s inconceivable that a development like this would be pemitted along the canals in Amsterdam or on the terraces along the Seine. As usual, planning in Dublin appears to be around fifteen years behind the rest of Europe. It’s like someone in An Bord Pleanala has just been to Bilbao on a mini-break and decided Dublin needs some ‘iconic architecture’, and everyone else was too weary to object. Meanwhile the actual fabric of the city rots – Thomas Street, James’s Street, the Northside Georgian core. This is the intimate urban streetscape that distinguishes Dublin from the sub-Birmingham naffness it increasingly appears to aspire to.

There must be some ingenious architect out there who could design Bono a 140-bedroom hotel on this site without butchering the quays..?

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