Re: Re: Should the Clarence Hotel redevelopment get permission?
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Not a snowball’s chance in hell this will go ahead any time soon. However, should an extension to the planning permission be applied for, one would wonder what the implications of the revised building height objectives in the new Development Plan would be on the project. Any assessment of a permission extension must take cognisance of changes in planning policy since the permission was granted.
A further interesting procedural point is some of the alterations that have recently been carried out in these Protected Structures – buildings that may still have a demolition ball over them, but until the permission is enacted are still Protected Structures. This can be observed in the main entrance to the Workman’s Club, where all of the delicate early nineteenth-century balusters have quite literally been chopped out of the staircase in the past few weeks because they were ‘suffering from wear and tear’ according to a cagey member of staff, and all replaced with preposterous swirly poles from B&Q. There are a number of other interventions in these buildings that would make for a fascinating enforcement case.
Nonetheless, as mentioned above, it is the mind-numbingly outrageous professional endorsement of the Clarence project across a number of disciplines, with their writing off of these buildings as ‘unviable’ and beyond economic repair, that is so galling, when one observes how they have since been transformed into one of the most vibrant, culturally distinctive and uniquely Dublin venues in the capital. Not only have these period buildings – one of the very best groupings on the entire three miles of the historic quays – been put to a viable and sustainable use that is of social and economic benefit to the city, their new lease of life as a fantastic array of public venues is showcasing to Dublin’s citizenry – particularly, and crucially, its younger people – the interior delights of stoical Dublin merchant building stock of the late Georgian and Victorian periods.
The intimate two-room plans, the variety of delicate and robustly detailed staircases, the tradition of our reticent interior joinery – our moulded shutter boxes, pilasters and doors – the simplicity of plasterwork, the handsome selection of chimneypieces, and the baffling array of sash window types intuitively responding to site context – all make for the most stimulating urban experience. And that’s before you even drink in the majesty of the Liffey views framed by the delicate tracery of 200 year-old glazing bars.
To all those built environment ‘professionals’ who endorsed this demolition ego trip, grow your own brain, get out of your car, and learn about your city before destroying it for the rest of us.