Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
Home › Forums › Ireland › well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ? › Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
The big issue with the Boat Club decision is the fact that the majority vote made by councillors, with no formal training in architectural conservation, to remove a building from the list of protected structures, demeans the process of deeming builidngs worthy of being recorded as protected structures in the first place. Lets not forget that the building was included in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage for Limerick City less than two years ago. If it was deemed significant enough to be listed at that point this decision seems all the more ridiculous. I could accept if there was a forum or committee decision by people with a track record in conservation but councillors making these decisions is a mockery of the legislation that was introduced to protect our heritage in the first place.
I certainly would agree with your point that this could set a negative precedent for removing other buildings in the future.
Then again how could a more significant building like â€œJacksonâ€™s Turretâ€ with some 300 years of heritage not deem to be good enough to be included in the NIAH in the first place, but only after when a planning application threatened its surroundings was it included.
Whatâ€™s the story with the fine cut-stone quays (Bishopâ€™s and Howleyâ€™s)? Are they listed? The City Council plans to roll out a boardwalk on top of them!
One could argue that this makes the NIAH look just as ridiculous and as well undermining its own standing?
The 17 public elected City Councillors have after a two year period of time, voted 15 to 2 in favour of delisting the club house. This democratic process canâ€™t be rubbished just because the Councillors are not qualified Architects but I do hope that they have weighed up all the sides of the pros and cons in the interest of the city. You canâ€™t expect them to be Tax consultants either when it comes to deciding the rates!
The fact as to buildings being commercial or not is not really the issue but that the other builidngs referred to i.e. Thomond Park and the Concert Hall are public buildings whereas the proposal for this site is primarily offices with the exception of the new boat club. A new public building might make the decision easier to swallow but not another office block.
It was my understanding that the main thrust of this proposal were for . . . .
Proposals for the facility off Sarsfield Bridge are to coincide with Limerick city’s regeneration programme and the ‘riverside city’ development and include a museum, coffee shops, tourist information services, facilities for the theatre and the arts as well as a new pedestrian bridge linking the facility to Harvey’s Quay and up onto the newly pedestrianised Bedford Row. “Our objective is to take advantage of the current riverside city programme to improve our facilities, while at the same time securing the future of Limerick Boat Club on Sarsfield Bridge and thereby promoting the sport of rowing in Limerick for generations to come,” said Dermot Moloney, president, Limerick Boat Club
Mr Daly added that he believes this development should “regenerate Limerick Boat Club” and believes it is a “joint venture”, rather than a commercially driven project.
He said his “dream is to have a restaurant on the top floor and have people say that when they come to Limerick they must go the restaurant on the top floor.” A coffee shop could also be located towards the front of the building, where people could overlook the River Shannon, but Mr Daly said he does not “want to dictate the use as it may fly in the face of the planning process.” Source Limerick Leader
Finally I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for a quality contemporary builidng both due to the submission to the council thus far and also looking at the developer’s previous track record for producing what might be solid commercial architecture but hardly inspiring artworks. The local authority had the option of insisting on an architectural competition for the site to replace the heritage it deemed fit to be removed but rejected it. Seems like Skibereen has more progressive thinking than Limerick these days!
Sure, people would easily agree on what solid commercial architecture is, but to find a common census on inspiring artworks depends on the eye of the beholder.
Architect Sean McCann said their design takes its inspiration from “ship hulls, lightweight fabric sails, rowing oars and robust sea walls.”
Evaluating the contents of the NIAH?
If I dare ask, what were the merits for this modest clubhouse structure (c.100 year old) to make its way into NIAH in the first place? Why was the boat storage shed not included as well?
If we take a look at all the components of the bridge that are listed in the NIAH i.e. Sarsfield Bridge, Shannon Boat Club, 1916 Memorial, Limerick Boat Club, Floating Dock (Wellesley Pier and Harvey’s Quay), Lock (Honanâ€™s Quay) (click also additional images) and then assign to each structure a merit note lets say from 1 to 10. Then my subjective order of merit would shape out like this . . . .
Note 10: Sarsfield Bridge
Note 9: Floating dock (Wellesley Pier / Harveyâ€™s Quay)
Note 9: Lock (Honanâ€™s Quay)
Note 7: Shannon Boat Club House
Note 6: Memorial (1916 Rising)
Note 3: Limerick Boat Club House
Therefore in my opinion, my lowly merit note for the â€œLimerick Boat Club Houseâ€ would be enough to justify the City Councils right to re-consider its importance in the interest of the city when comparing the benefits of the Fordmountâ€™s proposal as against the heritage loss of the original clubhouse.
The real big issue for me is the potential damage this proposal can inflict on the character of the bridge / floating dock but not the loss of this clubhouse building!
Value wise, I think the city is being offered a good deal in that we are trading-in a â€œboatâ€ here and getting a â€œshipâ€ in return!
Are we bold enough to risk change with this contemporary design with its proposed daily use to enhance Limerickâ€™s finest structure?
Are we reckless enough to change forever with this contemporary design with its proposed daily use to debase Limerickâ€™s finest structure?
Personally this is a hard one to call?