Re: Re: what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings?

Home Forums Ireland what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings? Re: Re: what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings?


Thanks everyone for your comments – more opinion on the development in hand would be welcome!

I think you have a point there gunter that’s worth reiterating: that most of the elements which went wrong here are indeed not huge, but the cumulative effect is what is damaging – and what is most frustrating. But ultimately with a project of this kind, with a group of buildings of such significance, the devil is in the detail. It’s everything. Without it there is no soul, no interest, no point. Nearly everything that has been done here lacks even a passing interest in the special character of this terrace, never mind the healthy glow of an all-consuming love affair one expects of a critical group of buildings like this after works of this kind.

It all stands in stark contrast to the gushing, enthusing, velvety words submitted as part of the planning application, extolling the unique significance of The Irish Times terrace as the last example of a relatively intact Wide Streets Commissioners terrace. What has come of this? How has this recognition manifested itself on the ground? In any way? Painting the windows? Converting old offices into new offices? If maintaining the function of a building is considered the optimum result of restoring an historic structure, then we have a long, long road to walk.

Sadly, amongst many professionals, this is indeed the ultimate goal, or as far as the vision extends. To a certain degree it is the purpose of conservation staff to inform and to educate in this respect, but a dismal absence of influence is clearly apparent, and has been for some time. Dublin City Council, as the pre-eminent planning authority in the State, demands a major Conservation Unit, with policy, planning, architectural, advisory, research and administrative staff, all based in the Planning Department, not in the Architectural division as at present. And this is a minimum requirement, never mind a major grant aid budget and wider links within the Council. We are still in the 1990s in terms of infrastructure and this has to change. I think rather than constantly blaming the planning division, as with countless cases throughout the boom years, efforts need to be concentrated on bolstering conservation and its influence within the planning process. This is the key to effecting change.

Latest News