1990’s apartments to be demolished

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    • #709872
      GrahamH
      Participant

      In what is probably the first example of its kind in the city, a five-storey block of apartments built in the late-1990s at Watling Street on the edge of Dublin’s Liberties at Usher’s Quay, is to be demolished and redeveloped as offices. Built by Liam Carroll of Zoe Developments as a 47-bedroom second phase of a previously built scheme of over 130 apartments called ‘The Maltings’, the subject block is barely a decade old, completed in 1999.

      This is an aerial view of the wider courtyard scheme, with the block to be demolished outlined.

      The view along Watling Street. The subject block is the front (and most recent) part.

      The elevation to Island Street.

      Looking back. The earlier phase from c. 1995 is evident to the left.

      Extraordinarily, a planning condition attached to the original 1998 design enforced that balconies to this elevation be either removed entirely or set recessed into the walls. Suffice to say the former prevailed.

      The façade to adjacent waste ground (this area was subject to a recent apartment application).

      Controversially, the developer retained ownership of all the apartments at the corner to be demolished, suggesting a longer-term intention to redevelop the site as economics allowed. Many local residents are understandably annoyed by this, citing the permitting of demolition as an open endorsement of the construction of what they regard as sub-standard apartments for purely economic motive.

      Unlike other schemes where change of use may occur mid-way through construction, in this instance it is intended to demolish the entire structure and rebuild to a slightly taller height, as domestic room heights are not tall enough for office use.

      The application is currently before Dublin City Council.

    • #798242
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve seen much worse-looking blocks of flats than this (hard to know what they’re like inside), but the surrounding streets are utterly grim. Where is the ‘planning gain’ from this kind of development? Also, if the area is zoned residential, how can it be redevelpoped for offices, regardless of what the developer wants?

    • #798243
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      great news

      i have been in that block once

      next door neighbors are busy!!!

    • #798244
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I must say Im really not in favour of demolishing newly built developments in principle, unless they have really bad sick buliding syndrome or some other incredibly extenuating circumstamces. If each tonne of concrete is responsible for the relase of 1 tonne of CO2, this strikes me as utterly unsustainable.

      We all know that Zoe built shit – but does that mean that these (relatively dense) units cant be retrofitted? Just how big a carbon footprint does Carroll want to bequeth to the world?

      The Maltings are no prize-winner, but are they that bad are that demolition is the only option? And if they are, why should we then expect the same developer to any better on the same site? Surely Carroll should just live with consequences – or else retrofit. I remain to be convinced about this.

    • #798245
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I cant see this being granted. I mean we’re all for Mixed use development but this type of unplanned jiggery-pokery is not what we have in mind for the city is it? There are no decent planning reasons for this alteration, merely economic.

    • #798246
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Oh I’m DELIGHTED by this news… I spent perhaps the most miserable six months of my life living in a lightless, airless ground floor apartment in this very sh*thole – Didn’t help that I was sharing with housemate from hell but everytime I see this building I shudder… I’ll be there cheering when it comes down!

    • #798247
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This is great, maybe the economy isn’t looking too bad ?
      Proves that a (bad)building does not have to be for life

      I wonder will the bleeding heart preservationists have something to say:D or is there a specific number of years to wait?

    • #798248
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      While I might be glad to see the demolition of these buildings, it is a very sad concept that a building(s) have a life span of less than 20 years. This is like a disposal building….possibly the biggest waist of energy and most unsustainable message coming out from this. Buildings should be built to last.

    • #798249
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @BTH wrote:

      Oh I’m DELIGHTED by this news… I spent perhaps the most miserable six months of my life living in a lightless, airless ground floor apartment in this very sh*thole – Didn’t help that I was sharing with housemate from hell but everytime I see this building I shudder… I’ll be there cheering when it comes down!

      I agree. A friend of mine lived here and the apartment was awful -exactly as described BTH. Personally I think its only a matter of time before a lot of the rubbish built along the quays in the early 90s gets either renovated or redeveloped. I agree with all the arguments about sustainability (wholeheartedly!) but these buildings are rubbish and its shocking that they were allowed to be built in the first place with such little consideration as to whether they would be attractive places to live in.

    • #798250
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The remedy to these ‘disposable’ bldgs (which some architects seem to think is a virtue, or some kind of throwaway at someone else’s expense) is, of course, good design and higher planning standards. For example, there should be no single-aspect flats and floorplates should be much more generous. But the price…?

    • #798251
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I heard that there’s subsidence issues with this complex and the one next door?

      This was submitted for planning in January I think, certainly the Business Post covered it at that stage, so I presume a decision is relatively imminent

    • #798252
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @StephenC wrote:

      Personally I think its only a matter of time before a lot of the rubbish built along the quays in the early 90s gets either renovated or redeveloped.

      Unlikely, as few apartment blocks are owned by one individual. Co-operation on renovation would be difficult betwen various owners.

    • #798253
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Absolutely – that is why this case is so unique.

      I’ve heard no references to subsidence jdivision – even if there was it’s generally a simple problem to solve with underpinning and other methods.
      A decision is due on the application in about two weeks.

      Here is the proposed office development.


      © EDA Architects

      Suffice to say the residents in the other 200 or so apartments surrounding the courtyard are up in arms with this commercial intrusion into residential amenity. 14 objections have been received, one representing the residents association.

      As undesirable as these apartments are, there is little excuse for their demolition given the dearth of undeveloped and derelict land in the Liberties area crying out for investment. This complex could easily be upgraded: merging apartments, widening window opes, the provision of balconies, improving insultation, while retaining the basic structure. Perhaps even with commercial and social uses at ground floor level.

      Returning back to the city along the quays, it beggared belief seeing what was permitted to be thrown up along the quays and elsewhere over the course of the ‘boom’ years. It’s notable actually the contrast between the straggling Georgians and neighbouring development: the Georgians were generally structurally gerry-built but well designed, while the apartments were structurally sound but appallingly designed and laid out.

      The finishes of some developments are truly abismally bad – vast expansion joints, bricks rigidly shaped into curves, grotty unpainted steel balconies, first generation PVC that’s already being replaced by second generation, opening casements hanging off their hinges – the list goes on and on… And all the while dingy little shoe boxes with a single bulb dangling from a bare ceiling visible through the tiny filthy windows.

      I don’t see buildings or architecture at all when passing these developments – all that’s visible are nest-eggs and neatly-paid mortgages stacked on top of each other like a supermarket shelf.

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