_THE_ ugliest building in Dublin city centre

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    • #704997

      I don’t know this building’s name (Paul?) – I’ll describe where it is: stand on College St. facing D’Olier St, looking NE. This building, between the An Post building (which isn’t that pretty either) and the river, has got to be the single biggest architectural/upkeep embarrasment to this city, given its locale. It’s the tallest building in that area from that view – very dominant – and to be quite honest it’s something that wouldn’t look out of place in Grozny or Sarajevo. The facade is in COMPLETE disrepair, obviously it hasn’t had a makeover since it was built. Paint chipped on all the windows, bleak colour to the whole thing…. are there ANY plans for this building? there simply must be….

    • #716093

      That would be Hawkins House and your dead right it is the most discusting building in the city. It’s home to the Department of Health. I’m not sure if the state is leasing or was stupid enough to purchase the building, either way they have a responsibility to either vacate if they are leasing or embark on some kind of face lift. I think Paul mentioned a while ago that the OPW was going to attempt to do something with it. The building is big, bulky, has one of the most decrepit facades of any building i’ve seen and looks redicioulous from every possible angle…surely demolition is the only option.

      [This message has been edited by Peter FitzPatrick (edited 06 May 2001).]

    • #716094

      Ir saddens me that some many buildings – indeed whole stretchs of streets, come to mind. Yes Hawkins House et al should be pulled down without delay or ceremony. I dont think even the most radical makeover could justify its existence at this stage.

      Its equally sad that two great theatre music halls were torn down to accomodate these monstrosities in the early 1960s, the Theatre Royal & The Regal Rooms. (see Art Deco Ireland website). Just think what utility the city would get from these grand old entertainment venues in 2001..

      Alas, we cannot live our lives in reverse….which is why forums like this should continue to criticise bad buildings. Look at the recently erected legoland profile along virtually the entire of Parnell Street. I have seen bemused tourists wandering up it after stumbling off O’Connell street. What a vivid , filthy picture it paints of bad inner city planning and social deprivation within a few paces of the city’s main throughfare [no great object of beauty either].

      Also Pearse Street is a disappointing introduction to the City Centre from the south east and the recent redevelopment of the Fire Station together with the hideously oversized and grey Trinity Student Res at Westland Row, both conspire to confirm the architectural miscellany and banality of a once potentially attractive street. TCD have a lot to answer for since they have single-handedly deadened the life of the street by buying up virtually everything from Westland Row to College Street and turning the facades into sad, closed down victorian streetscape.

      Smithfield and the HARP area in general – once promising plans are turning into more Zoe-Dev-like 4/5/6 storey pidgeon hole blocks that make the Glasgow of old look like Barcelona! No room from slender, attractive landmark tower there.

      Temple Bar is increasingly looking like the BEST new thing to happen to Dublin in decades – think what you will about its commercial usage though.

      Whoever owns the red&yellow brick making factories not to mention the uPVC (in all hues) window makers must be zillionaire.

    • #716095

      Hawkins House is the most ugly building in Dublin. It may have once looked fresh and modern to the untrained eye, but it is time to get rid of it. It dull, not maintained, and the interior is cramped. No facelift can help in this situation.
      Although there are some bad areas architecture-wise, there are a lot of great buildings that have gone up recently, Temple Bar and Smithfield are not the only places. Ten years ago, Mountjoy Square was a depressing ruinous area. Parnell Square may seem like this today, but we have witnessed how an area such as this can be regenerated.

    • #716096

      I would’nt say Hawkins House is just the ugliest…there are far too many unsightly piles to mention….Let’s say there are far more uglier buildings than attractive ones. How about the Ulster Bank on the corner in Dame Street standing next to a fine 19th century piece…..and don’t forget the now partly hidden bunkers of Wood Quay…lest we forget….and those ESB offices up FitzWilliam Street and that bank up Baggot Street awkwardly fitting in the streetscape and all the boring bland recent appartment blocks as far as the eye can see. Well done An Taisce.

    • #716097

      Greg, I think you are becoming a bit unhinged. I amn’t sure all that you mention is An Taisce’s fault. In fact, the Ulster Bank extension is quite a handsome building in its own way, the only problem with it is that it doesn’t address the older buildings around it and something nicer was demolished to make way for it. That’s precisely the sort of thing An Taisce objects to.

      On a seperate topic, I though I read somewhere that Liffey House is being knocked down, to be replaced by something five story and more contemporary. I think I am confusing Liffey House and Hawkins House, does anyone know what is happening.

    • #716098

      Hawkins House will not be demolished. Plans for a make-over are being developed by Murray O’Laoire for the OPW.

    • #716099
      Paul Clerkin

      A recladding of Hawkins House would do much to improve its outward appearance – note the buidling at the end of Merrion Row beside the Hugenout Graveyard. However its setback position from the streetscape and the small surface car park around its base needs to be addressed too.

    • #716100
      Shane OToole

      You’re absolutely right, Paul. The key is to get the civil servants to give up their free surface carparking.

    • #716101
      Paul Clerkin

      What Will the architects come up with? How will they address the street? lazy way out would be a three/four story atrium from streetline to existing structure but that would be fairly ininteresting. Part demolition of existing structure (notably the part that comes out from main concrete block) and building a block to address the street might work. The surface car park is so damn small anyway (you can just about see it in that photo taken from teh top of Liberty Hall)

    • #716102

      cannot remember but if there was room they might re-establish the street line which would to some extent mask hawkins house while reintroducing the scale of poolbeg street.
      could be achieved if they removed the lower block nearest poolbeg street(wouldn’t effect the reception area)

    • #716103

      oops sorry paul didn’t see your last post!

    • #716104
      Paul Clerkin

      No problem LOB, would the existing buildings on the other side of Poolbeg Street have a legitimate claim to stop reinstatement of the street line and subsequent loss of light?

    • #716105

      Interesting thought Paul
      the buildings that did exist have been gone more than 20 years so the buildings on the north of the street would have aquired the right to light(except the newer developments)-but with hawkins house and apollo house in the way, the actual light would not be great

      It would be great to have something there to draw people to the street, rather than passing through
      It has to be said that Poolbeg street has not been well served by the recent additions (both West and East) specifically the apartments behind the corn exchange as well as ashford house

    • #716106
      Paul Clerkin

      The only draw into Poolbeg Street is currently Mulligans (god bless it and all who sail in it). Ashford House? It doesn’t ring a bell.

      Apollo House, now there’s a building and a half.

    • #716107

      ashford house is on the southern corner of poolbeg street East and Tara Street
      I’ts about 10 years old
      and I second the sentiment on Mulligans
      Pah! pubgrub.-no chicken in a basket here

      [This message has been edited by LOB (edited 11 May 2001).]

    • #716108

      Fot its inherent drabness and its impact on the shorline when viewed by visitors arriving into Dun Laoghaire Port, I nominate the BIM (Fisheries Board) edifice on Crofton Road Dun Laoghaire.

      Apologies for straying from the city centre but I’ve be dying to let off steam about this for years.

    • #716109
      Paul Clerkin

      ashford house – yellowish brick, stone trim?

    • #716110

      Looking at the photo of Hawkins House people seem to have missed the wart at the front….that being the former Irish Press offices now under reconstruction…..look at roof …it’s a mess.
      The ugliest building in Dublin ….that ramshackle garage along the quays…you know the one on Usher’s island and the corner of Bridgefort Street across the way from the Liffey Wharf pub (not the filling station…although that’s misplaced too)…what a disgraceful contribution in such a prime area of the city. Please do something about this area of the city ….FAST!
      To reply about the Ulster bank on College Green…..it’s style, it’s positioning and the fact that a fine building was sacrificed makes it an ugly building, awkward and obtuse in it’s area.

      [This message has been edited by GregF (edited 15 May 2001).]

    • #716111
      Rory W

      Hmmmm…. Didn’t we have this forum about this time last year as well

    • #716112

      I went for a walk in Town this wek and was reminded of some candidates for ,if not the worst building position,then at least the top dozen or score.
      1.The red brick lump just upriver from the attractive Carrols-Nationwide building,
      2.The Deloitte and Touche building, the black one, on Hatch street.
      3.The Warrington (?) building just behind the Peppercanister Church which intrudes on the view from Upper Mount Street.
      4.FitzWilton House on Mespil Road

    • #716113

      How about Phoenix House in Smithfield -home to the Family Law Office. Vile.

    • #716114

      Indeed it is, and that building in Marlborough Street..can’t remember what it’s called.

    • #716115

      There’s two for your money on Marlborough St..

      That thing, the multi-storey car park which was clearly designed from the inside out and only had a wall put on as a last minute thing.
      And the Eircom building, which actually has nice proportions if nothing else.

      How can the ugliest building not be Hawkins House, though?

    • #716116

      The Motor Tax office on Chancery street behind the Four Courts is quite bad. Every time I pass it I want to kill myself so I do.

    • #716117

      Every time I pass it I want to kill IT.

    • #716118

      Having not previously seen the thread, the title put me in mind of one building. As I’m from down the country, I didn’t know the name, but I could describe its location.

      Sure enough, it turned out to be Hawkins House:rolleyes:

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