Collins Barracks

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    • #705209
      MG
      Participant

      OPW plans £34m National Museum extension
      The Office of Public Works is to seek planning permission this week for the next phase of the National Museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin. The project, costing an estimated £34 million, aims to reinstate the missing central square of the former Royal Barracks, which was demolished in 1890 after being in continuous use since it was built in 1701.
      http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2001/1217/hom2.htm

      Why did they demolish the central range?

    • #718152
      pob
      Participant

      I read the history of this barracks before, I’m not 100% sure about the central range but when the barracks was built the Palatine square was completely enclosed with access via archways. The walls were built of rubble masonry with cut stone outer facing. Shortly after the barracks opened it was found that there was not enough fresh air circulating around the barrack square and the rubble masonry stared to smell foul. This resulted in soldiers fainting on the parade ground in summer. The problem was solved by comppletely openeing the four corners of the square. This may have something to do with the central range.

      Regards

      POB

    • #718153
      GregF
      Participant

      Paletine….the minimalism of it’s day!

      [This message has been edited by GregF (edited 25 January 2002).]

    • #718154
      notjim
      Participant

      According to the Times planning list the OPW have an application in which includes the Croppy Arce. Does anyone know what they planning, the Croppy Acre is awful at the moment but it would be creepy to build on it with it being a grave.

    • #718155
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      With the new plans announced for the reinstatement of the missing middle block, theyve recently added some lights to the esplanade along Benburb Street overlooking the ‘acre’. Any thoughts?

    • #718156
      JackHack
      Participant

      Is it a Smithfield, is it a Jervis St. Park, no it a Another place with such lights.

    • #718157
      iuxta
      Participant

      i don’t think thay have quite the same sense of style as the smithfield versions. i was out there last weekend and was struck by how top heavy the fittings seem, especially when you approach them at an angle and read them almost as a single mass.They may have looked better when drawn in front and side elevation, but from underneath they look a bit clunky and ponderous.

      What is the timescale for the replacment of the central range of builidings?

      Some argue about the value of re-instating a missing part of what was an ensemble of military buildings that looked imposing in any of the historical images that i have seen.
      I’m not against the idea. I remember seeing the original proposal for the replacement building by the OPW and was not very impressed, a sort of precursor to the Millenium Wing of the NGI, hybridised with an exploded version of the TCD Berkely Library.

      The original complex looked quite imposing on the hill over the river and i wonder if any proposed modern replacement would have the same effect?

    • #718158
      GregF
      Participant

      Looks like the aliens from the movie War of the Worlds…..they look good however…..is the architecture around here up to scratch to match.

    • #718159
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Some illustrations of the proposal from the OPW site.


      Main Gallery looking West from East Wing at Second Floor


      Modified Westwing

    • #718160
      ake
      Participant

      The central court, normally grand and empty

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      Not so empty anymore;

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      The Sea Stallion of Glendalough will reside here for, a year.. or so, not sure. Don’t miss it!

    • #718161
      fergalr
      Participant

      I think large-scale exhibitions in the central square there are a fine idea. It’s fairly soulless the rest of the time and -seeing the space is itself a feature of the museum- having it empty sort of presses the museum to the walls around it and leaves it feeling sort of incomplete or temporary.

    • #718162
      PTB
      Participant

      Theres a similar problem with the IMMA, although the courtyard isn’t so large and the architecture is more interesting. I think Craig-Martin put a large artwork running round the arcade there a year or so back. Its something that should be done more often.

      Sometimes I thing that the Royal hospital is the wrong place for the IMMA. Contempary art needs to be veiwed in a contempary setting.

    • #718163
      ake
      Participant

      @PTB wrote:

      Sometimes I thing that the Royal hospital is the wrong place for the IMMA.

      You can’t be serious.

    • #718164
      PTB
      Participant

      I am. I just think that moderm art is better viewed in a modern setting, and the Royal hospital isn’t the best place for that. I’m not sure what should go in the Royal Hospital but I would much prefer the IMMA to be somewhere else.

      Perhaps the NGI could put some of it’s stored paintings on show in the Royal hospital. They do have something like 12,000 paintings in their vaults

    • #718165
      ake
      Participant

      I really need to work on my sarcasm.

      @PTB wrote:

      Perhaps the NGI could put some of it’s stored paintings on show in the Royal hospital. They do have something like 12,000 paintings in their vaults

      Would you believe I was thinking exactly the same thing! It must be a good idea.

      And many of the paintings in storage are very fine works. Even the ones that aren’t have huge historical value and interest. And there are plenty of other real works of art that could be exhibited in the Hospital instead of that modernist nonsense. The Archaeological museum is well known to be badly in need of space, with tonnes of stuff sitting uselessly in storage. Just look at the recently opened little exhibitions of roman artifiacts and the Cyprian pottery one – those artifacts had been lying in museum drawers for years. Another thing they could use the Hospital for is a decent National Portrait gallery- with all the hundreds of fascinating portraits from the last 4 centuries rarely seen by the public. The Ormonde picture collection could also be housed here, since Kilkenny Castle just won’t let people see the paintings. And so on.

      The present situation though is really intolerable, with mini -bars and fridges regularly being hauled into the chapel, for parties and ‘events’ (!) – One of the finest Baroque interiors in Ireland and Britain! – and meanwhile – it’s generally innaccesible to the public!

      I visited about a year ago, and, shocked at finding the Hospital Chapel closed to visitors, asked the guy at reception if I could visit the chapel. He seemed bemused, wondering why on Earth I wanted to see the chapel! Then I learn, to visit it, you must go on a tour , arranged by the OPW, and he gave me someone’s phone number!

      Ridiculous.

    • #718166
      PTB
      Participant

      I really need to work on my sarcasm.

      The sarcasm mark.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm_mark

      And many of the paintings in storage are very fine works. Even the ones that aren’t have huge historical value and interest. And there are plenty of other real works of art that could be exhibited in the Hospital instead of that modernist nonsense. The Archaeological museum is well known to be badly in need of space, with tonnes of stuff sitting uselessly in storage. Just look at the recently opened little exhibitions of roman artifiacts and the Cyprian pottery one – those artifacts had been lying in museum drawers for years. Another thing they could use the Hospital for is a decent National Portrait gallery- with all the hundreds of fascinating portraits from the last 4 centuries rarely seen by the public. The Ormonde picture collection could also be housed here, since Kilkenny Castle just won’t let people see the paintings. And so on.

      Why stop at Dublin? They could send out paintings to other Cities like the Guggenheims round the world.

      NGI Cork
      NGI Limerick
      NGI Galway
      etc,.

      I visited about a year ago, and, shocked at finding the Hospital Chapel closed to visitors, asked the guy at reception if I could visit the chapel. He seemed bemused, wondering why on Earth I wanted to see the chapel! Then I learn, to visit it, you must go on a tour , arranged by the OPW, and he gave me someone’s phone number!

      I’ve encountered the same problem, even though I was with a group of architects who clearly wanted to see the Chapel and who would have been greatly privleged to see the cuilding. Honestly, how hard can it be to open the place every morning and close it again in the evening?

    • #718167
      fergalr
      Participant

      Imagine if the Oireachtas had moved in…

    • #718168
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      If the Oireachtas had moved in, there’s a good chance UCD wouldn’t have moved out to Belfield.

      Missed opportunities…

    • #718169
      alonso
      Participant

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      If the Oireachtas had moved in, there’s a good chance UCD wouldn’t have moved out to Belfield.

      Missed opportunities…

      Indeed, but would UCD have found £IR17 Million to “do up” the gaff in the midst of the 80’s depression like our dearly departed benign dictator did? Also the famous UCD inferiority complex may not have been there had they been housed in something approaching Trinity’s elegance:)

      Slight difference eh?

    • #718170
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      Come now, alonso. You know, surely, that it’s not so straight ahead.

      To name just one complicating factor, UCD spent a small fortune on the acquisition of lands around Belfield, starting in 1934 and continuing to the present day, so it’s not as if the money wasn’t there or couldn’t have been found. I’ve no doubt that it wouldn’t have spent the same amount as Charlo on the refurb of the Webb buildings, but I can’t see that as a bad thing.

      Although if Herr Brady had been in charge at the time…

      Anyway, we’re getting off topic.

    • #718171
      Rory W
      Participant

      Staying off topic for a mo – At one stage The Royal Hospital was considered as a site for UCD.

      However Michael Tierney amongst others decided that Belfield was the best place for a ‘Catholic Arc of influence’ – St Vincent’s Hopital, UCD Belfield and Milltown to counteract the Protestant sphere of influence in the city centre. So the days of UCD staying in the city were numbered anyway.

    • #718172
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      @Rory W wrote:

      Staying off topic for a mo – At one stage The Royal Hospital was considered as a site for UCD.

      However Michael Tierney amongst others decided that Belfield was the best place for a ‘Catholic Arc of influence’ – St Vincent’s Hopital, UCD Belfield and Milltown to counteract the Protestant sphere of influence in the city centre. So the days of UCD staying in the city were numbered anyway.

      When was that, Rory? I knew that the RHK had been mooted as a site for the Dail, but I’ve never heard about it as a potential site for UCD.

      In my first post above, I was referring to the possibility of the Dail moving to RHK and UCD staying in the city centre, with Leinster House becoming the home of the NUI and UCD staying in its various buildings around the city, with a possible greater concentration of college activity around Earlsfort Terrace. As noted by Frank McDonald in The Destruction of Dublin, a group called Tuairim produced a pamphlet in the early 1960s arguing for the retention of UCD in the city for the good of the city- had UCD stayed in the Terrace, there would have been an ‘academic axis’ stretching from TCD to UCD via the NLI, NGI, NUI and other museums / institutions.

      You’re certainly right about the Tierney fear of ‘The Protestants’, but UCD in RHK? Any leads greatly appreciated.

    • #718173
      notjim
      Participant

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      there would have been an ‘academic axis’ stretching from TCD to UCD via the NLI, NGI, NUI and other museums / institutions.

      . . . and RCSI, RIAM, NCAD, the RIA and the RHA: moving UCD and not Oireachtas is the single biggest mistake made with this city,

      As for the NGI: I have never seen evidence for this often repeated claim that there are singular treasures hidden in the vaults, what is there not on the walls that would be worth seeing, did you get the sense when the extension was opened we were seeing new wonderful things. Don’t get me wrong, I think the NGI has a fantastic collection, but I amn’t convinced that all the good stuff isn’t already hanging. The Natural History Museum is a different story, they clearly have a huge back collection.

      BTW If you haven’t been in to the NGI to see the two pictures on long term loan from, it is said, Tipperary: The Portrait of Omai and a Modagliani: Reclining Nude, go, they are both amazing.

    • #718174
      ake
      Participant

      @PTB wrote:

      I’ve encountered the same problem, even though I was with a group of architects who clearly wanted to see the Chapel and who would have been greatly privleged to see the cuilding. Honestly, how hard can it be to open the place every morning and close it again in the evening?

      Here we have it; really the finest surviving 17th century building in Ireland, one of the finest buildings in Ireland, period, with the best and one of the most extensive works of wood carving from the 17th and 18th centuries, which stands comparison to anything in Britain from the same time, a criteria rarely fulfilled. Besides that, an extremely beautiful and important set of set of historic interiors;

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      The other suite of unique historic rooms was destroyed by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in order to showcase their compositions of triangles and squares as well as other geometric shapes.

      So while half of the Royal Hospital (the wrecked half) is open, all year round as a public museum, the other half, of huge interest, is generally locked up, closed from the public, not only when the rooms are in private use, but also during the time in between.

      It is outrageous that these gimmicky corporate conferences and shows are permitted here, with the literally hundreds of far more suitable arenas availible in Dublin, including dozens of purposely built conference centers- but to keep these national treasures closed to the public, while they are actually located in a public museum, is beyond the pale.

      Aren’t these still in State Ownership? Is the OPW actually so broke they need to whore out these national monuments for revenue?

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