Cork, Mahon point, etc, etc.

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    • #707644
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      Hi everyone,
      I’m new to this site and not an architect, but interested in urban design and planning.
      What do people think of the new Mahon point shopping centre in Cork? I got the bus down there at the weekend and nearly got run over by all the cars. They seemed to have forgotten the pedestrians when they were designing this thing.
      Just for a laugh, i’ve decided to put the 3 best and 3 worst new developments in Cork (as I see them) on here. If anyone has difffering views, let me know.

      3 Worst:
      1. Student apartments at Victoria Cross (a hideos cube of a building that will bring tears to eyes of any Corkonian)
      2. The apartments adjacent to the Gate Cinema, opposite The North Mall (appalling, and the empty retail outlets on the ground floor add to the mess)
      3. Kyrls Quay /Dunnes Stores Carpark (Visible all the way down the river, this is a disgusting building which clearly should never have been built. Thankfully plans are in place to cover it all up with a design competition recently been launched in conjunction with Cork 2005)

      3 Best:
      1. Glucksman Gallery at UCC (I was totally opposed to this when it was being built as that was the last bit if grass in UCC, but it looks fabulous , is the only building i’ve seen which TOTALLY suits its location and the small ‘platform’ means it takes up even less space than the old tennis courts)
      2. New appartments opposite the opera house (think they’re called Camden Wharf. Not yet finished but look really good. In keeping with nearby terrace of buildings.)
      3. New Patrick Street (This is amazing … i Love it. I know some people hate it, but it really is a joy to be in Patrick Street on a sunny saturday. lots going on, loads of space for people to meet and chat, etc. The lights are fabulous too.)

      So, there you are, my Best and Worst of Cork’s new Developments. Do you agree/disagree with me? Whats your best and worst list? Post them here.

      P.S. Does anybody know what the new Archives building in Blackpool is going to look like (or have a pic)??
      Take care,
      Radioactiveman!!!

    • #750794
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      agreed on mahon – access is quite bad and the impact on the south ring road will be enormous – already is in fact. as for the shopping centre itself – it is fitted out and constructed to a high standard – the layout and finishing is effcetive – and is a far better ‘experience’ than liffey vally for eg, in my opinion. however, its proximity to the tunnel and the south ring road will be a disaster – a centre of this size should have been north and east of the tunnel (little island/cobh cross area) and i predict that the city centre will be just as accessible as mahon.

      i disagree about victoria cross apartments – its become a bit of a hobby in cork to whinge about those the echo have done so and other usual suspects – and if they had been 3 storey mock georgian cheap looking buildings – no-one would have peeped – the building…is a strong and distinctive architectural statement, finished to a v high standard is pretty striking and – is not the same as the majority of the student apartment crap we are used to.

      (in my opinion) there should be more like it in the city – we need good high qaulity contemporary design. also there are literally hundreds of TERRIBLE buildings in the city – why is this single structure being singled out?

      i do agree about the apartments adjacent to derek tynan’s cinema at the gate – they are shocking. the glucksman is without doubt one of the city’s finest buildings (old and new), pana is the berries and camden quay is shaping up very well – i assume you are referring to the camden quay/knapps square one next to pa johnsons pub and not the one next to the temporary courthouse??

    • #750795
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      The reason Victoria Cross is being singled out is because of its prominent position. I agree, there are many other horendous buildings in Cork (and many fine ones also). Victoria Cross, in my humble opinion, looks cheap, totally uninspired…and will someone please tell the students to buy some curtains (I’m a student myself by the way).
      I was actually refering to the building adjacent to the temporary Courthouse. I think they look great. In saying this, those further up John Street also look good.
      On the subject of the Courthouse (the original one by the way—yes children, that’s what was behind those hoardings opposite riordans for all these years) I passed there today. There is now NO access via the steps in front. All access is via a tiny side door at the side. Thsi is incredibly strange. They have actually blocked off the steps so there is no way people can enter through the grand original doorways. Shame on OPW.

      Anyway, back to the BEST/WORST of Cork list…. keep the opinions coming please

      Radioactiveman!!!

    • #750796
      jungle
      Participant

      I agree that the Glucksman is a great building. I’m still unhappy about the location and more particularly the fact that nobody has tried to repair the damage the builders did to the lower grounds [or at least they hadn’t a month ago].

      I like the new Pana and I like the lights. I also like the fact that the lights have separate lighting for the footpaths and the street.

      A particular dislike of mine is the Norwich Union building on South Mall. With the white tiling on the outside it looks like a giant public toilet.

      As I’ve already veered from new developments, a building I like that nobody else does is Connolly Hall. Maybe it’s because it was one of the few newer buildings when I was growing up in Cork.

      I’m not a fan of the changes to the student centre in UCC. I liked the original building, but the extension detracts from it for no obvious practical benefit.

      I like the new bus station. It’s a pity it couldn’t have been integrated with the train station, but that would have meant moving it to a less useful position.

      I like the Siemens building behind Penrose Wharf.

      One building that worries me is the proposed new 8-storey hotel for Crosses Green. Given the trouble about the height of the Jury’s project, I can’t believe that this will get the go-ahead right next to St. Finn Barre’s cathedral and Elizabeth Fort, but stranger things have happened.

    • #750797
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      i dont understand when you say ‘it looks cheap’ ? in what way? i think that it looks the opposite – its clear that a lot of time and money was spent on design and materials – and is finished to a high standard it actually looks the opposite to cheap. also the site can only be described as being slightly prominent from the western approach along the straight road where the profile is only 3 – 4 storeys, the rest of the building is well screened due to tree cover and the site’s configuration so th etaller parts are not very visible.

      the new red brick apartment development on the blackpool bypass by F Sheahan (I Think – PJ Hegarty were the contractors) is in a prominent position – and its beginning to look awful – also a relatively high structure – up to eight i think – anyone hear complaints??? and if you want to see cheap – look there.

    • #750798
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      Let me make this clear from the start, there is NOTHING wrong with tall buildings. Build them as high as you want, it doesnt bother me in the least.
      The thing that bothers me about Victoria cross i guess is its monolithic appearance. It is so square, so smooth.. i just dont like it and if you ask me, it looks cheap. As regards it not being prominent, approach it via Western Road coming out of town, that sheer wall of glass is disturbing to say the least.
      Anyway, its just my opinion and im not going to push it down anybody’s throat.
      The new building on the Bypass looks good. The rejuvenation of the Blackpool flats further out the bypass look even better.
      So, Bunch, you never told us your Best and worst 3!! Cough it up

      Radioactiveman!!!

    • #750799
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #750800
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      The only time I’d seen the Victoria Cross dev was when it was under construction last year. Imagine my shock when I saw it very recently. The first thing that struck me was Ballymun ’05. It looks so cheap. The 2005 equivalent of Hawkins House – not for height, but for inappropriate, badly thought out massing and scale – and awful awful facade treatment which exacerbates the whole problem. The building itself isn’t that big (comparative to other schemes nearer to Dennehey’s Cross and County Hall). Terrible. Hopefully phase two will lessen it’s impact.

      Glucksman – fabulous!

    • #750801
      lexington
      Participant

      If you think Victoria Mills is bad, don’t hold you breath for the proposed 7-storey hotel at Crosses Green also designed by Derek Tynan and Associates. Charles & Helen McCarthy are the developers behind it – the application is in planning. It truly is a monstrosity of architecture. Imagine Victoria Mills, with one or two cheap balconies dropped right into the city centre. DT – what goes through his head???!!! Of course the CCC love him.

      Some Victoria Mills images – that actually try to make it look good (below):

      See -> http://www.dtarch.com/04current.html for images of Phase 2 at Victoria Mills.

    • #750802
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      “Of course the CCC love him”… blinded by love of the Gate cinema no doubt.

      A Victoria Mills at Cross’s Green… scary.

    • #750803
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      Glad to see I have some support in my dislike of Victoria Cross.
      Still looking for any info./pics on of the new City Archives building in Blackpool. Anybody able to help?

    • #750804
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      The Gate Cinema is great. Shame about the apartments to the right of them.
      Also, the proximity of the apartments to the left of them makes North Main Street look like a little alleyway when you look across from the bridge.

    • #750805
      satanta99
      Participant

      I have to say I’m a big fan of the Victoria Cross apartment buildings. I think the only thing that detracts from the development is the colour.
      I would have to agree that the apartments west of the gate are truly awful! How long has the ground floor remained vacant?
      I think the worst building in the city has to be on MacCurtain St. I don’t know the name of it, but its the hideous structure on the oppostie side of the street to the metropole. It is a mixture of glass and concrete with yellow claddin. It looks like a Soviet power plant!

    • #750806
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      Thompsons Bakery???

    • #750807
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      anyone see yesterday’s examiner article by des o sullivan on urban design + architecture in the city? the before and after photos of merchants quay were excellent – merchants quay building is definitely one of my worst. also on maccurtian st. the 4 storey building immediately next to gallaghers – still looks unfinished and terrible-painted pink i think.

    • #750808
      jungle
      Participant

      The river facing side of the Metropole is awful.

      In general, both sides of the river between Patrick’s Bridge and Brian Boru Bridge are terrible. The bus station was probably the highlight before it got rebuilt.

    • #750809
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      The bus station looks ok now. Not great. but a big improvement on what went before. Considering the paltry amount of money CIE made available for the job its not bad.
      Merchants Quay facing the river is poor, but to be fair, I think there’s a bit of romance being built around the ‘old’ Merchants Quay. It was a tip. Something needed to be done and in the unenlightened 80’s, i guess thats the best they could manage. Sad but true. I heard something about planning for a third floor on the centre. What’s the story with that?
      Re. the retail units under apartments near the Gate, all but one have never had any tenants. There was a bar in the first one, but thats gone for a few years.
      What do people think about that yoke west of the opera house? Looks good?… yes/no?

    • #750810
      Pug
      Participant

      From those images, the Glucksman Gallery looks like a treehouse! yes, yes I can hear your tut tuts from here. Will wander along someday and check it out a bit closer!

      re the bus station, the only addition was the canopys and a bit of painting. I think they havent added to it much and personally would have moved the station to Horgans Quay and put those small little buses as shuttles from the city centre. Such a prime site with a waste of a bus station on it. I dont know if the procedure has changed but certainly it was the worst station layout I have ever come across i.e. when the buses pull out into oncoming traffic to try and back in to a space! And CIE not bothering with Horgans Quay? CPO the sods all the way.

      I think apart from the new front, the Opera House is awful, a giant dilapidated brick, both inside and out.

      Certainly, the opposite side of the quay to Merchants Quay needs a facelift.

      Nice buildings? Clarion adds a bit, 5&6 Lapps Quay, Connolly Hall isnt bad in fairness.

      Personally cant wait for the docklands, fingers crossed they get it right and put in nice designs but the vibe certainly seems to be going that way. The high rise as well will be good for Cork. Rock on O Flynns 17 storey tower.

    • #750811
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      Obviously PUG doesnt get the bus very often. Its completely out of the question to ask people to walk to Horgan’s Quay to get a bus to Dublin. Beside’s if we were waiting for a move to Horgan’s Quay we’d still have the shithole (excuse the language) that we were used to.
      Basically the improvements to the station was a new Canopy at front, a less impressive new canopy at the back, a new layout inside and most importantly, a wash.
      The new system of boarding and electronic signage is excellent, and for a change, actually works.

      Apparently, CIE won’t develop Horgan’s Quay because CCC wont leave them put shops in there. CCC are damn right, we cant be extending the retail centre like that, its totally misguided. But then we are dealing with CIE here….

      Radioactiveman!!!

    • #750812
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      the bus station is a vast improvement i agree, it appears to be a more efficient facility. however, it is a half-assed job, it really should have been part of an integrated development, allowing offices/commercial on a number of floors over the bus depot/yard/station building – a developer would have funded this in return for the development opportunity overhead.

      however, i think the best site was/is horgan’s quay – approx 3-5 mins walk from existing bus station. radioactiveman – people walk to horgans quay to get a train – they would do it to get a (intercity) bus. all city/suburban services do not need to operate from a station facility – they can use the quays as existing and do not need to call to a station to serve their routes. horgans quay would then become an integrated station hub, connecting bus and rail networks in an accessible location – future docklands area – extension to city centre.

      as for retail and the train station and the city’s policies – the city has a culture of fear in terms of retail – the docklands will need retail for it to proceed – this will bolster the city centre because it will act as an extension and not a competitor to existing city centre retail area. patrick st cannot accomodate the demand from potential tenants as it is – and there has been a situation for a long time of retailers trying to get a foothold in cork – but there is no available city centre space. the city centre retail area needs to expand or the city will suffer – as it has in the past – and cornmarket st + academy st will not be enough to cope with demand in my opinion. its a bit ironic that the city council were happy to grant permission for mahon retail but are afraid of allowing a retail destination at horgans quay as part of a large scale mixed use development which would have underpinned the redevelopment of practically all the north docklands

    • #750813
      Pug
      Participant

      @Radioactiveman wrote:

      Obviously PUG doesnt get the bus very often. Its completely out of the question to ask people to walk to Horgan’s Quay to get a bus to Dublin.

      Radioactiveman, the uranium must have melted your eyes as you will see that I wrote about LITTLE SHUTTLE BUSES THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO AND FROM THE CITY CENTRE. And bunch makes the point even further, we all walk to the bloody train station.

      I was really taking a pop at CIE for that one, they are an absolute shambles of an organisation, and are obviously running the FAI in their spare time. They are a highly unionised ineffective inefficent ultra orthodox organisation who in any other country would have had their management fired long ago for the inept serivce they provide for hilariously expensive prices.

    • #750814
      mickeydocs
      Participant

      The plan was to have a bus link between horgan’s quay and the city centre

      however, i think the best site was/is horgan’s quay – approx 3-5 mins walk from existing bus station. radioactiveman – people walk to horgans quay to get a train –

    • #750815
      shrink2cork
      Participant

      Mahon Point is pulling the traffic away from Douglas, great. The Shopping Centre is aimed at the teen to late twenties female market. There is no mix of Shops, and the rents are as high as Patrick Street or higher.
      Good luck to them.

      Regards
      Shrink2cork

    • #750816
      corklad
      Participant

      I have to say I agree that the Victoria Cross development is a hideous mistake. They look like something that was lifted out of the ground in some Soviet backwater city in the 1950’s and just dumped in Victoria Cross. The council should pay to have it removed.

    • #750817
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      I dont see the point in moving the bus station to Horgans quay. It is an essential public service which should remainn where 90% of the users actually requested it stay. After its reorgainising it works perfectly and is coping very well.
      Nothing will happen at the Horgan’s Quay site for at least another 5-6 years. Thats the way CIE want it and thats what we’re stuck with.
      Re. Docklands development, there is a beautiful building fronting the west bank of the river (i think its the odlums building) this has to be kept in any re-invention of the docklands. It looks perfect for a public building along the lines of the Tate Gallery in London.
      As far as i’m concerned, the rest of the Docklands is a blank canvas, We need something like the Dublin Docklands Committee to get the thing going though.
      We’ve got to watch out for th emistakes though– remember that thing proposed for Water Street awhile back— no problem with the height, no problem with the density, but god help us it was a bit bland and uniform. With the docklands as a blank canvas, Cork people expect a masterpiece, not a collection of useless scribbles.

      Radioactiveman!!!

    • #750818
      mickeydocs
      Participant

      Just as we don’t end up with the IFSC mk 2.

      As far as i’m concerned, the rest of the Docklands is a blank canvas, We need something like the Dublin Docklands Committee to get the thing going though.

    • #750819
      Pug
      Participant
      Radioactiveman wrote:
      It is an essential public service which should remainn where 90% of the users actually requested it stay. QUOTE]

      Fair enough. I actually dont recall the public survey where the people of Cork were asked their opinion by CIE. My point is that if there were shuttle buses departing the city centre regularly, then it wouldnt matter if the bus station was in horgans quay. The entire transport for the city should be there, you should be able to get off a train in Cork and immediately step onto a bus to East or west cork or the airport or city centre with an integrated ticket system. It’s CIE missing out on the small but obvious things like being able to get a single intercity ticket for slightly over half the price of a return ticket, not the same price as a full. CIE is a shambles.

    • #750820
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      The infamous “90% want the station to stay” remark was PR bull spouted by CIE and further communicated by local rag Evening Echo and was in relation to the long planned movement of the bus terminal to the Eglinton An Post site, and was used as a get out of jail card for the pathetic “redevelopment” in the current location. Safe to say a “TV3 goes to Moore St” style poll was used. The An Post site made perfect sense in the long term.

    • #750821
      jungle
      Participant

      I’m quite glad they didn’t go to the An Post site. It’s not close to the centre. It doesn’t integrate with the rail network either.

      Plus, the plans for the An Post site are now some of the most interesting in Cork.

    • #750822
      Pug
      Participant

      @jungle wrote:

      the plans for the An Post site are now some of the most interesting in Cork.

      spot on there jungle, the An post site would have been mental. If they do that tower right and previous pictures of the plans on this site look like they might, I think it will be brilliant to have that size of a tower there.

    • #750823
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      Chack out the advert in the sports section of todays examiner re. upgraded Bus Station.
      Excess of 90% wanted it to stay at Parnell Place. Also, this is the view of European transport ministers.

      The argument for moving to Horgan’s Quay goes something like this:
      People arrive in Cork by train, they should be able to get bus to west cork, etc. on site. Fair enough… BUT,
      What about people who arrive in Cork by plane, should we therefore move the station to the airport?
      What about people who arrive in Cork by Bus? Sure 5% might want to get a train to Cobh, Mallow, etc., but the majority surely either wish to stay in the City or travel on by Bus, so there is nothing to be gained from moving to Horgan’s Quay.
      A simple shuttle bus service between Parnell Place and Kent Station will provide for the small amount of people who wish to make a train/bus transition. There is simply no, logical motive for moving the train station and Bus station together.
      Let that be the end of it! 🙂

    • #750824
      Pug
      Participant

      Radioactiveman, at the risk of sounding pedantic, I dont for a second believe that 90% statistic . And why in gods name would European transport ministers care a jot about our bus station?? presumably they have more to worry about.

      alright , it is indeed the end of this argument, you have just stated and repeated my ORIGINAL point that there be SHUTTLE BUSES to the city centre if the bus station were to be located in some place like Horgans Quay. The bus station should be in a central point in the city with integrated transport services around it i.e. that the train/bus station should be located TOGETHER.

      For people who get to Cork by plane, there should be a regular SHUTTLE BUS to the city centre where they could get other trains/buses.

      At the end of the day, this argument is irrelevant as your point that CIE will muck around and do precisely nothing with Horgans Quay is fair. Cork is treated like dirt by Dublin cue Martin Cullens recent confirmation that after spending €140m on corks new airport terminal, the cost over runs were so much that there will now be NO air bridges i.e. the terminal will be nice but you will still have to walk out into the lashing risking decapitation by an aircraft propellor. Unbelieavable.:p

    • #750825
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      “There is simply no, logical motive for moving the train station and Bus station together.”

      what an amazing statement – so – there is no logic in having a public transport interchange that cobmines rail and bus on the city’s largets opportunity site in a docklands location?? – because bus eireann have stated that 95% of passengers preferred is to stay as it is – that is absolute rubbish – integrated networks within a city centre site (horgans quay) is the optimum scenario for public transport in the city – not a fragmented, second class system where bus and rail systems have no interaction – the shuttle service idea is purely unecessary – the real distance bw the bus and rail station equates toa 5 minute walk! its a bit sad today to see bus eireaan boasting about the half assed effort they have made – and quote european transport ministers as if they even know where cork’s bus station is – the reality is is that horgans quay is city centre, is strategically positioned in terms of the road and rail and bus network, the associated development potential would have paid for a new terminus and it would have been well connected to existing city centre and the future docklands – we really shouldnt accept bus erireann’s warped logic and their emabarassing effort to use a covert public consultation excersise to justify their lack of ambition.

    • #750826
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      This argument is getting a little boring so, we’ll have to agree to disagree for the sake of people who dont give a damn about the bus station.
      For the record… Horgan’s Quay ain’t City Centre. Maybe in 10/15 years time when Horgans Quay site and Docklands is up and running, then it could be described as city centre.
      Maybe this will all work out brilliantly. Maybe by spending a paltry amount on the recent refurbishment, they’ll be able to move the station to Horgans quay in a few decades when it actually becomes beneficial to do so.
      Maybe CIE are geniuses………. although, then again, no.

    • #750827
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      The An Post site would have been perfect for inter urban bus routes – with ease most routes would bypass the congestion of the centre make efficient use of the link roads. As opposed to at present where e.g. a bus has to battle through the quays, patrick st, western rd to get to ballincollig/macroom/killarney/tralee. Bear in mind the site was chosen for the LONG TERM. There is plenty of scope for “O’Flynn-esque” projects elsewhere near the An Post Site.

    • #750828
      lexington
      Participant

      A new terminus as part of an inter-connected transport facility may yet be shifted east toward Kennedy Quay, or even Marina Point – utilising a connection between Horgan’s Quay and Kennedy Quay via Water Street Bridge. The existing bus station will serve as an ancillary station and feeder between the docklands and existing city centre through a ‘green route’ which will in the long-run extend to Mahon Point.

      However, you’ve all seen CIE’s track record and attitude regarding Cork (a la Bus Station. Horgan’s Quay, Eglinton Street etc). I’m glad OFC are using the An Post site, CIE pretty much stated they had no interest in the CCC plans for a new terminus at that location – we could have been waiting years to see any movement there and in the process held up the whole docklands redevelopment even further. CCC didn’t take up the challenege either.

    • #750829
      Pug
      Participant

      ok radioactiveman, CIE are throwing up the negative vibes.

      Lets go back to the original discussion about corks buildings. I am curious, is the Glucksman totally over rated or is it just my tastes. I definetely appreciate the gallery part, its just the structure. Now bear in mind, i havent been there yet so I will take a closer look and be open to revising my opinion.

    • #750830
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      As i said before, i was totally against the Gluksman when it was first proposed simply because i saw it as overdevelopment of UCC’s exquisite lower grounds.
      However, every time i look at the finished article i realise how wrong i was. This is without doubt, a perfect building. I honesty cannot find anything wrong with it. The heights are dictated by the mature surrounding trees. The material, though modern, fit perfectly with its riverside location.
      The building itself is fantastic.
      The only problem i have is with what is inside it. Seems like an awful lot of money to spend for a college that is cutting services to students and postgrads by the day!
      Also, if the aim of the gallery is to ‘bring’ art to the unclean masses of cork city, i have to say the cofee shop didnt quite get the memo. It’s about 1 million euro for a cup of coffee and you have to wait to be seated!! Talk about up their own arses, go over to the student centre and get a cup of tea and choclate muffin…then u can admire the Glucksman out the window.

      Radioactiveman!!!

    • #750831
      satanta99
      Participant

      have to agree wit u on both of your points Radioactiveman. I can’t find anything to complain about the building, but it is the lights on the walkway along the lower grounds which I am most impressed at. They flood the pathway with a white flouresent light, and they open up the path and make u want to go down and follow it. ALthough it has problems with security and muggings in this locations the installation of security cameras in this location should help to alleviate this. ( although I don’t think CCTV is a replacement for natural surveillance i.e. real people etc, there is no other choice for the area which doesn’t have any natural surveilance features) It is the view of this pathway from the western rd. that I feel gives the best impression of the project. Some people may not like the image which these lights create but they look to me like an runway for a spacecraft. Its reminds me of the stylistic features of such classic films as 2001 and clockwork orange. I don’t know maybe I’m mad but its definately the illumination of the walkway that I find the best part of the project

    • #750832
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      In a similair vein. what do people think of the new extension to the Museum in Fitzgerald park?
      I’m still not sure about it. Haven’t been inside it yet but the outside reminds me of the new x-ray building in CUH.

    • #750833
      dowlingm
      Participant

      Could it be that CIE were worried that the noise from bus and rail together would cause problems getting high value for the remainder of the Horgan’s Quay site?

      If a developer were to offer a development on HQ that integrated say an fully or partly underground bus station (local and regional) with a walkway to the platform which Mallow-Cobh-Midleton used, and asked to purchase the PP site, and got City Council and meeja on side, it would be hard to say no?

    • #750834
      raster
      Participant

      @Radioactiveman wrote:

      Hi everyone,
      I’m new to this site and not an architect, but interested in urban design and planning.
      What do people think of the new Mahon point shopping centre in Cork? I got the bus down there at the weekend and nearly got run over by all the cars. They seemed to have forgotten the pedestrians when they were designing this thing….

      Don’t worry the current problem is that the traffic lights have been disabled (and so have the pedestrian crossing buttons) members of the gardai are being seen to direct traffic. understandably traffic is their primary concern and it is difficult enough to direct without allowing pedestrians to cross.

      However I see difficultues even once the lights are turned on.

      The pedestrian walkway which those alighting from the bus use crosses over an internal traffic lane, at peak times this slows down internal traffic flow as cars stop and start, lights/walkway would solve this IMHO.

    • #750835
      raster
      Participant

      The back (South) elevation of the Bus Station actually looks nicer than the front (North)

      The back looks complete, solid, the buses park at 30 degrees.
      But the front is almost unchanged except for rhe “sails” canopy which is ok but the old multicolour glassbrick concrete slab canopy is still underneath it extending from the building, this remainder combined with the single glazed old windows on the front lets the building down on that elevation.

    • #750836
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      @raster wrote:

      Don’t worry the current problem is that the traffic lights have been disabled (and so have the pedestrian crossing buttons) members of the gardai are being seen to direct traffic. understandably traffic is their primary concern and it is difficult enough to direct without allowing pedestrians to cross.

      .

      So, we shouldn’t worry that nobody gives a toss, once the wonderful people in their lovely shiny cars get there in time. Don’t worry about us pedestrian peasants, we’ll try not to bother the motorists while we dodge the people carriers. Its just a pity Mahon Point doesnt allow the wonderful people to peruse the shops from the comfort of the car…missed opportunity there.

    • #750837
      jungle
      Participant

      Looking at the Anglesea St Garda station on the news last night, I started thinking that the building looked a bit grim. It’s a bit like a cube with a balcony added on for a dictator to address crodws.

    • #750838
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      The Anglesea street garda station would look ok if it wasn’t for the incrediably drab pebble-dash finish that was used on it. It would look far better if it were to be faced with stone.

      That pebble-dash finish will look absolutely terrible in a few decades time as it starts to deteroriate and gather moss!

      Re: Merchants Quay

      That centre has to be one of the ugliest buildings in Ireland. I don’t know what was there before but it completely destroyed that entire quay. If it were to be refurbished it would be really nice if they did something about creating more access from the quay itself and at the very least added attractive shop fronts. The red brick finish just looks cheap, tacky and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the city at all.

      As for the Quay on the other side. What can you say!? It is a complete and total mess. The back of the metropole is beyond hideous. None of the buildings in Cork, not even the UCC science bulding even come close to the ugliness of that. What makes it even worse is the fact that it’s one of the most prominant positions in the entire city. That entire quay needs urgent re-development.

      It could be a fantastic shopping area and a nice extension to the patrick’s street project. If merchants quay was given a rather drastic face lift and a wide pedestrian bridge added half way along they quay.. i.e. at the existing entrance to the shopping centre. The opposite quay could be redeveopled… add some boardwalks, nice landscaping etc.. property prices would shoot up and the mess of tumble down buildings would soon disappear!

      Dunnes Stores (North Main Street) and associated Car park..

      Again, another absolutely disgusting monstrosity… Who ever gave this planning permission ? The Paul Street Shopping Centre Carpark is pretty bad, but at least it’s now covered up by the developments on the quay side. The Dunnes Stores carpark just looks absolutely terrible.

      As for Mahon Point’s traffic problems… give them a little while, the CCC for some inexplicable reason has yet to programme the traffic light system.

      They’ve put in a very sophisticated and expensive looking system of high level and low level traffic lights but as yet they’re all still flashing orange!
      For traffic coming from the Douglas side of the south ring this means that they have no priority when coming on to the intersection at the end of the off-ramp / slipway and it’s creating very long and even dangerous tail backs back out onto the southlink.

      The traffic coming from the East side out of the tunnel is moving quite well.

      Thos lights SHOULD be on and working at this stage it’s completely nuts that they arn’t…. I wouldn’t be supprised if it has caused several accidents as it’s forcing people to negociate crossing several lanes of traffic.

      The recent idiotic tunnel accident hasn’t helped matters either.

      Btw: regarding the tunnel : wouldn’t it make a lot of sense to install a large metal structure the same height as the tunnel several meters before the entrance? I know they have automatic over-height detection systems and warnings but surely it would make some sence to hit a large metal pole rather than smash up hundreds of thousands of euro worth of electrical gear on the tunnel ceiling !?

      Also re: Mahon Point – Retail mix.

      I don’t think the mix of shops is that bad to be quite honest. It’s very focused on clothes retail obviously but I don’t agree that it’s targeting an exclusively female market. The centre has by FAR the best selection of menswear in Cork. The city centre’s absolutely terrible for menswear.

      Mahon Point menswear retailers: Zara, Next, Best, Lacoste, Debenhams, River Island, French Connection / FCUK etc.. (these are just off the top of my head).

      It would be cool to see a few non-clothing stores open up in the centre e.g. maybe electronics/computers etc.. although I get the impression that we’ll see a “big box” electrical retailer in the retail park. e.g. one of the UK ones.. There’s a supprising lack of a large Curry’s in Cork.

      Is Harvey-Norman (Australian retailer opened in Dublin) likely to open here? Little island? Mahon?

    • #750839
      lexington
      Participant

      The owners of MQ (First Acive et al) have plans for a redevelopment of Merchants Quay Shopping Centre – but I am unaware as to their stage at the moment. It is a response by the fund-owners to compete with the near-by Academy Street development which is due to see an application lodged by OCP this Summer. Whether or not MQ goes ahead with this or not, I don’t know. As much that I know, the plan will see an overhaul of the quay frontage – which will fall in line with a possible quay improvement by CCC in the coming future. This may see quayside stalls, boardwalks, cafes etc (mere assumption). An additional floor will be added for increased retail space – something M&S have indicated they would favour (possibly for their own expansion purposes). The multi-storey will, in a joint initiative with owners, Roches Stores, be revamped, extended and some of the existing structure given over for additional retail space and a communal green area. The Patrick’s Street frontage will be remodelled and incoporate the additional floor overhead. I haven’t seen any plans – this is all word of mouth – but it makes sense as MQ will have to refurbish if it is to compete against at least 3 major new city centre retail developments which are already threatening to take existing MQ tenants from the centre (e.g. Gasoline & Adams). I for one, would favour the balance and the much needed aesthetic revamp. MQ is only recently after refurbishing its interior to celebrate its 15th anniversary and Cork’s reign as Capital of Culture.

    • #750840
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      Everyone should welcome any moves to improve Merchants Quay, both the shopping centre and the streetscape itself.
      I’m not sure i agree with MRX’s disparaging remarks about UCC Science building. It’s a creature of it’s time and as such isn’t that bad. The lecture theatres (before they were ‘remodelled’ were the best in college for their job). Compare them the the boole basement- too hot, and sound quality appalling. The labs are spacious, bright and well maintained. Outside it has an imposing facade but it’s no worse than many buildings of its time.
      Leasve the science building alone- its not that bad, really!

    • #750841
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      Well, the inside of the Science building’s not too bad given its age. But you have to agree it’s hardly what you’d might call attractive looking from outside.

      The new lecture theatres look nice but are unfortunately suffer from very impractical seating the desks are extremely high and uncomfortable.

    • #750842
      mickeydocs
      Participant

      My favourite lecture room in college is the lecture room in the old geography building…

      I must admit that I was very impressed by the students centre 🙂

    • #750843
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      UCC’s recent buildings have generally been really nice.

      I’d love to see the Boole Library get a bit of an interior face lift though. It’s becoming increasingly drab and dated, or perhaps I’m just getting too used to it 🙂

    • #750844
      lexington
      Participant

      Some elements of the Boole will be refurbished as part of the 32m euro post-grade library extension – primary work due to start this June 2005.

    • #750845
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      The interior doesn’t really need massive upgrading it just needs a minor tweaking!

    • #750846
      mickeydocs
      Participant

      @MrX wrote:

      The interior doesn’t really need massive upgrading it just needs a minor tweaking!

      is the bookshop still there (waterstones???)

    • #750847
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      No it’s long gone.

      There’s a new bookshop (John Smith & Co) located on the ground and lower ground floor of the Student Centre where the Café used to be before the extension. Quite a lot more spacious than the old Waterstones outlet in the boole basement. The entire Boole Basement is now a much enhanced open-access computer centre.

      Also, the two banks are gone from the Boole. AIB is no longer on campus (but it did open a new branch on college road) and Bank of Ireland has exclusive on-campus access with a new plush branch in the student centre. They also have exclusive rights to place ATMs on campus. As far as I know UCC let the banks bid against eachother to gain access to the campus. They’re all quite keen to sign up 3rd level students.

    • #750848
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      In my view the new student centre is a bit strange.
      Its a nice looking building and fits in fine with the overall plan. The problem is it must be the most expensive coffee shop in the country. Its two floors of coffee shop and a bank. Thats it. Call that a student centre??

    • #750849
      Radioactiveman
      Participant

      I hear on the Grapevine that AIB have plans to redevelop their Watercourse Road Branch shortly. Anybody got any ideas what they have planned?
      RM

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