DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

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    • #709908
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      None of the existing docklands-related threads seem ideal for this link, so I thought a general thread for our flagship urban regeneration area might be useful- links, rants, etc..

      http://www.planetizen.com/node/30049

      @opening and closing paragraphs wrote:

      Dublin’s city center provides an affable and increasingly active street-oriented urbanism. Its medieval, organic roots underlie a more formal 18th century Georgian aesthetic, which gives the city an elegant and coherent irregularity. The city’s streets and passages are lined with a steady cadence of shopfronts, a messy mixture of uses integrated vertically and horizontally, and enough street activity to inspire a revised version of Jane Jacobs’ Hudson Street ballet. Indeed, Dublin’s famous doors open to the street with a wonderful rhythm. People in, people out. It’s a beautiful thing to observe and an even better thing in which to to participate. That is exactly what my girlfriend and I did on a recent vacation.

      A walk across Dublin’s historic center is a walk through a series of interconnected rooms. The city has a sense of controlled breadth and a larger sense of volume through linear quays, symmetrical squares and even a few “geometrically aware” streets. Its cranky streets, tight lanes, and sweeping curves provide character and a warm feeling of enclosure. The collision of the two, where one grand room meets a small enclosed room, creates a punctuated sense of arrival into each. The urban energy hums in harmony with a constant ebb and flow between the two. This draws the urbanist from one place to the next, always in pursuit of the city’s next move. The rhythm is intoxicating.

      The City’s emerging Docklands district sings a more sobering song.

      [… … …]

      All is not bad in the Docklands, and I do not want to be overly critical before the development has a chance to settle and grow into itself. Urbanism takes time. Nonetheless, I fear the leaders of this massive undertaking have, like so many before them, come down with a case of urban amnesia. Only time will tell. [my bold]

      The bit in bold hits the nail on the head for me.

    • #798494
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Apart from the nail on the head comment on the docklands, there’s actually nothing you say about this. It’s authentic urban gibberish. (to paraphrase Blazing Saddles)

    • #798495
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      “it is both a problem of architecture and urbanism — not of style, but of substance. It’s as if the new international style, seen on the edges of an increasing number of European cities, simply refuses to integrate the empirical evidence of successful urbanism”

      I think this is a key point. We tend to plan out the randomness of cities in new urban quarters. We see the success of disorder all over the world and on our doorsteps yet when designing new places we aim for something else. The article highlights for me the most important element of our built urban environments – ground floors. The Pearse street / Macken St example is a great one as it’s a shockingly ignorant treatment of the outside environment and the ocntrast between Docklands and the old city is plain for all to see, which is the point of the article

    • #798496
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I loved Jonathan Meads’ critique of the “regeneration” industry. I missed the start of the program and thought he was specifically talking about the Dublin docklands. I can’t do justice to Meads’ droll, intelligent and piercing criticism – maybe the program can be bittorrented or something. The DDDA are just apeing a blueprint that has been applied to cities all over Europe over the last 10 or 15 years so the mistakes are not peculiar to Dublin.

    • #798497
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The problem i see with the docklands or any new large scale development, is the lack of steet life

      legal disclaimer -bear in mind these are only my quick casual observances!!
      and im sure im out of my depth here…..

      the ground floor of any substantial building needs to integrate some forms of small ground floor commercial businesses

      The main street of IFSC1 i think Mayor st? could have been so much better if every building had the ground floor chopped up into small retail units fronting onto the street.
      Like small deli , restaurant , dentist , chipper, locksmith etc etc. (emphasis on promoting small business) Not huge entire ground floors given over to large corporate chain stores
      When i was around there last there was a single spar for the entire area, nothing more to entice anyone to venture inside past the guards at the gate on Amiens street. Very dull

      Also down at the new Point area i think has some form of shopping centre/mall being built, and a huge open plaza? i may be wrong.
      Wide open spaces and enclosed shopping centres, as far as i can see, are no way to create a buzzing urban environment

    • #798498
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Paul h: It actually gets better in this respect as you go down Mayor St; from Common Street on most ground level space has a shop front and there is the large plaza area outside the NCI. That isn’t to say it isn’t dull depressing and soulless, it is because of the drab architecture, the artificiality and the boring shops, but it isn’t for the want of small shop units and it is definitely better here than in the first, suburban business park-like section, from Common St to Amien St.

    • #798499
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Apart from the nail on the head comment on the docklands, there’s actually nothing you say about this. It’s authentic urban gibberish.

      Well, it was posted more for information than anything else, and I didn’t think it required annotation. (And my feelings on the subject are pretty well documented on other threads already.)

      I do agree that it’s a bit gibberishy (gibberishish?), but I find it interesting all the same that such opinions are finding their way into the wider (internet) world, rather than being the preserve of a handful of local critics on this forum.

      Time for the DDDA to hire more staff in the Marketing Dept.?

    • #798500
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’d sooner let this one go by and wait for a less ‘intoxicated’ review to come along, but he has a clear take on the many failings of the docklands, so maybe it’s worth looking again at his comments on the historic city.

      ‘A walk across Dublin’s historic center is a walk through a series of interconnected rooms’.

      Surely Dublin is one of the few European cities where this isn’t the case! I can’t think of two urban spaces in Dublin that are contextually complementary. You can find them within institutions, Dublin Castle (upper Castle Yard to Lower Castle Yard), Trinity (the smaller squares to parliement Sq.), but in the actual urban fabric?

      Even the relationship of Parliement Sq. in Trinity, to College Green is compromised by the fortress scale railings and the volume of traffic.

      ‘The city has . . . a sense of volume through linear quays, symetrical squares and even a few geometrically aware streets’

      We’ve got to stop trotting out this fiction that Dublin has great squares. Our Georgian Squares are not urban squares in the way that they appear on a small scale map. They are the enclosed parks of 18th century housing estates. The best of our spaces, 17th century Stephen’s Green, is a wonderful urban park, but it’s not an urban space in the sence of a legible enclosure, it’s too big to read as an urban space.

      The best urban spaces that Dublin had were Smithfield, Newmarket and Weavers Sq., and look at these today. They are either imitation docklands, or they’re probably about to become imitation docklands.

      I agree with his emphasis on the quays, but the quays disappoint as much as they excite.

      Paul Keogh wrote a good article in the Irish Times at the start of the docklands redevelopment, when the Kevin Roche scheme was on the table. If I can find it I’ll try to scan it onto this thread. I think he covered a lot of this ground, and it might be interesting to see how his analysis stands up now that so much has been developed.

    • #798501
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Might this be the one?

      Irish Times 18.iii.99 wrote:
      Docklands plan should look beyond profit

      The debate so far about the proposed development of six million square feet at Spencer Dock has focused on its density, its height and its likely impact on vistas from O’Connell Bridge or the “Georgian Mile” of Fitzwilliam Street. But it could be argued that these are not the only issues of importance.

      The critical issue, it seems to me, is whether the Docklands area of Dublin is going to be developed to meet the real needs of the city or simply exploited for short-term gain and commercial expediency.

      It is timely now to reflect on the 1997 draft master plan for Docklands. This was an inspirational document, well-researched and optimistic, which projected a future for the Docklands as an area of real employment and lifestyle mix. Mr Lar Bradshaw, chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, said at the time – in December 1997 – that it would be “a living, breathing and self-sustaining community” developed in a focused, sustainable manner.

      There was talk of a landmark project, such as an opera house or an Olympic-sized swimming pool and, at face value, the Spencer Dock consortium’s proposal to build the long-delayed National Conference Centre at North Wall Quay. It seemed to be a project consistent with the concept of developing the Docklands as a new urban district.

      Here was an opportunity to make a landmark building relating the Docklands to the wider city. As the first public building of the new century, it would have to be a first-rate architectural statement, a worthy successor to the other great public buildings on the River Liffey: the Custom House, the Four Courts and Heuston Station.

      Examples of similar projects elsewhere include the Sydney Opera House, the Portuguese pavilion at last year’s Lisbon Expo and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. If these were used as models, it would suggest that the National Conference Centre should have been treated as a major civic project.

      Because of the Government’s refusal to fund its construction (apart from earmarking it for a £25 million EU grant) and the question mark over some urban renewal tax incentives, it has now become reduced to an appendage of an over-scaled American-style speculative development rather than the centrepiece of a new urban neighbourhood in the city.

      If the current plan is approved, it will inevitably set a precedent for the development of the overall Docklands area. Unless there is a radical rethink, this would result in the area being developed purely as a commercial real estate exercise rather than the sustainable urban community promised in the master plan.

      It is no coincidence that the predominant architectural influence behind the pressure for this type of high-rise development in Dublin is American – Skidmore Owings and Merrill at George’s Quay and Roche Dinkeloo at Spencer Dock]

      http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/property/1999/0318/99031800184.html

    • #798502
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The focus of the Keogh article (the whole Kevin Roche, Spencer Dock Plan) may be history, but there’s still a lot of relevance in that statement, in amongst all the shameless self promotion and the hostages to fortune, (5 – 6 storeys! this is the man with the 32 storey Heuston tower in his cv).

      I imagine this was all minutely dissected by archiseek at the time, but it worth a second look.

    • #798503
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Even the relationship of Parliement Sq. in Trinity, to College Green is compromised by the fortress scale railings and the volume of traffic.

      I hope you are not criticizing the front railings: I always think that along with their obvious grace, they succeed in forming a satisfying ante-chamber to the college, a semi-public space convenient for rendez–vous.

    • #798504
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      ‘A walk across Dublin’s historic center is a walk through a series of interconnected rooms’.

      Surely Dublin is one of the few European cities where this isn’t the case! I can’t think of two urban spaces in Dublin that are contextually complementary. You can find them within institutions, Dublin Castle (upper Castle Yard to Lower Castle Yard), Trinity (the smaller squares to parliement Sq.), but in the actual urban fabric?

      I may have done this badly but I interpreted the “rooms” not as urban squares or spaces specifically. I interpreted it as collections of streets and micro-districts (almost corresponding to the DCC Environmental Traffic Cells). I’ll name a few to try and illustrate my point:

      Grafton St and surrouding streets
      The Clarendon/Exchequer/George;s/King St Block
      Camden – Wexford street
      The traditional Georgian Area / Office quarter in D2
      O’Connell Bridge
      College Green
      plus Temple Bar and Docklands itself

      It;s a very legible old City where distinct character areas cling together but remain different

    • #798505
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @notjim wrote:

      I hope you are not criticizing the front railings: I always think that along with their obvious grace, they succeed in forming a satisfying ante-chamber to the college, a semi-public space convenient for rendez–vous.

      The front railings of Trinity are a sacred cow, they’re great railings, but imagine a College Green without them and without the unusable manicured lawns, what a space that would be.

      Tudor’s print of College Green from front of Trinity. (McCullough’s book).

      alonso, Maybe I misunderstood the ‘rooms’ terminology. Dublin still doesn’t feel cohesive to me in the way that it does to that urban reviewer. I don’t know how his urban sensibilities are calibrated, but If that’s how impressed he is with Dublin, surely if he landed in Venice, his head would explode.

    • #798506
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      You think; I think that without the railings it would be a nothing space, just another part of college green mess.

    • #798507
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Not if the whole function of College Green was better thought out; I thought that was the whole point.

    • #798508
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      All of these new rail developments are exciting and take place alongside a bus service that is, and will remain the work–horse of the public transport system in the Dublin area. That is why we have funded the purchase of additional and replacement buses by Dublin Bus to the tune of €45 million in 2006 and 2007 and why Transport 21 will continue to underpin major investment in bus services up to 2015.

      I welcome in particular the fact that the project has been delivered three months ahead of schedule and is expected to be completed significantly under budget, at approximately €20 million. I congratulate Iarnród Éireann and its contractors and advisors on this achievement, which maintains Iarnród Éireann’s good record of delivering major projects on time and within budget.

      April the 14th is coming : ) :p

      does this picture make any sense to you at all…
      reminds me of tara station except alot nicer at 20 million and the context is nice and plain
      was tara always meant to be a temporary station it sure looks like it???

    • #798509
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A few bits of interest:

      The Analog Concert series has just been announced- http://www.analogconcerts.ie

      From that site, I discovered that the DDDA has a Flickr account- some nice shots: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10258928@N04/

      In particular, some good ones of CHQ / Stack A: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10258928@N04/sets/72157602958327839/

      Also, this article was in last Saturday’s Irish Times. I meant to post it earlier.

      Docks loaded with history Saturday, April 5, 2008

      YOU MIGHT find it in a Caneletto oil of London, or a 15th century woodcut of Germany’s Hanseatic Lübeck. The late 18th-century artist James Malton evoked it in one of his many images of Gandon’s Dublin, writes Lorna Siggins.

      A resolutely romantic relationship between port city and its waterfront is captured in Malton’s The Marine School, which hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.

      It’s an image we cling to and we reproduce in thousands of prints and posters and postcards, in spite of rapidly changing commercial realities. Nothing unusual in this, according to Dr Cindy McCreery, who noted, in a study of paintings with the British National Maritime Museum, that our interpretations of ports have long reflected the “ideal”.

      In fact, engravings or prints of original works could be perceived as a form of public relations by the very nature of the wider audience they reached, she suggested. This representation varied – from busy commercial hub to military target, from centre of civilisation to lonely outpost in a troubled colony. In providing both access to, but also protection from, the marine environment, ports symbolised “man’s desire for exploration, trade, war and contemplation” and provided fruits for “investigating the complex history of man’s relationship with the sea”.

      Niamh Moore hasn’t dared to undertake such a bold challenge, but she does touch on several aspects of this complex relationship in an Irish context as part of her research on recent changes in Dublin’s docklands. The emphasis is on “recent”, for she makes clear at the outset that this is not a comprehensive history. Significantly, it is the fourth in a series of geographic perspectives on the making of Dublin city, edited by Dr Joseph Brady and Prof Anngret Simms of University College Dublin.

      IT’S AN opportune time, given the lobbying by the Progressive Democrats before the last general election for relocation of Dublin port to Bremore, north of Balbriggan. It seems like heresy, for those who believe the capital owes its very existence to the harbour but, as its advocates point out, it reflects international trends.

      Commercial interests are already eyeing up the potential of 263 hectares or 650 acres of “real estate” – a term used by DTZ Sherry FitzGerald’s Mairead Furey in a recent article for this newspaper. Dublin port may reach operational capacity this year, she noted. This left the Government with two options – reclamation of some 21 hectares (52 acres) of Dublin Bay, which is already a controversial issue on the north side, or relocation.

      In her study, Moore notes that the port has moved several times before. The refuge which the Vikings sailed into – a voyage recreated by the replica longship, Sea Stallion, last summer – was not a natural harbour. Tidal, rocky, and with a tendency to frequent siltation, it became graveyard for many ships over centuries, as documented by maritime historians such as the late Dr John de Courcy Ireland.

      “Managing and taming the Liffey” has been an enterprise as old as the city itself, and an examination of early maps indicates extensive land reclamation on both sides of the river channel. Quays were built along the northern edge of what was then a town wall to improve navigation and berthage.

      The port’s migration allowed for the city’s expansion, and the Grand Canal docks to facilitate bigger ships. The early 19th century survey of Dublin Bay by Capt John Bligh – he of Bounty mutiny fame – influenced construction some 20 years later of the North Bull Wall, to complement the South Wall and to improve the natural scouring effect of the channel.

      However, changing shipping demands influenced a move farther east to deeper water. As industrialisation took hold in the late 19th century, large tracts of land became available for gas and coke works, chemical works and slaughterhouses – reinforcing a separation of the city. Parts of land abandoned in the easterly transit were recolonised by the State, Moore notes – such as construction of Busáras by Coras Iompar Éireann from 1941, and the development, by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, of a new postal sorting office at Sherriff Street in 1950.

      Such stakeholder involvement represented a significant challenge in a far more difficult economic environment. Not surprisingly, the docklands have been synonymous with a very different kind of energy over the past two decades, reflecting an international trend in ports like Boston, Tokyo, Cape Town and St Petersburg. Movement away from manufacturing and heavy industry to service sectors, and the growing popularity of cheap airline flights over passenger ferries, has resulted in abandonment of industrial areas which had been developed close to port zones.

      Perhaps the greatest impact on dockland activity has been the widespread adoption of containerised shipping, Moore notes. In the 1960s, loading and offloading in Dublin port, mainly by manual labour, could take four to 10 days. This has been reduced to six to eight hours, with minimal manual input – and consequent disengagement from communities which had been associated with and dependent on employment generated there.

      Projects undertaken by organisations such as the St Andrew’s Heritage Group recorded the dramatic nature of these changes: “It was a fantastic sight to see so many men in the darkness of the morning going down to a little wooden boat to go across the river to get work on the Dublin docks,” a 1992 study by the group recalled. However, the little wooden boats began to return with ever larger numbers who hadn’t been called that day. “It went into hundreds, getting turned away for work . . . very depressing it was.” And so Dublin’s docklands, synonymous with poverty in the 19th century, became destitute again in the 20th century among residents in local authority housing and flats constructed between the 1930s and 1950s in the Ringsend, Pearse Street and Sheriff Street areas. Curiously, it was during one of the most economically and politically unstable periods of the latters years of the last century that a deal brokered by former taoiseach Charles J Haughey with a newly elected inner-city independent TD, Tony Gregory, marked a new and significant stage in Dublin docklands’ future.

      Moore records the fascinating detail of the so-called “Gregory deal” of 1982, in which Haughey pledged £91 million for housing and related developments in the inner city in return for Tony Gregory’s support for a minority government. It wasn’t to last, as the government fell nine months later, but Gregory has since argued that it provided the impetus for urban renewal.

      The subsequent Urban Renewal Act 1986 singled out the nationalised Customs House Docks for rejuvenation, through the Customs House Docks Development Authority (CHDDA). Haughey, through his association with financier Dermot Desmond, committed the government to the development of an international financial services centre.

      OVER THE past 10 years of economic boom, vacant piers and empty warehouses have become the focus of capital reinvestment and property speculation – and controversy. The financial services centre has proved to be an international success, but at a social cost. Promised public space has come with a blandness, an anonymous identity and a level of surveillance and control – a criticism levelled at many cities reconstructing themselves in the face of global competition, says Moore.

      The CHDDA’s replacement by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) has resulted in a “high-level, interventionist approach to social need”, Moore believes, including the contribution of the local community to solving its own issues. However, she acknowledges that there is no consensus among a number of community groups on the DDDA’s democratic credentials.

      The DDDA is due to expire in 2012, and Moore believes the real test will come when management of this part of the city returns to the local authority – or perhaps to a new body established to manage both land and sea environments.

      The docklands are still evolving. There are plans for major projects such as the new performing arts centre at Grand Canal Docks, a national conference centre at Spencer Dock and the relocation of the Abbey Theatre to George’s Dock. These may provide a new cultural regeneration, but will do little for informal interaction, Moore believes. In any case, the “reinvention” is very far from over.

      http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/weekend/2008/0405/1207320880666.html

    • #798510
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/weekend/2008/0405/1207320880666.html

      If Dublin port (except the passenger ferry element) up stakes and moves to Bremore, there is little doubt that this will contribute to a creeping conurbation of the east coast, as predicted by Conor Skehan (see The Skehan/Sirr Plan thread).

      As I understand it, Bremore is the child of a property development company, not a transportation company. You don’t have to be a twisted cynic to figure out that the motivation behind Bremore could be as much to do with creating a property developers paradise out of an featureless headland (Prof. George Eogan’s mounds aside) as it is about catering for the nation’s expanding business in freight trade.

      Then there is the property developers paradise painstakingly created on all that reclaimed land that the port authority will be vacating. You don’t have to be a twisted cynic to figure out that maybe half this reclaimed land may have been reclaimed for exactly this purpose in the first place, under the guise of ‘urgently needed additional space to serve an exponential increase in container traffic’, or words to that effect.

      Remember a few years ago when some naive parties suggested shifting some of the port’s vast container parks and bulk storage facilities inland a bit to take the pressure off the demands for more land reclamation at the port, and then they were never heard of again, and their seemingly logical idea got buried so deep it will take an archaeologist to dig it up.

      If a modern port is just a giant machine taking containers off one mode of transport and sticking them on another, why can’t it be made like a machine?, several oil rigs welded together, and stuck out in the bay like some intriguing distant aircraft carrier joined to the nation’s road and rail network by some cheap sunken tube tunnels and forget about creating another sprawling industrial mega-compound with limitless development potential all over Prof. Eogan’s burial mounds.

      Dublin and it’s port would stay connected, the drive to east coast conurbation would hit a small bump in the road, and the existing port lands can still become a great new Post Port Urban Coastal Quarter, or whatever the terminology will be in 2050.

      Sorry about the low grade graphics.

      I notice from the Admiralty chart of Dublin Bay, that the boundary of the Dublin Port Authority extends out beyond the line of Howth / Killiney to the ‘Burford Bank’, which means that they would have the authority to do this if they wanted to. Though with their track record they’d probably try to turn it into a sprawling reclaimed island that would eventually join up with Dublin’s two premier property hot spots, Howth and Dalkey.

    • #798511
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Bremore plan is the child of the Drogheda Port Company who have brought in Treasury as a development partner. The development at Bremore is to handle the moving of port traffic from Drogheda port as the existing facilities at Tom Roes point are at (or beyond) capacity. The plan to move Dublin port to a shared facility at Bremore will involve the expansion of the proposed facility there.

    • #798512
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      That sounds like it has ‘half assed’ written all over it.

    • #798513
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The draft 2008 master plan is available for viewing on the ddda website.

      http://www.dublindocklands.ie/index.jsp?1nID=93&2nID=97&3nID=97&pID=97&nID=123

    • #798514
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I can’t understand the anti private sector anti Treasury nonsense but in any event they have Shanghai and other experience and a look at Yangshan Port will show the possibilities of building out, naturally the scale of such an endeavourer in Ireland would be less but it would be worth considering. Treasury seems to me to have some ideas. The current port authority is not exactly creative. Move the cargo port out to sea, somewhere off Balbriggan or wherever, but connected to the Newbridge/M1 outer motorway and the Dublin / Belfast rail line.

      Dublin is a grubby mid sized European city that misses out on the vision thing. The port area is over 600 acres in old money and if we did a Dubai or Barcelona with it would be perfect. Even if we went up 8 floors and built on 30% of the land we would have over 5 million square metres of net useable space, but this would be a crying shame. Personally I think the last boom and people buying abroad meant they tried high rised living and discovered it could be a quality lifestyle. I think it’s now time there was an international competition to design a living city quarter for between 50,000 and 100,000 people, it would raise the profile of the city and maybe we would even build it. Let us picture what we would do if we were contemplating an Olympic bid and just do it for ourselves, I can’t imagine anyone I’d rather do it for.

    • #798515
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GP wrote:

      I can’t understand the anti private sector anti Treasury nonsense but in any event they have Shanghai and other experience and a look at Yangshan Port will show the possibilities of building out,

      I presume you’re aiming your ‘anti treasury nonsence’ comment at me.

      I’m not anti Treasury Holdings or any other development company, Development is good, it’s crucial even and most of the time it’s delivered by development companies.

      I’m suggesting that we question the appropriateness of a development company leading the feasibility study that may advise on the relocation a very significant piece of national infrastructure, not to mention an intrinsic Dublin institution.

      Building a new port at Bremore may well be a good idea, but nothing I’ve heard to date about it would give me confidence that the right level of national, or even regional, planning is going into it. If there are people in positions of influence in this city plotting this thing surreptitiously and plotting how to make it inevitable by stealth, I think it would be wise to be concerned about it and maybe ask a few questions.

      Will it start out as some ancilliary facility serving Drogheda Port that then has to quadruple in capacity to take some re-located Dublin Port traffic?

      Will a new port facility at Bremore be ring fenced as strictly a ‘port’, or will it become a de-facto urban centre, with a port, another bead on the neklace of east coast con-urbation?

      If Bremore inevitably becomes an urban centre, will it start off with a ‘planning cap’ that will, with each successive review of the Development Plan, get raised, then lifted and finally flung in the air, Liffey Valley style?

      I share your view that the present expanse of Dublin Port, with it’s container yards and vast tracts of storage tanks, is a huge wasted opportunity. Like you, I would like to see DCC develop a vision for Dublin that re-imagines this whole area, not just the ‘Poolbeg peninsula’, and demonstrates that moving the port won’t be just another wasted opportunity.

      The city’s ‘interface’ with the Bay is the single greatest opportunity we will ever have to turn Dublin from the the ‘grubby mid-sized European city’ of your description into the world class city it has the potential to be, but all the players will have to be at the top of their game for this to happen and clear thinking, imagination, backbone and, above all, judgement, are going to be required to make it happen, to wade through the inertia and to face down all the diverse interest groups, from property owners to bird watchers.

      Master Plans can be dangerous things, but allowing critical steps to be taken without a master plan is even more dangerous. There wasn’t exactly a flood of responces to my little off-shore port notion, but I think it should be one of the ideas in the mix when the master-planners get down to work, assuming this step ever happens.

    • #798516
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Will it start out as some ancilliary facility serving Drogheda Port that then has to quadruple in capacity to take some re-located Dublin Port traffic?

      Will a new port facility at Bremore be ring fenced as strictly a ‘port’, or will it become a de-facto urban centre, with a port, another bead on the neklace of east coast con-urbation?

      If Bremore inevitably becomes an urban centre, will it start off with a ‘planning cap’ that will, with each successive review of the Development Plan, get raised, then lifted and finally flung in the air, Liffey Valley style?

      In response:
      Bremore is intended as a large scale deep water port to replace current facilities at Drogheda – it is built to take a largely expanded amount of traffic compared to what Drogheda currently takes (no point aiming small) – it is designed with upscaling in mind

      I dont think anyone will want to live at this port facilty – there is nothing zoned residential in the area as the town of Balbriggan is quite close anyway

      See above but doubtful, who wants to live boxed-in in a suburb between a motorway, a major port and a rail line (with freight capability)

    • #798517
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Oh and the move to Bremore was the idea of Drogheda Port Company (indeed it’s been a long held plan) and Treasury only came on board as a development partner after a tendering process

    • #798518
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Rory: I understand all of that, you explained it to me before, but everbody knows, including the dogs in the street, that shifting all, or most, of Dublin Port to Bremore is actively being considered. Gleeson mentioned it, Tierney has mentioned it, every newspaper article on the port mentions it, we are being prepared for this, but my point is:

      Where’s the master plan?

      How can you plan for the development of the Poolbeg peninsula when there’s no vision for the bay?

      What’s the point in making wild life amenity orders for every mud flat from Sutton to Seapoint when this is exactly where the city needs to ‘front up’ to is greatest potential ammenity, Dublin Bay?

      Central to all of this is a decision on the future of Dublin Port and instead of an open public debate, with all the options on the table, we’re being drip fed hints and rumours. Thanks to your posts, I now know more about the future plans of Drogheda Port than I do about Dublin Port! To be honest with you, before this I thought Drogheda Port harboured three trawlers and a coal boat!

    • #798519
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      A few bits of interest:

      The Analog Concert series has just been announced- http://www.analogconcerts.ie

      I went to the Taraf de Haidouks concert yesterday (not the only Archiseeker there either!), and my opinion on the square as voiced here last year still holds- this square is not suitable for outdoor performances. There’s too much clutter in the way that has to be fenced off or walked around, resulting in an unnecessarily fractured space.

      The show itself was great, but that was despite rather than because of the setting. Taraf could play on the Red Cow Roundabout and still win.

      Edit: Anyone go to the Iain Sinclair reading/performance? I would have, but it clashed with the Gypsies.

    • #798520
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ll tell you what I thought of it if you post up that IT article from last Thursday ‘Minister (Gorrmley) says taskforce will oversee future of Dublin Bay ports and lands’.

    • #798521
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Bribery? In the planning system? Well I never…!

      Minister says taskforce will oversee future of Dublin Bay ports and lands
      OLIVIA KELLY

      THE FUTURE of Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ports and the Dublin Bay lands is to be determined by a new taskforce announced by Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

      The Dublin Bay Task Force, the creation of which was a commitment secured by the Green Party in the programme for government, has been mandated to deliver a master plan which will be a “sustainable vision” for the future use of the entire bay area, from Howth Head to Dalkey.

      The taskforce, which has been given no deadline to develop the plan, is to conduct an analysis of the current uses of the bay and an examination of the potential impact of climate change. It will also make proposals for extension or revision of existing amenity areas and wildlife conservation areas, including the Dublin Bay special protection area (SPA).

      It has been given a remit to examine economic activities in the bay, particularly the port industries, “including the scope for expanding, reducing or removing the existing Dublin Port facilities over time”.

      Dublin City Council, within whose jurisdiction the majority of the bay is located, has already published a draft plan for the future use of the bay. This study recommended that, to achieve the greatest environmental and economic benefits, Dublin Port should be moved outside the city.

      Mr Gormley said yesterday that the removal of the port from the city was planned “at some future date”, but that the future of the port lands would still be considered by the taskforce.

      However, Dublin Port Company is a member of the task force and has already applied to An Bord Pleanála to expand its lands by infilling 21 hectares of the bay. Mr Gormley said the application was a matter for the board to determine and not himself, but he said he had made it clear that he would be expanding the SPA for wild birds to include the area the port company was seeking to acquire.

      The task force includes Dublin city councillors; council officials from the city, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Fingal; representatives of the Dublin Port Company and Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company; representatives of the Departments of the Environment and Transport and the National Parks and Wildlife Service; environmental groups Coast Watch and Dublin Bay Watch; and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

      (PS – FYI, the IT is now online for free.)

    • #798522
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks

    • #798523
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Cte (to yer mates!) I went on Sat night and I thought exactly the same. I actually went specifically because I thought the venue would look cool but it didnt. I have to say though that was a lots to do with the crap layout and the all usual need for barriers, bars and the like.

    • #798524
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Aye- whether it’s driven by insurance, fear, or whatever, the result is the feeling of being corralled and surrounded by too many rails- there is no sense of space. And again this year, the water’s edge was fenced off. Why doesn’t it need to be fenced off the other 362 days of the year?

      Some people suggested last year that the problem was the nearby building site, but if anything the greater sense of enclosure this year from the almost finished Aires Mateus (sadly, looks like the general fears expressed here re the cheapness etc. were well founded) and the Libeskind (looks pretty cool with all the formwork in place) made the problem all the more apparent.

    • #798525
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Why doesn’t it need to be fenced off the other 362 days of the year?

      Do your negative comments fully take into account that the galvanized steel barriers have been painstakingly painted to colour co-ordinate with the red poles?

      On the Aires Mateus: It turns out that the dodgy stone finish on the outside is carried through in dodgy plaster-board on the inside!

    • #798526
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Do your negative comments fully take into account that the galvanized steel barriers have been painstakingly painted to colour co-ordinate with the red poles?

      Ha!

      If anything, the fact that they’re painted red gives me more cause for concern, if only because it suggests that they’re the property of DDDA rather than rented for the occasion. I fear we haven’t seen the last of these!

      Now if they could provide red-painted temporary cycle parking (well, any additional parking, red or not), that would get my thumbs up. The cycle parking down there is sufficient for most of the year (though as is almost always the case with cycle parking in regenerated areas, function is secondary to form [le sigh]), but there were bikes everywhere yesterday and extra parking should have been provided.

      One or two people locked to the fences, but when I tried I was moved along.

    • #798527
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I notice from the Olivia Kelly article that Gormley’s taskforce for Dublin Bay, which is ‘mandated to deliver a master plan . . for the entire bay area from Howth Head to Dalkey’ is loaded down with local politcians, council officials and vested interests, everything from bird watching groups to the DDDA, but there’s no mention of any architectural input or even the inclusion of the odd urban planner.

      This lot are going to ‘master plan’ Dublin Bay, our greatest single potential asset, and half of them probably can’t read a map!

      Probably half the cities in the world have grown up on the banks of a river, another significant number developed at a harbour location on the coast and a further, much smaller number, are located on a geographically well defined bay. Dublin is singularly blessed with all three characteristics!

      You’d have to put acres of container storage, or a sewage treatment plant, or a power station, or a waste incinerator in the middle of something like that to screw it up.

    • #798528
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      You’d have to put acres of container storage, or a sewage treatment plant, or a power station, or a waste incinerator in the middle of something like that to screw it up.

      Stop being so dramatic gunter…that will never happen.

    • #798529
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      On Gormley’s ‘Dublin Bay Task Force’, there was a letter to the editor in the IT yesterday complaining that yet more interest groups ‘such as the Sandymount & Merion Residents’ Association, the Naturalists’ Field Club?, seal and dolphin groups, together with fishing and diving interests, amongst others . .’ weren’t represented.

      These are probably all very worthy organisations, but the danger here is that the Task Force, even without these further additions, will see it’s role as little more than balancing the competing interests in recommendations that protect a mud flat here and allow for a bit of port expansion there, but the overall opportunity to envisage ways in which Dublin could ‘front up’ to Dublin Bay will be lost.

      There was none of that sort on nonsense in Abercrombie’s day, the Warblers had to fend for themselves back then.

      I’m not advocating we go back to the Abercrombie Plan of 1922, (although his ‘Power Citadel’ at Pigeon House is an image to conjure with), but I would argue that the ‘Master Plan’ that the Task Force are charged with creating should be an urban vision first and foremost, with environmental, commercial and vested interests lower down in the list of priorities.

    • #798530
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I do love that plan for its sheer audacity. The first thing that always comes to my mind when seeing it is the thousands of disappointed labradors who would never again have the chance to tear furiously along Sandymount strand after their tennis balls:(:(:(

    • #798531
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      what the hell is the title on that Map?

      “Periods of Execution in 3 Degrees of Urgency”

      How did we go from that to “Maximising the City’s Potential”. I reckon the next Development Plan should be given a catchy title like “Emergency Intervention in the Urban Realm by the 7 Pillars of Environmental Thought”. Is Mr. Rose 2008’s Abercrombie? Perhaps Tom Morrisey will come back as well…

    • #798532
      Anonymous
      Inactive
      alonso wrote:
      what the hell is the title on that Map?

      “Periods of Execution in 3 Degrees of Urgency”

      😀 Ah well it is from the era when Prussian generals in spiky helmets spoke in that kind of lingo:p

    • #798533
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I hope notjim doesn’t see that new road going through the centre of the Trinity cricket pitch!

    • #798534
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m goin’ have start reading the paper earlier in the day.

      On the Dublin Bay Task Force, Cllr. Bronwen Maher has a letter in the IT responding to the letter yesterday from Lorna Kelly (refered to above, the one about the Task Force not having any representation from the Seal and Dolphin Watch etc.)

      It says:

      ‘As chair of the Task Force I can assure Ms. Kelly that my main priority is the protection of Dublin Bay’s environment and wildlife habitats.’

      This isn’t going to be a ‘Master Plan’, it’s going to be another Warblers charter. That can’t be the extent of our vision, Where’s Cuffe? He would know better, why isn’t Cuffe the chair of this task force? This is too important for any internal Green Party polticking.

      The ill-considered Dun Laoghaire Baths episode has turned everyone against ‘development’ having any role in this debate, but Dun Laoghaire is a completely different context. There you already had a defined sea front of considerable architectural merit. Most of Dublin Bay has no architectural definition. If the Task Force, (taking it’s lead from the stated position of it’s chair), sees it’s role as protecting the status quo, DCC will push ahead with making a peninsula out of Poolbeg, (fracturing the unity of the Bay in the process), the Port Authority will continue to prevaricate about it’s future, while busily reclaiming as much foreshore as they can get away with, the DDDA will continue to sell the line that they’re the only people who can deliver anything exciting, so get it while it’s goin’, and we’ll all be dead before the next Abercrombie scale ‘Vision for the Future’ emerges.

    • #798535
      Anonymous
      Inactive
      gunter wrote:
      I’m goin’ have start reading the paper earlier in the day.

      On the Dublin Bay Task Force, Cllr. Bronwen Maher has a letter in the IT responding to the letter yesterday from Lorna Kelly (refered to above, the one about the Task Force not having any representation from the Seal and Dolphin Watch etc.)

      It says:

      ‘As chair of the Task Force I can assure Ms. Kelly that my main priority is the protection of Dublin Bay’s environment and wildlife habitats.’

      This isn’t going to be a ‘Master Plan’, it’s going to be another Warblers charter. That can’t be the extent of our vision, Where’s Cuffe? He would know better, why isn’t Cuffe the chair of this task force? This is too important for any internal Green Party polticking.

      The ill-considered Dun Laoghaire Baths episode has turned everyone against ‘development’ having any role in this debate, but Dun Laoghaire is a completely different context. There you already had a defined sea front of considerable architectural merit. Most of Dublin Bay has no architectural definition. If the Task Force, (taking it’s lead from the stated position of it’s chair), sees it’s role as protecting the status quo, DCC will push ahead with making a peninsula out of Poolbeg, (fracturing the unity of the Bay in the process), the Port Authority will continue to prevaricate about it’s future, while busily reclaiming as much foreshore as they can get away with, the DDDA will continue to sell the line that they’re the only people who can deliver anything exciting, so get it while it’s goin’, and we’ll all be dead before the next Abercrombie scale ‘Vision for the Future’ emerges.[/QUOT

      For once I would be in favour of a junket for the great and the good to Rotterdam to see how the gist of a masterplan can be pieced together that can accommodate all stakeholders. We’ll all be dead for sure before consensus is reached (unless I can persuade the missus we do a solo run to move back to the higher ground of my beloved Phibsboro to save us from drowning in mud c.2035

    • #798536
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Very interesting article in the I.T. on saturday.

      If what is reported is true, the whole Dublin Port / Dublin Bay / Poolbeg debate could really come to a head in the next few months.

      Every critical factor seems to be in play at the same time:

      Land reclamation for Port expansion, a final land grab before assets are liquidated?
      Port relocation; in part, or in full?, medium term, or long term? to Bremore or closer to home?
      The Dublin Bay Task Force; multi disciplinary expert group, or bear pit of vested interests?
      Dublin Bay; an urban interface, or a wildlife squat?
      Poolbeg; pier, or peninsula? sewage plant and waste incinerator, or isolated urban quarter? or a bit of everything?

      The worrying thing is that, if we look at all the parties involved, DDDA, DCC, Dublin Port Co., senior councils, rent a consultants, politicians, bird watchers, residents committees, seal and dolphin groups, where’s the visionary leadership going to come from?

      If I had to nominate a single person, who just might have the optimism necessary to drive something like this towards a visionary conclusion, it might be our old fiend, Kieran Rose, and it would have the added benefit of keeping him out of harms way for a couple of decades.

    • #798537
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      is it really cheaper to reclaim land gunter, is it really cheaper to protect that land nad land near from flooding, that commercial question for you!

    • #798538
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      is it really cheaper to reclaim land gunter, is it really cheaper to protect that land nad land near from flooding, that commercial question for you!

      Land has already been reclaimed, over centuries in a semi-planned way, and more recently, in a ad hoc unplanned way, The question is, do you say, OK, let’s stop doing this and leave it the way it is now, protect the mud flats as a habitat, or whatever, or do you say, Let’s look at the shapeless mess we’ve made and actually re-plan it, design an urban/recreational/flood defence/canal quarter, or whatever, interface between the city and the bay as though we intended a 21st century contribution to the form of the city on the scale of the 18th and 19th century contributions.

      It doesn’t have to be Llandudno, with a prominade and amusments, there must be fifty different options.

      It looks totally self evident to me that a city of Dublin’s scale and geographical assets should sort out it’s relationship with the bay, and maybe do it in a way that resolves future flooding issues at the same time. Putting preservation orders on tracts of mud flat may be green and well intentioned, but it spectacularly misses the bigger picture.

    • #798539
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      tell that to new orleans

    • #798540
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I could say; tell that to the Dutch!

      All of Dublin’s Docklands are built on reclaimed land, everything east of Liberty Hall on the north side and about Moss Street on the south side, is reclaimed land.


      Brooking’s view south over a watery docklands from two hundred and eighty years ago.

      What I was suggesting we do is acknowledge that the current shape of the city, in it’s relationship to the bay, is the haphazard consequence of centuries of largely utilitarian decisions, and face up to the challenge of designing that interface now in ways that address all the issues:

      The likely relocation of the port,
      The consolidation of the city’s urban core,
      The likely requirement to provide increased flood defences,
      The challenge of maximising the enormous recreational amenity that the bay presents,
      Wildlife habitat issues.

      It makes perfect sense to me!

    • #798541
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Dublin Port Company are doing some very aggressive public relations in the papers and on billboards. I presume that this is some junior manager’s idea of demonstrating the Port Company’s commitment to stay in Dublin, if only Bord Pleanála will let expand their holding by in-filling the bay!.

      I suspect that’s a boat load of Icelandic bankers coming over to fund the whole thing.

    • #798542
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yes “4000 _real_ jobs contributing to the _real_ economy”; I assume they mean that what I do is not a real job and doesn’t contribute to the real economy.

    • #798543
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Dublin Port Company are doing some very aggressive public relations in the papers and on billboards. I presume that this is some junior manager’s idea of demonstrating the Port Company’s commitment to stay in Dublin, if only Bord Pleanála will let expand their holding by in-filling the bay!.

      I suspect that’s a boat load of Icelandic bankers coming over to fund the whole thing.

      🙂 nice one.

      yeh it was a strange coincidence to see all these billboards around at this time eh?. But considering there’s a committee of committes reporting to a taskforce which will advise a board who in turn will report to 2 Ministers who will then bring forward a preferred set of combined and non-contradictory actions to cabinet on the set of possible scenarios which may emerge vis-a-vis Dublin port, I think we can all sleep easy

    • #798544
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      alonso: how did you get so close to the heart of government? (All government.)

    • #798545
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @johnglas wrote:

      alonso: how did you get so close to the heart of government? (All government.)

      Anyone with the audacity to use the term vizz-a-vee in a post is obviously on the inside track with the mandarins on Merrion st;)

    • #798546
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      Anyone with the audacity to use the term vizz-a-vee in a post is obviously on the inside track with the mandarins on Merrion st;)

      When it comes to Dublin Bay, Dublin Port and any matters which require the setting up of a taskforce and the drawing up of a report, perhaps the words of Sir Humphrey are the most apt:

      “How to discredit an unwelcome report:

      Stage One: Refuse to publish in the public interest saying
      1. There are security considerations.
      2. The findings could be misinterpreted.
      3. You are waiting for the results of a wider and more detailed report which is still in preparation. (If there isn’t one, commission it; this gives you even more time).

      Stage Two: Discredit the evidence you are not publishing, saying
      1. It leaves important questions unanswered.
      2. Much of the evidence is inconclusive.
      3. The figures are open to other interpretations.
      4. Certain findings are contradictory.
      5. Some of the main conclusions have been questioned. (If they haven’t, question them yourself; then they have).

      Stage Three: Undermine the recommendations. Suggested phrases:
      1. ‘Not really a basis for long term decisions’.
      2. ‘Not sufficient information on which to base a valid assessment’.
      3. ‘No reason for any fundamental rethink of existing policy’.
      4. ‘Broadly speaking, it endorses current practice’.

      Stage Four: Discredit the person who produced the report. Explain (off the record) that
      1. He is harbouring a grudge against the Department.
      2. He is a publicity seeker.
      3. He is trying to get a Knighthood/Chair/Vice Chancellorship.
      4. He used to be a consultant to a multinational.
      5. He wants to be a consultant to a multinational.”

      http://www.jonathanlynn.com/tv/yes_minister_series/yes_minister_episode_quotes.htm

      Let’s see what happens with the 2 reports on the bay and port currently being drawn up. Do any of the above not apply? 😉

    • #798547
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Tonight’s Prime Time (RTE 1, 9:30 pm) is examining the inner workings and value for money of the DDDA. Should be worth a look.

    • #798548
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Tonight’s Prime Time (RTE 1, 9:30 pm) is examining the inner workings and value for money of the DDDA. Should be worth a look.

      Interesting indeed.

      I happen to possess a dated dictaphone recording of DDDA’s public talk in last May ’08. Where the authority gloated over its achievement and presented their prize new office scheme. That which is now halted. Also sitting on the panel that evening, giving her own presentation was Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect for DCC.

      ? ? ? How can everyone claim now, there was something secret ? ? ?

      ? ? ? When it was the subject of public presentation lectures ? ? ?

      It is a cynical example of how a public service works. How one public body, in this case RTE broadcasting (the one with the biggest megaphone) can be employed to do ‘damage control’ for another. Who need the CCTV building in Beijing eh? Particularly revealing for those of you familiar with Noam Chomsky, is the sophisticated employment of a token ‘expert’ in urban design, Frank McDonald to accrue some level of credibility to this report.

      Noam Chomsky’s points raised in You Tube broadcasts on the ‘Myth of the Liberal’ media, spring to mind here. The media rolls some credible ‘expert’ onto the stage, at the opportune time. That in turn allows the media it to say what it wants to say, and rubber stamp it.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798549
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I think they mean the deal to assist Liam Carroll’s office block plans in return for the gift of land (which would become their canal), using their ‘best endeavours’.

      That was the only, very oblique, reference to the ‘Liffey Island’.

      Can we assume that that particular, light coloured, elephant has left the room?

    • #798550
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      I think they mean the deal to assist Liam Carroll’s office block plans in return for the gift of land (which would become their canal), using their ‘best endeavours’.

      That was the only, very oblique, reference to the ‘Liffey Island’.

      Can we assume that that particular, light coloured, elephant has left the room?

      Oblique indeed. In fairness to DDDA, what you suggest might be true. That white elephant seems to have been, well and truly buried in the back acre.

      I believe John McLoughlin’s phrase that night in May ’08 was, ‘We are working with developers . . .’ At many opportunities in the talk, he did refer to the fact that DDDA owned very little land. In contrast to Ali Grehan’s experience at Ballymun, where the authority owned most of it. And s****, that seems to be the major fault with Bono too, the fact he didn’t own enough of a patch to accommodate the base of the tower he got Norman Foster to sketch up. (Major loss of face) While I have some sympathy for DDDA, I don’t have any for Bono who was made of cash, back when Sir John Rogerson’s quay could be had for buttons. I should have bought it myself, but no use crying over spilt milk now. I can understand the DDDA’s desire, as a would-be, vibrant public body to get into the action. With some control over a piece of land. How that desire became so great, as to push them beyond the limits of their statutory authority. The Docklands Authority were developing a vision akin to London’s Thames riverside, and that of the Seine in Paris. To increase the greenery and soft nature in the area.

      It is hard for us to remember now, how burning hot the property fever was back in the days of 06/07. The sky, quite literally seemed to be the limit. Like Beijing city in 08/09, post and prior to their Olympics. There were some very ambitious projects on display that evening of the May ’08 lecture. McGarry Ni Eanaigh, designers of the award winning Liffey boardwalk, presented a scheme commissioned by Harry Crosby to run a sky high cable car down the length of the river Liffey. In order to give city dwellers a different experience of the river. (Even that was a semi-realistic project) A very nice looking project was the one proposed for the banks of the canal and areas around Spencer Dock station. What John McLoughlin’s whole presentation did emphasise was the shere duration of history and activities associated with the river banks. Going right back to the Viking age. How the decline of the importance of the river, for the city, is only a recent phenomenon. The challenge being to re-assert its importance for the city as a social and economic generating form. The RTE report on prime time, cuts out this relevant context also.

      But what the broadcast by RTE really doesn’t manage to do, is highlight the blatant poor performance of the DDDA, in delivering basic stuff. Namely, the shere lack of progress by the Docklands Authority, from a hard nosed project management point of view. Whatever disfunctionality seems to exist within DDDA and DCC, they seem incapable of deciding on anything. The RTE report only highlights the latest chapter in a long drawn out saga. Perhaps taking a leaf from the Beijing local authorities would be a good thing. The building of some simple roads on land that they ALREADY control. Several developments have been completed and are sitting idle for a few years waiting for a bit of tarmac to arrive at their doorstep! After developers have personally funded water mains and other critical infrastructure!

      But compare this lack lustre performance, to that displayed by the Dublin Airport Authority, another 100% government owned, non-government funded ajency. Which could organise 130 different projects, amounting to 2 billion Euros in costs, without closing down a busy airport of 20 million persons/year capacity. In fairness, I would hurl all the Docklands Authority out on their ear, and simply expand Dublin Airport Authority’s project management team, to deliver the few basic road projects that were promised in the original DDDA masterplan. I think that would save everyone a considerable amount of money, right there. The RTE documentary didn’t dig this deep though. It is a hard won lesson, but a valuable lesson, on the difference between seductive CG imagery and hard nosed engineering/project management.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798551
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      how many different buildings were going to be office space only in this deal?

    • #798552
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      how many different buildings were going to be office space only in this deal?

      I included the Joe Stiglitz quote below, because it does say a lot about our own misperception of how development works. Developers in the docklands area supplied thousands of units of housing. Many of which now sit idle. Many of which now sit idle, only a stone’s throw away from the North Wall Quay site. There is uproar in the Irish Auctioneer and Valuers Institute over it. It is best not to put property on the market, if the demand isn’t there. There is not much use putting more residential units on North Wall Quay than already are there. Lets face it, we are talking about Carroll, a developer who has sold over 10,000 residential units in Dublin alone. He practically wrote the book on the practice of building apartments. The challenge of providing additional residential units in the future is a trivial matter to Carroll. What is important though, is the sequence of development. There is one miserable convenience store now serving over a thousand existing residential units (many empty or under utilised) in the North Lotts area. The convenience store made most of its revenue off construction workers building in the area. Go to the new square in Mayor St, completed a number of years and its doesn’t even have a late opening Spar. No lights turn on in the evening time. That is the sterile environment our Dublin Docklands masterplan has produced.

      Whichever level of political governance you look at in this country, we do suffer from a flawed vision of development. Including the so called experts. To understand development, you have to get involved in it. Sitting by a typewriter, or even being a consultant architect who waves his/her clutch pencil in the air, simply isn’t enough. In the 1980s we produced graduates for export. People who were young at the time, will testify to the level of disillusionment it created. To have worked so hard to achieve academic success, but receive no reward. We privatised our telephone network without fully understanding the consequences of that. We built roads, to get from A to B, without trying to improve the situation in either A or B. We are always getting the sequencing wrong. From my several years of experience working for developers I learned a lot of basics. There is much more to the game than meets the eye. The fact is, in the docklands area, there currently isn’t enough activity to promote a reasonable demand to live there. I would love to have seen DDDA sponsor a young architectural firm to design and realise a new school for the area. Did that happen? No. Yet we speak about hypothetical families who will live in family apartments, but we have no schools. What did happen was 30 million Euro the DDDA had in its piggy bank, got lumped into a botched property deal with Bernie Mac. We aren’t facing up to the full extent of the problem, in thinking we can first build the apartments. It is worse than what happened in Tallaght and Clondalkin in the seventies. It is only when people work in an area, and begin to like the area – they wonder, hey, why am I driving from the midlands everyday. Why don’t I work/live in the docklands. To enable this, it is best to provide the work there first. Then demand for residiential will grow organically. Carroll is the only one who seems to get that.

      While I am at it, I might as well say something about China. It always makes sense to say something about China, these days. The RTE report on prime time, rolled out some auctioneer who posed as an expert. Talking about an office development of 1/2 million square feet. Arup engineers alone, I know have 400 engineers working on mainland China on around 50 million square feet of new development. The smallest projects on Arup’s drawing boards are a million square feet. So in global terms (and lets try to think global) our total output of office space in Dublin per year is only equivalent to one and a half mini-sized projects in Beijing. Carroll’s project wouldn’t even be the size of a small project in Beijing. I love James Coburn’s line in A Fist Full Of Dynamite, “I was involved in a wee fart of a revolution back in Ireland.”

      Brian O’ Hanlon

      Managing change is extraordinarily difficult. It is clear that rushing into major reforms does not work. Shock therapy failed in Russia. China’s Great Leap Forward in the 1960s was a catastrophe. What matters, of course, is not just the pace of change but the sequencing of reforms. Privatization was done in Russia before adequate systems of collecting taxes and regulating newly privatized enterprises were put in place. Liberalizing the free flow of foreign exchange before the banking system was strengthened turned out to be a disaster in Indonesia and Thailand. Educating people but not having jobs for them is a recipe for disaffection and instability, not for growth. Balance is also important: allowing urban-rural income differences to grow is another prescription for trouble. Many of the development strategies that were not well implemented failed because they were based on a flawed vision of development. Successful countries have a broader vision of what develpoment entrails and a more comprehensive strategy for brining it about. Sensitive to concerns such as those just described, they were better at implementing change.

      Making Globalization Work
      Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2006

    • #798553
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      For those of you hoping to update your knowledge on modern office development, I decided to write the following. For those of you in the public service, you might want to avail of this opportunity to learn something.

      We are competing on a global scale with places in Europe, America and Asia. Countries who understand and operate in the 21st century. Not to mention the dozens of emerging economies like our own. If the Irish collective, including McNamara, Dunne, Carroll, DDDA and DCC could learn to cooperate rather than blow each other out of the water, the Docklands might realise some of its potential. The Dublin Airport Authority, formally Aer Rianta was dragged into the 21st century by visionaries like Michael O’Leary. Who could see the potential of Dublin as a destination. (Even still, the Greens are in denial over the fact Dublin is now a 35 million/year passenger airport) The developer Liam Carroll is having a harder job dragging our DDDA and DCC into the present day. International organisations routinely look for office space as large as 150,000 sq. feet in Ireland. That is not unusual by todays standards. We are unable to anwser such requests because the size of our developments are too small. It is the same in Logistics, the size of warehouse we use to operate in this country is many times too small. Ironically, one of the few sites which got the scale correct, was in the backwater city of Limerick. Where Dell computers have over 10 years of successful operation from the same campus.

      If you look at the opposite end of the Tallaght/City Centre LUAS line, Carroll has over a thousand residential units ready for occupation. If DCC/DDDA would allow sufficient workspace to happen in the docklands, instead of blocking it, we would see a situation where white collar workers commuted each day from Tallaght to the docklands. Imagine the kind of change that would make to a place like Tallaght? Having financial services workers living in the area. It seemed intelligent to me, to piggyback the publically paid LUAS project with new innovative ways of working and living. I mean, if we were afraid of this innovation why did we build the LUAS in the first place? I was personally engaged with Carroll in efforts to provide enhanced service concepts, as a part of the workspace rollout program in the Dublin Docklands. Using a a model like that developed by Regus and Siemens in Europe. Sadly, I won’t see the completion of this project now.

      Taken from Wikipedia Page on Regus: In 1989 while on a business trip to Brussels, a British entrepreneur, Mark Dixon, noted the lack of office space available to travelling business people; they were often forced to work from hotels. He identified a need for office space that was maintained, staffed, and available for companies to use on a flexible basis and went on to found his first business center in Brussels in Belgium.

      Here is a link to a modern development in Vienna, Austria.

      http://meetingrooms.regus.co.il/locations/AT/Vienna/ViennaTwinTowers.htm

      And another in Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers.

      http://offices.regus.co.za/locations/MY/KualaLumpur/KualaLumpurPetronasTowers.htm

      Taken from Office Buildings: A Design Manual by Rainer Hascher: The landlords of the Twin Towers supply tenants with a wide range of services that they can use before, during and after moving in. These services range from planning support for moving preparations to the supply of routine operational services. Facilities that can be used in common, event venues and high-tech facilities optimise business processes and promote tenants’ identification with the site. The Regus Group offers short-term tenancies of small amounts of space and thereby contributes to the flexibility of existing tenants and encourages potential tenants to establish themselves on the site.

      Carroll is one of the few developers, that Ireland has, capable of acting on such an idea. Part of his concept was to provide fully furnished apartments in the docklands area. And so he did. So that business executives thinking of setting up in Ireland, could work out of their own apartment for the duration of the start up. Whilst, paperwork and documentation was being organised for their new branch company. Many Irish business people working in Eastern Europe now, will vouch for the difficulty of ‘setting up base’ in countries like Poland and others. For the initial stages, a small team based in the country using laptops and a pre-furnished apartment is all that is needed.

      Taken from the web site of the Irish branch of Regus. The following services are available to you when using any of our Office options.

      http://offices.regus.ie/services/default.htm#top

      The world of work is becoming more dynamic. Our products and services are diverse enough to support you however you work. At home, on the move and in the office.

      http://www.regus.ie/workstyles

      With a virtual office from Regus, your business will benefit from the presence of a high-profile office at a fraction of the cost of a traditional office.

      http://virtualoffices.regus.ie/products/default.htm

      You get the picture. Office space in 2008, is a broad spectrum of services, from the ‘virtual office’ right up to the 500,000 sq foot building. It is a pity I will not get a chance to build this new economy now in Ireland. Since the DDDA saw it fit, to remove the underlying player who could bring most of that vision to fruition. Its a bit like a parent killing its own child.

      It is also obvious that the bundling of the purchasing of goods and services for a single site will generate synergetic effects for the occupants. They can benefit from a small cost premium per square meter for office and telephone services without the overheads involved while still retaining flexibility.

      Given the sorry state of our comms utilities (I personally have had to deal with this situation), looking for value for money in IT infrastructure makes sound sense to me. It would be unwise for any prospective business to build bespoke office accomodation in Ireland. We have seen the folly of this exercise many times before in examples like Seagate etc. Successive Irish governments have been suckers for repeating the same blunders. Instead of the IDA providing inflexible exhibition buildings in the middle of Tipperary, with a life cycle of 2 years. It makes sense to embrace flexibility, and allow a private developer take on the risk at a central location such as North Wall Quay.

      The property can and should support the organisational, spatial and temporal flexibility of the enterprise. In the past, added-value services were seldom offered, because they were not sought after. The Regus Group demonstrates how office space can be successfully marketed with full service.

      The major problem facing Ireland, is that whenever a private sector innovation is underway, the public sector feel they are being cut out of the loop. The knee gerk response by a local authority, when they cease to be central in all matters, is to throw their toys out of their pram with great indignation. It happened between Temple Bar Properties and Dublin City Council. Evidence of that is readily available if you speak to those involved in the early 90s development. The same pattern that played out in Temple Bar, is now repeating itself in the Dublin Docklands Area. The public sector on our island, ultimately has to ascertain how it can achieve self-control. Whether it be through Zen style of deep meditation, or whatever means possible. The public body has to appreciate the difference between providing public benches, and providing a modern workplace eco-system. The only criticism I would have of Carroll’s enterprise, is that it went about its business as efficiently as possible. Without sucking off the hind tit of the local authority.

      Now, lets look at another model, that of Siemens Retail Estate.

      https://www.realestate.siemens.com/hq/en/projects/vienna-city.html

      Siemens Real Estate is in the process of developing a full service concept for its own tenants and others. They provide extensive services according to the motto “more freedom for your free time”, an internet market place for groceries, drugstore articles, flowers, theatre tickets, shopping, car maintenanance, insurance and travel bookings, etc. The goods are paid for by credit card and delivered to the workplace, to lockers in the reception area or to the home, depending on buyers’ preferences.

      Many natively grown services like car mechanics and flower sellers struggle today, in parts of the docklands area. Imagine the boost to commerce, had a world class headquarters accomdoation been allowed to be built. Instead of taking a wrecking ball to one that is half built. Trully speaking, we must be the laughing stock of Europe right now. Not only are we failing to compete on a global stage, we are actively pursuing ways to hammer ourselves back into the stone age. People in the war torn Balkans region taught they had deeply engrained dis-functionality! But check out Ireland for size, why don’t you.

      At Siemens, all those involved benefit greatly. When staff are liberated “from the burdensome necessity of dealing with the daily tasks of everyday life immediately after office hours or shortly before the shops close, valuable time credit is won” which can be profitably used for the company, for families and for leisure-time activities. In addition, the enterprise gains an edge over the competition by being able to attract highly qualified workers.

      When I think now of all those pre-furnished apartments I helped to commission in North Wall Quay. When I think of all those ‘valuable time credits’ I helped to try and win. To be honest, I have to grit my teeth. I am sure going to phone Regus Irish branch this week, and ask what they think of our approach in Ireland. What should we be doing, that we aren’t doing? Do they understand why we knock down office buildings? Are we really doing our best to attract ‘highly qualified workers’?

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798554
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Was this really a philosophical excursion, an apologia for developers or just a straightforward commercial punt? I was actually interested for the first couple of paragraphs, but there is nothing more blatant than working girls plying their trade in full daylight (unless it’s plying your trade under cover of something else).

    • #798555
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      All responses, comments and input welcome, as always, to my writing. Stimulating any kind of debate is worthwhile in my view.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798556
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yes, but it’s best to keep to the philosophising, which is provocative and interesting and does make a contribution to the urban debate.

    • #798557
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I had a ramble around the docks at the weekend and while there are the makings of some nice vistas and views, (particulary the Grand Canal basin area) it is however very disappointing that the docks remain unfinished overall . After more than 15 years of a massive building boom it should look substantially a lot better. The O2 (Point Depot) doesn’t look that impressive either from across the river. Pity the Point Tower is postponed as well as the U2 tower being a non event. Compared to the massively scaled Canary Wharf in London which they built and completed in the 1980’s (not forgetting the IRA blowing part of it up in the 90’s) the Dublin docks is again very disappointing as it remains half built and very unfinished.

    • #798558
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GregF wrote:

      Compared to the massively scaled Canary Wharf in London which they built and completed in the 1980’s (not forgetting the IRA blowing part of it up in the 90’s) the Dublin docks is again very disappointing as it remains half built and very unfinished.

      Greg, with Olympia & York going bankrupt in 1992 (associated with the commercial property slump which hit London at the time), much of Canary Wharf remained unbuilt until the late 1990s, and early 2000s.

      ps, nice photos. Particularly the first one

    • #798559
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      🙂 Aye, indeed Phil about the completion date of Canary Wharf, I’m just rabble rousing!

      But No. 1 Canada Square was built (the tallest building in Europe) even though the top floors were unoccupied for a while. Most of all it was a great focal point and anchor for every subsequent development to be built around it!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canary_Wharf

    • #798560
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GregF wrote:

      But No. 1 Canada Square was built (the tallest building in Europe) even though the top floors were unoccupied for a while. Most of all it was a great focal point and anchor for every subsequent development to be built around it!

      Greg, do you think Canary Wharf is something that the Dublin Docklands should be looking towards for inspiration?

    • #798561
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @garethace wrote:

      I included the Joe Stiglitz quote below, because it does say a lot about our own misperception of how development works. Developers in the docklands area supplied thousands of units of housing. Many of which now sit idle. Many of which now sit idle, only a stone’s throw away from the North Wall Quay site. There is uproar in the Irish Auctioneer and Valuers Institute over it. It is best not to put property on the market, if the demand isn’t there. There is not much use putting more residential units on North Wall Quay than already are there. Lets face it, we are talking about Carroll, a developer who has sold over 10,000 residential units in Dublin alone. He practically wrote the book on the practice of building apartments. The challenge of providing additional residential units in the future is a trivial matter to Carroll. What is important though, is the sequence of development. There is one miserable convenience store now serving over a thousand existing residential units (many empty or under utilised) in the North Lotts area. The convenience store made most of its revenue off construction workers building in the area. Go to the new square in Mayor St, completed a number of years and its doesn’t even have a late opening Spar. No lights turn on in the evening time. That is the sterile environment our Dublin Docklands masterplan has produced.

      Whichever level of political governance you look at in this country, we do suffer from a flawed vision of development. Including the so called experts. To understand development, you have to get involved in it. Sitting by a typewriter, or even being a consultant architect who waves his/her clutch pencil in the air, simply isn’t enough. In the 1980s we produced graduates for export. People who were young at the time, will testify to the level of disillusionment it created. To have worked so hard to achieve academic success, but receive no reward. We privatised our telephone network without fully understanding the consequences of that. We built roads, to get from A to B, without trying to improve the situation in either A or B. We are always getting the sequencing wrong. From my several years of experience working for developers I learned a lot of basics. There is much more to the game than meets the eye. The fact is, in the docklands area, there currently isn’t enough activity to promote a reasonable demand to live there. I would love to have seen DDDA sponsor a young architectural firm to design and realise a new school for the area. Did that happen? No. Yet we speak about hypothetical families who will live in family apartments, but we have no schools. What did happen was 30 million Euro the DDDA had in its piggy bank, got lumped into a botched property deal with Bernie Mac. We aren’t facing up to the full extent of the problem, in thinking we can first build the apartments. It is worse than what happened in Tallaght and Clondalkin in the seventies. It is only when people work in an area, and begin to like the area – they wonder, hey, why am I driving from the midlands everyday. Why don’t I work/live in the docklands. To enable this, it is best to provide the work there first. Then demand for residiential will grow organically. Carroll is the only one who seems to get that.

      While I am at it, I might as well say something about China. It always makes sense to say something about China, these days. The RTE report on prime time, rolled out some auctioneer who posed as an expert. Talking about an office development of 1/2 million square feet. Arup engineers alone, I know have 400 engineers working on mainland China on around 50 million square feet of new development. The smallest projects on Arup’s drawing boards are a million square feet. So in global terms (and lets try to think global) our total output of office space in Dublin per year is only equivalent to one and a half mini-sized projects in Beijing. Carroll’s project wouldn’t even be the size of a small project in Beijing. I love James Coburn’s line in A Fist Full Of Dynamite, “I was involved in a wee fart of a revolution back in Ireland.”

      Brian O’ Hanlon

      so the answer is you don’t know?

    • #798562
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GregF wrote:

      I had a ramble around the docks at the weekend and while there are the makings of some nice vistas and views, (particulary the Grand Canal basin area) it is however very disappointing that the docks remain unfinished overall . After more than 15 years of a massive building boom it should look substantially a lot better. The O2 (Point Depot) doesn’t look that impressive either from across the river. Pity the Point Tower is postponed as well as the U2 tower being a non event. Compared to the massively scaled Canary Wharf in London which they built and completed in the 1980’s (not forgetting the IRA blowing part of it up in the 90’s) the Dublin docks is again very disappointing as it remains half built and very unfinished.

      You have to realise, the docklands was mostly about ‘stunted growth’. From the initial projects such as Charlotte Quay by the Carroll/OMP partnership, which James Pike refers to himself as a ‘stump’. Paul Maloney is going on about this 5 billion in investment, and 7 million sq feet of new development. Heck the Chinesse accomodated 7 million sq feet in one development alone, the CCTV building designed by Rem Koolhaas. The docklands projects were mostly small and stunted developments. The investments were wasteful and fanciful. Many projects (Some on Townsend St spring to my mind) spending an absolute fortune, to achieve very little.

      Mind you, similar observations were made about post 1990s boom Berlin city also. The city’s regeneration was much publicised. But the concensus from many who visited the new area and new projects was a disappointing one. The only regeneration in recent years that has met with widespread surprise and approval was that of Barcelona’s transformation from the 1980s through to early 1990s.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798563
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Barcelona had 2 major things going for it – Leadership and an impending Olympics. no chance of the latter but how about the former any time soon?

    • #798564
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      so the answer is you don’t know?

      And will not even try to muddy the waters, by trying to speculate.

      Basically, you could imagine a pretty dense, part extra high rise all commercial development. (Extra high rise as in 30 office block storeys) A series of commercial towers, with an extra height strong tower element on North Wall Quay. To echo that of McNamara/Crosby’s tower at the point, and that of U2 across the river.

      Niall McCullough, Architect, that same evening back in May ’08 gave an interesting presentation of a scheme for a series of strategically located towers in the Digital Hub quarter. So the idea of multiple towers, seems like a useful overall urban strategy. Not to mention the fact, that every developer wants to be given at least one skyscraper on their land bank!

      Bear in mind though, that DCC were forcefully attempting to CPO land required for the U2 tower from Carroll. Of course, not that it would come out in the RTE primetime report, in case, something like a full story might see the light. I have a transcript in preparation of John McLoughlin’s presentation of the project in preparation – it should be interesting to re-visit now.

      Brian O’ Hanlon.

    • #798565
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @phil wrote:

      Greg, with Olympia & York going bankrupt in 1992 (associated with the commercial property slump which hit London at the time), much of Canary Wharf remained unbuilt until the late 1990s, and early 2000s.

      ps, nice photos. Particularly the first one

      I think the Sears tower, was it in Chicago? Sears had to vacate the building shortly after building it, so cut costs. That is a common fact of life in today’s office buildings. It is quite a challenge to make a return on a building type that has such a short life cycle of around 20 yrs.

      In Terminal 2, in Dublin Airport they are installing information/comms services which they hope will have a lifespan of 10 yrs. Recall also, the Llyods building by Rogers in London, where he exposed the service ducting, in the hope it might extend the useful life of the structure. Given the temporal nature of these building types, I find it hard to understand why people get their nickers in a knot over a banking HQ on North Wall Quay.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798566
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @phil wrote:

      Greg, do you think Canary Wharf is something that the Dublin Docklands should be looking towards for inspiration?

      Indeed, as Beijing did use Canary Wharf’s Canada tower as a direct reference. Arup Engineers describe the CCTV building as like 4 no. One Canada Square buildings, put together. If you can imagine it as doubled, with two horizontal Canada Square towers, top and bottom in the attached image.

      The North Wall Quay scheme’s highest part, wouldn’t even have been half the height of the CCTV building. But it would have had a critical mass and scale about it, that would have been seen from all points along Liffey campshires.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798567
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      SOM Partnership in the United States had some old images on their web site. Obviously a scheme that was tried out at some stage, amongst several.

      http://www.som.com/content.cfm/north_wall_quay

      One of the images though, demonstrates the concept of the three towers working together, as you view down the river Liffey. Bear in mind, that the building in question, to be demolished shortly, was only one of the low level blocks, which would ‘nestle’ around the big Daddy of towering over them all.

      But standing back from the issue of ‘high rise’ for a minute. As Dick Gleeson, James Pike and others pointed out recently in a forum: is a commonly made mistake, to confuse density with high rise. They are two distinct issues. It has been shown from examples around the world, that 6 storey development, is the most sustainable way to achieve good overall densities. Going for a grander tower element, is only about developers wanting to make statements. As you can see from the images below, there is only enough skyline to go around. You can see Carroll’s tower, Crosby’s tower and Bono’s tower. I suppose it did leave the question, where did Mr. Sean Dunne fit into the picture? I guess we now know the answer to that now!

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798568
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      “Indeed, as Beijing did use Canary Wharf’s Canada tower as a direct reference. Arup Engineers describe the CCTV building as like 4 no. One Canada Square buildings, put together. If you can imagine it as doubled, with two horizontal Canada Square towers, top and bottom in the attached image.”

      Are you taking the piss, what a moronic comment to make.
      That is a skinking pile of poo and you know it (I hope)

    • #798569
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Eh, what’s so “moronic” about the above comment?? In terms of office space, which this thread is discussing, that’s almost exactly what the CCTV building is. He’s not referring to the visual appearance as I’m sure you realize (I hope)

      Very very interesting tower proposal from SOM there – I have to say I like it… A pity that it appears it was only a sketch proposal.

    • #798570
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      “direct reference” suggests an active engagement with the subject prior to the fact, rather than a post rationalised comparrison, which is what it is.
      I doubt Rem Koolhaas or “Beijing” were aspiring to “4 no. One Canada Square buildings, put together” (even in terms of office space) the language of the post skews the facts to support a (dubious) argument.
      But yes BTH my subsequent response was (as usual) disproportionate.
      And yes I also kinda like the SOM thing, but only as an image, not convinced it would be right for Dublin.
      What is/was it? Dead in the water?

    • #798571
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @garethace wrote:

      Indeed, as Beijing did use Canary Wharf’s Canada tower as a direct reference. Arup Engineers describe the CCTV building as like 4 no. One Canada Square buildings, put together. If you can imagine it as doubled, with two horizontal Canada Square towers, top and bottom in the attached image.

      The reason I asked about Canary Wharf is that despite finding it a fascinating place in many respects, I feel it stands for everything that is wrong with contemporary urbanism. It is over-scaled, cut off from its surroundings and privately controlled. I am not going to defend much of what has been done in the docks in recent years, but I really hope that it does not end up being anything like Canary wharf.

      With regards the CCTV comparison, perhaps there is some form of engineering cross-over, but I would imagine the same could be said for countless other commercial buildings built in various locations around the world in recent years. It seems to me, and correct me if I am wrong, that many commentators outside of China have become obsessed with this building based purely on its iconic image, and have no real idea of what it is like in the flesh (is it finished yet?). I am not denying that it is an impressive looking piece of architecture, but questioning whether anyone truly knows anything about it. I would be somewhat dubious of using it – as an example of the representation of a state controlled media – to uphold the virtues of a Canary Wharf model. Which brings me back loosely to my original question; i.e, is this what we want for Dublin’s docks?

    • #798572
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @phil wrote:

      It seems to me, and correct me if I am wrong, that many commentators outside of China have become obsessed with this building based purely on its iconic image

      Isn’t that the point of that building? 😉 Perhaps it’s time to give up the fight and embrace architecture as propaganda? As diorama?

      @phil wrote:

      is this what we want for Dublin’s docks?

      Not me, but perhaps the DDDA sees it differently?

      Libeskind, Schwartz, Foster, Gormley (A), Calatrava…

    • #798573
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Not me, but perhaps the DDDA sees it differently?

      Libeskind, Schwartz, Foster, Gormley (A), Calatrava…

      Yep, I won’t argue against you on that one.

    • #798574
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      However, I (innocently perhaps :)) often hope that those outside the power structures of the likes of the DDDA, developers etc, should hope for a different urban model and not just look to the globalised image of development for inspiration.

    • #798575
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Phil,

      Some very well made points there. I think you will appreciate Ali Grehan’s talk transcript of last May ’08, when I get it online. Even though her talk was to do with BRL, Ballymun Regeneration Limited, she makes her points so well it is worth posting. Ali does refer at the end of her talk, with a deep sense of approval to this tower scheme proposed on North Wall Quay. I think her words were, ‘I feel very encouraged by the West 8 project’. (Obviously a company name used for the North Wall Quay site) It appears as if DDDA were positive about the project. DCC were too. It appears as though everyone was feeling ‘so encouraged’. I cannot understand how we ended up where we are.

      One thing is clear though. As a nation, we have proven conclusively this time, that the Irish context doesn’t lend itself towards advancement of projects and development in general. The framing of the Irish constitution confers far too much power on individuals. Hence, the tradition of back-hander dealing, we all know about. Which has been covered so well in the press in recent years. There simply is no other way, to get anything done on this little island, except through the back door. The front door obviously doesn’t work, or isn’t there most of the time!

      The ironic thing is that advanced engineering design was complete for the entire North Wall Quay site. That alone has consumed thousands, if not millions of man hours. The project had the financial backing of banking institutions and a cash rich developer. You can believe me, all of what you see on the SOM images, or a version of it, was definitely a ‘green light’ financially and feasibility-wise until now. We spent a fortune in tax payers money setting up organisations and bodies to oversee and enable things to happen. And we are looking at knocking down something? ? ? I mean, John McLoughlin introduced the DDDA in a May ’08 public lecture, as ‘enablers’ of development! That is a laugh. Not to mention the ripple effects on a fragile construction industry, which depends on key projects to happen at this minute. From the salaried engineers right down to the guy sweeping the street.

      Eh, what’s so “moronic” about the above comment?? In terms of office space, which this thread is discussing, that’s almost exactly what the CCTV building is. He’s not referring to the visual appearance as I’m sure you realize (I hope)

      I heard the chief engineer of Thomond Park in Limerick speak quite recently. He lectures some architectural students from time to time. Take an arch for example. It is quite simple from a mathematical, mechanics point of view to define an arch. Once you have defined one arch in those maths equation terms, every other arch in the world becomes the same. It is peculiar to architects, he reckons to go around the place, spotting ‘different arches’ and cataloguing them. But basically, from an engineer’s point of view, they are the one formula. The same argument could probably be extended to office space, from a Quantity Surveying and project economic feasibility point of view. Everyone else does a job. Everyone else finds ways in which to draw connections and make comparisons. Architects seem to be the only ones, who find the time to imagine everything as unique and special. Which it is I guess. Since every site is unique and special.

      There are exceptions arising though in the environmental engineering field. Take for instance, wave energy converters out in open seas for generation of renewable electricity. In that case, it is feasible for designers to survey the site, for the characteristics of waves, in order to obtain the maximum conversion of wave energy into electricity. Engineers will actually fine tune their design to the site, as it pays off in lower cost per KWh generation. So the lines are blurring as we speak between architects’ view of the world and that of engineers.

      The one thing I am sure about in 2008, is that business processes don’t vary that much from one side of the world to the other. Indeed, this is my point about Dublin having the opportunity to become a ‘destination’. We are not used to thinking of our island as a destination yet. The existing generations and mindset will have to be phased out first. Read books by George Gilder and others. We are looking at the death of distance in many ways.

      I haven’t the experience with office block tenancy to back this up. But I suspect that from looking at an office management company like Regus, that height does matter. It is to do with organisational flexibility. A great reference on the subject of organisational flexibility is Richard Sennett. If you check out the bottom of his wiki page, there is a link to a BBC web cast interview. You will hear Richard highlight the difficulty of this new found flexibility and mobility of workers in modern day living. Another guy worth a listen to is Mike Wescsh who is actively pursuing studies into You Tube as a phenomenon. Wescsh is an anthropologist who believes that the way we connect, has a lot to do with our society. He refers to Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone as a critical study into modern day society.

      That is why I was ‘so encouraged’ by Liam Carroll being allowed to develop on North Wall Quay site. Because I felt he had the right credentials and capability to furnish new age arrivals and global workers, with a work environment that was half decent. We are too provincial in our views alas. Caught up in our own little, tiny country. Our own pitiful institutions, and percentages per acre master planning and what not. Given the speed at which the digital society changes its course, and given our need to respond to changes faster, I believe the masterplan is an out of date tool. Indeed, there is much evidence to suggest, that as a tool, the master plan was flawed to its core, to begin with. A lot of that has to do with sequencing I spoke about earlier. The best reference by far, to bring in the appropriate biology, and ‘nature as a computer’ metaphor’s is Kevin Kelly’s book, Out of Control, which is available to read for free as his website.

      Random Paths to a stable ecosystem:
      http://www.kk.org/outofcontrol/ch4-c.html

      I wouldn’t expect someone such as Frank McDonald, un-tutored as an architect, and embedded with a deep sense of ‘Irish-ness’ to grasp these subtleties. But as far back as 1998, Merit Bucholz then a humble part-timer at DIT Bolton St architectural department was toying around with the notion of ‘not using masterplans’. (Bucholz cooperated intensively with Ger Carty in that year) We took a site down near the sewage works on Poolbeg peninsula, of several acres and suggested ways in which to ‘colonise’ the site, in a many similar to that described by Kevin Kelly. Basically, you would take a structure, which was designed to be ‘repeat-able’, and could spread across the site. This was the commercial/light industrial portion of the plan. Having first established this condition, one would afterwards set about pollinating the system with residential and living quarters. Again, you would design a modular type of system designed to spread over the site, as required. In other words, it embraced one of those oldest of urban ideas: the city as constantly being a building site.

      My own criticism of the docklands development formula, is that it doesn’t embrace some of these ideas. Both in the horizontal and the vertical dimensions. Getting back to the Regus concept of embracing organisational flexibility. Take the Twin Tower project in Vienna or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur as examples. Or, I hate to use it as an example, but the World Trade Centre, Twin Towers in NYC had a very varied occupancy. Lots of different kinds of firms and enterprises co-existed in the one complex. Notice how fast the Americans are to re-build on the Ground Zero site. It wasn’t only a building that collapsed on that awful day. It was a hub of financial services activity and generation for that entire world region. Another nice reference is to look at that beautiful film, Man On Fire, about the tight rope walker who walked between the WTC towers in the 1970s, the building was only half completed, but still operational. The movie really gives you a sense of what the WTC meant for the city at that time.

      Arup were entered for the Ground Zero competition, but instead decided it better to focus on China. China seemed to offer a future, US is only the past. The outcome of Arups focus on China, was their involvement in the CCTV project and so many others. In terms of the development that is happening out there on a global stage, and considering how ‘transport-able’ workers and companies are today. We should aim to be building things that matter, rather than trying to decide what we should demolish. What a miserable year 2008 has been for Ireland.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798576
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The film was “Man On Wire”, “Man On Fire” was something completely different.
      I am constantly bemused by these rambling.
      I should hope, that your Thomond Park engineer is not representative of engineers in general and that this is either an inaccurate portrayal on your part or he is a poor engineer. Having one formula that can mathematically determine the capacity of an arch is roughly analagous to having an architectural thesis or style, (Libeskind or Ghery being an example of a generic, repeatable style) but this certinally does not mean that all works of architecture are then the same any more than every arch is the same, in any site the engineer has to account for soil types, relevant loads, etc, so the idea of calibrating wave energy converters out in open seas, is neither novel nor interesting as a concept. (And a rather bizzare and obscure analogy at that)
      However all the academics aside, the simple fundamental flaw of all your arguments, is that what is right for London, is right for Beijing, is right for Dublin, and I should hope it is a good thing that there are those of us “who find the time to imagine everything as unique and special”, and realise that X area of office space in Dublin is not the same as X area of office space somewhere else.

    • #798577
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I too was entertained by O’ Hanlon’s last post. Its contradictions were endless – inflexible infrastructure facilitating organizational flexibility was my favourite. Fittingly Man on Wire has less to do with the present discussion than Man on Fire, which dramatises certain social problems caused in part by inappropriate infrastructural development.

    • #798578
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well actually he has some good points. I think the major point is that in order to maintain a competitive position in the global economy we are going to have to start building commercial office space and creating standards of corporate service which begins to compare with those beginning to emerge world over. We will never compete in size but in means of organisation and levels of services we certainly can.

      I’m not saying that any of the examples touted here are ones I’d necessarily look to follow but I totally agree that we need to look at new, innovative forms of office space and ways of working which will attract new investment from multinationals – and more importantly now – begin to encourage innovation and entrepreneurialism in the economy.

      We need to aim at becoming a highly skilled, highly innovative economy at the forefront of new technology and business practices. To do this our infrastructure must enable it. So in this sense what is right for London, is right for Beijing, and IS right for Dublin. I’m not talking about architectural style or context here but means of allowing this development in business and economy.

      This is where the DDDA have failed to provide.

      O and by the way I would try not to be so dismissive of peoples opinions. Brian O Hanlon took the time to voice his opinion and encourage debate and then to go referring to him by his second name smacks of superiority and arrogance.

    • #798579
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @garethace wrote:

      I think you will appreciate Ali Grehan’s talk transcript of last May ’08, when I get it online. Even though her talk was to do with BRL, Ballymun Regeneration Limited, she makes her points so well it is worth posting. Ali does refer at the end of her talk, with a deep sense of approval to this tower scheme proposed on North Wall Quay. I think her words were, ‘I feel very encouraged by the West 8 project’. (Obviously a company name used for the North Wall Quay site) It appears as if DDDA were positive about the project. DCC were too. It appears as though everyone was feeling ‘so encouraged’. I cannot understand how we ended up where we are.

      Thanks for that garethace,

      I look forward to seeing the transcript.

      Phil

    • #798580
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Filling the Urban Void,
      Exhibition Opening,
      Ballymun Civic Centre,
      April ’08.
      John McLoughlin, Chief Architect DDDA speaks.
      I put it together in minutes type of format, because the recording wasn’t the best.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

      DDDA, a facilitator role rather than a design role. Old customs house authority, concerned a lot with cars and traffic management. In 1997, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority was formed. It’s remit was widened to social regeneration. The area has been widely developed with mixed use development. DDDA involvement in property, physical development of the city, building of infrastructure. Financial services centre, a catalyst for economic expansion in the past 15 years.

      Working with the community. Rising tide of what goes on, integrate them into it. The urban void is not just spatial, it is also social. Projects for the community – social work. The way the space is layered, the social stratification. Throughout Docklands history, people who worked in these areas, also lived in the area. Docklands is a place which has been severed away from the rest of the city largely by infrastructure. The loop line, creates bridges, that are visually obstructive.

      Water and spaces around the water. The reason for the city of Dublin is the river. Junction of not just the Liffey, but also the Dodder and the man made amenities of Poolbeg, Royal and Grand Canal. Canal docks were really extensions of the edge surface of the river. Railways of 1840s and 1850s made canals redundant. A lot of Docklands is built land. Dublin port deepened, and extended into the bay. Army surplus oil tanker, led to containerisation, Sealand company and ultimately to globalisation of trade. At the end of its previous life, large parcels of land were left, with industrial uses associated with them. Gasometer, the production of town gas. Light the streets of Dublin. Notice the the size of sites that developers acquire. Large chunks of land, which lend themselves to perimeter block development.

      Looking at it in terms of the scale of the city – bridges. 12 bridges from Heuston Station to O’Connell St. From the customs house down, there aren’t very many bridges. If you were to implement a similar frequency of bridges, it would look something like this. (shows slide)

      Public buildings in the docklands. Abbey Theatre, Georges Dock, National Conference Centre, Grand Canal Theatre, Point Theatre. Before 1978, the river was navigable as far as the Customs House, when the Matt Talbot bridge was completed. Customs house itself is severed by loop line and Matt Talbot bridge in 1978. Effectively putting it on a giant traffic island. DDDA engaging with traffic management at DCC. Loading/unloading of goods at customs house continued up until 1950s. At which time a granite wall was erected. (Which is now black) It contrasts badly in the view from across the river, with white limestone of customs house. The Customs house lost much of its floating quality of the original Gandon scheme. Board walks and campshires – connecting Customs house back to the river.

      Dublin inner city is very hard. An idea of trees and gardens is missing from this part of the city. The campshires landscape is quite severe. Slide of quayside in Paris. Dutch landscape and master planning practice working with DDDA. Person able to walk all along the Royal canal from Roscommon. Docklands portion is the only bit one cannot walk. 2 no. new footbridges to tie across the river. Striking a balance with use of the river for navigational purposes. Lighting of space – tie it together and make it more attractive. Issue of safety. West 8 scheme, a cluster of office buildings. Canal to surround the project – introducing water into the depth of the North Lotts area. To create a different identity. Re-introduce a relationship back to the water.

    • #798581
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I didn’t like John McCullough’s failure to properly analyse the success, or lack of it, of the mixed use development concept that the Docklands masterplan adopted, all those years ago. So I scribbled these notes down.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

      Mixed Use Development:

      I can testify to some of the mixed use projects I worked on in the Docklands area. Their ground floor retail is small and difficult to make work. We have Dublin City Councils requirement for so many staircores, it is hard to keep any retail frontage, or any frontage for service entrances etc. The ESB take massive swathes out of the ground floor area for meter rooms. Don’t get me started on services engineers, when the see all the space available to them on ground floor of mixed use projects. Some projects are lucky enough to have a project manager who stands up to them, some are not. If you try to accommodate plant on roofs, to release space at street level, then that becomes a problem also. I have seen some daft planning conditions, to do with accommodation of necessary plant for office accommodation on LUAS lines. Not to mention ground floor accommodation of bicycle sheds, within the volume of the ground floor. All told, when you are done, what started out as ‘mixed use’ is a joke. Because the meagre amount of commercial space you are left with is unusable. That wouldn’t be too bad though, if the DDDA managed to build a basic road to your doorstep. But often, that doesn’t even happen. Lets not forget the bills the water department put in. Each individual ground floor commercial properties needs and water connection, and gets hit with back rates for the last 60 years. So you are paying over a million Euro for water, before even going into business.

      Generally the office portions of mixed use developments in the Docklands weren’t much better than Georgian terraces around Fitzwiliam square. The exact thing the Digital Hub is trying to move away from.

    • #798582
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Filling the Urban Void,
      Exhibition Opening,
      Ballymun Civic Centre,
      April ’08.
      Ali Grehan, Chief Architect DCC speaks.
      (The transcript is a pretty good reproduction, as her voice is very distinct and clear)

      I don’t think Ali really gets how important the concept of developing new towns was to Irish planners of the 1960s. More on that topic later. The relevant paragraphs of this transcript are the last ones, where Ali nods towards the West 8 scheme for North Wall Quay. Directly contradicting the conclusion formed in the RTE Primetime report, which hinted at something secretive about the project. That is a version of events I would like to correct. It appears as though John McLoughlin and ‘his architects’ were all very much in the loop.

      I have to comment, I do get the air of superiority while listening to Ali Grehan’s talk. It is a great talk and hits all of the right issues. But that is the problem. It is an unabashed attempt to promote how DCC can hit all the issues on the head. There is a lack of appreciation for the other people and companies involved in the process – despite all of her lip service to ‘collaboration’. Ali is a company woman, as I am, I suppose in many ways, a company man.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

      Quotation: Every city has its its cracks. There are gaps in the urban form. Where overall continuity is disrupted. The residual space is left undeveloped, underused or deteriorated. The physical ties that purposefully or accidentally separate social worlds. The spaces which development has passed by. Or new development has created fragmentation and interruption.

      The above quote is from a paper called ‘Cracks in the City’, 1996 by Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris. A paper which addresses constraints and potential of urban design. It echoes the theme of the Lisbon conference and what I am going to talk about now. Anastasia goes on in the paper to giver one example of a crack. Where public housing developments are fenced islands of poverty. Abandonement and deterioration have filled vacant spaces with thrash and human waste. That might sound a bit extreme, but it very much describes the Ballymun when we came along in 1997. Ballymun was very abruptly inserted into the landscape of north Dublin. It was conceived, commissioned and constructed in five years. From the government reviewing a report on system built housing in the early 60s, to building it in 1969, only five years had elapsed. It was quite stark. On it’s completion it was heralded as a new town. Although were some reservation expressed, where an anonymous writer said:

      “Surely the integration (I use the word hopefully) of 12-15 thousand people is something that should be tackled from a planning point of view and not left to depend on a few mouldy old concrete sections”.

      When we look at that and we thought about how we were going to present extremely complex project at the Lisbon conference, we decided to just try and tell the story in very simple graphics. Using figure ground diagrams and tenure diagrams. Through those diagrams, maybe just hint at the evolution of change, that had occurred since Ballymun was first conceived in the early 60s.

      When we ask ourselves as a master planner, what do we do now? What went wrong? How do we put it right? Really, to my mind, it was simply a question of size. Or scale, or grain. Whichever word, grain would be the word commonly used. In the first instance, the first example of scale: of course the physical form of buildings and spaces. Lack of discussion between buildings and the spaces. In my mind, well designed buildings or spaces initiate or facilitate conversation. Between buildings, spaces and people who inhabit the spaces. There hasn’t been much of a conversation going on in Ballymun – if anything, if might call it a shouting match, if even that. Really, the question is, how do you find an appropriate scale?
      I had to contact the curator at Tate Modern to get these images. He spoke at the Lisbon conference that a lot of us attended. He showed us the project which was for the first exhibition mounted in the turbine hall in the Tate. The Tate had been open for 2 years. Everyone was fabulously impressed with this amazing building. But in the main space they said where was the art? The curators didn’t know how they would introduce art into the turbine hall. So they decided they would have to meet this challenge. The curator decided to set up an exhibition of 25 sculptures, all scaled at a human scale. I think what he did is an excellent example of how you deal with scale and the transition of scale between something massive like the turbine hall – which has been described as a secular cathedral – and how you bring it down to a human scale. While also dealing with the practical issues. Like how do you protect the art? He didn’t want to put them on plinths. So he had to introduce layers and thresholds to actually achieve that.

      This is one of our diagrams, which is a figure ground diagram. Really, it doesn’t make any sense. Because to understand the layout of Ballymun in 1997, what you need is a road network diagram. The location of the buildings do not really mean anything. Basically what we had to do is look at how you converted that diagram, completely invert it, into a more legible diagram – that would have properly enclosed space. We are well over half way through that process. John’s (McLoughlin) comment about landscaping the docklands is relevant here as well. I think since we have started we’ve planted over 2 or 3 thousand trees. I am not sure how many. But even that shows a huge improvement.

      Another aspect of form which was to improve the scale, was the whole issue of permeability. Ballymun in 1997, the same as it was in 1977, was a roundabout at a deadend. Then either through accident or design, there is a completely impenetrable buffer zone separating the estate from the adjoining, existing 2 storey housing. We did diagrams showing how we would need to, and how we could plan to make Ballymun more permeable and connected to the adjoining areas. By 1997, the M50 had arrived and there was a junction. So inadvertedly, the M50 was one of the first ‘bringers’ of regeneration to Ballymun. Because then you had to drive through it to get someone from the airport. It is possibly why, people noticed how awful it was and then decided maybe we need to do something about this place.

      Our ultimate goal is to connect it completely with the adjoining estates. The dotted line signifies cul-de-sacs. The solid lines are through-routes. This dotted line is completely innocuous, it is just a scribble. But it represents one of the most controversial issues facing the regeneration team. It signifies hours, weeks and months of heated negotiation, emergency meetings.

      The second question of size which we looked at is tenure. When Ballymun was originally constructed it was 100% social housing. Which would be fine except it was so large. You are talking about 5,000 social housing units, which was fairly significant. The social housing tenants have all been able to buy out their houses. But they weren’t in a position to buy their flats. That is still the case. Over time, about half of the houses were bought out. But none of the flats could be bought out. By 1997, the tenure mix was 80% social and 20% private. Which is the complete opposite to what would be the national norm. so really the challenge is to completely invert that tenure mix. To 20% social and 80% private. It has actually been very difficult to achieve. Now you have a situation where most of the houses are social, and most of the apartments that have been springing up along main street are private. But over time it should evolve. But ultimately, the aim really is to enable people to take ownership of the space that is immediately outside their front door.

      The third section I want to talk about is strategy. The question of size is the title of one of the essays in E.M. Schumacher’s book ‘Small is Beautiful’. In that chapter he talks about things like, how big should the city be, how big should the country be? In a further part he talks about large organisations. He accepts that it is completely inevitable. That there will be extremely large organisations. But he urges that the fundamental task is that to achieve smallness in large organisations. I think BRL, is an excellent example of that in practice. Because BRL was set up by Dublin City Council to implement the master plan. In hindsight, it would be impossible to see how it could have been done any other way. Because it needed that dedicated focus on the ground.

      Another strategy worth noting is that whole strategy of the enabler of the new. It has been said that neighbourhood regeneration is one of the key components of urban renewal. It has also been said that the key to good government is grassroots involvement. In other words, good politics makes good places. It is also about clear ideas collaboratively realised. We are here in the civic offices, which is the civic heart of this new town of Ballymun.

      Another installation which is on at the moment in the Tate Modern is Doris Salcedo, Shibboleth Oct 2007 – April 2008. A ‘shibboleth’ is a custom, phrase or use of language that acts as a test of belonging to a particular social group or class. By definition, it is used to exclude those deemed unsuitable to join this group. ‘The history of racism’, Salcedo writes, ‘runs parallel to the history of modernity, and is its untold dark side’. For hundreds of years, Western ideas of progress and prosperity have been underpinned by colonial exploitation and the withdrawal of basic rights from others. Our own time, Salcedo is keen to remind us, remains defined by the existence of a huge socially excluded underclass, in Western as well as post-colonial societies.

      I am sorry to end on a serious note, but I think that represents a key challenge facing our city and the country. How do we integrate both culturally and physically. Niall (McCullough) talked about this threat, this perceived threat of tall buildings. Of course, we can discuss that. I don’t think myself that tall buildings are going to be threatening. I simply think what matters is how the buildings meet the ground, and how they talk to each other. But fundamentally, it is about integration.

      I was at a very interesting conference last week. Nothing to do with architecture. It was an education conference. Doctor Dermot Martin spoke. What he was talking about mainly was how do we integrate? How do we make sure that there is cultural integration at secondary school level? He spoke about the problem of ghetto-isation. Not just of the poor, but also of the rich. This reaching for illusionary safe havens. I also heard Doc. Martin talk on the Late Late Show before Christmas. He spoke about the problem of new developments in the city centre. A lot of places, they are gated, they turned their back on the street. He wondered what kind of problems were going to arise from that. Where the people who lived, the new people, they had no connection with the street. They had no connection with neighbours. They possibly had no connection to each other. I think that is something we really have to think about. It is also a challenge for architects to find ways through design to ensure that that doesn’t happen. I think, doesn’t have to happen.

      (Cartoon on final slide) Another issue which is facing us, is the increasing privatisation of public space. That must be looked at. Because obviously people want spaces to be well managed, so the immediate temptation is to hand it over to private companies to manage. In fact, to not take ownership to them at all. I was really encouraged to hear what John McLoughlin, John McLoughlin’s presentation last week. Where his architects were talking about the West 8 scheme. One of the things that they spoke, I suppose, very eloquently about was how this space to the river should be public. I was very encouraged by that. That, that was something which was so obvious to this group of architects. Ending on that note.

      (Loud Applause from the audience at Ballymun Civic Centre)

    • #798583
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @reddy wrote:

      We need to aim at becoming a highly skilled, highly innovative economy at the forefront of new technology and business practices. To do this our infrastructure must enable it. So in this sense what is right for London, is right for Beijing, and IS right for Dublin. I’m not talking about architectural style or context here but means of allowing this development in business and economy.

      Such a generalising statement is unlikely to produce the ‘highly innovative economy’ you seek.

    • #798584
      Anonymous
      Inactive


      Hippies, New Towns and the Irish.


      11th December 2008.

      I wanted to end my contribution to this discussion now, with some positive suggestion. I wanted to ask relevant questions, as to how private and public enterprises can foster workable relationships going forward. Sadly, from my experience that isn’t the case right now. But if we are to prosper as a country, we need to investigate those avenues thoroughly and become world leaders in cooperation and collaborative techniques. Become a place other countries aspire to, rather than make jokes about. Much of what I would like to say, has already been covered by an author much more skilled than I. That is Don Topscott, in his many books. But in particular, his book Wikinomics, and specifically his chapter about the Global Plant Floor. I feel there is a durable and promising model there, for our local authorities to find out their strengths. While also learning to tap into the talents of the private enterprise around them. In a way that is meaningful, and doesn’t invoke empty PR statements and lip service, so often witnessed. That doesn’t involve any more screw ups like North Wall Quay. Which is a like the Irish version of the Hubble Space Telescope. To me, NWQ is the low point, from which we can only improve.

      When I listen to Ali Grehan, I am reminded of a classic black and white film, The Flight of the Phoenix. In the movie, James Stewart stars as an aging pilot who has to crash land with passengers in a desert. As the pilot, he fills in his log book each day while they are stranded. They are trying to re-build a plane in the desert, under the direction of a German Aviation engineer. James Stewart says in his log book, that the modern world will belong to those who use scale rules and computers. Later on, he discovers the aviation engineer has only ever built ‘model’ airplanes. Obviously he challenges the man about the design. But the German model aviator responds that model airplanes were in flight 50 years before the Wright brothers even got off the ground. I think if one accused Ali Grehan of studying too many ‘models of cities’, she would not be too perturbed.

      Fast forward to the 1960s. We see the rise of a phenomenon in the United States, of folks who move back to the land. The hippy communes have been described in a book by Fred Turner, as model versions of society. In order to understand something, you build a model of it. Turner’s book, From Counter Culture to Cyber Culture, tracks the adventures of a couple of individuals. Those of Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly and Howard Rheingold, who were all involved in the Whole Earth Catalogue publications. (If you search You Tube, you will find an excellent interview between the four guys) The Whole Earth Catalogue was like a Bible for the hippy movement, describing things such as wine making and goat husbandry. Kevin Kelly, who later became a founder of Wired Magazine described the WE movement as the beginnings of a tools view of the world. Where today, we create the tools using computer code. Using a computer, we can indeed build very sophisticated models to enable us to understand better how the world operates. Howard Rheingold was the first person to use the term ‘virtual community’. The idea of building virtual communities, in order to try and understand our physical communities better. Howard is a good friend of mine, and his most recent book, Smart Mobs looks at the modern, worldwide phenomenon of mobile communications.

      Ali Grehan’s use of art installations as a source for understanding how to approach urban planning the right way, is an inspiration to all. She manages to break down urban design, to its basic essentials. That is seldom done effectively in today’s over rich knowledge environment. Grehan’s use of mental models fits very much into the 1960s culture and way of doing things. But there is some context I would like to fill in. While the hippies were doing their thing across the water, the concept of New Towns was being born in Britain. The New Town idea contrasts sharply with that of a hippy commune. Both being ways to organise development resources efficiently. The commune was widely dispersed, rather like the Internet based economy of today. While the New Town provided a model for how central planning organisations could add value in the grander scheme of things. I would like to compare the work of an urban planner, to that of an engineer. Tom Cosgrove recently spoke about his job as chief Engineer at Thomond Park in Limerick. He said, people think that engineers are in the business of using lots of structural material. When in fact their job is to study ways to take it away. To remove material where they can, in order to make the structure as efficient as possible. In a way, that is the job of an urban planner, only on a different level.

      Speaking to a retired Dun Laoghaire planner last year, I learned about Irelands plans in the 1960s to build New Towns, as the British were doing. The British built the world. They know how to engineer things efficiently, and they certainly know how to plan efficiently also. The Irish government of the 1960s commisioned a study into our legal constitution to examine the feasibility of building new towns. The legal advice found there was nothing in the Irish constitution to prevents us from doing it. The bones of the New Town concept were as follows. The farmer’s land was compulsory purchased, and the farmer received one and a half times the agricultural value of the property in money. That enabled the farmer to buy a better farm and stay in the occupation of farming. The government would then service the land they had obtained, in order to raise its value. There is not much profit for the developer in building road, telecommunications, sewer and other civil works. Not to mention public transport infrastucture like railways and underground lines. Having gone through this phase, parcels of land were sold onto the developer at a premium. The profit made by the government would pay for schools, libraries, civic institutional buildings and so on.

      When you compare the sophistication of that model, to what happened at Ballymun, it is very easy to see how little the Irish did embrace the New Town concept. Fundamentally, at some level, the Irish politians hoped to make fast windfall profits, from re-zoning of agricultural lands. Overnight millionaires and back-hander dealing became the order of the day. The same problem persists today. British architects who work in Ireland are astonished by some of the sites they are asked to work on. By their shere scale in comparison to other countries. We don’t have the New Town concept established in Ireland. Developers don’t receive parcels from the state. Instead they buy it lock, stock and two smoking barrells. (The barrells can be used to shoot the pheasants and other game, that live on the land for years before it can be developed) Vast private land holding companies have grown around this sole business model. When the rest of the world is producing value through companies such as Intel, Sony or Nokia, the Irish are producing companies like Dunloe Ewart.

      As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Dublin Docklands Authority stroll into the picture. Greener than the grass, and talk about planting even more greenery and more grass. This comes from the Irish state’s own lack of fundamental involvement in the process from the ground up. Most of what authorities do is try to appear as if they do add some value. This is unique to the Irish situation, and our own short history as a small island nation. It results in a very one sided public/private partnership, with a vast amount of the crucial knowledge wealth existing on the developers side of the table. While the state authorities on the other hand, merely try to appear as if they are talking sense. Some very good messages about partnership in modern day times, are expressed in Don Topscott’s book, Wikinomics. This quote is from his chapter about ‘The Global Plant Floor’.

      A key message in this book is that the old monolithic multinational that creates value in a closed hierarchical fashion is dead. Winning companies today have open and porous boundaries and compete by reaching outside their walls to harness external knowledge, resources, and capabilities. Even the stodgy, capital-intensive manufacturing industries are no exception to this rule. Indeed, there is no part of the economy where this opening and blurring of corporate boundaries has more revolutionary potential.

      In his book, Topscott explains why BMW hardly make cars at all today. I wish Dublin City Council had the confidence to do that. I wish Dublin City Council planners under Dick Gleeson would take a leaf from BMW’s book. Namely, when it is the case, that others in the supply chain, know more about manufacturing than you, give it to them. That is where Liam Carroll’s organisation should have entered the stage, in my humble view. No organisation has more combined man years of experience and knowledge in building, than Liam’s. (And his extended supply chain of expertise and resources) Boeing Airlines brief to its partners for a recent model of Jumbo Jet, was only 20 pages long. Compared with 50,000 pages in the past. I feel that Dublin City are falling into the same trap that Boeing fell into. They were becoming too prescriptive, and had removed their partners room to manoeuvre. Manoeuvre is essential in order to wring idle costs out of the system. It is essential nowadays that Ireland becomes competitive.

      In an office building, the expected life cycle is 20 years. If costs cannot be ammortised within those years, then either land values and construction costs must go down, or office rent rates must go up. Liam Carroll is someone who could have delivered the former. Other developers want to deliver the latter. Which doesn’t bode well for Ireland in the global context. In her book about international corporations, No Logo, Naomi Klein talks of companies as ‘swallows’. Without any ties to a particular geographic region. They can simply catch a gust of wind and fly elsewhere at will. The following quote is from Dick Gleeson. This is what he has to say about ‘Elegant Tall Buildings’ at a lecture in early summer 2008. I believe it is a clear example of where Gleeson is getting into an area he doesn’t understand well enough, to be prescriptive.

      I have found elegant tall buildings generally incorporate about 400 meters squared. Which gives them about four apartments per floor. In comparison with say buildings in Canary Wharf where the shape is around 40,000 sq. feet per floor. Those scale of buildings with very large floor plates, are sometimes very unhappy in how they puncture the skyline. Alot of the big banking HQ’s will really be 15,000 sq. feet per floor. Less than half the size of those in Canary Wharf. Floor plates are sometimes very compact.

      Dublin centre is to remain low rise, but if anything did puncture the skyline, it would need to be a strategic contribution to the city in terms of the economic or cultural or in terms of public amenity. It wouldn’t damage the architectural legacy in terms of views, in terms of environmental qualities or in terms of creating preceedent. The role of the heart of the inner city as The centre of that city region and what it needs to be sucessful, you do need the city core to triumph! Looking back to the profile of the city in the middle ages, you did see churches puncturing the skyline. I think there still is a case to be made for acknowledging a central role or importance and announcing something special. And it would have to be something special, in terms of creating an exception.

      The expanded vision of Dublin City Council, for Dublin City is available here:

      http://www.insidegovernment.ie/subcategory_detail.php?iResearchId=6817&iCategoryId=327&rootpage=subcategory.php&rootid=1

      http://www.dublincity.ie/Press/PressReleases/Press%20Releases%20Apr%202008/Pages/MaximisingtheCitysPotential.aspx

      I would like to counter Dick Gleeson’s assumptions in the above quote. 13 meters width of floor plate is a minimum dimension, to enable the ‘modern knowledge entreprise’ to function in the way they need to. Anything smaller than that is too small. Taking that dimension and using a square type of floor plate. A square floor plate of 13m x 13m which wouldn’t be ideal. As the circulation and service core would chew too much out of the space. The smallest floor plate you can achieve using a 13m dimension, is around 1800 sq. ft. Which is still higher than the figure Dick Gleeson quotes. The canary wharf size of floor plates are correct for the modern scenario. DCC have been seriously misguided in there information regarding the needs of the modern enterprise! They are passing projects which are unsuitable for the creation of a modern knowledge economy in Ireland. Right there you have an example of what is poisonous about the Irish planning system. Instead of focusing on what should be its core strength, planning authorities are going back to the Russian model, of deciding how many pairs of shoes to produce each day! In other words, Gleeson deludes himself into thinking he can beat the marketplace at calculation. A very fatal error indeed. (Note: Dick Gleeson was on the panel at the Tall Building conference a couple of years ago. Where a Quantity Surveyor from Britain expounded his ‘fat is happy’ theory on high rise developments. Gleeson should have listened better on that occasion. There seems to be a certain stardom attached to being a chief local authority planner or architect, doesn’t there? All the conferences you have to speak at etc.)

      Take the Local Area Plan concept as another example. Introduced in the late 1990s in Ireland, in order to improve efficiency with which land was developed. It fits into the entire story described above. By the late 1990s, most of the land in Ireland was in the hands of greedy private developers. The planning community were rightly concerned about misuse of development investment resources. They stepped in as promptly as they could, with the Local Area Plan as a tool. (This coincided with a large roll-out program of lavish local authority headquarter buildings throughout Ireland, many of which were more stylish and over budget than they needed to be) When I look at the details of many local authority plans produced in the Dublin area, the lack of expertise in the planning community is striking. The devil is in the details. Basic mistakes, like courtyards that are too small for residential, and office floor plates are too small for employment.

      It is alright to talk about the skyline. Maybe it is a resource we can afford to spend on our little green island. It is about the only thing we can afford to spend now. But what Gleeson is really saying, is that he is prepared to insert a bottleneck in the process of Ireland becoming a knowledge based economy. Gleeson and his planners are getting involved in areas beyond their ability to comprehend. This is where a successful and deep collaboration with a world class consultant is crucial. Building a modern office block is just as critical a project to Ireland’s economy, as that of extending Dublin Airport Terminal. As such, it should be approached with the same degree of science. Yet, the only consultant I heard John McLoughlin mention in his talk, was those who know how to plant trees! Compare that to a recent Dublin Airport Authority presentation I attended, where DAA had the sense to know what they didn’t know.

      Between human beings there is a type of intercourse which proceeds not from knowledge, or even from lack of knowledge, but from failure to know what isn’t known. This was true of much of the discourse on the market. At luncheon in downtown Scranton, the knowledgeable physician spoke of the impending split-up in the stock of Western Utility Investors and the effect on prices. Neither the doctor nor his listeners knew why there should be a split-up, why it should increase values, or even why Western Utility Investors should have any value. But neither the doctor nor his audience knew that he did not know. Wisdom, itself, is often an abstraction associated not with fact or reality but with the man who asserts it and the manner of its assertion.

      That was something Kenneth Galbraith had to say, in his book ‘The Great Crash 1929’. It could almost describe the DCC! The Dublin Airport Authority invited Turner and Townsend into a deeply collaborative relationship. Turner and Townsend are described as having a background in program management and aviation. DCC and DDDA are handicapped by an over dependency on concepts to do with beautification. But have a severe shortage of good guidance on how economies are being built. For the Grangegorman Third Level campus masterplan, Charles Moore was brought into the process. At Cherrywood Science and Technology Park, Liam Carroll introduced Gehl Architects. Gehl are a world leading consultant in urban planning, who proceeded to pinpoint many deficiencies in DLR Coco’s proposed framework masterplan. A document which DLR would have shoe horned through their channels, to have it become legally binding for the next 10-20 years!

      http://www.cherrywood.ie/about.html

      There is certainly a motivation on the part of local authorities to do these framework documents as soon as possible. Because it puts them into a position of greater control than they sometimes deserve. That is, for the meager levels of skill and knowledge, they are to bring to such undertakings. Often the authorities have used their new headquarter buildings, to go on a hiring binge. Taking in planners of dubious merit and committment from across the globe to cobble together something on paper as quick as possible.

      Dublin Docklands Authority brought in an expert to deal with planting trees. But it didn’t consult the right people about the modern information economy. While developers have managed to attract companies such as Google to Irish shores, I feel the DDDA are working against them. The trouble often stems from the architectural training itself. While it is very comprehensive and worthwhile, architects all suffer from an extreme blindspot. Economics should become an integral subject on the architectural school curriculum. Architecture students should be allowed the opportunity to absorb the research and ideas of Richard Sennett, Paul Duffy, Scott McNealy, George Gilder, Howard Rheingold, Nicholas Negroponte and Nicholas G. Carr. (To name but a few) Then we would be producing architects who had some clue what an office block is. Why they are the crucial heartbeat at the centre of an economy. Needed to enable employment and innovation. Not just things on which you play with fancy facade treatments or talk with Dick about skylines. An excellent reference on Canary Wharf can be found at http://www.feasta.org. A video of David Wetzel’s lecture delivered at Bolton Street a few months back. According to Wetzel, what enabled Canary Wharf to happen, to become a workplace able to support 60,000 people, was transport. Prior to transport arriving in the area, it could not support 3,000 people. The issue of transport is another one of the things the British understood all those years ago, when building an empire across the globe.

      “Concerns about the cost of progress for traditional community and neighbourliness are examined in a very readable manner by Robert Putnam’s book Bowling Alone,”

      The above quote is from Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach. In fairness, I had to give the last word to Bertie. I only hope that McLoughlin, Grehan and Gleeson might use the Christmas break, to reflect on some of the issues I have raised.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798585
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well Brian, I am extreemly gratefull that I have made my way through architecture school before you got your hands on it, I find the idea of studying economice apawling, and would think twice about doing architecture if that was the case.
      I’ll admit perhaps to a lack of understanding of where you are coming from, but then understanding is a two way thing. I will try to find common ground, in terms of positive contributions to productivity, surley you a familiar with the concept that a happy worker is a productive worker, and you may also have heard of Sick Building Syndrome, ie negative physical effects that result from prolonged periods of working in exactly the kind of artifically lit, artifically ventilated, deep floor plans you call for. In architecture school we are though that 13m is infact the maximum any floor plate shoud be to ensure natural ventilation and light. It is about recognising the human factor of the “knowledge based economy” rather than the numbers and categories to which you constantly refer, it is the qualitive experience built around the individual and not the service of economics which architecture has at it’s core.
      I do not necessarily disagree with a lot of what you have said, the incompetance of governament, the failure to implement the New Town concept, transport, etc; but you seem deluded as to what an architect’s role is. I think the simple enjoyment of being in a place is fundamental; I do not mean that in a flakey or abstract sense, I am not a flakey or abstract person, but the places you are proposing (and this is what architects do, to think about being in the place) regardless of efficiency, are horrible, depressing places to be, and should not be regarded as models that young architects aspire to.
      (And as it happens I have frequently referenced Sennett)

    • #798586
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There is a need to improve the efficiency of infrastructure development in order to produce a globally competitive economy. This is explained by your argument. One which is driven by a desire to produce a successful economy. But for what reason? This is an important question, your post implies on numerous occasions that economic success drives development in general and is the solution to existing problems both social and economic. This is an outdated (but unfortunately) prevalent neo-liberalist attitude. It is no surprise then that you hold Canary Wharf in such high regard.
      In terms of social development it is a disaster, exacerbating inequalities at all levels while it feeds the illusion that London’s economy is paramount and more worthy of investment than any other region in the UK. This is not an example to be held in such high regard.

      A dynamic economy is important, but not at the expense of social and political development. This is what you have failed to understand.

    • #798587
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Summoning Richard Sennett in defence of ‘what an office block is’? This statement alone calls your whole argument into question. (Unless of course I’ve missed something in my almost complete reading of his output- yes, even including the novels.)

      Also, if there is merit in having a general debate on the future of office development in the city, might I suggest a new thread? Much of what has been written is entirely unrelated to the DDDA.

    • #798588
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Peter, Spoil Sport and Ctesiphon have all responded with excellent points. Thankyou.

      I am aware of the argument for happier workers, being more productive workers. The writer Amartya Sen in his book, Development As Freedom frames the whole issue in a wider sense. Global summits are held each year to discuss development of the third world. They inevitably reach the same basic conclusion. The need to bring about economic improvement first, and then worry about political or social freedoms. Amartya Sen contradicts this approach in his book. He explains clearly and vividly, why political and social freedoms, if unavailable will short circuit early attempts to foster economic prosperity. Thanks again to the above posters for making their very good point.

      The reason the Dublin Docklands and office developments are so interlinked as issues, is because the docklands is a large inner city brownfield site, served by a lot of public transport. The parallels with Canary Wharf therefore, should be obvious. Especially when you listen to guys like Dave Wetzel. The organisation FEASTA does offer a route by which architects can cross-pollinate their ideas with those of economists, valuers and other folk from the liberal arts. (Cross pollination is the name of a very good chapter in Tom Kelley’s book, Ten Faces of Innovation) But the urban pheriphery is gaining in attractiveness for office development. The current North Wall Quay mess only underscores that fact.

      Sennett does illustrate the problems inherent in the new economy. But if we understand those difficulties, why should Ireland lead the world in finding their solution? This is the opportunity public bodies such as DCC, DDDA, DLR should be looking for. I enjoy reading Sennett because has influenced one of my favrouite modern writers, Nicholas G. Carr. Nick wrote his 1999 Havard Business Review paper, on the Corrosion of Character as a response to a book of same name by Richard Sennett. (That article is available in the hard bound HBR section in Dublin’s Illac public library) Since then, Carr has developed his ideas in essays such as ‘Does IT Matter’. The essay is published in a compilation book of the name. Carr’s most recent book, the Big Switch develops his ideas about information and economics. (Carr’s excellent and entertaining blog site is at http://www.roughtype.com) But I chose Don Topscott’s book as a primary reference. Because it assembles together a hoist of different issues to do with a modern economy.

      On a side note, I searched the entire Dublin City Library system recently for one title by Nick Carr, Richard Sennett or Neil Postman. It appears the Dublin region is without a public copy of any books by these authors. That seems strange, for a region pretending to be a centre for the new information economy. Especially given all the library buildings and staff that DCC has on the payroll. Just as well, I can buy Peter Drucker in bargain basement for 3 euros. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist one last cut at DCC)

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798589
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I never heard of Hook employment before. But over the last couple of weeks I wondered why Hook employment was constantly in my head! This morning I found out why. I saw a cyclist pass me out with Hook written on his back. It proves a point that good advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. The Hook employment ajency found a valuable advertising space, which didn’t require planning permission, like DCC’s signs! (Theres DCC again) The cyclists were mobilised to do the work of being billboards! See how synergistic the relationship is? See how much welfare it provides? The cyclists need the vests anyhow. The relationship is good for everyone. Ali Grehan is right about the need for cultural integration in this country. It is about successful projects collaboratively realised. I don’t think hi-vis vests are the answer to Ireland’s social, political and economic problems. But it does provide a useful case study to work with. What Ali Grehan needs to understand, is the biggest and most expensive cultural divide in Ireland today, is that, that exists between public and private enterprise. The conversation doesn’t exist between these two monoliths at the moment. They need to find a common ground and a common language. The casualties will pile up on both sides, until we find the solution(s). The slaughter is costing the country a fortune each day to maintain.

      Enjoy the PDF version. Over and out.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798590
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @garethace wrote:

      DCC have been seriously misguided in their information regarding the needs of the modern enterprise! They are passing projects which are unsuitable for the creation of a modern knowledge economy in Ireland. Right there you have an example of what is poisonous about the Irish planning system. . . . (Note: Dick Gleeson was on the panel at the Tall Building conference a couple of years ago. . . where a Quantity Surveyor from Britain expounded his ‘fat is happy’ theory on high rise developments. Gleeson should have listened better on that occasion.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

      What kind of a half-assed ‘Knowledge economy’ are we trying to create if it can’t even function properly if does have a 13m floor plate? What happened to flexibility? adaptability? all those ‘abilities’ that we were told brought humans to the top of the food chain?

      If I understand Gleeson’s point, it was that a city, like Dublin, could very quickly be destroyed if it gave in to the temptation to build big, bulky, corporate office blocks in a vain attempt to emulate Canary Warf, or some such corporate financial district from the Yuppy era.

      That may not have been his point, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I think his reference to church spires is very useful. Cities do trade in various ways on their prestige, and prestige seems to be an element in a city’s economic success, or otherwise, and it is in that context that the ‘church spire’ concept is important. Church spires were always horribly expensive, difficult to construct and funcionally useless, but thriving cities had them and struggling cities didn’t. There is a argument that the contemporary city also needs vertical punctuation to nail down it’s position in some kind of global urban pecking order, but I think, in the context of a historic city, like Dublin is supposed to be, the same ‘church spire’ rules need to apply.

      Instead of seeing a major corporate development proposal (say in the docklands) as an occassion to bulk-up high, there is an argument that permission for pockets of fairly intense density should come with an obligation to build one or two, horribly expensive, and very slender, towers that would never stand up economically on their own, as prestige statements, like church spires.

      As long as we keep hoping that a high rise proposal will come along that: (a) is slender enough to be elegant, (b) happens to be strategically positioned to enhance, not detract from the skyline, and (c) is economically viable,
      I suspect we’re destined to continue to be disappointed.

    • #798591
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The competition.

    • #798592
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I agree with gunter’s point entirely. His post hits the nail on the head. We are destined to wait for ever, for the perfect storm to arrive. I did pull a fast one on Dick Gleeson by quoting him out of context. It is the sound bite tactic that trashy publications like tabloids are renowned for using. I can post up the full lecture notes later for your reading. The lecture was quite good, and aimed at joining up all of the various Local Area Plans for Dublin city. Instead of having them all isolated which was the case for a long time. When you begin to connect all of the dots, so to speak, a new picture emerges. Where different parts of Dublin city begin to look as if they are servicing different component parts of the new information based economy. For instance, broadcasting and media, biomedical, education, financial services, transportation and so on. I guess in Beijing, the Chinesse lumped each function into one massive 10 million sq feet standalone building. What DCC aim to do in Dublin is knit together the new economy with much of the existing urban layout. But there again, the strategy DCC proposes is a shot in the dark – you have to wait forever, for all the right elements to ‘line up’. I mean DCC doesn’t own the land to an overwhelming extent. The developers do, who are very cranky, pedantic and unpredictable at the best of time – like human beings usually can be.

      There are a lot of things that are good about DCC’s approach to Dublin City. But because DCC does its own thing, ignoring such valuable allies such as Liam Carroll, they are missing some crucial information signals they should be getting from the (global) marketplace. I keep reflecting back to the example of Dublin Airport and the more positive synergy there might there, between Michael O’Leary and DAA. I mean you look at the office space the DDDA occupies itself – it might as well be on Mars. You arrive into this gigantic reception space somewhere on Sir John Rogerson’s quay, where a secretary greets you and not much else. It is not the best model in the world for ‘interaction’ that I have ever seen. I have several times, handed in compliance drawings and permissions there. You don’t even get a written receipt! ! ! Nothing, not a sausage. I am astonished that Liam Carroll even has a scrap of paper with some signatures to approve the building of North Wall Quay. Because with DDDA, you seldom even receive that. We have a whole area of study about workplaces we need to master, and yet the DDDA wants to plant trees. We have intelligent people available to us, and sophisticated companies like Carroll’s to realise projects, but the DDDA’s lack of proper awareness and basic direction is staggering.

      You only have to search around the web, and you will find that Dick Gleeson is indeed rubbing shoulders with the right people:

      http://www.qub.ac.uk/ep/news/08-05rtpivisit/TallBuildings.pdf

      John Worthington’s book, Reinventing the Workplace, is considered to be a classic work and case study on office block design. I found this blurb about the DEGW founder:

      Frank Duffy, chairman of DEGW, is an advocate of the flexible office. His theories could redefine office buildings of the future. Frank believes that UK developers do not consider the impact of radical changes in working practices on the office market. He believes that flexible workspace can save the occupier money and adapt to changing working practices. He feels that the factory office environment where workers perform routine set tasks is in decline, and a type of ‘club style of office is emerging.

      Where floor plates are 18m to 20m deep with minimum interruption from cores and vertical circulation, this provides a number of opportunities for clubs and working groups. Here are a couple of sketches from the Bristol university masterplan website:

      http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Bursar/masterplan06/appendix5.pdf

      The internal depth of 15m gives optimal flexibility with reasonable quality daylighting, and a sense of view to the outside. Increasing the building depth above 15m tends to lead to the perception of a “deep plan building”. A 12m depth floorplate would in general be too small unless a very substantial amount of cellular academic office space was required.

      Using the 15m dimension, you tend to end up with minimum floor plates of over 20,000 sq. ft. But to make it worth while, I still believe the 40,000 sq feet floor plates are worth looking at. (Maybe with that 18-20m depth) I bounced my PDF, Hippies, New Towns and the Irish, off a couple of people today. I was asked to revisit John Thackara’s book, In the Bubble. In Thackara’s last chapter he speaks about ‘Flow’. Indeed many of the ideas that I explore, were in fact the focus of that chapter in Thackara’s book. I looked at the chapter again, and yes, it certainly does build on the ideas of Don Topscott in relation to the Global Plant Floor. Thackara talks a lot about designing from the inside out, which is one of the key design philosophies I learned while working at Liam Carroll’s organisation. Liam gets a lot of his signals from the marketplace and such advisers as CBRE. It seems though, that Dubai is having the same problem as Dublin does:

      http://archive.gulfnews.com/indepth/cityscape/main_story/10161231.html

      Townsend advised developers to design office blocks “from the inside out” rather than focus on exterior design.

      Click through the photos, they are quite instructive and do demonstrate the growing competition that Dublin is now up against. We need to get smart fast, about how we do business. Ripping down stuff, and firing builders, engineers and architects isn’t the proper way to go at all. No matter what Frank McDonald or anyone else may think. DDDA is a bit like Dubai in Dublin. They imagine they have money to throw at the wind. Andrew Laing, research guru at DEGW consultants says, “There is a huge disconnect between work process and space at most companies”. People forget how limited our resources are to build anything in this country, and all opportunities to evolve new workplaces and new process should be taken full advantage of. That is why it guts me so badly to see brand new structures being torn down. Its not just Dublin, Foster is generally having a hard time these days:

      http://www.building.co.uk/intl_story.asp?sectioncode=284&storycode=3128597&c=3

      When most people view the RTE Primetime report on North Wall Quay, what they saw was a pretty rough looking concrete structure that was still a building site. What they could not see from the primetime program, was the fact, such a structure could become a workplace, and how much thought had gone into making it. It is a whole research area in itself, and an area I have spent the last six or seven years of my life studying.

      http://www.degw.com/press/hq_blog.html

      BTW, If you want to go to this part of DEGW’s website:

      http://www.degw.com/about/publications_1.html

      There are two extremely comprehensive documents available there. From 2008, “Working beyond walls – the government workplace as an agent of change.” And from 2004, “Working without walls, an insight into the transforming government workplace”.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798593
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Some more competition from around the globe, One East Island in Hong Kong.
      I don’t think the Docklands area will ever get this tight! ! !

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnmark/3088532195/sizes/o/

      There are about 70 on. floors there, and they look pretty large too.
      The buildings around the commerical one seem to be standard fare East Asian residential.
      The same kind that Oscar Newman explored so well in the book Defensible Space, 1972, and marked a real set back to Jane Jacobs desire for higher densities.

      You can really see how dark it does get at the street levels. Hong Kong Dept Architecture published this paper:

      http://www.sbse.org/awards/docs/2004/Cheng317P.pdf

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798594
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A context shot of the same commercial tower.

      B.

    • #798595
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Regarding Dublin Docklands, I’m not sure whether there’s much we should take from Hong kong, or Shanghai, or Dubai, in terms of developing patterns for future urban development. I’m not saying that we couldn’t learn from many aspects of these cities, but, to me, there’s a generic sameness to the architecture and urban form that is the opposite of what we should be aiming at.

      A contrasting comparison, and one a bit closer to home, might be the inner basin area of Hamburg. Dispite the fact that the ‘Binnenalster’ is maybe seven or eight times the width of the Liffey, none of the water front buildings rise much above eight storeys. Both in the case of post war re-builds and more contemporary in-fills, restrained order is prefered to competing ‘wow factor’ buildings for these cityscapes in recognition that they present one the primary edges of the city, allowing a more traditional skyline of restored spires and relatively few corporate towers to provide the depth, the visual impact and the urban orientation points.


      This is the only photograph I have to hand

      I’ll try and dig out some pictures looking the other way which might illustrate this point a little better.

    • #798596
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Glad you made that excellent point again Gunter. Your posts are making me think a lot deeper into the whole issue than I otherwise would have. I like to take on board the Beijing, Hong Kong and Dubai models to shock people into awareness of the grander global picture. While there is no requirement for us to copy any of those places in Ireland, we still need to consider how ‘flat’ the world has become economically, to borrow Tom Friedman’s phrase. Where to a large extent the company is now joined up like a large network across the globe, via packet switching technology and abundant backbone fibre optic bandwidth. Also to underscore the fact that western civilisation as our parents experienced in the 20th century is now in decline. As the South Americas, South East Asian and hopefully Middle Eastern regions are in their ascendancy. I dug up an old Anthony Reddy essay the other day, where I recall he gave a short account of Dublin’s ‘golden era’ at the end of the 18th century, before the Act of Union. Dublin of course, then experienced a slow decline as a major destination in global terms. Perhaps, Reddy suggest in that essay, Dublin could be turning a corner again? (Note the Celtic Tiger optimism, reflecting the essays date)

      The key reference I have been pounding everybody with this past year, is that of Stewart Brand. You can find a great lecture of his online if you search, about Squatter Cities. 1 billion inhabitants of the globe live in these makeshift settlements. Pretty shocking stuff to me. But this mass migratation from the rural countryside, these new hyper growing cities seem to be emerging on a scale we haven’t quite seen before. Stewart Brand points out that at current rates of growth, New York is really the only western city that will see exist on the top ten list of the world’s biggest cities. The Arup engineer who worked on the CCTV building, in his lecture here in Dublin lately, commented that China hardly had any architectural profession at all. That is, the pace of development in these new regions, is far outstriping the capacity of architects to keep up. That is partly why I wanted to link to some of the Hong Kong university architecture department papers too, to see the kinds of design problems they are facing. To expand the design problem/solution space, or context, within which the Dublin Docklands currently sits.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798597
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Also, if there is merit in having a general debate on the future of office development in the city, might I suggest a new thread? Much of what has been written is entirely unrelated to the DDDA.

      .

    • #798598
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Also, if there is merit in having a general debate on the future of office development in the city, might I suggest a new thread? Much of what has been written is entirely unrelated to the DDDA.

      Good idea. Why don’t we split the thread then?
      Starting with your post, which you reminded folk to tune into the RTE Primetime documentary?
      Maybe you could edit the post to include this link to the web version of the program?

      http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1204/primetime.html

      I suggest that we call the new thread ‘North Wall Quay’, in specific reference to RTE’s documentary.
      I take your point, that everything since that point was unrelated to the original function of the thread.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798599
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Some useful background about New Towns concept here in Ireland, in:

      Programme 3: July 25th 2005
      This programme looks at how planning decisions made in Ireland 30 years ago have influenced how we inhabit our cities now, at our tendency to hide our problems on the periphery and at some of the positive aspects of suburban living.

      http://www.rte.ie/radio1/thestatewearein/1054026.html

      Brendan Bartley, Dept. of Geography, NUI Maynooth, in particular goes back into the deeper history.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798600
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @spoil_sport wrote:

      Well Brian, I am extreemly gratefull that I have made my way through architecture school before you got your hands on it, I find the idea of studying economice apawling, and would think twice about doing architecture if that was the case.

      The reason, I emphasise economics for architects, is precisely for that reaction you experienced. That of shock and horror. It is what Edward de Bono calls a provocation in his teachings. You will find quite a few decent snippets of De Bono talking, on You Tube.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjSjZOjNIJg&feature=related

      Basically, you introduce an idea or provocation from a field totally outside your own, to enable Lateral Thinking. One of the big draw backs in Plato, Aristotle and Socrates western thought system, is that every thought has to have a logic to it. A lot of my contributions here on the Archiseek forum, has been ‘Red Hat’ stuff, in terms of saying what I ‘feel’ about our public planning bodies. Other posters here have introduced more white, black etc hat thinking.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVfx3j8QaM8&feature=related

      A good example of a ‘green hat’ thinker is Liam Carroll, which means I guess, that DCC are always performing a black hat thinking. The green hat is a natural counter balance to the dominant black hat. The green hat puts the black hat, at a disadvantage.

      One of the comments made in the ‘State we are In’ Radio One series, was that developers get a lot of their guidance from the real estate professions. The real estate professions, tend to use what happened in the past as a relevant guide, to projecting what might happen in the future. If that is the case, then where did the apartment building come from? We weren’t building apartments for private consumption before the 1990s to any great extent. Liam Carroll imported the idea of building apartments into this country, at a time when the research would have told, there was no market for apartments in Ireland. Yet, they sold off the drawing board. It was the same with mobile phones, the personal computer and many other discontinuous innovations. Of course, the point underlined throughout the ‘State We Are In’ Radio program, is that apartment building was an economic innovation in Ireland, as opposed to being a social or urban design one. It came in linked to a whole array of complex financial instruments, which were deemed necessary as incentives. To encourage investment in a lot of derelict land available in our towns and cities during the 1990s. Basically, to encourage private money to move into those areas. To enable money that was in the economy but lying fairly stagnant, to flow around and start changing hands again. In 2008 we are back in that very same situation. Where the money flow has stalled completely again. Yet much of the derelict lands are built on. That little trick won’t work a second time.

      (Please take note in the coming years as the same ball game plays out again, in relation to renewable wind energy in Ireland. A whole feast of economic conditions and legalities will be drawn up in haste, to enable the roll out process of wind generated power)

      So you see, architects are involved in financial services. They are in the job of working with economic incentives, with developers to arrive at some solution. I was reading Deyan Sedjic’s book about London the other day, where he describes a whole series of hotel buildings beside Heathrow airport, which were a product of government grant aiding for no. of hotel rooms completed by a certain date during the 1960s. Completed by a certain date, being the key qualification, so you can imagine the constaints in which the design operated there. That is what I intended to convey, when I suggested architects be more aware of economics. It is a ‘hat’ worth wearing from time to time. (To borrow De Bono’s phrase on Thinking Hats) As you journey around the globe and look at development elsewhere.

      I want to make one other observation about the work of Edward de Bono. In relation to how we teach architects and planners. (Indeed, the department of education in Ireland recently brought in De Bono to suggest advice for our country’s system of education. Currently under a lot of strain due to increased numbers) One of the dis-functionalities I experienced during my time in Architecture School, was a lack of a space in which students might come to terms with their own creativty. (I hate using that awful word, but lets plough on) How about a class on ‘Creativity’ itself? Becoming self conscious of what architects do. Imagine if students of architecture could spend a little time each week, and earn course credits to listen to a You Tube lecture by Edward de Bono? I know from spending a lot of time with architectural students what the reaction would be. Oh drag, its pub time. There is no time. The project is more important. I have to see a soap opera tonight. Blah, blah, blah. I saw on RTE Radio One’s website a program about pre-school in Ireland, called ‘Learning to Learn’. I mean, what about a lecture in Thinking about Thinking? So that architecture undergraduates in a group format, could confront their own thought processes?

      (I can just picture the hand bag fights now)

      Architectural students in their late teens and early twenties, experience a growing isolation due to the longeivity of their student life. I certainly experienced it. My friends from secondary school (who did engineering or commerce) moved on to find jobs. It appeared like I was dragging my heels. Constantly pale, worn out and seemingly incoherent. Not with it, at all. Underperforming. I got crap from my favourite aunties and uncles. As my first cousins qualified in their 3 year Bachelor of Arts courses, and went on to do an MA. Those ‘graduate students’ didn’t want to be seen beside me any longer. That is, when I was only half way through my course! In other words, architects, at that vulnerable, youthful, formative stage, find themselves in conflict with society. Moving outside the herd they are familiar with. Which is quite a distressing experience, having spent so much time as part of the herd during secondary school. And perhaps even rose to become a leader in that herd. As a mere function of needing to achieve high points to get into architecture in the first place. To suddenly have that little piece of status and credibility erode away. To be monopolised by a 3 year BA with a car loan!

      What De Bono says, is we operate in a judgemental western thinking environment. Rather than one conducive to constructive thinking and design. Judgemental thinking was necessary at the time of the Renaissance for the religious groups to form value judgements about the heretics, and it has stuck with us, right down to the present. (Heretic is an unofficial label used in society for the young architectural student) I don’t think that teachers appreciate the psychology of what is going on in the young minds. Other disiplines get to study more maths, more reading and more science. It all increases their value on the job market. (If only in a short term way, as they learn the latest whiz bag computer languages or whatever, available to them in universities) Architectural students are asked to summon material from within themselves. (And I don’t mean barfing outside the pub) This shift in direction, in the brain activity of the young person, isn’t dealt with fundamentally at architecture school. In fact, instead of building character, it leaves architects fundamentally weakened. The effects of which, last throughout their career and perhaps in severe cases, well into retirement.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798601
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Basically, you introduce an idea or provocation from a field totally outside your own, to enable Lateral Thinking.

      Brian, your posts are very interesting, but after the second paragraph I’ve normally lost the will to live. You’re showing far too much of the tendency towards academy-speak, which may be wonderful in overawing a tutorial but somehow loses its flavour ‘out there’ in the real world. This notion of ‘provocation’ in order to induce thought is the equivalent of defending much bad contemporary art on the basis that it ‘makes people talk about art’ (but it’s still bad art).
      The problem with thinking laterally, particularly in relation to economics, is that it can produce precisely the voodoo economics that have landed us in the present mess. Architecture and design – in an urban context – must above all be ‘grounded’; getting out and walking about will outdo any amount of theorising. By all means have a vision; but a ‘theory’? I’m not so sure.

    • #798602
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @johnglas wrote:

      Brian, your posts are very interesting, but after the second paragraph I’ve normally lost the will to live. You’re showing far too much of the tendency towards academy-speak, which may be wonderful in overawing a tutorial but somehow loses its flavour ‘out there’ in the real world. This notion of ‘provocation’ in order to induce thought is the equivalent of defending much bad contemporary art on the basis that it ‘makes people talk about art’ (but it’s still bad art).
      The problem with thinking laterally, particularly in relation to economics, is that it can produce precisely the voodoo economics that have landed us in the present mess. Architecture and design – in an urban context – must above all be ‘grounded’; getting out and walking about will outdo any amount of theorising. By all means have a vision; but a ‘theory’? I’m not so sure.

      Johnglas,

      I am delighted you asked me that question. Why do we need theory in the building industry? I have been waiting for someone to ask me that question for a long while. I have been preparing my answer for as long, as you can see by the length of my post below. If I can take you on a virtual tour, our first stop should be here: If you look at the David Wetzel lecture in multimedia section at http://www.feasta.org

      Take your good time, listen to the hour long lecture and dwell on it. Even better if you own an iPod. Dave underscores the point about how little real information we have about land and property. If you are looking for possible causes of the current mess we have in, there is one very large culprit. We don’t really know the value of land. Nor furthermore, do we have any commitment within our government to find out what the value of land might be. It is one of the biggest Vodoos of all. Because during the boom years, everyone I know was speculating what Liam Carroll might be worth. What Sean Dunne might make. Or what Bono might do next. That leaves the property industry very, very vulnerable to speculative booms and busts.

      I know a bit about this, because I used to work in the computer industry for Dell. They high tech industry is rife with the same kind of speculation. At the height of the dot.com era, a venture capitalist famously said, perhaps internets stocks are under valued! Within that context it is almost impossible to organise resources efficiently. (Think of the major architectural practices as an example) How are professions supposed to develop any competency in building construction and sustainability. If the plug keeps getting yanked? Just as designers and property developers begin to get their head around the problem, they are wiped out quicker than they started. It is very easy to do what Frank McDonald does, and quickly point fingers at developers. But if you study David Wetzel’s lecture, you will see the problem is much deeper than that.

      All this background information I hope serves to illustrate the high points and low points I have gone through in the course of my involvement with building professions. But nothing could have prepared me for the experience when I sat down one evening to watch Prime Time, and a building site, which myself and my fellow architects/engineers/project managers had spent 40-50 hour weeks, for many years, working to develop, was suddenly being levelled to the ground! I learned something that night about the country I live in. About the property industry in general. How far a distance our best public servants can manage to travel away from the ideals of integrity and fair play.

      I flicked through a friend’s book today, by Robert J. Shiller called The Subprime Solution. A very poor book as economics books go in my opinion. (Couldn’t say that to my friend) But it did have significance to me for one reason. The author wrote a book about the stock market, Irrational Exuberance a few years ago. We have an abundance of information about stock markets around the globe, upon which to base research and study. Dating back a century or so. But when Shiller took on board a project to write about the Subprime mortgages in America, he discovered to his astonishment we have almost no information about land and property. If you take that point in the whole context of economic theory, and everything to do with markets ability to discount future profits, into current prices etc, you can see how strange the property world seemed to Shiller.

      If you read books about construction contracts, and in particular about design build contracts, you will also learn that construction is a bastion of old fashioned proceedures in terms of contracting too. But that is a much longer discussion than I have time for here. I referenced to Don Topscott’s book, Wikinomics, the chapter about the global plant floor. Which should allow people here to sink their teeth into that issue, if they wish.

      I attended a conference in Dublin about tall buildings a couple of years ago. On the speaker panel that evening was Dick Gleeson, chief planner for Dublin city council. Also a valuer or surveyor from CBRE. Ken Shuttleworth, a founding partner at Foster architects. And a tall building structural engineer from Buro Happold. Anthony Reddy moderated discussion afterwards. The conclusion was that we need the state to give us better direction as to the future of tall buildings in Dublin. The problems inherent in that are pretty many, given what I have said above. It struck me as odd, because managers often base their strategy on information about the past. What information about the past could facilitate a manager to make a decision about a tall building in Ireland? Nothing. So you are back to theory, whether you like it or not.

      It means, to take certain leaps into the future we do need to build robust models and theories to work with. This is why I mention De Bono so much. He seems like a person who is too theoretical, and architects should have to worry about his teachings. But in order to soften out the spikes of the boom and bust cycle, in relation to land, in relation to development, we will have to develop better models. Better theories. We all have to sit around the table together. How many developers sat at the table, in the discussion on RTE radio one, The State We Are In? Not one. It reminds me of a thing, the Maltese architect Richard England once said to me: When I go to a site, I look for present absences, and absent presences. He could be talking about developers, at round table discussions about development, held in Ireland!

      By way of analogy, the renewable power generation companies (even state organisations such as Eirgrid in Ireland) are already talking about predictive techniques to do with the climate. So that future output of renewable energy (itself subject to terribly erratic spikes and troughs) could be predicted with great ease. To run a stable power grid on a national level at close to full capacity, you need stable predictable power. That is why 100% renewable energy generation is a non-runner in the Irish context. We will need non-renewable power generation to maintain a baseline supply of power. We are facing the same challenge in the world of construction economics I would humbly argue. I have studied Liam Carroll’s organisation up close, and from the inside. And I would have to say he built a company, and structured it, to maintain stability. But even his company can’t sustain the troughs like that of North Wall Quay. No company or bank, could be expected to operate that close to the wire.

      At the heart of the problem in North Wall Quay are two developers, Liam Carroll and Sean Dunne. At the heart of both their frustrations, is a public service institution who is ham fistedly trying to organise develop and predict future outcomes – to enable us to schedule resources, building works and to bring expertise into the project. For instance, the payment out to the architects of the North Wall Quay tower about to be demolished, was in the region of 100,000 Euros per month. That is not chump change for anyone. I have no diplomas, degrees or phDs after my name, only a name. But Dave Wetzel told me, he started in live as a bus conductor. Yet he has a better overview of the problem than many people I have heard speak. I see no attempt by our public service in Ireland to engage with the ideas of Wetzel, or any other solutions for that matter. That annoys me intensely.

      If you are interested in management and have some time to devote towards continued learning and development, I recommend looking at Clayton Christensen. Christensen is relevant to building and development why? Christensen has done much work to develop theories that help managers in situations where they lack adequate information, or data, upon which to base their decisions. (He was an advisor to Andy Grove at Intel for instance) You are familiar with the movie Minority Report? Well, Christensen’s teaching is nothing like as fanciful as pre-cognition of events before they happen. But if you spend some time, and look at his book, The Innovator’s Solution, you will see what I mean. I made this point to the editors of Plan and Construction magazine, at the wine reception after the tall buildings conference. They must have thought I was bonkers! But lets just say, I hadn’t developed my ideas very well at that time. Ken Shuttleworth overheard me talk about Dawkin’s theory of Memes that night, and my friend talking about faxes on toilet paper. But heh, I guess we make up a crowd!

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798603
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Brian: thanks for that (and I got beyond the second para. without passing out); I can see where you’re leading me, but I’m not sure I want to be seduced! You are pushing me back to the time before I became a virgin (as it were). I seem to recall that discussions about the ‘real’ value of land and property have been about forever and can lead into areas where you need to start from somewhere, i.e. you cannot start from nowhere as you suggest most ‘planners’ – in a generic sense – actually do. I have been criticised in these posts for introducing ideology (shock, horror), but it’s hard to see how you can avoid it. Rather than referencing other authors (academy, again) I prefer to argue things here from first principles and actual experience (not an unworthy starting point) rather than someone else’s research (influenced by the standpoint of the researcher).
      I’ll reflect on what you say and get back to you.

    • #798604
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This discussion is at the point where it needs notjim!

      Anyway, I thought the whole thing with economics was that no one knows how it works.

      To do architecture, you have to blank out all of that stuff, you have to suspend normal judgements on the cost of things and try and squeeze every drop of design potential out of the given site, all the time hoping to Christ that the ‘added value’ will match the ‘additional costs’, so that some bastard with a calculator doesn’t shoot it down before it gets off the ground.

      On Brian’s point that Liam Carroll ‘imported’ the concept of private apartment dwelling into Ireland, in the face of the professional opinion of the estate agency community that it wouldn’t work, for the record, I don’t think that’s actually the way it happened.

      The way I remember it, all the early Zoe schemes were actually terraces of tiny multi-level houses, even Fisherman’s Wharf (phase 1) and Grove Road were essentially terraced houses, it was only after these schemes sold out like hot cakes, despite the fact that they looked like apartments, that the penny dropped and all subsequent Zoe schemes simply morphed into apartment blocks and, before you could say ‘shoebox’, the profits went through the roof. I could be wrong about the sequence of events, but think it was at this point, after Zoe had proved that it could be done, that the first tax incentive kicked in, and the rest, as they say, is history.

      If I have remembered these events correctly, it may suggest that studying the complexities of development economics is no substitute for old fashioned Trial and Error!

    • #798605
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      On Brian’s point that Liam Carroll ‘imported’ the concept of private apartment dwelling into Ireland, in the face of the professional opinion of the estate agency community that it wouldn’t work, for the record, I don’t think that’s actually the way it happened.

      Probably not, but its a nice story!
      I listened to one a De Bono interview on You Tube, and he said an Irish business man who read his book, and is now very wealthy, came recently to meet him and thank him.
      I wouldn’t be at all surprised . . . .

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798606
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      That could have been Denis!

    • #798607
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I have read historical accounts of the Roosevelt administration in the US, and the institutions it introduced back in the 1930s, to try and stablise the financial and governance system there. We seem to find it very easy to introduce incentive type instruments dealing with the city, but it appears difficult to do anything, that will improve stability at a more systemic level. You might think, as part of the regeneration, that DDDA would have come up with some strategy to encourage retailers in places like Sheriff St by now.

      Instead, we are building retail spaces that lie idle for years. In the State We are In, on Radio One, Bucholz stresses this point in relation to apartment schemes here in Ireland during the 1990s. Maybe the government should have waved the rates in regeneration areas for a period, or something. Especially, in those years when we had the money to spend. Instead tenants are often crucified by charges, to move into units which are miles away from civilisation. Yet the inclusion of commercial ground floor space enables DDDA to have pipe dreams about creating ‘mixed use’. Here I think Johnglas’s point about simply walking around an area on foot, is highly relevant.

      Even if the docklands region produced some daft ‘over subsidised’ idea like this:

      http://sustainablerotterdam.blogspot.com/2008/09/club-watt-worlds-first-sustainable.html

      I am always reminded of how ‘Eco-Cabs’ managed to hide behind the hanky of sustainability and ‘green-ness’ to enable it to pedal a plastic object at 2 miles and hour, down the most crucial bus lane artery of the entire city centre – that of Dawson St. I think it is a dispicable mis-use of the sustainable concept, to grab territory that shouldn’t belong to them. But nevertheless, it doesn’t undermine the overall concept of incentives for trying new ideas. But in allowing the Eco-Cab to let lose on streets like Dawson St, DCC have done no favours to forwarding the cause of sustainability. They have managed to confound some deep seated suspicions of old world organisations like Dublin Bus that sustainability is a pile of hype. (I wonder if these local authorities have any talent at PR at all)

      You can dowload a podcast of Sudjic speaking about his Endless city book here to iTunes or Quicktime:

      http://www.businessweek.com/mediacenter/podcasts/innovation/innovation_03_05_08.htm

      Its a book that might find its way into a christmas stocking or two this xmas. Its a book aimed at people who shape cities, who makes policies. I suppose the point to make about a book such as Endless city, is the kind of dashboarding of good information it provides. John Thackara makes this point several times also, about the need in the modern world to convert complex information into understandable diagrams, that can be interpreted by a wider variety of ‘stakeholders’. (For instance, Dublin Bus might have been brought on board with the concept of sustainable transport, but wasn’t)

      That was exactly the task facing the team at Dublin airport too. Where they introduced Turner and Townsend as a consultant, who helped them enable to link a costing database software, with their program management software, and subsequently output very good reports, which were simple to read and could be distributed via internet to a wide variety of people. Indeed, Edward De Bono underlines the need for it too, in some of the You Tube video clips. If DDDA had took it on board to become a reporting style of organisation, about the docklands area, it would give them a definite purpose. But, the problem remains, we don’t know very much about land, or the value it might have. Nor, have we any future strategy to tackle the lack of good, readable information.

      I do feel there is a wasted opportunity to use the resources of a bunch of high qualified people in DDDA, to contribute something useful to the greater goal. Thinking about the 1930s in America, it is time in Ireland now for some new ideas, some new approaches. We have little left to lose right now, in testing out something new. Actually, I do see some reporting going on in DDDA website, in major projects section. Even an invitation for real ‘contact’ with people. This does show some evidence of some of the right thinking.

      OPEN FORUM MEETINGS
      Come in for a CUP OF COFFEE between 7.30 and 9.00am in the National College of Ireland on Mayor Square. Our team is happy
      to meet the residents, commuters and businesses to answer any questions you might have. Our next meetings are coming up on
      • Thursday 28 February 2008
      • Thursday 13 March 2008
      • Thursday 03 April 2008
      • Thursday 17 April 2008

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798608
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      ? ? ? An aspiration for Dublin City? ? ?

      Deyan Sudjic talks about design and cities.

      http://www.dezeen.com/2008/09/15/podcast-interview-deyan-sudjic/

      The talk by Sedjic fills in some of the emptiness in my description of what ‘innovation’ might mean, in our own context. Some very good words of caution too.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798609
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m not sure where to put it but this is the most recently active DDDA thread.

      So the two disgraced directors of Anglo Irish Bank were also directors of the DDDA. Surprise, surprise Anglo was the most involved bank in the docklands and provided finance to pretty much every developer who built anything there. So the boys were both in charge of providing finance (through their personal fiefdom Anglo) and permission/direction of where to build (through their position in the DDDA) and even what to build (through their personal and indirect equity interest in various projects). In the US, they would have been clapped in irons and thrown in jail already but I’ve never heard of white collar crime being punished in this country.

      I’m not one for conspiracy theories; I’m generally happy to ascribe to stupidity what others ascribe to conspiratorial malice but this entire affair is simply grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. In other words, it stinks to high heaven.

    • #798610
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jimg wrote:

      . . . . conspiratorial malice . . . . unprecedented. In other words, it stinks to high heaven.

      . . . . or does it just add a nice layer of renaissance intrigue, as if the Medicis were down the docks, still banking, building palaces and picking popes.


      . . . we can’t say the signs weren’t there . . .

    • #798611
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Glad the penny has finally began to drop. The analogy with the game of monopoly strikes me as very appropriate. (Wasn’t it an Irish person who invented Monopoly?) At best, maybe a kind of self-organising SIM City game. Bear in mind, there was respected and reknowned architectural talent on the board too. For all the good it did. Architects musn’t be effective in monopoly games. The real people to suffer were ordinary folk who attempted to design, build and/or engineered the stuff in DDDA area – good, bad or indifferent. I hope this chapter in our urban ‘development’ puts a lot of people wise to the future.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

      @jimg wrote:

      I’m not sure where to put it but this is the most recently active DDDA thread.

      So the two disgraced directors of Anglo Irish Bank were also directors of the DDDA. Surprise, surprise Anglo was the most involved bank in the docklands and provided finance to pretty much every developer who built anything there. So the boys were both in charge of providing finance (through their personal fiefdom Anglo) and permission/direction of where to build (through their position in the DDDA) and even what to build (through their personal and indirect equity interest in various projects). In the US, they would have been clapped in irons and thrown in jail already but I’ve never heard of white collar crime being punished in this country.

      I’m not one for conspiracy theories; I’m generally happy to ascribe to stupidity what others ascribe to conspiratorial malice but this entire affair is simply grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. In other words, it stinks to high heaven.

    • #798612
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Merry Christmas all.

      Press release on ddda.ie says the following:

      One of the highlights of the year was the adoption of a new Master Plan 2008-2013 which will guide the continued successful development of the area for the next five to ten years.

      http://www.ddda.ie/index.jsp?p=94&n=105&a=1088

      Does this mean the new masterplan is now law, liffey island etc, canal etc, now has planning permission? Has John Gormley approved it?

    • #798613
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It is good hear the positive emphasis in the Docklands Authority end of year statement. To be honest, I haven’t had long enough hands on experience in developing a robust planning framework for an area as large and interesting as the Dublin Docklands. But I would observe that some of the fancy ‘jargon’ used in the titles of DDDA’s publications, does display the same problem with language as experienced by our politicians. I.e. Using the English language in a way that makes no sense to anyone – let alone themselves. I think that Liffey island is an example of a ‘Campshire’ vision that expanded beyond its original brief, to try and move laterally, to occupy the function of a whole economic regeneration strategy. It is simply typical of what designers do, when faced with a subject they have no grasp of – economics – they try to side-step around their own lack of sophistication. (Maybe if architects did attempt to improve this gap in their education, we wouldn’t see AIB becoming almost a project manager for shopping centres on the M50 motorway, and Anglo becoming visionaries for development in the docklands region) The planners really needed to invite players around the table to see what the best solution might be. Not to allow Anglo to take the table away from them altogether. What we have again here, is another symptom of ‘clutch pencil’ isolation-ism.

      The wider architectural and design communities have a lot to answer for. Both UCD and Bolton Street spent far too long sitting in ivory towers. I enjoyed many a year in an ivory towers and found people quite civil and agreeable there – but isolated. That in the global environment we live in today, is totally wrong. I hope Waterford/Limerick aren’t following the same trend. I don’t know about Queens. Designers have allowed their standards of language skills to slip down too far. It is sad to see, so many talented and resourceful people, stunted by this lack of practice in language and its use. It is a symptom of architectural and planning schools ‘separation’ from the rest of the university campus. They feel they are superior, and there is a heavy price to be paid for that. Their failure to engage that much in other campus activities such as debating and essay competitions – collective knowledge building and sharing. (Why aren’t UCD design students exhibiting their work in UCD social areas on campus? Other faculties would be delighted to see their work. We need to seriously start teaching those collaborative skills from the ground up – and award course credits as incentivisation) Architects and planners as a whole, seem full of excuses for not improving their reading/writing capabilities. You can see the results in publications by graduates further down the track. They still design their publications, as if never to be viewed by anyone. The DDDA web site even, is an example of that.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798614
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I came across this on the interweb and I thought how appropriate – Canary Dwarf looks like a shrunken pyramid, just like the Irish ponzi property market…

    • #798615
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @hutton wrote:

      I came across this on the interweb and I thought how appropriate – Canary Dwarf looks like a shrunken pyramid, just like the Irish ponzi property market…

      They should have gone a bit higher here. Below is only three stories higher than Liberty Hall

      (sorry, it does look a bit bandy)


      (c) Stephen Hanafin. Orig: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanafin/3194438829/

      Reember these?

      A bit corporate America.

    • #798616
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Some stuff from the Tribune:

      Plans for a new IFSC, dubbed East Village, have been drawn up by state-backed and private landholders in and around Dublin Port once the economic climate improves.
      http://www.tribune.ie/business/news/article/2009/feb/01/port-landowners-plan-second-ifsc-for-post-recessio/

      Bunch of stuff about George’s Quay, IFSC, North Lotts and south docks
      http://www.tribune.ie/business/news/article/2009/feb/01/developers-sitting-on-the-dock-of-the-bay/

    • #798617
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Has this series been mentioned on here yet?

      The Urban Landscape Lectures

      Dublin Docklands will be hosting three lectures in association with the Architecture Association of Ireland, the Irish Architecture Foundation and the Irish Landscape Institute, on the theme of “The Urban Landscape”.

      The first lecture is by a Rotterdam-based practice, West 8, best known for Borneo Sporenborg in Amsterdam and who have worked on a number of strategic projects for the Authority.

      Boston-based Martha Schwartz will also deliver a lecture on her work. A trained print-maker, Schwartz’s use of colour and geometry places her some way between a visual artist and a landscape architect. Her practice designed Grand Canal Square for the Authority.

      Agence Ter, a Paris-based architectural practice co-founded in 1986 by Olivier Philippe, Henri Bava and Michel Hoessler will also give a lecture on their work. In 2006 they won the RIAI competition for a Linear Park along the Royal Canal in Docklands and in 2007 they were awarded the Grand Prix du Paysage.

      All of these lecture are open to the public and free of charge. Doors open at 7pm and lectures will begin at 7.30pm sharp. There is a maximun capacity of 500 people and seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

      * 12th February 2009 West 8 – Martin Biewenga
      * 5th March 2009 Martha Schwartz Partners – Martha Schwartz
      * 26th March 2009 Agence Ter – Olivier Philippe

      http://www.ddda.ie/index.jsp?p=94&n=341&i=112

      How will you recognise me? I’ll be the one being forcibly removed from the Martha Schwartz love-in.

    • #798618
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      http://www.ddda.ie/index.jsp?p=94&n=341&i=112

      What’s the verdict?

      Personally, I’ve been resisting the whole Poolbeg thing, mostly because Poolbeg in isolation does nothing to redress the city’s under-performing relationship with the bay IMO.

      However, as presented by Martin Biewenga this evening, the case for a poolbeg quarter, as a joined up extension of Ringsend, did look quite convincing.

      You knew that, as a Dutchman, Biewenga was gagging at the bit to expand his brief and polderize the Shelley Banks and you felt that a little bit of him died when he was informed that Sandymout Strand was an untouchable EU protection zone, but still he managed to conjour up beach huts, prominades, coastal squares, linear parks and a whole new urban district where today we just see power stations and sewage treatment plants.

      I particularly liked his idea of exposing the old Great South Wall as one edge of a canal separating a denser urban strip running along the edge of the Liffey from the industrial core along the spine of Poolbeg

      Roofing over the sewage treatment works to creat a public park might be pushing it a bit far, but then again, under ground is where sewage wants to be.

      Earlier, there was a slide sequence on a project aimed at ‘greening’ the campshires, which again looked sensible and unpretentious, although I detected a fleeting appearance of the ‘Liffey Island’ in one of his slides, which passed without comment.

      It didn’t start out this way, the first twenty minutes dealt with the roofed-over route of a motorway through the centre of Madrid and a year long, Europe-wide, search for deformed pine trees! At this point, the evening threatened to turn weird with disturbing images of red, bull horn shaped, tree crutches proping up horribly twisted pine trees, and foot bridges that resembled walking under the skeleton remains of whales, closely followed by images of a related project to turn Madrid’s Avenue Portugal psychedelic with pink cherry trees and swirling pavement patterns.

      Thankfully, the Dublin projects brought comparative sobriety and near the end of the two hour lecture, and after natural selection had thinned the audience of the less committed and the weak bladdered, Biewenga turned to a couple more international projects in Palma and finally Toronto.

      The Toronto scheme looked particularly interesting and it also produced the most memorable quotes. On the existing Toronto lake-front, dense with ‘iconic’ monuments from the CNN tower down, Biewenga commented that: ”Architects with honourable ambitions had messed up the whole area”. He also drew attention to the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ need to install safety railings all over his wavy lake shore terraces.

      All in all, a good evening, be interested to hear what other people made of it.

    • #798619
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was glad I got in a question, in relation to the Bilbao effect. Martin Biewenga, is the first person I know who could put pay, to the idea that you can invite a star-chitect, and your problems are largely over, from an urban planning and designers point of view. For that, I was grateful for Martin and the DDDA organising their lecture. Here is the podcast, where I think I heard the intelligent comment about Biblao, being more than the Guggenheim museum. The podcast is to do with some program running in the US, called CEO’s for Cities.

      http://www.businessweek.com/mediacenter/podcasts/innovation/innovation_10_10_06.htm

      The podcast above talks about a subject, which I like to hear about these days, building the economy. It is something, I feel the Docklands Authority has neglected in the middle of all the social, and landscaping focus. I am positive though, that had something to do with the not-so-open and public nature of the Anglo shower, who were running the ‘financial’ side of things in the DDDA, from the get-go. Being mainly interested in generating a network of contacts with high profile developers for themselves. The worst crony capitalism witnessed anywhere. That is where the DDDA got so screwed up, and the whole country to boot, along with it.

      If you read Steven Johnson’s wonderful book, Emergence, in it he describes the behaviour of an ant colony, or a bee hive. As human beings, we tend to like concepts, such as the ‘queen bee’. We imagine that the queen bee is a central planner, organising and directing all of the other bees. When scientists studied bees, they noticed a phenomenon known as Emergent Intelligence. It has become an entire new branch of Artificial Intelligence research. I was reminded of this several times, when listening to Martin Biewenga’s lecture. I was also reminded of how, as human beings, we always want to see a central figure, in relation to our urban environments. A master architect. A big competition for one phenomenal, fantastic, shining architectural sculpture. Compare what Biewenga was saying, to the approach adopted at the Ballsbridge site.

      https://archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=7400

      Invite in the big-named architect, and make it a big splash. To ‘launch’ the project, so to speak. It is a marketing approach, totally imported from the world of business and high-tech in particular. It is meant to be cheap and plastic-y. In PR terms, it is known as the ‘paper-launch’. You simply announce a product, before you have it shipped, or even know how to build it. Sometimes years in advance of a working prototype. Often as a counter-tactic, to someone else’s premature paper-launch. (The someone else in that case, being Dublin City Council, and their ever problematic and overly descriptive, long and boring development plan documents) Frank McDonald loves paper launches. They do combine so well, with the cogs of his media-making machine, the Irish Times. But on the other hand, Frank does sift through the rubbish and always emerge with the diagrams and drawings, which say the most about ourselves as a people.

      The ‘architectural competition’ approach was adopted too, at the 9-11 site. You see it all over, and it is part of a careful orchestrated PR dance. Little whatsoever to do with the urban situation, and its need of some attention. The U2 tower competition being another example, in recent years. The Dublin Docklands Authority need to brush up on public relations however. A series of lectures before now, might have been welcome. Maybe some of the financially oriented members of its old executive, were media shy. That needs to be addressed going forward, in a new re-vitalised DDDA. There appears to be enough there to build on. I had some other notes about Biewenga’s lecture, that I am slow getting around to, but I’ll say a little more later maybe.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798620
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      West 8 Lecture.

      The Netherlands

      Much of the land in the Netherlands consists of 3005 polders, both large and small. An unintended consequence of the 20th century Dutch engineering projects was it produced a lot of beaches and amenity areas. Ever since then, the Dutch design practice of West 8 has been fascinated by the opportunities presented for using these man made amenities. Indeed the history of human created or altered environments, goes back many hundreds of years in the Netherlands. Martin Biewenga made a point on how cities produce their own wastelands. In relation to the Poolbeg peninsula I think. We could look at how these areas can be re-vitalised and drawn back into the urban fabric.

      Madrid

      Unlike in northern European locations, such as the Netherlands or Ireland, it is very easy to make a public realm in Spain. All you need to do is put out a bit of garden furniture and people do gather around each other. 7 Km of infrastructure and public realm. The river in Madrid had to be damned during construction. Only one year to collect all of the trees needed for the Madrid project. The idea was to introduce some character into the trees themselves and to avoid the ‘lolly-pop stick’ appearance of many trees obtained from commercial nurseries. Trees that grow in the wild always have some character about them, being blown by the wind, beaten down by the elements and lasted nonetheless.

      Dublin

      West 8 did a comparison with other rivers in cities they knew. Such as those in Venice, Paris, London etc. A 2 kilometre length of river in Dublin has 12 bridges. In the Dublin docklands area, much waterfront length exists. But the density of bridges is only 3 bridges per 2 kilometres of waterfront instead of 12. The proposal therefore was to increase the density of bridges in the docklands environment. West 8 also noticed many of the streets which lead to the waterfront are unattractive. The connection between major transport nodes and waterfront locations are often ill-considered. Design opportunities to link the city with the water, in better ways had been lost. Barrow Street Dart Station being one example. A scheme of bridges and routes was proposed, which would link Barrow St station, the newly completed Grand Canal Square, and beyond to a train station on the north side. When one looks at the ‘commodity, firmness and delight’ provided by the new bridge near the CHQ, once does realize how much the proposed bridges and spaces, would improve ‘flow’ through the docklands amenity space. Martin showed us some slides of Copenhagen, where a floating public swimming pool had been constructed on the edge of an existing dock. The possibilities of creating platforms, in Dublin’s docklands, by using floating jetties moored together in different arrangements, was explored in some sketches by West 8.

      Bringing ecological diversity back into the city, does require a huge amount of consultation with the stakeholders – engineers, planners, city mayors, traffic concerns etc. Not to mention property developers. A task which West 8 took upon themselves and came unstuck in relation to ‘Liffey Island’. Martin did remind us however, with a slide of the 1686 map of the Liffey river delta that docklands land is really man-made anyhow. Even as recently as the 1950s, the land for the Dublin Port container terminal didn’t exist. I had to be created by means of fill material dumped over the existing sea wall, which you can still see as you walk down through Poolbeg peninsula. The edges which originally defined the edge of Dublin city, are constantly changing. Except for those edges protected by the EU. Apart from West 8’s framework plans, other landscape design projects in the Docklands include the Royal Canal Linear Park designed by Agence Ter, a French practice. And Martha Swarthz’s completed design for Grand Canal Square. West 8 seem to be working towards a solutions to the systemic problems in cities highlighted so brilliantly by Mike Davis in his book, Planet of Slums. For instance, West 8 are doing a project for the 7km mass tourism strip at Majorca.

      http://www.west8.nl/projects/all/playa_de_palma/

      The design brief at Majorca was to look at the side of the island with a 7km beach, and dozens of high rise hotels. All the trees had been cut down, in the construction of this place. A place that is now losing money hand over fist, to the other side of the island of Majorca, which still has trees and an ecosystem very much intact. West 8 came up with a plan to re-green the mass tourism strip of 7km. To tie it back to the more natural parts of the island, by means of ecological corridors through the city. West 8 are doing a project for the waterfront in Toronto too. All of these projects are much larger and more extensive than any one development. Ecology wants to be expansive, not constrained into the ‘mini-habitats’ that urban designers provide. It is a strange turn around for modernist architects, who are all about concrete and steel buildings. They built icons all over the world, in the 20th century. Now they are trying to re-green, and to re-instate habitats which were lost in the original ‘build-out phase’. If memory serves me correct, I think Steven Holl was involved in a project in New York, where they used some old railroad infrastructure. An old steel viaduct railway line to plant a new linear green parks, at high level, through New York city. It is odd. We are doing the opposite to the 19th and 20th centuries. William McDonagh’s book Cradle to Cradle also talks about greening of roofs of ford motor company buildings, on a grand scale.

      http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McDonough

      Ken Yeang is another international architect figure, which springs to mind. His bioclimatic skyscrapers being another interesting development in recent years.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798621
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      One for the christmas stocking:

      Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape
      by F. H. A. Aalen, Kevin Whelan, Matthew Stout

      Whelan often makes the point, that no corner of the globe’s natural habitat is really virgin land, un-touched in some shape or form by human beings. I once listened to a lecture he gave about the Aran Islands, in which he explained the history of development in that place.

      B.

    • #798622
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      More shenanigans from our chums;

      http://www.etenders.gov.ie/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=APR117005

      Design, supply, construction and operation of an observation wheel. It’s mooted to be stuck in Georges Dock til they build the Abbey or Custom House Quay…

    • #798623
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Why don’t they just cut to the chase and appoint Marks Barfield?

      Or are they thinking more along the lines of Micheál O’Nuallain?

    • #798624
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      oh no.:(

    • #798625
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I think one of the D in DDDA obviously stands for Disneyland 😉

      Sod a wheel, I’d rather a fixed observation tower anyday.

    • #798626
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Paul Clerkin wrote:

      I think one of the D in DDDA obviously stands for Disneyland 😉

      Sod a wheel, I’d rather a fixed observation tower anyday.

      what like a skyscraper for example?

      are they finished with the one in belfast?

      I presume this is temporary too.

      how many are there of those things?

      does a wheel work better then a tower is it easier to make? for a public observation tourism point?

    • #798627
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Docklands authourity insists lands are safe
      THE Dublin Docklands Development Authority has rejected a claim that waste contained in land earmarked for housing could pose a threat to human health.
      http://www.dublinpeople.com/content/view/1839/55/

      However, a qualified physicist and engineer has raised serious concerns about the suitability the land intended for residential use.
      Joe McCarthy, from Sandymount, claimed that the peninsula largely consists of reclaimed land that contains a wide variety of hazardous materials from a number of different sources, dumped there over several decades.
      He said: “There is a great deal of municipal waste dumped there but there is also a certain amount of industrial waste from the old Gas Company and cinders from the original Poolbeg power station, which used to burn coal.
      “The reclamation process began in the early 1940s until the late 1970s and I think the last dumping took place there around 1981.
      “Another source of hazardous material is municipal dumping of every variety that lasted over 30 years and ended in the late 1970s.”

      “People will be able to work, live and play in total safety in the future on these lands. In some cases, developers will be required to remove contaminated material and this would be done under the requirements of the Waste Management Act.”
      She added that the redevelopment of previously contaminated lands is common practice and the authority has extensive experience in this type of work.

    • #798628
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Giant ‘London Eye’-type wheel for Dublin
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article6169697.ece

      The structure will be 20m taller than Liberty Hall but considerably smaller than the 120m Spire.

      lest they come up with something original

    • #798629
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A bit late for april fool’s??

      Maybe they can link it up with the Liffey cable car thing and make a kind of Hot Wheels loop-the-loop.

    • #798630
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s not that it wouldn’t be nice, but it’s already been done! And of course if someone had suggested this before the London Eye went up it would have been rejected.

    • #798631
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      Giant ‘London Eye’-type wheel for Dublin
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article6169697.ece

      The structure will be 20m taller than Liberty Hall but considerably smaller than the 120m Spire.

      lest they come up with something original

      when they say custom house quay I hope they mean nowhere near the customs house… they are that stupid you could seem them plonking it there!.

    • #798632
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      Giant ‘London Eye’-type wheel for Dublin

      Oh for fuck’s sake. :rolleyes:

    • #798633
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @aj wrote:

      when they say custom house quay I hope they mean nowhere near the customs house… they are that stupid you could seem them plonking it there!.

      well its not used for very much else, i think the one in belfast was put up beside the city hall while it was being refurbished, similar circumstances, anyway custom house key stretches down to commons street the other side of the inner dock.

    • #798634
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #798635
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @aj wrote:

      when they say custom house quay I hope they mean nowhere near the customs house… they are that stupid you could seem them plonking it there!.

      sites officially identified are George’s dock and CHQ- just east of the scherzer bridge by the riverboat jetty or alternatively east of Sean O’Casey bridge on the site of the old DDDA HQ/Isle of Man Steampacket Office which would I presume advance its demolition.

    • #798636
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I think the site of the old offices would be best. Would hasten their removal and the pedestrian bridge ensures easy access from all over town, would also boost footfall in CHQ which at the moment is a dessert. Blocking out a bit of the Jurys not a bad thing either.

    • #798637
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Would it not look like the emaciated famine memorial figures are queing to get on the wheel?

    • #798638
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jdivision wrote:

      I think the site of the old offices would be best.

      The best site has already been selected- the banks of the Thames.

      Regardless of location, wouldn’t it block the view of Gormley’s Aeroman from some parts of the city? What’s that you say? Only from the northside? Well that’s okay then!

    • #798639
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well if the Jameson Chimney is anything to go by the wheel will be a great success at attracting new life to the docklands:D

    • #798640
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Docklands chiefs’ big plan for Dublin Eye sparks angry backlash
      http://www.herald.ie/national-news/city-news/docklands-chiefs-big-plan-for-dublin-eye-sparks-angry-backlash-1724579.html

      Cllr Stafford pointed out that there are many unfinished projects in the Docklands area, which he believes deserve priority.

      “I think the authority should focus on work that is half done and get that completed before they start on anything else,” he said.

    • #798641
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #798642
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Is there a city that does not have a Ferris wheel?

    • #798643
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @missarchi wrote:

      Is there a city that does not have a Ferris wheel?

      melbourne has one, i drive past it on the way to a couple of projects i’m doing.

      unfortunately it wasn’t designed to withstand 5 days of 40+ degrees heat like we had in February and it cracked badly, out of action for up to 18 months while they figure out how to fix it.

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/02/2479802.htm

      i wouldn’t like to see a wheel in dublin, mostly because i get quite claustrophobic and i wouldn’t go up in it myself. an observation tower would be great, the higher the better.

    • #798644
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A rumour of Indian steel… so many so called monuments are not made in Ireland?

      Ireland needs to lose its mables this decade… otherwise the balls will drop

      Is there a passive row house area in the development plan?

    • #798645
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      so harry crosbie on the late late last night telling us how he does everything for the benefit of the nation

      25mins in
      http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1048526
      talking about the o2, libeskind, conference centre

      the parlour, his public plaza spoken about before, for outdoor gigs,cvic events and markets etc,
      partnered by ddda and dcc.

      still talking about the point village but where is it? is it happening?

      not too effected by the downturn cos he bought the land so long ago so cheaply

    • #798646
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Point Village being built, behind O2, having a launch party of sorts for public plaza next week. He way overpaid for libeskind so maybe that’s why he says it’s all for good of the peoples.

    • #798647
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Ah Harry, has to be commended for his bit he has done for the city. OK he’s made his money like all businessmen but the city would have been lacking without his contributions of entertainment venues, etc…

    • #798648
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      i thought the point village included the tower is that still going ahead?

    • #798649
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s officially stalled, the foundation is mostly intact and tarmaced over. It can be reopened in the event of an economic upturn. I can’t see the point villiage being a success without the tower though, it’s very much the focal point of the whole project

    • #798650
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      the docklands is coming on now. But 8 to 10 stories seems to be the new black!! like boxish is the word

      Can we achieve 25 stories??

      I’m just saying..

    • #798651
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @dave123 wrote:

      the docklands is coming on now. But 8 to 10 stories seems to be the new black!! like boxish is the word

      Can we achieve 25 stories??

      I’m just saying..

      aqua vetro is to be 24 stories if that helps. and I’m sure the watchtower(40) stories will get oit of the ground sooner or later

    • #798652
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @cgcsb wrote:

      aqua vetro is to be 24 stories if that helps. and I’m sure the watchtower(40) stories will get oit of the ground sooner or later

      Alto Vetro is already 16 stories and Monte Vetro will be 15 stories, so that trinity of Treasury buildings will break the landscape of 8-10 storey buildings.

    • #798653
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      yup my hat goes off to treasury and their manage a toi. inspiring stuff in these difficult times. I wonder will they go ahead whith the pint glass one? doubt it but live in hopehttp://www.treasuryholdings.com/NorthWallQuay.htm

      Also their spencer dock project: http://www.treasuryholdings.com/projectDetail.aspx?id=172

    • #798654
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Dockland’s Festival today :):

    • #798655
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A bit short of boats compared to previous years, no?

    • #798656
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Dunno if there were that many less boats than last year, but most of them were off down near the Beckett bridge, so not as visible from the centre. Also, making people pay to go on board was not a good idea, I hardly saw anyone on them, last year, they were full! Still, nice festival all the same… Dutch pancakes… **drool**

    • #798657
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.etenders.gov.ie/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=JUL121396

      DDDA are looking to lease their old HQ on CHQ short term, mentioning 1-3 years to start with. Looks like if we get the big wheel it will be plonked in George’s Dock as the bicycle terminal is being put in on the other mooted Custom House Quay location.

      Edit: thanks jd-fixed that link.

    • #798658
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      — link fixed above —

    • #798659
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      http://www.etenders.gov.ie/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=JUL121396

      DDDA are looking to lease their old HQ on CHQ short term, mentioning 1-3 years to start with.

      What?! That is fucking outrageous!! According to the article posted here, it was supposed to have been demolished in “late 2005”:
      https://archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=3786&highlight=docks+ddda+campshire

      3 and a half years later, it’s still there, obscuring progress along the north campshire and visually and physically spoiling the approach to Sean O’Casey Bridge.

      It was assumed they decided not to bother removing it til all the works further down were finishing up, then all the obstacles could be removed at once …. but now they say they want to lease it “1-3 years to start with” .. Holy mother of sweet jaysus ..

    • #798660
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Dockland’s Festival today :):

      Was down in the control room of the port on Tuesday morning as part of my thesis… Custom House and Liberty Hall make an endearing little couple from downstream. Monte Vetro also looks fantastic from that direction. More towers in Grand Canal Dock will amount to a nice local skyline.

    • #798661
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      What?! That is fucking outrageous!! According to the article posted here, it was supposed to have been demolished in “late 2005”:
      https://archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=3786&highlight=docks+ddda+campshire

      3 and a half years later, it’s still there, obscuring progress along the north campshire and visually and physically spoiling the approach to Sean O’Casey Bridge.

      It was assumed they decided not to bother removing it til all the works further down were finishing up, then all the obstacles could be removed at once …. but now they say they want to lease it “1-3 years to start with” .. Holy mother of sweet jaysus ..

      It was nice to have the luxury of this point of view for a few years during the Celtic Tiger, when the public coffers were bulging to capacity. I have to say, I think using the old CHQ headquarters should have been done years ago. I think it is a step in the right direction. It might perform the function of allowing some young enterprise to start up its business and attract some small scale activity into that area. Which it lacks greatly at the moment, because of the prsence of so many large behemoth office blocks. The more of the large type, single tenant blocks you get in the docklands area, the more convinced the builders (who hold freeholds for all the land down there remember) become, that accomodating large single tenants is the only way to go. In reality, it is the wrong way to go.

      I couldn’t care if it was a line of prefabs on the campshires personally, as long as it is doing something to provide stimulus in that area. Remember, the failure of American banks has left a complete gaping void in the docklands ‘master plan’. The master plan was devised for a different time. Its origins must be at least 25 years old at this stage. I expect some off shoot from Trinity College, or the National University of Ireland to occupy the space and start providing some kind of employment for the 50,000 or so graduates ending up on the life register this summer. The location of the CHQ headquarters is ideal for any number of projects trying to startup at the moment, looking at solutions to re-wire the economy and re-direct thousands of lives in a new direction. This public tendering process is a formality that DDDA have to go through. We have to get creative now people, get used to it. Too many lives depend on our coming up with solutions, even if they are interim solutions, as opposed to well worked out, long term sustainable development plans.

      https://archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=7692

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798662
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yeah I know gareth, everyone’s desperate for money. You should see what Meath County Council are granting permission for in a desperate rates grab out in Carton, an important 18th cen. estate which is already half wrecked by development. Belive me, it’s shocking. There’s no excuse re the old DDDA office. Clear campshires is in their masterplan. There plenty of locatinds for that type of activity; eg that huge site between Spencer Dock and Point that’s not likely to be developed now for some time … get some incubation units in there.

    • #798663
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Ferris wheel is a big no no in my books. They are ten a penny at the mo…..and even one up the road in Belfast. Can the DDDA brains that are recieving thousands in salaries not think of anything original FFS.

      The quality and look of the architecture in the docks is more important.

    • #798664
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m surprised at your line of thought there Brian. The city is swimming in vacant office space and potential start-up premises for businesses available on a short-term basis.

      Keeping the DDDA offices exhibits the same kind of thinking that sustained the former gardens of the Castle as a P&T dumping ground for so much of the 20th century. No thanks. Whack em immediately.

    • #798665
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yeah I know gareth, everyone’s desperate for money. You should see what Meath County Council are granting permission for in a desperate rates grab out in Carton, an important 18th cen. estate which is already half wrecked by development. Belive me, it’s shocking. There’s no excuse re the old DDDA office. Clear campshires is in their masterplan. There plenty of locatinds for that type of activity; eg that huge site between Spencer Dock and Point that’s not likely to be developed now for some time … get some incubation units in there.

      I still think the incubation units have to be within easy walking distance of the major campuses. At least the campshire location is still only a 5 minute walk from Trinity. When you get to Trinity college, you are also on a very fast track bus corridor to UCD campus. Imagine the CO2 emissions saved by having it all joined up in this way.

      As I have mentioned elsewhere, the developments such as Irish Life, Busarus, IFSC, CHQ all need to be re-invented and re-used to create low level activity close to the main buzz of things in Dublin city. Otherwise the economy doesn’t stand a chance of boot strapping itself up again. We need to provide floor space where it is accessible.

      I would be the first person in general though to support the argument for improving and extending the pedestrian realm.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798666
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m surprised at your line of thought there Brian. The city is swimming in vacant office space and potential start-up premises for businesses available on a short-term basis.

      The developers in Ireland don’t know how to break it up and manage the space in that way. We have not got an advanced enough model to cope with that, in either residential or commercial space. Indeed, with the way the global economy works these days, often the worker requires both flexible short term living space and working space. It is so different to what we are used to. Getting around the globe with air travel, and fibre optic technology has changed the rules so much that property management has fallen too far behind.

      The same is true of Energy generation. What is starting to happen is a new intermediate layer of information technology is creeping in between the supplier and the consumer. The intermediate player is looking at how energy is produced and how the consumer is using it and when. We need a similar thing to happen with property. The dafts, my homes, etc looked interesting because they live on the internet rather than in a physical auctioneers office. But we need to push this a lot further.

      In simple terms, property management has to borrow some of its approach today from the utility companies. It would be ideal if people with utility scale experience moved into property management. In the same way that Amory Lovins remarked about the automobile industry. That many executives from the aeronautical industry who understand modern materials, fuel efficiency etc are now working for Ford, GM etc.

      I suppose the big thing to watch in Dublin is trends with projects like the old Irish Times site on D’olier Street. The clever thing is that the Irish Times was housed in a new and larger building on Tara Street if I am not mistaken. From an Irish Times point of view, it is off the beaten track. But from a Tara Street point of view, it can welcome its new visitor with open arms. The move allowed for the Fleet Street/D’olier Street site to be opened up for re-development. Now the next stage, of projects such as this, is to make very clever use of the old site on the main thoroughfare. That demands us to develop a new model for how we effectively and creatively manage property.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798667
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @garethace wrote:

      The developers in Ireland don’t know how to break it up and manage the space in that way.

      Given nearly everything designed and built in last five years had break up options of some description I’d fundamentally disagree with that idea

    • #798668
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jdivision wrote:

      Given nearly everything designed and built in last five years had break up options of some description I’d fundamentally disagree with that idea

      I am more than delighted for someone to disagree, it would make the outlook for the Irish economy a lot better. But I still get the intense feeling that commercial space is overhanging the market, with landlords hoping against hope, to try and land that one large tenant. It is like the mythical white unicorn out there at the moment, but I suppose hope springs eternal. Some old dinosaurs want to believe that the Celtic Tiger isn’t dead yet.

      I don’t think that the solutions will come from within property management itself. I have some idea of how an Energy Services Company is going to work. It basically involves a lot of two-way communication through information technology systems between the consumer of power and the intermediate player, positioned between the consumer and the producer. The basic idea of the Smart Meter is that it broadcasts large volumes of information back to the producer or intermediate player. It is up to one of those two, to interpret the information that is coming back to them in order to understand the behaviour of the consumer. It helps the consumer him or herself too of course, to look at themselves and perhaps alter their behaviours in a way they judge fit. For instance, how many times a day do I boil a kettle etc. I think the ESCo can operate on the principle of nega-watts. The more energy consumption that the ESCo can save or reduce, the better it gets paid. It is like the opposite to the old formula, where the power utility encouraged you to use more.

      I would welcome a situation in Ireland, where people were allowed to switch jobs for a year or two at least. For instance, someone in property management to go to work for Bord Gais or some other ESCo. To find out how they deal with the problem and develop and build information technology solutions. That notion of sharing of skills between different industries amounts to what I would call a really ‘smart’ economy. I left behind the small incestuous world of architects a number of years ago, to work in the larger and more shark invested waters of the engineering, project management and construction industry. You might argue it wasn’t a very large step to make, but the culture was different. Engineers tend to be more enterprising and swear a lot more. Often they engage in wrestling matches to settle matters between one another. This would seem strange within the architectural culture, where hand bags and bitch-iness are the preferred option. I attended a xmas party with some old architect friends a couple of years ago, and they wondered what had happened to me. Why was I now so ‘different’ to them. I would argue, that moving between different industries makes one much ‘smarter’ than the average bear.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798669
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This is about:

      Dragging the property business in Ireland out of the Celtic Tiger and into the modern age.

      The modern airplane needs an onboard computer in order to fly. I think that property in Ireland has come to that stage. We need the government to fund a project in order to write the code necessary. We don’t have a building bust in Ireland so much as a cronic shortfall in our ability to gain use out of the large buildings that we build. We haven’t develop a sufficiently robust model for rental in either the commercial or residential sectors. I am not holding my breath for Daft, My Home or any of the developers to come up with these goods either. The trouble is, we have too much financial innovation happening at the wrong stage in the building process. All kinds of weird and wonderful things seem to happen at the point at which debt (read toxid debt) is created. Richard Douthwaite and Feasta can explain that a lot better than I can.

      http://constructireland.ie/Vol-4-Issue-4/Articles/Economy/How-Ireland-might-avoid-bankruptcy-with-energy-innovation.html

      The trouble is we do not have enough finanical innovation aimed at the point where the project is completed and needs to be fully used. In the early history of the Irish state a young fellow named Gordon Clarke wrote the first computer program in Ireland. His job was to cut out a lot of the administration needed in running the sugar beet plants in Ireland. So they invested in some large behemoth computers the size of a room. I saw a print out of what farmers got from this computer. It had to account for all kinds of things. Some farmers were obtaining finanical assistance from the sugar beet plant in order to sow the crop. They also obtained a quantity of molassas from the plant, which presumably was used as cattle feed. They also had to be paid for the beet crop they produced. The computer was needed to calculate and report all of that. Before the computer arrived it took rooms full of people with sheets of paper to do.

      A large single tenant is often used in Ireland to disguise the fact that there is basically something wrong with the property management models we are using. When there is a large single tenant the problems seem to go away. But do they really? How sustainable is it for every developer to be producing large floor plates and then hoping to sign up the one tenant. We need robust computer models to calculate costs of floor plate area dynamically for enterprise that will scale up and down in size over the years. We need to provide finance to the business startup, as well as charge for the floor space use. Like we did with the sugar beet farmers so many years ago. Gordon later moved on to work at AerLingus. In those days, it was a really difficult job trying to calculate the value of rapidly depreciating airline tickets. It was another area in which computers found an early application in Ireland and in many countries throughout the world.

      Ireland has the opportunity to become a world pioneer in the area of land valuation and property management. We could turn a big negative, into a big plus if we wanted to. We could sell our product to industry and governments all over the world. We need to think big enough. If we made this a project the state should organise we could tackle all kinds of problems. At the moment we have a couple of voluntary think tanks, a couple of university do-good-ers such as Constantin Gurdgiev looking around for a single PHd student in Dublin to do a thesis on calculating land values. This is hardly the scale of enterprise that is going to crack open this problem for Ireland or anyone else. We need the state to get involved and to think much more ambitious. We need to give all of those unemployed financial wizards and software engineers in Ireland something useful and sustainable to do with their lives. While they are still around to do anything.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #798670
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Report on Newstalk there on how a ‘Dublin Eye’ is being proposed for beside The Point.

      How original.

    • #798671
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Bluetonic wrote:

      Report on Newstalk there on how a ‘Dublin Eye’ is being proposed for beside The Point.

      How original.

      Don’t be so cynical.

      It will be an Irish Eye. Not smiling as per the old cliche but certainly seeing no evil and given to the knowing wink.

      DDDA land is the perfect location. I imagine the rights have already been agreed, (regardless of the annoying restrictions of planning schemes).

    • #798672
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Bluetonic wrote:

      Report on Newstalk there on how a ‘Dublin Eye’ is being proposed for beside The Point.

      How original.

      So let me get this straight:

      1. A giant cartwheel
      2. A giant fireplace
      3. A 110ft “Giant Man”.
      4. A giant ‘Wire Man’
      5. ‘Suas’ cable cars

      What a fucking joke. :rolleyes:

    • #798673
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Now that we have the ‘Giant Harp’ (Beckett Bridge) we should follow this indigenous theme rather than copying others.

      I suggest:
      The Giant Leprechaun
      The Giant Shilelagh
      The Giant Shamrock

      That would bring the people flocking… 😉

    • #798674
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I liked the giant man idea, a bit more original than a Dublin Eye.

    • #798675
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Bit more original but still a derivation from the artists ‘Angel of the North’

    • #798676
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Clarification Re Statement on behalf of Point Village

      Contrary to the impression given in a statement issued today, 22 July 2009
      on behalf of the Point Village, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority
      has made no decision on a site for an observation wheel. The Authority
      is currently involved in a tender process considering Expressions of
      Interest for supply, construction and operation of an observation wheel
      for a number of sites in the Docklands area.

      However, we understand that Crosbie Property Holdings are in discussions
      with wheel suppliers for a similar project at a site in the Point Village.

    • #798677
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      So……that means we could be getting, not one, but two wheels?

    • #798678
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @darkman wrote:

      So……that means we could be getting, not one, but two wheels?

      Well since a new wheel would be the only landmark of any note, you really need two of them. This way, when you go on the wheel you can look at the other wheel.

    • #798679
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @rumpelstiltskin wrote:

      Well since a new wheel would be the only landmark of any note, you really need two of them. This way, when you go on the wheel you can look at the other wheel.

      hahaha 😀

    • #798680
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      heard Matt Cooper on the radio announcing this as good news. Turned him off at that point. Realistically what is there to look at in Dublin..Liberty hall and a whole pile of urban sprawl. I can see the top of the spire from here…Woo hoo.

      Is there any originality anywhere anymore or does everything in this country have to be a carbon copy of what it done in London or the UK. From RTE programmes to this big wheel crap..terrible.

    • #798681
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      How about one of those slender observation towers that you see in places like Toronto and Seattle. It might not be original either, but at least it’s not an obvious copy of London. You could even give it a unique design for Dublin.

    • #798682
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @DGF wrote:

      That would bring the people flocking… 😉

      the thread was 1 year to the official crash to the dayish…
      And they shoot the messenger go figure…

      Small portable wheels are ok with LED’s I reckon but not original…
      We have two here the big one is broken… I don’t see it being viable unless its free rides or it will only function when there are concerts.

      Everything so far to me indicates that Ireland enjoys being a pirate sailing the seven seas
      and it is sanctioned and rewarded it doesn’t like hot chips.

      horses for courses…

    • #798683
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @vkid wrote:

      Is there any originality anywhere anymore or does everything in this country have to be a carbon copy of what it done in London or the UK.

      Vienna has had a huge ferris wheel as one of its most enduring symbols for over a century.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiener_Riesenrad

    • #798684
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Ah, but designed by an Englishman! They get their pawprints in every which way.

    • #798685
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Ah, but designed by an Englishman! They get their pawprints in every which way.

      Perfidious Albion once more… they’ve been planning this for about 130 years.

    • #798686
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      1

    • #798687
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Looks like short of a red light Harry C will do anything to get footfall down to his Point Village white elephant.

      From today’s Indo

      RECYCLED shipping containers will be used to build a new public space next to the O2 music venue.

      The Parlour will form part of the Point Village development, near Dublin Port, new plans reveal.

      The area will be used to host free outdoor events including concerts, theatre, ceilis, political rallies and a weekly produce market.

      Dublin City Council said that temporary planning permission of up to five years would be sought, and that the Parlour was expected to be completed early next summer. The cost would be minimal.

      A council spokesman said: “It’s not a temporary structure in the sense that we know it.

      “There’s not going to be development there for some time in the current climate, and the purpose of this is to animate a space that would otherwise be unused.

      “This is a huge opportunity with a new Luas terminating at the site, and will give that whole side of the city a new space.”

      Architects LiD Architecture have won a design competition organised by Dublin City Council and entrepreneur Harry Crosbie, owner of the O2, which will see 116 shipping containers arranged in a giant square at the front of the venue.

      A giant €10m ferris wheel, similar to the London Eye, is also planned for the site.

      Meanwhile, the O2 Arena, has attracted record number of visitors since last year.

      The venue is fully booked for the next 18 months, and according to the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, generates more than €100m a year for the Dublin economy.

      jlast@herald.ie

    • #798688
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hey dont knock Harry. If there’s one guy with his head screwed on its him

    • #798689
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Rusty Cogs wrote:

      political rallies and a weekly produce market

      THIS is what Dublin needs.

      If the city had any sense it will do everything it can to fill that market with international food, street food etc. – it’s something barely any cities in Europe have, a top class market… in a top class location.

      And Dublin sorely lacks a space for political rallies.

      EDIT: Here are the images:

      Must have been slim pickings in that competition..

    • #798690
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      why would you ever have a rally in docklands? waste of time…

    • #798691
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      So Dublin’s ”Parlour” is an empty container yard! . . . . what does that tell us?

    • #798692
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Oh dear !
      There are some good examples of good container architecture but this just looks weak from those few images . It doesnt seem to sit well , maybe its too contained . I wonder what Joe Bloggs will think of this new venue . It looks rather depressing actually .

    • #798693
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      So Dublin’s ”Parlour” is an empty container yard! . . . . what does that tell us?

      I give up on this city 🙁

    • #798694
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It does look rather depressing – if done right it could a cool grimey/underground sort of feel to it which would sit well with music and entertainment but political rallies? NOT going to happen in anything that looks remotely like that.

      Political rallies occur in areas associated with the wealth and management of a country, not in self-consciously “cool” designated areas. If The Parlour was a large neo-georgian square with statues and fountains, yeah, but this?!

      Also, a market place is going to look pretty horrid sitting in there. Dublin needs some thing like a much larger version of the English Market in Cork – desperately.

    • #798695
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well, people are always talking about architectural context – nothing more contextual to the Docklands than containers. I think it’s a very interesting idea, although I’ll reserve judgement until I see it. It could be an aesthetically pleasing commentary on the whole enterprise of turning a grimy industrial area into a pleasant urban environment. But I suppose most people on here would prefer a classical fountain and brass sculptures of Sheridan and Bram Stoker.

    • #798696
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      can anyone find the original sketch for the parlour

    • #798697
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @rumpelstiltskin wrote:

      But I suppose most people on here would prefer a classical fountain and brass sculptures of Sheridan and Bram Stoker.

      Or Bram Stoker drinking Sheridan while stood in a brass fountain!

      It’s odd that your attachment to gritty urbanism didn’t extend to the Loopline bridge:

      Quote:

      ”this monstrosity . . . its bulky blackness lacks any elegance whatsoever”.

      We’ll see what elegance bulky containers add. I just hope nobody hurts themselves on the cutting edge.

    • #798698
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Or Bram Stoker drinking Sheridan while stood in a brass fountain!

      It’s odd that your attachment to gritty urbanism didn’t extend to the Loopline bridge:

      Quote:

      ”this monstrosity . . . its bulky blackness lacks any elegance whatsoever”.

      We’ll see what elegance bulky containers add. I just hope nobody hurts themselves on the cutting edge.

      Yes we will. I don’t pre-judge any future scheme on the basis of the materials used, I judge based upon whether or not it is likely to be aesthetically pleasing and even challenging when it’s complete. Give me a reason why we should be acting like the gaggle of menopausal fishwives on this website who bitch and moan about every single last thing that is proposed that is not a reserved, highly contextual redbrick infill in a historic streetscape. If it’s built and it’s shit, tear it down. It’s not any more likely to be shit than everything else in the Docklands, and I’d say it’s a lot more likely to be less. And this particular work is not a necessarily very long-term structure built right in front of and blocking the view of, say, Leinster House.

    • #798699
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @rumpelstiltskin wrote:

      Give me a reason why we should be acting like the gaggle of menopausal fishwives on this website . . . .

      we’re trying to keep a Dublin tradition alive, alive O!

    • #798700
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      rumpelstiltskin you need raise your expectations on all things

    • #798701
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @rumpelstiltskin wrote:

      But I suppose most people on here would prefer a classical fountain and brass sculptures of Sheridan and Bram Stoker.

      Damn straight.

    • #798702
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #798703
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      the cargo box parlour, a big wall to keep from view the events to be held within

    • #798704
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      the cargo box parlour, a big wall to keep from view the events to be held within

      U2 erected a fence in Germany there where many unhappy punters IT didn’t even cover it and they celebrating the fall of the Berlin wall!

    • #798705
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      well its they said it was about crowd control, which they have a point, don’t want people gathering outside, but its just as much about being exclusive

    • #798706
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @missarchi wrote:

      U2 erected a fence in Germany there where many unhappy punters IT didn’t even cover it and they celebrating the fall of the Berlin wall!

      MTV organised that fence not U2.

    • #798707
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m still waiting for a classical fountain and brass sculptures of Sheridan and Bram Stoker.

      Neo-reneissance baby.

    • #798708
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve been looking at the Treasury plans for the Docklands and they certainly have a decent few scrapers planned. Are they all going ahead?

      I’m talking about Convention Centre Hotel and North Wall Quay etc.

    • #798709
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #798710
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Tycoon Crosbie ready for docklands dispute over container village

      http://www.herald.ie/national-news/city-news/tycoon-crosbie-ready-for-docklands-dispute–over-container-village-1998035.html

      Harry Crosbie and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) are at loggerheads over new plans for land beside the O2.

      The developer has applied to Dublin City Council to be allowed to set up a temporary performance and market area at the Point Village Square on East Wall Road.

      He also wants to install exhibition spaces, all in structures built from shipping containers.

      However, the DDDA has written to the council outlining its strong objections to the plan.

      The authority said it believes it is important to provide “quality public open space at early stages in the development of an area”.

      It added that the “proposal is unacceptable in terms of the material finishes proposed”.

      The DDDA said: “The proposed temporary development is not in the spirit of policies set out in the Dublin Docklands Master Plan 2008 or the North Lotts Planning Scheme.”

      A submission from Amphitheatre Ireland Ltd, the operator of the O2, said it considers the proposal would have a “significant negative impact” on the venue.

      if they used all the containers for exhibition spaces, with lots of windows cut out, or viewing platforms it could work.
      well it attempt to reflect the history of the area, might not work but.
      he ‘s building an amphitheatre the plan certainly didn’t look like one?

    • #798711
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0203/1224263657516.html

      http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0203/incinerator.html

      So after misplacing the decimal point in the contract for the Poolbeg Sewage Treatment Plant, Dublin City Council then signed a Faustian covenant with an furnace outfit called . . . . wait for it . . . . Covanta to [build and?] operate the Poolbeg Rubbish Incinerator.

      Poolbeg, apparently, is that dank, out of sight, corner of the garden where you stick the compost bin and cracked flower pots :rolleyes: . . . . nice

      You would like to think that there’s some master plan at work here, some strategy perhaps to harness the prevailing winds in a devious ploy to deposit noxious odours and toxic fall-out on Sellafield, but unfortunately, I suspect that Poolbeg just happens to be the only patch of ground that Dublin City Council actually own that’s not within half a mile of some third-party-objector’s house.

      The fact that Poolbeg also happens to be the focal point of Dublin Bay and the city’s [potential] one true urban edge, was never going to get in the way of a good deal and Covanta, presumably, were selling a good deal.

    • #798712
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Is there any chance The DDDA, the man in the river, the canal city gimmick, crosbies trucker yard and every other shiny gimmick and suburban ivory tower element in the portfolio can be given a one way ticket to Dignitas HQ and some kind of temple bar group 91 esque group of architects etc left in charge of creating a possible last urban extension to the city centre??!! A real, consistant medium rise urban quarter with shops, cafes, people, parks. Are we allergic to Urbanism? siiiiiiigh

    • #798713
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Bago wrote:

      Is there any chance of . . . . . a real, consistant medium rise urban quarter with shops, cafes, people, parks. Are we allergic to Urbanism? siiiiiiigh

      With that in mind, it’s worth looking at what has been devilered in the docklands to date:


      the theatre is a genuine signiture building which is going to fill the architectural mags for the next few months, but how is whole urban quarter thing working out?


      there’s one semi-diagonal cut that ends in a bit of a vista of the old brick chimney and a bit of the side wall of the new theatre, but even this is a bit half-hearted and interupted by a glass security barrier.

      I know this is a Sunday in February, but is there something missing? Is this ‘cool’, or is this sterile?


      stone cladding, glass, concrete and steel . . . . and a missed vista to the NCC


      more stone cladding, glass, concrete and steel


      the vista from the quays ends in an anonymous bit of the side cladding [stainless steel] of the new theatre.

      Better photography would probably make this look fantastic, but is it fantastic?

    • #798714
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Those photographs are fantastic. I didn’t know that Dublin had this sleek side to it (on such a wide scale), However, without a doubt it does look quite soulless and cold.
      Are these buildings fully occupied or are they standing empty?

      Side note: That new theatre really is a great addition to the city.

    • #798715
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      From Liberty Hall with all de new stuff:

      .jpg[/IMG]

    • #798716
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s really cold, I don’t think parts of it work. Parts are really successful however.

    • #798717
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Great shots devin, cheers.

      What is the state of play in the docklands now? What has been affected? Is spencer dock still under construction in full? Is the north lotts plan dead in the water?

    • #798718
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:


      the vista from the quays ends in an anonymous bit of the side cladding [stainless steel] of the new theatre.

      Better photography would probably make this look fantastic, but is it fantastic?

      Bit like the graphics from a late 90s computer game!

    • #798719
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Video walk through Dublin’s Docklands

    • #798720
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      One upshot of the whole DDDA débacle is that we’ll probably never again attempt to hothouse the regeneration of a whole urban district in this way, and this would be a real shame.

      Urban regeneration needs to be incubated, it needs to be tended to and fostered, if you try an let nature take it’s course, nine times out of ten, it withers and dies, but at the other extreme, if you just pump it full of commercial steroids, you create a monster.

      We’re probably going to hear a lot in the coming days about how the DDDA was riddled with fundamental flaws and systemic failures [all the current jargon], but the real problem was probably the same old flaw that you find in every ultra pro-active agency; people getting carried away and making bad judgements.

      To me, the first sure indication that sound judgement had left the DDDA building was the whole ‘Liffey Island’ saga. No agency with a real understanding of Dublin, let alone one charged with regenerating a significant chunk of the city, would have allowed a concept as daft as that out of the think-tank and into the Liffey [almost].

      But again, that’s not a fundamental, systemic, flaw, it’s just someone high up not exercising sound judgement when it was called for and the consequences of that are not just that buckets of public money went down the tubes, it’s that no politician will now be brave enough to set up something like the DDDA again, when this is exactly the time when we need pro-active powerful agencies to drive and direct urban regeneration and stop the next wave of development falling into the hands of the headless chickens that ran the roost the last time.

      That’s proably enough mixed metaphors for one post.

    • #798721
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Here here!

    • #798722
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      (there may well be a thread for this but my search function is bust)

      What was going to be Anglo’s new headquarters on the north Quay’s, the concrete skeleton owned by the property developer formally known as Liam Carroll. I understand that premission to retain this building is currently with An Bord Pleanala and has been for over a year.

      Does anyone know if ABP is planning on making a decision on this any year soon ?

    • #798723
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      From the Irish Times today

      Time for DDDA to be put out of its zombie-like misery

      The key question about the Dublin Docklands Development Authority is whether it has any use or purpose now, writes FRANK MCDONALD

      IT IS no accident that the longest stretch of the Liffey Quays is named after James Butler, the great Duke of Ormonde. He had spent the Cromwellian years in exile with King Charles II in Paris and was so impressed by quays on the Seine that, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland after the Restoration in 1660, he ordained that Dublin’s relationship with its river should be similarly reordered.

      The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) and its top people either didn’t know or care about this essential historical fact, or its implied imperative that the line of the Liffey quays simply had to be retained. With supreme arrogance, they devised an “Occupy the River” project in collaboration with Dutch architects, involving the creation of an island between Spencer Dock and The Point.

      First presented as a concept to the DDDA’s board in November 2005, it was fleshed out a year later by director of architecture John McLaughlin and West 8 Architects from Rotterdam as “Liffey Island: a new canal would define the northern, eastern and western edges with high-density, high-rise buildings, including skewed towers pushing out into the Liffey”, as Declan Brassil Co’s planning report notes.

      The Dutch know all about making land; they’ve been doing it for centuries. But the most apt role model for what the DDDA had in mind was surely Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Makhtoum, the ruler of Dubai, with his artificial islands in the Arabian Gulf. The object of the exercise, both there and here, was to manufacture real estate – in Dublin’s case, by creating a “mini-Manhattan” rising up from the river.

      It was in pursuit of this audacious idea that the DDDA made an agreement with Liam Carroll, after he acquired the Brooks Thomas site on North Wall Quay. Under this dubious deal, he agreed to cede to the authority, free of charge, some of the land it needed as a springboard for “occupying the river” in return for its green light for an office development that contravened its own North Lotts Planning Scheme.

      It is deeply ironic and coincidental that this was to be the future headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank, given that its chairman, Seán FitzPatrick, was a member of the DDDA’s board and Lar Bradshaw, the DDDA’s chairman, was a non-executive director of Anglo. And the bank was providing a loan of €293 million for the acquisition of the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend by a consortium that included the DDDA.

      By then, of course, the DDDA had lost the run of itself entirely. It didn’t need to own a quarter of the Ringsend site (valued at “Nil” in its most recent accounts) since it would ultimately be exercising its planning powers to determine what was built there. But there was an atavistic determination to revert to old Custom House Docks site scenario under which the authority held actual ownership, rather than mere control.

      It was the inherent conflict between its dual role as a development agency and planning authority that led to the DDDA coming a cropper. In the North Lotts case, as the Brassil report points out, other property owners there were “entitled to rely on the fact that any development undertaken would be consistent with” the statutory planning scheme, in the interests of “transparency, fairness and equity”.

      When one of them, Seán Dunne, sought a judicial review of the deal it had done with Liam Carroll, the game was up. Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan, in her October 2008 judgment, upheld Dunne’s complaint of bias on the DDDA’s part and quashed its decision to approve Carroll’s office development for Anglo Irish Bank on the basis that it did not comply with the terms of the North Lotts Planning Scheme.

      Paul Maloney, the DDDA’s former chief executive, is now being portrayed as having been engaged in a series of “solo runs”. But whatever about details being withheld from the board, the minutes show that its members – including Mary Moylan, assistant secretary in the Department of the Environment – were not only aware of but gave their approval to the fateful decisions that led to the present debacle.

      However, as the Brassil report says, “there has been a ‘light touch’ approach by the Department both in relation to its wider sponsorship of the authority and its planning responsibilities”. The DDDA was perceived as a “success”; after all, it had the “considerable achievement” of having engineered the “dramatic transformation” of Dublin’s Docklands, so why rock the bureaucratic boat?

      The direct result of all these shenanigans is that the DDDA is in a “fragile position”, as its new chairwoman, Prof Niamh Brennan, has conceded. Although the loans associated with the Irish Glass Bottle site transaction have now been reversed into Nama, the authority must pay interest (€5 million a year) to Anglo and is “incapable of operating on a break-even basis with this annual liability”.

      But really, the financial issue is a red herring that should not distract attention from the more fundamental question about whether the DDDA has any purpose or utility at this stage. Most of its top people are now gone, staff numbers have been slashed by more than half over the past year and, whereas Prof Brennan is unimpeachable, the organisation over which she presides has entered a zombie-like state.

      It can no longer do anything – good, bad or indifferent – and should be put out of its misery as quickly as possible, leaving Dublin City Council to assume planning powers over the Docklands area.

      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      That’s all grand and all, but with the honourable exception of Cagey, Rusty Cogs and an assortment of other archiseek oddballs, why was nobody else saying this at the time?

      The minute we first set eyes on this ”Liffey Island” / ”new canal” scheme it was clear as day that someone in the DDDA had lost the run of themselves, but yet it didn’t seem to set off any alarm bells in any of the usual places.

      I know there was an air of unreality about the latter days of the Tiger era, but you’d still have expected that someone in the higher echelons of the civic body [and with a salary to match] might have raised their hand to ask a question.

    • #798724
      admin
      Keymaster

      I think the debate on this had already taken place re their equally dumb proposal to float the Abbey in Georges Dock; I didn’t see the point in discussing it because like so many starchitect proposals around that time it was obviously never going to happen for two reasons.

      1. The heritage movement would splinter into the continuity salafia faction using the judicial review *50 route if consent were secured after six months in ABP.

      2. The market had no appetite for such a product as island based offices would have not been able to produce enough retail or parking to service office and residential high rise; as big as the river is the space available would be too small once retaining walls were subtracted.

      Clearly the CHDDA era was very successful but that was because they had British Land and Hardwicke underwriting it; it was also accompanied by a tax break that was location specific to Financial Services; that went sometime around 2000 and once it went financial services companies decamped to locations as remote as Wexford.

      What to do next with this key development zone? For starters don’t spend a fortune on an in depth inquiry; secondly build any new structure in a manner that dovetails with both Nama the principal landowner and Dublin City Council the local authority. If one lesson is to be learned from this it is that local authorities should not be competing in the same City; a coherent plan is required to get the north docklands fully developed in time for the interconnector’s delivery in 2018.

    • #798725
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @PVC King wrote:

      I think the debate on this had already taken place re their equally dumb proposal to float the Abbey in Georges Dock; I didn’t see the point in discussing it because like so many starchitect proposals around that time it was obviously never going to happen for two reasons.

      1. The heritage movement would splinter into the continuity salafia faction using the judicial review *50 route if consent were secured after six months in ABP.

      2. The market had no appetite for such a product as island based offices would have not been able to produce enough retail or parking to service office and residential high rise; as big as the river is the space available would be too small once retaining walls were subtracted.

      Clearly the CHDDA era was very successful but that was because they had British Land and Hardwicke underwriting it; it was also accompanied by a tax break that was location specific to Financial Services; that went sometime around 2000 and once it went financial services companies decamped to locations as remote as Wexford.

      What to do next with this key development zone? For starters don’t spend a fortune on an in depth inquiry; secondly build any new structure in a manner that dovetails with both Nama the principal landowner and Dublin City Council the local authority. If one lesson is to be learned from this it is that local authorities should not be competing in the same City; a coherent plan is required to get the north docklands fully developed in time for the interconnector’s delivery in 2018.

      I don’t know about the – ”never goin’ to happen theory” – there were a lot of guys in suits presenting this scheme, and none of them looked like the kind you’d associate with kite flying.

      I suspect that they had it in mind to mine the campshire for a Smithfield-style two-storey underground car park, although in no way would have that made the concept less ludicrous.

      To be honest with you I don’t think this scheme ever entered the consciousness of the continuity-salafia movement, or any branch faction thereof [and obviously we’re using ‘consciousness’ in it’s loosest sense], but I suppose we wouldn’t have really found out until long after all the decisions had been taken and work had started :rolleyes:

      It’s not that there wasn’t much discussion of the DDDA, and that scheme in particular, here, in fact, I think there were two or three threads solely dedicated to these subjects, it’s just that no one outside this little bubble seemed interested, – there were none of the usual irate letters to the editor, or ill-tempered spats on Pat Kenny, or whatever, all the usual indicators of ascending dudgeon.

      I wouldn’t have expected outfits like the RIAI, or the IAF, or the Planning Institute, or anyone with an interest in loads-a-work to rock the boat by fostering a discussion on the wisdom of these matters, but the apparent absence of any critique from within Dublin City Council is not as easy to forgive.

    • #798726
      admin
      Keymaster

      I’m a little curious as to why you raised this issue and why you raised it on this thread.

      That’s all grand and all, but with the honourable exception of Cagey, Rusty Cogs and an assortment of other archiseek oddballs, why was nobody else saying this at the time?

      But you then say

      I wouldn’t have expected outfits like the RIAI, or the IAF, or the Planning Institute, or anyone with an interest in loads-a-work to rock the boat by fostering a discussion on the wisdom of these matters, but the apparent absence of any critique from within Dublin City Council is not as easy to forgive.

      What you neglect to say is that no application was ever made; hence why all the actors stayed off the stage. Big difference in cost between getting a practice to do a pitch c/w model and paying them to actually design it to the point of a full planning application. The latter would never have happened…

    • #798727
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @PVC King wrote:

      I’m a little curious as to why you raised this issue and why you raised it on this thread.

      No mystery PVC, I raised the issue because the I.T. article [posted above] brought it up today . . . . and used the Duke-of-Ormond factor that should have killed it stone dead three years ago.

      Why this thread?

      . . . I couldn’t find the other thread.

      @PVC King wrote:

      What you neglect to say is that no application was ever made; hence why all the actors stayed off the stage. Big difference in cost between getting a practice to do a pitch c/w model and paying them to actually design it to the point of a full planning application. The latter would never have happened…

      Maybe you’re right, maybe this was never going anywhere, but it didn’t feel like that at the time. At the time, nothing seemed to be capable of wounding, let alone killing, this scheme, it just seemed to gain acceptance with every new document that issued from the DDDA. I recall being at a presentation in Bolton Street where Dick Gleeson of all people included slides of the ”Liffey Island” scheme as part of future Dublin and gave no indication of being remotely uncomfortable with it.

      My point is: if this scheme was all as damaging and ludicrous as Frank McDonald today said it was [ – and it was – ], why weren’t people in the wider architectural, planning and civic community saying this at the time?

      One possibility is that there isn’t actually a wider, architectural, planning and civic community, . . . . . or at least one that gives a toss 😡

    • #798728
      admin
      Keymaster

      @gunter wrote:

      No mystery PVC, I raised the issue because the I.T. article [posted above] brought it up today . . . . and used the Duke-of-Ormond factor that should have killed it stone dead three years ago.

      Why this thread?

      . . . I couldn’t find the other thread.

      Stilts

      @gunter wrote:

      Maybe you’re right, maybe this was never going anywhere, but it didn’t feel like that at the time. At the time, nothing seemed to be capable of wounding, let alone killing, this scheme, it just seemed to gain acceptance with every new document that issued from the DDDA. I recall being at a presentation in Bolton Street where Dick Gleeson of all people included slides of the ”Liffey Island” scheme as part of future Dublin and gave no indication of being remotely uncomfortable with it.

      My point is: if this scheme was all as damaging and ludicrous as Frank McDonald today said it was [ – and it was – ], why weren’t people in the wider architectural, planning and civic community saying this at the time?

      One possibility is that there isn’t actually a wider, architectural, planning and civic community, . . . . . or at least one that gives a toss 😡

      You can just write that phase off in terms of looking for logic; there were so many proposals coming through at that stage that all anyone in heritage could do was fire fight; money was being thrown around by government like it was going out of fashion so if you wanted your pet project to be funded then don’t criticise other people’s; the concept of scarce resources was reserved only for outcasts!!!.

      The real unwitting hero was of course the Fabulous Fab who managed to collapse the real estate bubble or possibly his masters at Paulson. There is a lot I will miss about tiger Ireland but looking at proposals to destroy the river that defines the city is certainly not one of them.

      Its very easy to focus on the negative but as the country is clearly now starting to look towards the future after a horrific spell. The real question is how does the City replace or shackle the DDDA to ensure that it becomes much more like the CHDDA vs the plaything of a number of non-exec directors who went so far beyond their remit that it became damaging. The development of the docklands as an exemplar of sustainable high desity higher quality commercial and residential space is more important than it ever was in light of the impending arrival of interconnector in a short period of time.

    • #798729
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      One possibility is that there isn’t actually a wider, architectural, planning and civic community, . . . . . or at least one that gives a toss 😡

      time will tell…

    • #798730
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I think there was a general acceptance that the DDDA could do whatever they wanted and that very little could be done about it.

    • #798731
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Did I hear right that the Dublin Port Company’s proposal to in-fill themselves a new chunk of real estate was turned down by Bord Pleanala . . . . on the grounds that the present mud flats at the relevant location are a protected bird habitat?

      If this is true, the saddest part of this whole sordid mess is that ‘urban planning’ doesn’t seemed to have entered into the discussion at all. The Port Company’s case was based solely on economic grounds [probably entirely bogus] and the motley crew of objectors, as well as denouncing the flawed economic arguments, hung their case largely on the environment trump card provided by our little mud-lark friends.

      The implications of this judgement [if it’s been reported correctly on the radio] is that the current haphazard boundary between the city and the bay, which happens to occur where the last round of in-filling stopped, will become ever more set in stone [or in this case, mud].

      Our 18th century forefathers, who delivered the North and South Walls, the Custom House and the entire area were the Docklands now sit, must be looking down on us with a mixture of bewilderment and pity.

      While I like a nice bird as much as the next man, is it not the case that birds are the most mobile species on the planet? and is it not the case that there are perfectly comparable acres of mud to be had at Baldoyle and Malahide, no more than a couple of minutes flight time to these lads?

      Did anyone even stop to consider that maybe these poor little blighters may not particularly like living in the mud in the first place, maybe they’d actually prefer to live in trees like normal birds, but maybe that wouldn’t suit the ornithological poverty industry with their notions of caste and their Lidl binoculars, maybe they wouldn’t want these little lads to better themselves and climb out of the primordial ooze, at least not when they can be pressed into service so effectively to defeat evil planning applications.

      Ok, I need to read up a bit about birds, but either way the conclusions I’d draw from this whole extend-Dublin-Port saga are:

      Nobody has a vision of what the relationship between the city and the bay should be. . . . and nobody’s in charge.

    • #798732
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      My point is: if this scheme was all as damaging and ludicrous as Frank McDonald today said it was [ – and it was – ], why weren’t people in the wider architectural, planning and civic community saying this at the time?

      Interesting discussion. Did Frank McDonald articulate such criticism at the time?

    • #798733
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter, while I would recommend reading up on Birds if you wish to be fully informed, the real kicker for our city forefathers is that much of the habitats in Dublin Bay were in fact created indirectly by man and not nature. The building of the port and the port walls created a lot of this “nature” itself. Similarly if one wished to add to the rail infrastructure along by Booterstown “nature” would prevent it – this “nature” of course was created by the rail infrastructure.

      Your last line sums up a major issue for the City of Dublin. We seem to treasure the Bay so much that we don’t want any additional people living or working anywhere near it!!!

      The Habitats Directive is quite clear and unambiguous on this issue but the merits of this approach are somewhat questionable in certain locations.

    • #798734
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      who designated the bay an spa it wasn’t the objectors

    • #798735
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      who designated the bay an spa it wasn’t the objectors

      dunno, someone with a very narrow focus I imagine.

      There were two articles on the DDDA/Liam Carroll cozy-up in the Business This Week section of the Irish Times on Friday, and both attempted to shed light on the infamous ‘secret deal’ and the motivation behind it, but neither article made the connection with the ”Liffey Island” wheeze which is surely central to this whole thing.

      The former DDDA guy keeps trying to explain this story as a deal he did with Carroll to deliver a slice of public amenity space. This is the same public amenity space – the strip with the odd, canal-like, water feature in it – that we became aquainted with on these boards some time ago [and struggled to find any merit in].

      ”It was a genuine attempt by the executive [of the DDDA] to ensure that land earmarked for community parks [by the DDDA] would be handed over by developers . . .” Paul Maloney, former chief executive of the DDDA, is reported as saying

      But that proposed new linear strip with the ‘canal’ [the community park?] was always just the sop that they were intending to claim justified usurping the North Wall campshire and the adjacent area of riverbed for commercial development despite it’s clear and obvious amenity value, ‘open space’ zoning, and intrinsic value as a piece of Dublin quayside.

      I don’t know what other people think, but, if I was Liam Carroll and I was developing a new corporate office block on an absolutely prime, high profile, quay-frontage site, the only way I’d even contemplate letting the quayside in front of me become hijacked for a rival commercial development, in contravention of the existing zoning objective, is if I had a helluva secret deal in the bag.

      I’m not a cut-throat property developer, but if I was, I doubt I’d be satisfied with just a vague indication that some time in the future the DDDA might see their way to granting planning permission for a few more storeys on top of my – no longer river-front – office block :rolleyes:

    • #798736
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The new wheel on it’s way up beside the point. judging by the height, I can’t imagine there’ll be great views… at all 🙁

    • #798737
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      While I like a nice bird as much as the next man, is it not the case that birds are the most mobile species on the planet? and is it not the case that there are perfectly comparable acres of mud to be had at Baldoyle and Malahide, no more than a couple of minutes flight time to these lads?

      what is this nonsense surely there were always mud flats of some sort on the liffey estuary
      and what ever you wanted to build in future mud flats would would remain you can’t direct birds

      btw whats the deal with the delay with the sewage plant for the conference centre

    • #798738
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Wheel is taking shape now, they’re still waiting to put on the pods or whatever for people to get into but all the spokes are on now.

      More pics here.

    • #798739
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Doesn’t look very high does it?

    • #798740
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I don’t get it – I really don’t. No one will see anything from there! – It hardly rises above the O2. Of course tourists ignorantly may pay to use it – they are going to be dissapointed and feel ripped off IMO.

      Id say you would need about a 120m or 140m wheel at least down there to get any sort of proper views.

    • #798741
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It looks small, but you will have a good view from the top. Anything above about eight floors in the docklands and you can see the whole city, so long as a direction isn’t blocked by the building you’re in. Of course, the higher you are the more you can pick out from the jumble of rooftops.

    • #798742
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Nine euro to go up in the thing and half the time your looking into a wall of a building!
      Ripoff price,i guess the Tiger isn’t dead down at the Point.

      It’s also way to small like everything else down there.

    • #798743
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      other views

    • #798744
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      ffs.omg.wtf. Unoriginal, dull, depressing nonsense.

    • #798745
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I agree. Sorry Harry, wrong call here

    • #798746
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      is this the wheel that recently departed Belfast after 3 years?? If so, I went on it once and the (long distance) view was pretty good height wise

    • #798747
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A Wheel of that size, at that price would work fine somewhere like tha back of Jervis shopping centre, Merrion Square, somewhere around Christchurch, etc, but there’s not a whole lot to see down at The Point except vacant derelict lots and the port. It would have an admittedly quite nice view of the dublin skyline / mountains / Landsdowne Road, but the immediate vicinity of The Point has nothing going for it.

      Essentially the problem is that the wheel was placed there to entice people to spend time down around The Point, whereas in Belfast it was smack in the city centre, and was an attraction in its own right, with a large audience already nearby.

    • #798748
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Around the time of St. Patricks festival I went up the wheel they had at Merrion Square and I have to say the views were pretty impressive. Perfect place for it.

    • #798749
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      So has this put the kibosh on DCC’s plan to erect one by the Custom House? The city would look extremely weird with two ferris wheels within a mile of one another.

    • #798750
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @fergalr wrote:

      So has this put the kibosh on DCC’s plan to erect one by the Custom House? The city would look extremely weird with two ferris wheels within a mile of one another.

      To be pedantic, I recall that being a DDDA tender/proposal.- Anyhoo I would imagine you are correct.

    • #798751
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      To be pedantic, I recall that being a DDDA tender/proposal.- Anyhoo I would imagine you are correct.

      Cheers, Crosbie. A cheap looking Ferris Wheel in the middle of nowhere, erected between the fringe of an unfinished city quarter and hundreds of acres of port. Oh, the landmarks!!

      Such vision…

    • #798752
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The canal sides around the Future Systems bridge have been left like a building site / wasteland. Not much of a setting for an ‘iconic new Docklands bridge by signature architects’, is it?

      Did I read in the Sunday recently papers recently that the planned linear park along here – http://ireland.archiseek.com/news/2008/000219.html – would be knocked on the head? …. crazy. The NRA are spending hundreds of millions driving motorways through the country which will be useless in a few years time, yet an urban park – so important to the mental and physical health of city dwellers – can’t be completed.

    • #798753
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was told on a recent visit to the Convention Centre that a scaled down landscaping scheme would be installed on this stretch of the canal in July and August, in advance of the opening of the Centre for business in September. Not much sign of that.

      However the originally envisaged design was shelved. Expect it to be a while before this park scheme is realised.

      I have to say the whole public domain about the Convention Centre is VERY disappointing. I mean pour concrete! here! terrible.

    • #798754
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @StephenC wrote:

      I was told on a recent visit to the Convention Centre that a scaled down landscaping scheme would be installed on this stretch of the canal

      Good …. hope the Agence Ter one can be done at some time, tho.

    • #798755
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      same story with chocolate factory park. Disgraceful.

    • #798756
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Urghh really disappointing, this whole area is just amounting to nothing. Maybe as the Docklands near to opening there will be the will and the money to really get this kind of thing sorted asap because as it stands there’s still going to be nothing to do, see and no reason to be in the Docklands unless you work there.

    • #798757
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Up close, the capsules on the Dublin wheel read to the effect of ‘great city attractions’, or some such uber bland title not particularly Dublin. Original it’ll not be found guilty of. Still i guess its better to see an attraction open, than close – such as with Smithfield tower.

      Re the bridge and its setting, the award given a year ago is looking rather premature
      this http://two.archiseek.com/2009/dublin-bridge-wins-european-award/

    • #798758
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @hutton wrote:

      Up close, the capsules on the Dublin wheel read to the effect of ‘great city attractions’, or some such uber bland title not particularly Dublin.

      It’s probably World Tourist Attractions, the name of the company that owns and operates the wheel?

    • #798759
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @fergalr wrote:

      So has this put the kibosh on DCC’s plan to erect one by the Custom House? The city would look extremely weird with two ferris wheels within a mile of one another.

      Oh, I dunno.

      Add another two and we could get really this country motoring again…

      (ducks)

      ONQ.

    • #798760
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @fergalr wrote:

      Cheers, Crosbie. A cheap looking Ferris Wheel in the middle of nowhere, erected between the fringe of an unfinished city quarter and hundreds of acres of port. Oh, the landmarks!!

      Such vision…

      It’ll fit right in with the winner of the Point Depot competition – The Parlour.

      Basically this was a wall of containers to frame the space the STW tower now won’t be built on.

      Someone needs to tell Harry to stick to the path he is treading to improve the area, backing the convention centre and the theatre was perfect, but proletarian references beside a new STW sun blind and a beautiful old store building – not so good.

      People want to be proud of their area in the inner city, not see it become a version of Bray seafront or the Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures.

      And when the tower finally does get built, I hope it’ll look better than the graph paper exercise they included with The Parlour brief.

      Wouldn’t you just keel over and expire if someone at STW rediscovered the arch?

      Is this such a design challenge for neo-rationalists and modernists?

      ONQ.

    • #798761
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @fergalr wrote:

      Cheers, Crosbie. A cheap looking Ferris Wheel in the middle of nowhere, erected between the fringe of an unfinished city quarter and hundreds of acres of port. Oh, the landmarks!!

      Such vision…

      Well in fairness to Harry he had wanted to do something of a more original bent with the giant man .. tours of the human innards. But he says he wasn’t allowed do it in this interview – http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2010/0626/1224273339256.html

    • #798762
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Was wondering with the half built ” Anglo Building ” recently having received approval to be completed by An Bord Pleanala what is the likelyhood that this will happen. Seen it recently and it looked like some stabiliser like equipment had been removed, possibly in anticipation of new work to start??Anyone with some info on this?

    • #798763
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      work is progressing (seemingly very slowly) on the lower reaches of spencer dock quays – anyone know what the actual finished design will be assuming its not the design that won the competition?

    • #798764
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @shweeney wrote:

      work is progressing (seemingly very slowly) on the lower reaches of spencer dock quays

      Some pics I took couple of days ago (:

    • #798765
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for the pics Telchak. There seems to be a bit of a spurt in completing works along the canal bank of late.

      As an aside, I noticed a couple of weeks ago, the rear of the conference centre (with huge blank expansive wall) has now been landscaped into a small and constantly shaded park. It is actually reasonably nice with a pagoda and hatural flagstones….but….it does feel fairly permanent! I guess the Hotel is now a distant memory!?

      C

    • #798766
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I have some pics of that too 😀

      Sorry that these ones are more for photography purposes than showcasing the park 😛 :L

    • #798767
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A rather “different” project for the Docklands – which I haven’t seen before.

      2008 – Unbuilt Dublin – Outdoor Public Baths, Dublin Docklands

    • #798493
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      notice that the high wall along Guild St (on the left of @Telchak’s first picture above) has now been removed, opening the dock up to the street.

    • #798768
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Summer’s cancelled, we’re not getting a Docklands Maritime Festival this year.

      In its place, this June bank holiday, there will however be a ‘Liffey Swim’.

      At this point, I think it’s probably safe to conclude that the DDDA have just stopped trying.

    • #798769
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I think its more a case of DDDA have just stop being! The Maritime Festival was a bit shite anyhow…only so much German sausage you can eat.

    • #798770
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Highlight of the year Stephen.

      What do you mean there’s only so much German sausage you can eat?

    • #798771
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Are you allowed wash it down with german beer?

    • #798772
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The DDDA appear to have been mired in controversy and jaded.

      A new broom to sweep clean would be ideal.

      And no pensions out of it until 65.

      ONQ.

      A few references:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U2_Tower

      http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/idqlgbkfcw/

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/3807683252/

      http://www.thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=24921&start=0

    • #798773
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Little commented on…..

      Grand Canal Theatre to be renamed Bord Gais Energy Theatre

      Classy

    • #798774
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @StephenC wrote:

      Little commented on…..

      Grand Canal Theatre to be renamed Bord Gais Energy Theatre

      Classy

      NoNoNooooo. Surely the BGET is a subtle homage to the Bard who, in Pericles, wrote

      O, come hither,
      Thou that beget’st him that did thee beget;
      Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tarsus,
      And found at sea again

      or maybe it’s just a move designed to irritate all Bord Gais customers who have seen their bills increase recently. Great new marketing ploy – “Buy a theatre ticket and we’ll reconnect you in time for xmas”

    • #798775
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #798776
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Much comment on Twitter about the curious timing of the announcement to wind-down the DDDA. Its a disappointing outcome for an organisation that has achieved a great deal but which is obviously so horribly tainted by the skullduggery of Anglo Irish Bank etc. I thought this was an interesting post from Ireland After NAMA..,

      Dublin Docklands Development Authority: A wind-up?

      So the government announce this evening that the DDDA is to be wound up after 15 years in operation and that responsibility for the area will be transferred to Dublin City Council, in the person of the Dublin City Manager. How ironic? Twenty five years ago when the CHDDA (the pre-cursor of the DDDA with many of the same personalities involved in the early days) were established, the general discourse, in common with most of the neo-liberal gospel being preached at the time, was that the local authority could not be trusted to do the job and should have power over this area removed from them. While they may not have been particularly efficient in sparking development nor particularly astute with dealing with the private sector, they certainly could not have been accused of the litany of mismanagement that we are now hearing the DDDA were responsible for. Interesting too that we are being told that what happened was due to a lack of ‘corporate governance’ or (Submission by Executive Board to Minister for EHLG, January 2010) rather that anything more sinister that public representatives and agents have been accused of over the last few years.

      What is most important is why has it taken so long for action to be taken? Granted Prof Niamh Brennan was appointed as Chair of the Board in March 2009 to deal with some of the problems and reported to Government on them, but the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and announcement by the Government tonight comes four or five years after a lot of people were questioning what was going on in the Authority? In the late 1990’s, access to any sort of information on the activities of the DDDA – a public agency after all – was almost impossible to come by. In 2008, a number of serious questions in relation to the Authority were raised in my book Dublin Docklands Reinvented (Dublin: Four Courts Press). For example, how could one agency simultaneously act as co-developer and planning authority on the one site (Irish Glass Bottle site)? Could the government not see the potential problems? Highly respected and experienced journalists were also raising these questions and others about the activities of the Authority at the time. For example why did Brian Cowen sanction an increase in the capacity of the authority to borrow even more money when it was obvious that they were stepping way beyond their remit and gambling with the public finances? It is no secrete that along with the issues already in the public domain about the relationship between the DDDA and Anglo-Irish Bank, other projects within the area were also promoted, developed and implemented by an overly tight network of closely connected individuals where there was at the very least serious conflicts of interest.

      As I think about my experiences researching the docklands development since the late 1990s, it strikes me that many of the community activists in East Wall and surroundings must be laughing tonight. For years, they have called for greater transparency in the operations of the Authority and when they questioned or objected to particular decisions, they were fobbed off as ‘naysayers’. The Government decision tonight is symbolic because it is the final nail in the coffin to a project that represented the best and worst of the Irish experience over the last decade. While it achieved many good outcomes and radically altered the face of this large part of Dublin City, how ironic that after 25 years, it is the local authority who gets the last laugh!

      Niamh Moore

    • #798777
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Bit of a revamp of the public realm of Barrow Street proposed…or at least to the area around Google’s offices. The rest of the street to be left as a dump.

      Pursuant to the requirements of the above, notice is hereby given of the proposed public realm improvements works to Barrow Street for an area extending from the existing railway bridge on Barrow Street to the northern property boundary of Gordon House, Barrow Street, Dublin 2. The proposed works will comprise of the following: – Introduction of traffic calming measures including the closure of a section of Barrow Street beneath the railway bridge to through vehicular traffic. This will be achieved by the provision of removable bollards on both sides of the existing railway bridge allowing pedestrian and cyclist movement only. – Widening of footpaths and provision of improved pedestrian crossing points. – Resurfacing of carriageway and footpaths. – Improvements to the public realm to facilitate the disabled, visually impaired and elderly including the introduction of guidance strips, marked crossings and dished kerbs. – Revised parking, loading bay arrangements and taxi stand facilities. Parking will be removed between the Railway Bridge and Gordon Street resulting in the loss of 25 car parking spaces on Barrow Street. – Provision of new street lighting. – Provision of pavement lighting under the Railway Bridge (a Protected Structure). – Provision of new street furniture including seats and bins etc. – Introduction of new soft landscaping measures including planting and trees. – Provision of appropriate directional signage and markings.

      http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=3054/12&backURL=%3Ca%20href=wphappcriteria.display?paSearchKey=1759178%3ESearch%20Criteria%3C/a%3E%20%3E%20%3Ca%20href=’wphappsearchres.displayResultsURL?ResultID=2172535%26StartIndex=1%26SortOrder=APNID:asc%26DispResultsAs=WPHAPPSEARCHRES%26BackURL=%3Ca%20href=wphappcriteria.display?paSearchKey=1759178%3ESearch%20Criteria%3C/a%3E’%3ESearch%20Results%3C/a%3E

    • #798778
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Proposed layout for Barrow Street. The plan is to close off the street to through-traffic

      http://www.dublincity.ie/AnitePublicDocs/00379278.pdf

    • #798779
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      As a resident, I’m predicting traffic chaos if this scheme is implemented.. not an architect, am interested to see the opinions of people better qualified to comment than I am.. If traffic is not allowed under the bridge, what if people getting taxis want to head south? What will happen to the already contentious and volatile taxi rank that currently exists? Was the overhead bridge that Google proposed refused permission, does anyone know?

    • #798780
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I see admiral William Brown finally got a stone plinth down on sir john rogerson quay, was looking pretty tragic like a toy soldier http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SEPTEMBER_2007-71_(1347347825).jpg
      As for the other side of the river, the park along guild street opposite the convention centre, what is with the minimal corporate landscaping in the docklands. Ok so the funding must have been pulled on the competition held for this space but this must be possibly the most banal misuse of open space in the city centre, acres of grass and trees spaced so far they fade into nothing, not sure they’ll even mature into anything significant, i would have suggested something more maritime like a double avenue of pines. For a few euro more this could have been much nicer.

    • #798781
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hilariously…an article in the Northside People last week included a picture of the Lord Mayor and a young girl at the William Brown statues. The caption says “Legend has it that rubbing the foot of the Admiral wards off sea sickness” Aaahargh me hearties!

    • #798782
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gezdub wrote:

      As a resident, I’m predicting traffic chaos if this scheme is implemented.. not an architect, am interested to see the opinions of people better qualified to comment than I am.. If traffic is not allowed under the bridge, what if people getting taxis want to head south? What will happen to the already contentious and volatile taxi rank that currently exists? Was the overhead bridge that Google proposed refused permission, does anyone know?

      Don’t know enough about traffic in the area to comment but I did wonder at the scheme when I saw it. Its must surely add traffic to adjoining residential streets. Its also refurbishing one end of the street while the other remains a dump – is that really fair. Surely Google’s purse (and I imagine they are paying for this) could extend to the rest of the street. Lets just get it done!

      From reading the plans the proposed three-way link bridge appears to be considered. I cant find the exact planning applications to confirm it…I haven’t the patience to read through the various applications listed.

      Did you comment on the application gezdub….you should do. Its a completely pointless waste of time with DCC-originating applications if Grafton Street/Mountjoy Square/Thomas Street QBC/etc etc are to go by. 🙂

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