March 7, 1999 at 2:42 pm #704711
I feared this would turn out to be yet another big SOM office complex of the kind that could be anywhere in the world, and so it has proved. Just like London Docklands in the 1980s, where Canary Wharf was masterplanned by SOM – but the best buildings there are by others.
Yesterday I met the architect Nicholas Grimshaw in London. Grimshaw has Irish parentage, and was quietly regretting the fact that he’d never landed a job in Ireland. When I see the SOM proposals, I wish he’d been given a chance.
March 7, 1999 at 2:42 pm #712959CharlieParticipant
What is so wrong with the proposal? Is it just its location?
I think it looks pretty impressive.
I think it would be far more interesting to see it built rather than letting the site be vacant for another 3 years until some opportunistic developer comes along a sticks an inane 5 or 6 storey yellow brick apt./office block there to placate those who view the current project as being far too big for peripheral, wee Dublin.
March 7, 1999 at 2:43 pm #712960
Too big, too American, and in the wrong place. After all, modernism can have national distinctiveness – look at the work of Michael Scott.
Also, I’ve never seen anything wrong with leaving derelict sites derelict. Why does everyone always assume they should be built on as quickly as possible, with as much floorspace as possible? Only the developers gain from that.
True, you don’t want to turn down a good original scheme in favour of an inane planner-friendly one. My view is that the present scheme is neither good nor original.
So I’d rather the site stayed empty until Dublin got a design better suited to its new wealth and confidence than what looks to me like a slice of downtown Chicago.
March 7, 1999 at 2:44 pm #712961CharlieParticipant
I direct you to the end of an article on 29/12/98 “Ten appeals lodged against Dublin high-rise” By Frank McDonald, Environment Correspondent, Irish Times.
“…The city architect, Mr Jim Barrett, took the opposite view in his much briefer report, arguing that the scheme proposed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill had distinct advantages over an earlier office development planned for the site, because of its mix of uses.
His concern was that, if the high-rise scheme was rejected, the developers could still go ahead with the earlier plan, which was given a 10-year permission in 1990. It would consist solely of offices, in a cluster of seven blocks rising to a height of 60 metres…”
Having viewed that scheme in the then Dublin Corpo offices – I can assure you it was not pleasant on the eye.
I think this is further grounds for not throwng out the Cosgrave/SOM plan.
March 7, 1999 at 2:44 pm #712962
That is entirely possible…. however an concerted campaign against the SOM proposal is underway and I imagine if successful, will continue on against the older PP.
March 12, 1999 at 4:41 pm #712963BTHParticipant
Could someone perhaps post a picture of the proposed scheme on this board, or tell me how I could get hold of one. Thanks
March 12, 1999 at 5:11 pm #712964
March 13, 1999 at 5:04 pm #712965BTHParticipant
Thanks for the picture. It really is much too big for the site although the design looks interesting, at least compared to the Kevin Roche scheme downriver. Much worse is the building currently facing the Custom House, that awful Ulster Bank building. It’s a pity it can’t be demolished as part of the new scheme.
March 30, 1999 at 7:25 am #712966
What’s the latest status on this project?
April 1, 1999 at 12:22 am #712967
BTH posted 03-13-99 05:04 PM GMT – In response to that message I wholeheartedly disagree with the author about “that awful Ulster Bank building” – I believe it is nothing of the sort.
In my opinion it is a visually pleasing and fresh design that, while not overly original [what modern is in Dublin?], at least befits the riverside site in an attractive and inoffensive way.
I suggest you turn your attention to the simply disgraceful trash currently been thrown-up around the St. Patricks Cathedral district. You only have to look at the similar apt. ‘blocks’ elsewhere from the early 90’s to realise that most of these new buildings wont survive the first quarter of the next century without major renovation or better still, demolition.
As regards the Cosgrave/SOM development, I am still enammered of the design yet have misgivings about its proposed location, which seems to be the appealants [is that a word?!] main bone of contention as well.
April 1, 1999 at 12:26 am #712968
CR : a.k.a. Charlie
Just in case I’m accused of deception by using a pseudonym!
April 4, 1999 at 4:09 pm #712969owenParticipant
I’m with BTH on this one. The Ulster Bank building is pretty poor stuff. It’s bland and has no sense of urbanity. The bizarre re-use of an actual Georgian portico at the corner of the site highlights its suburban clumpiness. It is unfortunate that, despite signs of corrosion at high level, it looks well enough built to last a long time.
April 5, 1999 at 10:54 am #712970
It is pretty poor alright – the usual concrete structure with 1 inch of granite bolted on to comply with the corporation and the people’s idea of good architecture. Surely the problem lies as much with the lack of education in and knowledge of architecture in the general public – the “sure it’s much better looking than the old rubbish that was there” school of criticism.
May 13, 1999 at 9:10 am #712971
I see that the Ulster Bank is one of the opponents of the building who have made a submission to the Planning Board
June 9, 1999 at 5:11 pm #712972
I’m just wondering exactly what the state of play is regarding this proposed development??? Is the planning permission still under discussion?
August 16, 1999 at 8:50 am #712973
D-Day is approaching for George’s Quay…. any bets on which way the decision will go?
August 17, 1999 at 9:16 am #712974
Just remember that the project that already has planning permission on the site is awful – a bigger Ulster Bank building…. so fingers crossed
August 17, 1999 at 3:19 pm #712975
Do you mean ANOTHER big Ulster Bank building? Added to the present one? That would explain their oposition.
You don’t mean this do you?
August 17, 1999 at 3:34 pm #712976
Actually I remember that vaguely – at the back of the Ulster Bank you can see the rods in the RC where the development has never been finished. There is PP for the remainder of the development – a cluster of towers with the central one similar in height to Liberty Hall and they’re from the same school of design as the Ulster Bank as they’re intended to be a cohesive ensemble……
August 18, 1999 at 8:17 am #712977
August 18, 1999 at 10:25 am #712978
‘School Of Design’.
Yeah. when I was in School we had lego bricks too.
October 1, 1999 at 9:27 am #712979
Going , going , gone!
October 1, 1999 at 10:12 am #712980
Much as I was worried about the size of that design and about the final reality’s faithfulness to the beatiful model – I’m quite sorry now that it’s gone.
My disapointment is heightened by the prospect of the corpulent black heaps that may stand in it’s place.
Woodquay? Compared these black behemoths it’ll seem like a graceful, light and air-filled palace.
October 1, 1999 at 10:46 am #712981
Personally, I actually liked the SOM development…. they were just rather unfortunate in that the site was lousy.
October 1, 1999 at 5:56 pm #712982
Seven months after this exchange began, we have a result: sanity has prevailed. Maybe people don’t want Dublin to be like everywhere else after all.
But of course SOM will now come back with a new plan. Could not Dublin’s architects step forward with a good home-grown alternative, or are the days of professional co-operation now over?
October 2, 1999 at 3:03 pm #712983
God, I wish this had been proposed on a better site. Maybe then we’d have it.
The more I look at that model the more I think we’ve lost a new busarus. It had a similar daring, and in it’s organic looking curves I think, correct me if I’m wrong – would have been a totally new style for Ireland. I mean compare those light unexpected curves with a huge sqatty black shiny box with a point on top.
Point is though on that site – it would have been positively [dare I compliment him with bringing about a new phrase..] Stephenesque in it’s arrogant and supremacist disregard for it’s surroundings.
Could we get the Architects back for another go – someplace else?
October 4, 1999 at 2:58 pm #712984Rory WParticipant
Thats the trouble with this city, great buidings for the wrong site (Central Bank). John, I think you may be right there about losing out on another Busaras, no doubt they will find something nice in Brick with a clock tower to replace the planned (interesting) building!
October 4, 1999 at 5:24 pm #712985
Oh Joy! Do you think so? With PVC Georgian Windows?
October 4, 1999 at 5:27 pm #712986AnonymousInactive
NÃ aontaÃm leat a Rory. SÃ© an Banc Ceannanas ceann de na foirgnimh is fearr sa chathair – de mo thuairim ar aon nos. NÃl fhios agam cÃ©n fath â€“ just, go bhfuil sÃ© chomh direach as an ngnÃ¡th san ait sin go reitÃonn sÃ© liom. Seafoid, â€˜tÃ¡ fhios agam !
Rory – for me anyway somehow the Central Bank works. I actually like it and like it more for where it is. I’m not sure why but it’s always appealed to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up looking at it. Perhaps if they tried to build it now I’d be ripping into them on this disc.board.
October 4, 1999 at 5:47 pm #712987
I agree with Shane – the Central Bank works because its so strong – creats such a strong horizontal emphasis with the bold stripes of stone and glazing. For the record, one of the best architectural photos I ever saw was of the Central Bank with half demolished Temple Bar buildings in the foreground.
October 5, 1999 at 9:51 am #712988
great building, wrong site. What does this mean. Good architecture is, amongst other things, about working within the site restraints and harnessing the positive.
December 22, 1999 at 11:44 pm #712989
I think that this should be built, but not at that site. It’s a lovely building, and about bloody time that Dublin got a tall building of any description (apart from Ballymun and that disgraceful heap of s*** that they call Liberty hall) It seems that you Dubs are very unwilling to build upwards – or perhaps it’s an bord pleanala’s fault. I don’t think that it’s the Architect’s anyway, most of them just lack a bit of imagination.
I can imagine the public’s reaction to a large Deconstructivist development instead of the proposed!
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