ILAC centre

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    • #706296
      urbanisto
      Participant

      Im on a roll….hold me back!

      I spotted a planning notice in the paper last week for a redevelopment at the ILAC Centre. It seems to involve an additional story to the Mary Street Mall and a new facade – both welcome. But I thought this was all one property owned by Irish life. The company undertaking this part development is Westfield.

      Also anyone know what the Roches Stores building will look like when finished. Something nice and modern…steel and glass… or orange aluminium cladding ala Lenehans of Talbot Street! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #731924
      bigjoe
      Participant

      looks good.

      lol @ ala Lenehans of Talbot Street.

    • #731925
      GregF
      Participant

      Let’s hope that ILAC redevelopment plan goes ahead and the street line is re-instated. What an awful concoction the ILAC centre was……bleeding ugly too……….Let’s hope it will pave the way for the upgrade of Moore Street. A bit of refinement in this day and age would’nt go a miss with the hawkers too.
      Anyone ever miss that colourful mosaic tiled paving mural that was at the entrance of Moore Street from Henry Street. It was inserted in the late 80’s, the time of the pedestrianization of the street but removed with the recent new revamp paving. A little feature that added to the street. Anyone remember that ………eh what?
      I think it should be re-instated too.
      How about it Jim Barret and John Fitzgerald.

    • #731926
      LOB
      Participant

      On the ILAC
      A & D wejchert had a scheme
      Might be the same one

      http://www.wejchert.ie/frameset.html

      Look under projects-Retail

    • #731927
      fjp
      Participant

      I hate it when scripts don’t work on the mac. And their projects menu just won’t pop down…

      in other news – yay for macs in general!!!

      fjp

    • #731928
      GregF
      Participant

      Nice buildings however on the Wejchert site……quite stylish designs

    • #731929
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      Yeah – the photos are excellent

    • #731930
      GregF
      Participant

      Things are happening to the ILAC alright …..I see that all the old wans who sold the shoes on Parnell Street are gone. Also across the way they started work on the hotel that was proposed.

    • #731931
      GrahamH
      Participant

      The worst thing about the current ILAC, is the Brutalist concrete facade. Unbeliveably however, there isn’t even anything behind it! The ILAC has always been criticised for it’s shameful waste of prime city centre space for only being 2 storeys, but in fact, most of it is only one, there isn’t even any need for all the concrete!

      Surprising Irish Life didn’t bother to extract some office space out of the building, esp with Michael Lucey being it’s property manager, then King of all speculators…

    • #731932
      GregF
      Participant

      Yep that Marks and Spencer building is truely brutal and to think it was built in the heddy days of Post Modernism. The Ilac Centre is truely awful too. What disasters…..bless the architects ….for they really need it….poor souls.

    • #731933
      urbanisto
      Participant

      Its good news about the ILAC. Its renovation is long over due. Lets hope they opt for something radical and make better use of the vast amount of space they occupy. For some reason though I think development only affect one of the malls… am I right?

      As for Hawkins House… I think the observation about planning difficulties in getting the same amount of space is probably spot on! The drawing of what it will look like seem okay but I would much rather see this type of building further down the river in DDDAland. I say tear it down and learn a lesson. The same goes for the nasty monstrosities surrounding it.

      Turn the whole area into an extension of Temple Bar with narrow streets and set piece architecture… a new arthouse cinema to replace the Screen, maybe even a theatre

    • #731934
      redeoin
      Participant

      where is the news link for the ILAC Centre renovation? This is great news. That building both scares and depresses me…

    • #731935
      GregF
      Participant

      An article was in the Irish Times property section today detailing the plans for the ILAC centre.

    • #731936
      redeoin
      Participant

      excellent. must look it up. time to scrap that awful facing for a start, and that green and brown signage. then move onto the 1970s small town usa interior.

      To think that was once our premier shopping centre. come to ireland. visit the ilac centre…

    • #731937
      urbanisto
      Participant

      And a new name…..

      The article is accessable from the homepage on this site!

    • #731938
      Rory W
      Participant

      Why a new name? it makes perfect sense if you think of it in the form of a person:

      Ilac taste
      Ilac good design
      Ilac something to do after 6pm
      Ilac any decent shops
      Ilac any design elements created post 1978
      Ilac any of the features promised
      Ilac southside shoppers
      Ilac a lot of things…

    • #731939
      urbanisto
      Participant

      That is probably the funniest thing I have read on this site in months! (No offence to other members intended)

    • #731940
      Sue
      Participant

      What a lot of snobbery. It seems fashionable on this website to take any well-known 1970s or 1980s Irish building and trash it. A shopping centre in the centre of Dublin was never going to be the Pompidou Centre.

      How about

      Ilac any sense of proportion when it comes to architectural criticism.

    • #731941
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Oooooooooooooooh

      Most buildings from the 70s & 80s are trash because most are speculative Fianna Fail induced structures.
      Thats not to say that more constructive comments should’nt be made on the site, but if you’re a fan of the exterior of the ILAC, well you’re a rare breed.

      (I’d make another ILAC/I Lack quip but I’m just not that witty I’m afraid)

    • #731942
      urbanisto
      Participant

      I have to agree… if you think the ILAC is a good piece of a architecture then you really need to get out more!

      It is an ugly concrete mess. Its an unpleasant place to shop. It is lucky to have a good mix of shops but its makes nothing of it. Personally I hate malls, I much prefere the atmosphere of a street. I would love to see the ILAC develop in this direction with plenty of natural light and open air.

    • #731943
      Rory W
      Participant

      Ilac humour

    • #731944
      GregF
      Participant

      How anyone can defend the ILAC centre as a piece of good architecture is beyond reason …..it is a waste of space and ugly too. ILAC ILAC I wish.

    • #731945
      ew
      Participant

      The lift with glass walls caused quite a stir when it opened though, didn’t it?

    • #731946
      Sue
      Participant

      “Most buildings from the 70s & 80s are trash because most are speculative Fianna Fail induced structures”

      This generalisation is nonsense. Fianna Fail were out of power for about 10 years of the 70s & 80s (1973-1977, 1981, 1982-1987) so the idea that they set the architectural tone of that time is wrong.

      “Most buildings… are trash” is the sort of sweeping statement that should have no place on a serious website with high levels of architectural critique, such as this.

    • #731947
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Oh come on!

      I realise you have to come up with some sort of backlash reply, but really, you know what I say is true, and I specifically said ‘most’ ie, not all are trash.

      And I don’t say they are trash because they are simply dated or ‘of their time’ – most always were rubbish, from the moment they were built, just read the acres of comment in contemporary publications, whether Build magazine, newspaper columns etc etc.

      Just because FF weren’t in power dosn’t mean there wasn’t scheming in the intervening years, or their spectulative supporters were’nt clinging like leaches to the party (just as they are today)

    • #731948
      Rory W
      Participant

      May I recommend reading the “Destruction of Dublin” by Frank McDonald.

    • #731949
      Andrew Duffy
      Participant

      In case you haven’t been down there in a while, work is well underway on the extra storey on Mary Street. It actually looks more like two extra storeys.

    • #731950
      urbanisto
      Participant

      I think the plan is for a second story and services above… I read the planning permission but have forgotten.

      I guess the Roches Stores redevelopment has spurred them into action. No movement on the Moore St side yet. Are the two sides complementary or will they be completely different in terms of ‘architectural style’ ( I use the phrase lightly) and scale?

    • #731951
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      nobody mentioned the central library.
      Any plans to more it? or renovate it?
      It’s a disaster.
      It shouldn’t be in the ILAC anyway, in my opinion.
      Its a pain in the arse wading through henry st, and the stinkin’ Ilac to get to the main library of the city.
      Full of drunks and weirdo’s too.

    • #731952
      Anonymous
      Participant

      As the ILAC renovation starts to take shape on Henry St what are peoples impressions of it architecturally and in particular how do people feel it interacts with Zara?

    • #731953
      GregF
      Participant

      The library in the ILAC is very shoddy too, it was state of the art when it opened 20 years ago but it is seriously outdated now. How about the Corpo building a new libo on a seperate site as suggest already.

    • #731954
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      TP – regarding redevelopment… the scale is more suited to a city centre location certainly (as opposed to a single storey!).
      I would be interested to see how it looks when viewed from Liffey St with Roches peeks out next door.

      What is happening with Dunnes? Is it part of the ILAC redev too? I have to admit it’s been a while since I’ve been on Henry St, but was suprised to see total site clearance on the weekend.

    • #731955
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes its disappearance came as something of a shock – not least as the signs they had on the doors informed of ‘renovations’, not wholescale demolition!

      Nothing left but a steel upright – no hang on a second…

      Yes the new facade is taking shape on Henry St/Mary St – it’s all curvy like ๐Ÿ™‚

      It looks promising – especially how it handles the setback from Mary St, it was a mess before.

      And as for the interior – it’s another world in there! Like Roches they seem to have constructed a temporary roof over the place while work is underway – it’s amazing how these things are done (if somewhat scary!).

    • #731956
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      As regards the library I remember sugestions in 2000 to build a new library with a dramatic entrance on the cornor Parnell and Moore Street, designed by A & D Wejchert. Saddly I would think these plans were abandoned when Irish life sold out. Also the proposed site is being built on at the moment.

      Any one have any images of what the new Moore Street Parnell Street frontages will look like?

    • #731957
      Anonymous
      Participant

      i was in the ilac today and noticed the changes going on. the last time i was in there was a couple of months ago. i am delighted that they are doing it up. it was badly needed. i do like that corner shot above, at least i think it’s a corner. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #731958
      GrahamH
      Participant

      The new double height Mary Mall in the Ilac – really opens the space up. This is looking out towards Liffey St:


      (sorry about quality)

      Similar celings are being used for the mall linking to Parnell St, though its single height is being retained.

      And the void on Henry St resulting from the demolition of Dunnes Stores. I only recall a nasty white cube of some kind here before, perhaps just the shopfront – anyone remember exactly what it was?

      If ever there was a case for a decent traditional building to be built today, this is it. This is a beautiful, almost unified palatial terrace lining the nothern side of the street as reconstructed post-1916. A simple brick facade with limestone dressings would complete the terrace perfectly – indeed its entirely likely this is what was here before ๐Ÿ™
      It would also cosolidate the warm red brick and terracotta character of this, the finest part of Henry Street.

    • #731959
      GregF
      Participant

      Great photos there Graham…..great make over of the ILAC…..it was such a kip. That curved glass window does it for me…..and that new airy bright high ceiling replaces that horrible claustraphobic dingy atmosphere.

    • #731960
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Graham, the Mary St Mall was always double height in the ILAC

    • #731961
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Prior to any work starting…
      …. do we miss it yet?

    • #731962
      J. Seerski
      Participant

      I am very suprised that the Dunnes Stores elevation on Henry Street (not the vile elevation adjacent the ILAC) was demolished – and this passed by all of us unnoticed!!! The Terrace from Roches to O’Connell Street was a mix of 1920s uniform commercial builings. With the demolition of the Dunnes Stores facade this terrace is now unfortunately broken. Has anyone any idea what they are replacing the Henry Street elevation with? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • #731963
      GregF
      Participant

      I thought the same too when I saw the huge hole that was left in the street. I thought those days of such occurences were long gone. No doubt they will be replacing it with something more contemporary and ‘in yer face’ in competion with Roches Stores and Pennys recent makeovers, as well as Arnotts continuous expansion. Just hope that all the shops along the street dont have the same idea, for the street will be ruined. It’s surprising that they got permission for the total demolishment. The facade could have been kept to keep the uniformity of the street.

    • #731964
      urbanisto
      Participant

      I agree. I was thinking when Graham mentioned the case for a redbrick and limestone facade that that is exactly what was there prior to demolition. I just could remember clearly….such a shame really as I think we’l get an infil that will look as bad in 30 years as the Arnotts infill looks today. I think the quality of the ILAC revamp is very mediocre. Its certainly wont reinvent ILAC in my mind. Have a look in H&M, it looks like the cheapest thrown together creation ever (a bit like there clothes LOL). Im dissapointed. To say nothing of the fact that the ILAC still covers too much land for the actualy size of the centre..its a complete waste,

    • #731965
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Agreed about the Ilac redevelopment, it doesn’t seem to be anything great – not even the standard of the Jervis designed nearly ten years ago now. Perhaps it’s unfair to judge at this early stage though as the final surfaces and finishes do make all the difference…
      As for the Mary Mall, God I’ve a head like a sieve – do not remember it being double height at all, and it’s only a few months since work began! Was it really always as high as it is now?!

      Likewise regarding the Dunnes site ๐Ÿ˜ฎ – that is unbelievable these buildings were permitted to be demolished, a scandal by all accounts. This is one of the finest commercial terraces in the entire city, if not the finest of its period!
      Alas none of it is protected, and the whole terrace is literally ten paces away from the boundary of the O’Connell St ACA, with the terrace on the other side of Moore St included ๐Ÿ˜ก

      Surely this is not being replaced with a new build – perhaps there was a structural problem that necessitated the deconstruction and reassembly of the facade?
      Always been a favourite streetscape – looks fantastic in the early morning sun:

      Anyone else hold the Ilac chimney as something as a landmark?
      Not quite so sad to see it go though as it scared the crap out of me as a child ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #731966
      GregF
      Participant

      The forerunner of the Spire!

    • #731967
      jimg
      Participant

      Anyone else hold the Ilac chimney as something as a landmark?

      What was that thing? Surely it wasn’t a decorative addition?

    • #731968
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Presumably the centre’s boiler chimney. The Mater Private has an even bigger scarier one ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • #731969
      murphaph
      Participant

      James’s has a bigger one on it’s bioler house, right on old Kilmainham there.

      Wasn’t the Mary Mall, “height-and-a-half”? It certainly wasn’t as clautrophobic as the Parnell Mall, but I don’t recall it being that high!

      Remember the old “bullet” lifts in the ILAC, they scared me silly going up in them as a kid, especially when you shoot up trough the glass roof! Whoosh!

    • #731970
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      How come that chimney stayed clean and shiny after all those years , yet the spire was manky almost immediately? Anyway, it’s gone now!

    • #731971
      fergalr
      Participant

      Bloody good question!!!!!!

    • #731972
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I assume it was chrome plated… or similar

    • #731973
      GrahamH
      Participant

      The new Ilac facade to Mary Street is very disappointing – essentially a blank wall fitted with the usual blank windows to relieve what is little other than a cliff face, and clad with the equally ubiquitous stone tiling – all of which can be neatly ripped off again in ten years time and replaced with the latest trend in urban wallpaper.
      No attempt is even made to conceal the tiling for what it is, with lazy gapng joints everywhere and capped off with delightful silcone sealant :rolleyes:. The stone is also cheap and vulgar looking – the same Spanish style muck used in every shopping centre being built nowadays.

      Some nice forms in the H&M section, but the Liffey Street end is very poor, and tops that street’s vista exceptionally poorly.

      As for the demolished (with hopefully to be rebuilt facade…) Dunnes Stores on Henry Street, Dunnes are constructing what will be their flagship city centre store on the site as replacement to the current Ilac store on Moore Mall.
      It will be over a huge four levels, featuring a ‘foodhall’, i.e. a supermarket :rolleyes:, a huge clothing area, and of course an expanded homewares section in all its beige ‘n brownness. It will be accessible from Henry Street and from the Ilac which it is going to entend into, consuming some of the existing units there. As if to make up for the loss, the existing shop in the Ilac is to be demolished and up to four large new units created from it. So big changes afoot.

      Work is to get underway on the Moore Street facade in April I think, with all of the facade works of the whole building finished by Nov/Dec this year. Red and tan brick is already peeping through the scaffolding on Parnell Street…

      Some pics of the facade to Henry/Mary/Liffey Streets:

    • #731974
      Bago
      Participant

      Also they’ve chopped the tree in your first picture.

    • #731975
      fergalr
      Participant

      To be honest, I’m not displeased with the entrance to the ILAC..while critiques to urban “wallpaper” can be warranted, the curvy bit is a refreshingly funky change from the linear perspectives of the street. And look, it’s better than the atrocious “who needs windows?” Roches Stores beside it.

    • #731976
      GregF
      Participant

      Good photos again Graham of the shoddy work………plenty on the snag list. Those gaps left in the joints of the cladding are atrocious. But still I kinda like the makeover. That curved glass window does it for me.

    • #731977
      a boyle
      Participant

      Enough of this moaning. Roches stores is beautiful.I am thrilled every time I see it.

    • #731978
      Maskhadov
      Participant

      it could be a lot worse in fairness

    • #731979
      Devin
      Participant

      Since it was unveiled I’ve felt that that new Ilac facade does not combine very well with Roches Stores, especially as you are approaching from Mary Street. I think the problem is that the canopy bit was carried along too far towards Roches.

    • #731980
      a boyle
      Participant

      @Devin wrote:

      Since it was unveiled I’ve felt that that new Ilac facade does not combine very well with Roches Stores, especially as you are approaching from Mary Street. I think the problem is that the canopy bit was carried along too far towards Roches.

      Yes i do agree. I am reserving my final judgment until this side is totally completed. It might be that the addition of one well placed tree would make all the difference. You are right though. Roches looks great by itself. The ilac/h&m front looks ok by itself , but it just doesn’t fit quite right.

    • #731981
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I think the H&M section suggests what sadly could have been for the whole facade. Instead we’ve that nice distinctive curved wall to one end, and then what looks like a completely different building to the other – as flat as a pancake, four storeys high with blanked out windows. Why even put in windows if you’re going to shove shelving units up against them? Hopefully they were only temporary as these pics were taken a good few weeks ago. Also the posting of the last pic above was not intended to suggest that that was the finished product (!), rather it just shows the nature of the cladding system.

      Agreed about the shortening of the canopy, as well as the interaction with Roches who’s quality of finish, whatever about the scale of the place, is simply superb. The Ilac looks like a cheapo beige 80s bathroom next to a designer suite.

    • #731982
      a boyle
      Participant

      Well put Mr. Hickey ! my thoughts exactly! By finished product i meant that each time i have passed it the shops and the pavements didn’t seem finished ( it’s been a month or so) . I also would not be surprised if some of the current tenants moved. They might use the window space better. I feel that a building needs a least a year before it can be fully trashed or praised.

      Perhaps the we will grow to like the look in future ( not bloody likely ! )

    • #731983
      jdivision
      Participant

      They had to buy the land that forms the curvy bit of H&M off the Council. Could be the council didn’t want to sell more (although I think that’s unlikely). The Dunnes stuff above is correct. They’re closing the one at the Moore Street end and that will be redeveloped into four or five double height retail units. The library is probably moving out too.

    • #731984
      Bago
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Red and tan brick is already peeping through the scaffolding on Parnell Street…

      I’m quite excited about the netting come off this apartment block, it seems to be one of the highest and biggest street fronting apartment blocks in the city, about 9-10 stories and quite a long stretch of the street. Living nearby i understand the street is full of rubbish but i’m really beginning to like the street, its one of the only uniformly semi highrise streets in the city.

    • #731985
      lostexpectation
      Participant

      @jdivision wrote:

      They had to buy the land that forms the curvy bit of H&M off the Council. Could be the council didn’t want to sell more (although I think that’s unlikely). The Dunnes stuff above is correct. They’re closing the one at the Moore Street end and that will be redeveloped into four or five double height retail units. The library is probably moving out too.

      to me that H&M store and whatever it was before seemed like a difficult fudge, Isn’t that suppose to be (one of the) the main entrance to the ILAC, oh do i go through H&M open door or this non-descript patio door here… ?

    • #731986
      fergalr
      Participant

      I heard that the library was staying and being enlargered considerably..but that was years back. There’s been a policy change then?
      Stick it on O’Connell St so..

    • #731987
      Alek Smart
      Participant

      Its worth noting how the Capel St/Bolton St/Parnell St/Domnick St area is TOTALLY ignored by Bus Atha Cliath in its wisdom…For example any Gentlemen seeking to travel to “Dublins Premier Gentlemens Club” by Public Omnibus will be sadly disappointed as will those folk who wish to go to the Cinema down that neck of the woods.
      All this wilderness in Public Transport terms whilst the apartments are already being populated.
      Ah well at least the “New” bus routes will be trundling along O Connell St……….:D

    • #731988
      Bago
      Participant

      @Alek Smart wrote:

      ..For example any Gentlemen seeking to travel to “Dublins Premier Gentlemens Club” by Public Omnibus will be sadly disappointed D

      Don’t forget the protesters, saw one being collected by his wife last week, not a sight you see everyday.

    • #731989
      jdivision
      Participant

      Re: The library. Dublin CIty Council has confirmed it plans to relocate it. Eventually. No timeline though

    • #731990
      jdivision
      Participant

      @Bago wrote:

      I’m quite excited about the netting come off this apartment block, it seems to be one of the highest and biggest street fronting apartment blocks in the city, about 9-10 stories and quite a long stretch of the street. Living nearby i understand the street is full of rubbish but i’m really beginning to like the street, its one of the only uniformly semi highrise streets in the city.

      That’s being done by South Dublin Construction (if memory serves). British Land and ILIM sold them that part of the street. Silly decision I think, particularly given Joe O’Reilly bought out British Land soon afterwards

    • #731991
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I don’t think it was silly at all; British Land secured over €100m on their 3 year investement and for Reilly the section what really matters is the one that he now holds.

      I have noted that all refurb has stopped on the section on the Moore Street side of the fountain, one wonders when this comes down and what will go up in its place?

    • #731992
      aj
      Participant

      i see that the flats in dominick street are to be pulled down has anyone seen what is going up in there place?

    • #731993
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Not sure aj, but I’ve some pics to post of them soon.

      Couldn’t wait till Christmas to find out what Dunnes Stores are doing with their Henry Street site and the demolished facades in what was the largest unified post-1916 terrace in the city, so I went to see the planning file. I imagine people here are interested in what they’re at also…

      So what are they doing? Modern infill? Faithful reconstruction? Pastiche job?
      Well, as you might have guessed, a mixture of all three really; most irritating on one hand, but a relief on the other. One thing in particular is very annoying however.

      This is the site today – a total of three properties was demolished:

      Here’s before with demolished facades outlined:

      You can just about make them all out there – a pair of standard, two-bay red brick properties alongside a third focal building on the far left with limestone or maybe granite pilasters and pediment etc, all dating from c.1917, Henry St having been rebuilt exceptionally quickly after the Rising.

      In the initial application it was proposed to only demolish the two left-hand buildings including the pedimented one, retaining the particularly distinguished right-hand fa

    • #731994
      urbanisto
      Participant

      A nice bit of research here Graham. I had meant to see what was in store for the site but never got around to it. It is good to see that Dunnes are opting for an imposing facade although I too think its a shame that all or at least some of the elements of the original buildings be kept. However I like what they have done on South George Street and I look forward to seing the finished product here. I think Henry St can become a little monotonous with the endless unified 1917 terrace although I would only advocate minimal and high quality interventions.

    • #731995
      urbanisto
      Participant

      Nor what we got with the Ilac though… but then the Ilac never has set the design world on fire

    • #731996
      fergalr
      Participant

      Was in there yesterday..I can’t help but feel that they missed out on an opportunity to have a second floor arcade like in Stephen’s Green.

    • #731997
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes, though by no means complete (the entire central section has yet to be started), the upgrade so far has been little more than a quick mall recladding job, with x amount of apartments tacked on the side.
      The non-slip granite flooring in particular looks very cheap and mis-matched, and the Mary Street elevation is also disappointing. Saying that, the refurbished central area combined with much improved Moore and Henry? Malls could be the making of the place, with these two malls in particular being radically changed. Out on Cole’s Lane you can now see the ridiculous one-and-a-half storey height of Moore Mall:

      (also this bizarre juxtaposition on Cole’s Lane!)

      What is proposed for the Ilac is something not a million miles from what fergalr mentioned there, but more like the Jervis Centre; from The Sunday Business Post four months ago: “The height of the centre will rise by 3.2 metres and two bulkheads in the central part of the mall will be removed. The plan is to create the feel of a full-length street parallel to Henry Street with double height shops all along the passageway.”

      http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2005/12/11/story10323.asp

      The food-court nature of the Parnell Mall is certainly going to be a challenge…

      Back on Henry Street, here’s a very rough idea of what Dunnes are building, composed with the cutting-edge CAD programme Paint.

      Can’t say I’d agree Stephen about Henry Street being “monotonous with the endless unified 1917 terrace” – especially with the variety of fine stock directly across the road from it. The 1917 terrace also looks fantastic in the sun with its glowing orange brickwork and crisp limestone features:

      If anything it’s the generally blocky, flat and lifeless UK high street shopfronts that need attention along here.

      But yes, as a development I too look forward to the finished Dunnes product. It’s been a long time coming when you consider George’s Street, the revamped St. Stephen’s Green Centre ‘Foodhall’, and even flippin North Earl Street! And all the while the chain’s once-flagship store was festering away in the Ilac. It’s going to be the icing on the cake for a now-thriving retail area; All the more reason for the southside to pull its socks up fast.

      Just to correct an earlier post, according to the SBP it’s the Moore Mall store that’s to be disposed of and subdivided – you’d wonder for the need of the other large store in that case…

    • #731998
      Devin
      Participant

      It’s fine to demolish the blank Dunnes facade off Henry Street, but the 1917 buildings shouldn’t have been demolished, especially as they were part of a unified terrace.

      The Laughter Lounge also did this when they were redeveloping; as well as their blank facade they also demolished a couple (two, I think) of original ‘teens or ’20s buildings on Eden Quay.

    • #731999
      jdivision
      Participant
      Graham Hickey wrote:
      ]
      But yes, as a development I too look forward to the finished Dunnes product. It’s been a long time coming when you consider George’s Street, the revamped St. Stephen’s Green Centre ‘Foodhall’, and even flippin North Earl Street! And all the while the chain’s once-flagship store was festering away in the Ilac. It’s going to be the icing on the cake for a now-thriving retail area]

      I think the Henry Street store will have a significant homewares element and it’s interesting that they’ve recently put in an application for a licenced restaurant as part of the store. I suspect the other Dunnes (the one closest to H&M) will be grocery and the new building from Henry Street to Ilac Centre will be drapery, homewares and the restaurant. They’ve done something similar in Ballincollig town centre in Cork.

      In addition, Some of the units at the Moore Mall end of the store (on the opposite side to the Dunnes) will also be converted into double height retail units. Gonna require the buying in of a few leases though.

    • #732000
      Anonymous
      Participant

      FACILITIES MANAGER REQUIRED: DUBLIN
      Ilac Shopping Centre, located in the heart of Dublin’s busiest shopping area, is undergoing an expansion and refurbishment. To compliment the existing management team, Irish Estates is looking to appoint an experienced Facilities Manager.

      The successful candidate will have a Facilities Management background with a detailed knowledge of the operation and maintenance of mechanical and electrical services. Responsibilities will include management of all maintenance contracts, budget management, liaison with contractors and tenants, and managing health and safety responsibilities. A degree of computer literacy is desirable as is a third level qualification. Excellent communication skills, attention to detail and strong administration skills are important as is the ability to deputise for Centre Management team members.

      Experience in a shopping centre, a major retailer or similar environment would be an advantage.
      The successful candidate would report to the Centre Director. An attractive salary will be offered to the successful candidate.

      Please send replies, including CV and current salary details to:

      Personnel Manager
      Ulysses House
      Foley Street
      Dublin 1


    • #732001
      Devin
      Participant

      Will put these here.

      Lower Dominic Street flats are being demolished at the moment (only the east side).

      A new entrance to the Ilac is being constructed there at the end of the street in the first picture
      .

    • #732002
      Lotts
      Participant

      Why are they knocking? Is the site to be used differently?

    • #732003
      GregF
      Participant

      Doninick Street flats are among the worst in Dublin. They look horrible and deserve a makeover.

      Parnell Street is unrecognizable now with the street fully filled in on both sides. I remember when it was one big surface level car park in the late 1980’s. It’s a 100% improvement now.

    • #732004
      Lotts
      Participant

      Knocking them can’t really be considered a “makeover”

      1980s Parnell Street was a dump, but at least it had potential to be developed properly. Now it’s still a dump but the potential is long gone as the dross that has been thrown up will be with us for years to come.

    • #732005
      jdivision
      Participant

      Dominack St is a ppp project with Dublin city council – some private apartments and social and affordable housing.
      http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/index.asp?locID=200&docID=2779
      Not sure who developer is

    • #732006
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Sounds like a good mix. Yes I’ve been watching these being boarded up and the diggers moving in – but would question exactly why a substantial investment has just been completed in reroofing and rebuilding the chimney stacks, only for it all to be pulled straight down?! They’re brand spanking new!
      At least in the pic above it would appear that the concrete tiles are being salvaged.

      Bit of a shame to see the Corpo’s ‘Big House’ design gradually disappearing, even if they weren’t anything much and probably very inadequate inside. They hold a certain sombre elegance in contrast to the all-singing, cheap window-studded muck evident in the same picture.

      A much nicer scheme here on Empress Place off Portland Row, either recently built or refurbished – presumably the latter:

    • #732007
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      They were refurbished a few years back – a good example of the older Corpo blocks

    • #732008
      kefu
      Participant

      I’ve been in quite a few of these blocks through work and almost invariably, they are of a far higher quality than the late 1980s/early 1990s private apartment schemes in Dublin. Certainly, ones such as Dolphin House and the old Fatima Mansions were very spacious.
      Would have to disagree with GregF regarding Parnell Street. It’s an upgrade on surface car parks but there’s hardly a building of merit on the entire stretch. Jurys, Parnell Centre, and the big one over Aldi would be near the top of the list of worst modern developments in Dublin.

    • #732009
      jdivision
      Participant

      The Jurys in particular is awful. Really disappointing given Shelbourne has done a good job on certain scheme such as the old Irish Times printing press and the old Virgin Megastore. I think an application was put in recently for the derelict site opposite Conways and that hopefully will be some sort of an improvement on the rest of the area.

    • #732010
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I recently met a tourist who had stayed at the Jury’s just off O’Connell St; it was as he put it a clean crash pad and very convenient to the centre. Put simply there is no incentive to design an attractive hotel in that price bracket where most sales are via the web to weekend tourists and mid level business execs. As much as I feel it is an innappropriate building for the area; it did serve its purpose in being the first major development in that specific micro area and the Lidl that occupies the rear of the scheme has added a vibrancy a couple of blocks either way.

      Great to see the Dominick St flats go; they were far to visible from the Kings Inn St side of Bolton St; I wonder do the DoEHLG have any enforceable guidelines on architectural standards for such PPP projects where the site is handed on a plate.

    • #732011
      emf
      Participant

      Hughs & Hughs’ bookshop is opening soon in the ‘Ivy Exchange’, opposite Jury’s, on Parnell St.

      It’s great to see something other than discount stores moving into the area. It helps create a better mix.

    • #732012
      emf
      Participant

      Apologies, it’s actually Chapter’s that’s opening here!

    • #732013
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Aha – I was wondering emf! :). Hughes and Hughes and Parnell Street aren’t exactly natural bedfellows…
      So Chapters are moving out in anticipation of Arnotts’ redevelopment – interesting.
      At least there’ll be some life in the Ivy Exchange at last – it’s been vacant for months, with To Let signs everywhere.

      For those that don’t know it, it’s a new retail and residential development sited across the road from Jury’s – an ungainly, disjointed, and clunkily detailed affair terminating the vista down Moore Street:

      It seems the plans got mixed up with a 1980s hotel intended for the ringroad around Coventry.

      Parnell Street itself has been extensively repaved to link this development more directly with the Ilac across the road.

      It’s very pedestrian-friendly, only too much so – the vast plaza-like space here simply encourages pedestrians to wander willy nilly about the roadway.

    • #732014
      GrahamH
      Participant

      oops – double post

    • #732015
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      It seems the plans got mixed up with a 1980s hotel intended for the ringroad around Coventry. .

      Unfortunately Coventry like many English towns got it absolutely arseways in planning terms during the 1960’s by building ringroad style inner orbitals in Coventry’s case a mere 500m in places from the main st. Every planning student should be taken to Wolverhampton to display exactly how not to develop areas just off the retail core.

      @GrahamH wrote:

      It’s very pedestrian-friendly, only too much so – the vast plaza-like space here simply encourages pedestrians to wander willy nilly about the roadway.

      Agreed a little more visual seperation may have been better; but take nothing away from the acheivement of turning this area from a criminaly central wasteland to a credible second tier retail location in a five year period.

    • #732016
      TilbyBlue
      Participant

      Listen, I’m not a lawyer not an archetect and probably shouldn’t be on this post, BUT I’m seeking an opinion on whether an appartment in the Ivy Exchange buidling would be good investment…. I agree the building’s not easy on the eye. The area does seem to be going ahead… or is it? I’m thinking there might be a glut of these sort of appartments in the city centre.

    • #732017
      jdivision
      Participant

      @TilbyBlue wrote:

      Listen, I’m not a lawyer not an archetect and probably shouldn’t be on this post, BUT I’m seeking an opinion on whether an appartment in the Ivy Exchange buidling would be good investment…. I agree the building’s not easy on the eye. The area does seem to be going ahead… or is it? I’m thinking there might be a glut of these sort of appartments in the city centre.

      Try askaboutmoney.com

    • #732018
      MT
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      That pic sort of gives an example of something that baffles me about streetscape development by local authorities in the Republic. How is it that they’re often able to use cobblelock for raised junctions, speed bumps and pinch points and yet continue to surround these areas with egregious poured concrete*. Now I realise that reddish cobblelock is hardly the most attractive paving surface but its vastly superior to farmyard style concrete. To my unfamiliar Northern eye, the latter always gives projects a half finished appearance at street level. Couldn’t budgets at least stretch to a tarmac or cobblelock finish with actual kerbs when more flashy paving is deemed beyond reach?

      Another thing that assaults my aesthetic sensibilities – said he clutching both lapels and sounding ever more profound – is the needless use of two keep left signs on one pedestrian island when a single illuminated bollard, as used on the second island, would have sufficed. It’s just annoying clutter:
      @GrahamH wrote:

      It’s very pedestrian-friendly, only too much so – the vast plaza-like space here simply encourages pedestrians to wander willy nilly about the roadway.

      The hooded traffic lights lead me to believe they haven’t yet finished marking out the new road layout. If this is the case, future road markings might provide a better demarcation between pedestrian and vehicle space.

      * Yes it appears they’ve avoided the poured grey stuff in this instance. Give DCC a star. :rolleyes:

    • #732019
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I note the absence of comment from Devin on this so they obviously didn’t remove any historic paving from the location. It is a well made point about the lack of concrete which is quite a dangerous material should a child trip or the like.

      In relation to purchasing an apartment down here; I would consider this area as an owner occupier as there is a great diversity of shopping and eating opportunities here and the age structure of the local complexes is now quite mature and as such the visual effects of the blocks are the only real problem they present. As a buy to let market it is an exceptional area with DIT and the Mater very close by not to mention walking distance to the legal quarter and IFSC.

      In future years the rear of the Ilac centre developed mid 1990’s will be regarded the biggest mistake of all.

    • #732020
      TilbyBlue
      Participant

      Thanks, this site is really interesting. I went up through the complex up into a central courtyard/ garden that the other residential towers face into. It seems reasonably attractive, and quiet. Might get very shabby and ghetto like in 30 yrs time though!

    • #732021
      Anonymous
      Participant

      They must have had a job lot of that bloody cobble lock stuff lying around somewhere and decided to use it … much more attractive concrete pavers are available for the same price or less … bad choice, depressing colour.

    • #732022
      Seandub1
      Participant

      Its not even proper cobble lock. Its a material they pour and then the pattern is made when its still soft. You can see that if you lok at the edge where it hits the normal road surface on the top photo.
      Havig said that its probably better to use this on the road anyway as cobble lock often becomes loose even after only a small amount of traffic.

    • #732023
      MT
      Participant

      That’s interesting Sean. I noticed the join with the tarmac but thought that was some sort of filler independent of what seemed like a cobble lock surface. But even this mediocre finish would surely be much more preferable to the egregious poured concrete so popular with local authorities down there.

    • #732024
      GrahamH
      Participant

      3/12/2006

      Watching the new Dunnes Stores development on Henry Street going up over the past year, it became increasingly apparent through the scaffolding that the window courses were substantially different to that of the host terrace. Similarly the ground floor was punching way above the established shopfront line.

      And now we know why ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      Even watching the steel frame going up back in the summer, deep down I just knew a revised application had been submitted in place of the initial proposal for a facade retention of sorts.

      What has been allowed through on the entirely historically intact east Henry Street is nothing short of a scandal – without question the worst planning decision made for a city centre commerical street in at least the past five years. It beggars belief that something like this can still happen in 2006.

      Not only is Henry Street defined by characterful post-1916 red brick buildings and terraces, this was also the longest and most impressive unified commerical terrace in the entire city centre. Unlike Upper O’Connell Street’s terrace of monolithic buildings, this redbrick streetscape had a much more initimate modest character, which coupled with the terrace across the road lent Henry Street its distinctively warm and pleasant atmosphere. To have this shattered by the most gharish, intrusive, brutish box clad in wetroom tiles of tacky four star hotel proportions is stomach churning. And not only this, the enormous, greedy display windows immediately suck the life out of the primacy of Arnotts on the streetscape, which when coupled with the distraction of the new street corner here, is going to erode the character of Henry Street even further. Not that watered down neoclassicisim is the last word in identity generation, but its replacement with utterly anonymous ‘anywhere’ architecture merely adds insult to injury. At least on South Great George’s Street the same architects had a curving facade and muddled streetscape to play with – but here they’ve merely applied the same formula, sandy Pritt Stick tiles included, to a regimented streetscape. It couldn’t be any more incongruous if they tried.

      ABP would surely have chucked this out the window given half the chance. Bedazzled by the allure of a major retail player boosting their concept of a ‘northern quarter’, DCC clearly must have been drooling on the pages too much to even notice what was actually proposed. And this in the face of the Development Plan waxing lyrical about reinforcing streetscapes, promoting sensitive redevelopment, creating and preserving identity, seeking to protect older buildings of merit that are not protected structures etc etc etc.

      Shame on this decision ๐Ÿ˜ก

    • #732025
      archipimp
      Participant

      i was raging when i saw the scaffolding come down and this appearing, i’ve always liked the way henry street has mainly hung onto its older buildings which make it such a nice street and thought that it was safe now that it survived the 80s. lets just hope such an out of character building doesnt set a precedent!

    • #732026
      Nina
      Participant

      What about the fantastic mystic disco pyramids in multi colours that run along the Ilac on Moore St? Anybody have any comments or opinions on these plastic decorations?? I am interested in opening up a conversation about the nature of these objects, does anybody feel they have any worth either as aesthetic objects in they’re own right or perhaps they have cultural value? Is there any concern that these objects may have gained a right to be preserved just by virtue or they’re duration on the street? I believe they went up in 1981..(correct me if im wrong!).. is 26 years long enough? Have they passed into our collective visual heritage? Would love to hear your thoughts!

    • #732027
      Nina
      Participant

      Heres another shot -heading towards Henry St

    • #732028
      fergalr
      Participant

      Jesus..no.

    • #732029
      jdivision
      Participant

      @Nina wrote:

      What about the fantastic mystic disco pyramids in multi colours that run along the Ilac on Moore St? Anybody have any comments or opinions on these plastic decorations?? I am interested in opening up a conversation about the nature of these objects, does anybody feel they have any worth either as aesthetic objects in they’re own right or perhaps they have cultural value? Is there any concern that these objects may have gained a right to be preserved just by virtue or they’re duration on the street? I believe they went up in 1981..(correct me if im wrong!).. is 26 years long enough? Have they passed into our collective visual heritage? Would love to hear your thoughts!

      There’s a planning application in to demolish this end of the shopping centre

    • #732030
      Nina
      Participant

      Yep, i know about the demolition application, i have been in touch with the Ilac managment re. these, they expect to get started early in the summer

    • #732031
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      I have a certain fondness for the multi-coloured canopy, but I think it’s more to do with my earliest memories of going into town as a kid. I don’t think I could rustle up an argument for its protection based on any intrinsic merit, though. It’d be funny to reuse them somewhere – maybe in an actual night club? – but I think you’d be fighting a losing battle in arguing that they have any real heritage value- their only real value, to my more grown up eyes, is in momentarily distracting passers by from the severity of the ILAC building itself. Here’s hoping no such distraction would be required for the replacement. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • #732032
      Nina
      Participant

      Is it too early to regard these objects as somewhat ‘nostalgic’? If they survived another 10 years, would they pass into the status that the ‘Why go Bald?’ sign off South Great Georges St has?
      I would like to regard these and similar objects around the city as a kind of ‘haute couture’ of architecture. Representitive of the of ideas that were being circulated at the time. They are not quite sculpture, in that they were designed to ‘decorate’ the building in mind – but have they now passed into the realm of a kind of public sculpture – in terms of our familiarity with them. Do they deserve a consideration apart from the Ilac Centre as a building?

    • #732033
      Nina
      Participant

      I agree with you ctesiphon, i dont particularly like the facade of the ilac at present- and am interested in what will be deemed complimentary to the opposite side of the street, considering the diverse range of styles appearing in the area.

    • #732034
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      Well something with windows would be a start. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I don’t know that I’d put the canopies in the same bracket as the Why Go Bald sign, but you might be right when you say they could be considered apart from the building, and they are certainly very representative of a particular period of Irish design history (though as a fan of modular origami, I might be a little bit biased in my admiration.) They’d make a kind of sense in Collins Barracks in a way, no? Or maybe in the garden at IMMA. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Incidentally, I felt the same way when Pelican House was demolished. On the footpath in front of the building stood street lamps of a complementary design (2 or 3 of them?), unlike those on the rest of the street. They disappeared in the redevelopment.

      And come to think of it, I still haven’t found out what became of the wall-mounted sculpture from the ground floor of the Riada Building in Dame Street (now Starbucks). But I’m getting off topic…

      *** *** ***

      Graham-
      I can’t believe I missed your post the first time round (festive cheer?:o ), and I haven’t been up that way in a while, but that Dunnes is woeful. Just looking at that picture makes me feel queasy; there’s something very unsettling about it. I should go and see it in the flesh.

    • #732035
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Save your delicate sensibilities ctesiphon and avoid it at all costs. I’m considering taking a new route to work from here on in, as passing it every morning gets the blood pressure into an unhealthy state for such an early hour – the daily quota is being hit even before the lunchtime stroll over mauled antique pavements ๐Ÿ˜‰

      An interesting point Nina regarding the eh, ‘pyramids’. Personally I view them as being of limited merit in themselves: little more than a typical tokenistic feature of 1980’s retail architecture, and a desperate attempt to tart up the economising, bleak facade of the Ilac. They’re a 1980’s version of a modern-day cheap n cheerful glazed ‘sail’ canopy or similar. Frank McDonald’s memorable description of 1984 was: “The Moore Street facade is little more than a pre-cast concrete wall, 150 yards long, relieved only by ridiculous coloured plastic pyramids, steel bars and balls, like a strung out chemical formula. And the Parnell Street ‘frontage’ has been politiely described as a visual mess.” ๐Ÿ™‚

      However, I agree that they have just about scraped it into our collective ‘visual heritage’ – for good or bad. Indeed I think they are probably more indicative of what could have been with the Ilac, had it been built to double the size originally intended, and with a half decent budget. They are a taster of the psychedelic high fashion that could have prevailed both on the interior and exterior, especially if it had been built somewhere like a prosperous UK city. In which case we’d have an even bigger mess to clear up now ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’ve always found it a bit difficult to reconcile the two aspects of 1980’s design evident with the Ilac: on the one hand the remarkably drab and sleazy brown tiling and dark, dingy interior finishes, and the crude concrete outside, and on the other hand the glitzy, decadent bright plastics used with the pyramids, and interior features like the acres of glamorous little sparkling lights and bright pink neon tubes. It’s odd how polar opposite tastes were fashionable at the same time.

      But yes, it’ll be a shame to see the disappearance of probably the last vestige of large-scale 1980’s modern design in Dublin before the heritage wave crashed on our shores. And they do form a distinctive part of a streetscape of the city. They’ll probably be remembered fondly simply for injecting a rare spark of life and colour to what was an otherwise dying city.

    • #732036
      fergalr
      Participant

      The new inside’s pretty bad, though. A big glossy, tarty-looking place. Like Jervis (which is bad enough) only cheaper.

    • #732037
      GrahamH
      Participant

      25/9/2007

      The finished Dunnes product in its all-consuming glory.

      It couldn’t be more insensitive if it tried, bulldozing through the reticient streetscape and slashing nonchalantly through the unifying codes of the host terrace.

      The success of the bombastic Debenhams/Roches was reliant on its contrast with the charming traditional unified streetscape leading up to it – that has now been utterly lost.
      Is it now the renewed policy of Dublin City Council, as in the 1980s, to clear away all of Henry Street? How can they possibly justify future refusals for similar development in this terrace? Simply, they cannot. Not that they’d be bothered either way going by this development.

      The bleak corridor that is now Cole’s Lane: the blank facade of Debenhams to one side, the ugly elevation of Dunnes to the other, and the pathetic two-storey termination of the ‘refurbished’ Ilac at the end.

      The finesse is striking.

      The ubiquitous pavillion storey on top forms the restaurant and additional store floor space.

      The restaurant design is edgy, crisp, calm and at times tounge-in-cheek – mirror walls are apparently ‘in’ again. One of the saving graces of this development.

      The colour scheme seems to be influenced by an Aero bar, and is very cool.

      Saying that, €2.80 for a cup of coffee is extortionate, and the warm milk on my table was thoroughly sour. Not a great start. For a restaurant with such pretensions, milk on the table is an oddity at best. You’ll get a far better deal all-round in Chocolate Soup in Debenhams.

      The roof terrace directly adjoins the restaurant, and provides all of its natural light. It is from up here that one really appreciates what a loss the unacquired corner building on Henry Street/Cole’s Lane was for Dunnes. It constrains both the floorplates of the store at large, and a highly desirable wrap-around roof terrace with views down Henry Street. There are no views to be had of the city from the current location, other than the blank wall of Debenhams opposite and the horrendous vista of the low-rise air-con peppered roofscape of the Ilac. No wonder all the glazing is frosted!

      The interiors of the store itself are relatively predictable. Surprisingly little has moved on since Roches was completed a number of years ago; in that respect I think Roches were ahead of their time. Dunnes only has the allure of the new as an attribute at the minute: generally I think the Roches fit-out still wins out on substance, if a little more worn now. Dunnes has some great escalator wall treatment, but little else of note. It’s no wonder the store was completed so quickly, as much of the corrugated metal and concrete structure is still exposed, just painted black and hung with suspended slab ceilings. Strangely inconsistent eggshell black walls are also a feature.

      What is innovative however is its product displays – they’ve come on leaps and bounds from the Dunnes of old. Sweeping sexy crescents of seating with shoe display shelving above, big circular rugs with display tables atop, elegantly laid out shelving units more akin to Fraiser’s apartment than a retail outlet, all makes for a visually interesting retail experience.

      A shame it’s all housed in such a monster of a building: even at the entrance on ground floor level it gives Henry Street a slap in the face by turning its back on it. The windows are completely closed off, making for an unpleasant closing-in experience upon entering the store. There’s also no sense of place whatsoever upon entering what proclaims to be a department store of sorts – you walk straight into racks of clothing which looks and feels odd.

      And not to lay this matter just at the feet of Dunnes, but the energy these places consume must be crazy. Everywhere you look it’s energy energy energy!

      Along with heating and air-conditioning blasting away and escalators rotating 18 hours a day. You’d wonder as to the sustainability of these warehouses in the longer term.

      All in all a positive retail and design contribution to the city centre, but an ignorant brush-off to its host streets.

    • #732038
      JoePublic
      Participant

      You can catch a regular glimpse of this once unruined terrace in the credits of fair city, before Dublin City Council allowed Dunnes Stores run a bulldozer through it

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=9NggDrjkgsQ

      For shame DCC ๐Ÿ™

    • #732039
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I’ve often thought exactly the same JoePublic!
      Immortalised on video four nights a week – a fitting memorial to this terrace, and the once-distinguished planning ideals we held in this city.

      On a How Well Do You Know Dublin note, I still can’t figure out where that back alley with the man sweeping the roadway is – Temple Bar perhaps?

    • #732040
      jdivision
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      25/9/2007

      The bleak corridor that is now Cole’s Lane: the blank facade of Debenhams to one side, the ugly elevation of Dunnes to the other, and the pathetic two-storey termination of the ‘refurbished’ Ilac at the end.

      There’s a planning permission in to fill in Debenhams to the rear and I suspect Joe will bring this level up too.

    • #732041
      Rory W
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      On a How Well Do You Know Dublin note, I still can’t figure out where that back alley with the man sweeping the roadway is – Temple Bar perhaps?

      Crow Street Temple Bar

    • #732042
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      @Rory W wrote:

      Crow Street Temple Bar

      I was going to suggest Crane Lane- up the side of the Dolphin Hotel, facing towards City Hall. Or possibly Sycamore Street, at the side of the Olympia?

    • #732043
      adhoc
      Participant

      Its Crane Lane – the sign for the Boilerhouse, “Dublin’s best and biggest sauna” is clearly visible on the left

    • #732044
      manifesta
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      The finesse is striking.

      ๐Ÿ˜€

    • #732045
      urbanisto
      Participant

      This store is so dead and lifeless both inside and out. Absolutely no atmosphere. And Cole’s Lane is such an utter waste of space!

      I agree it seems that DCC seem happy to let this whole area go under redevelopment. The Northern Quarter, the upcoming “Dublin Central” around the old Carlton site are al proposing these monlithic type buildings. And the architecture is so bland.

      The store revamps along Grafton Street recently are the opposite. Some lovely stuff especially the new Ted Baker.

    • #732046
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I couldn’t agree with you more Stephen – indeed I was about to get some pictures of these very stores.

      It’s great to see a good news story emerging here – Grafton Street has been upping the stakes enormously over the past 18 months or so. There’s some beautiful shopfront design evolving on the thoroughfare, especially at the south-western end near South Anne Street – there’s almost a Chic Row emerging here, with unit upon unit of sleek modern design.

      By contrast the Northside, while benefiting in the short term from major new retail complexes, will in the long term suffer from out-dated ‘mega-structural’ developments cloaked in uninspiriing two dimensional glossy tiles, with bloated rendered backsides spewing out into various important views in the city. And clearly not even existing decent stock is safe either.

      Incidentally, before the event disappears into the annals of time, the opening of the new Dunnes a few months ago was the most extraordinary spactacle the city centre must ever have witnessed since 1916 – only this time it was a consumer war. I just happened to be passing and went in to see the new store, not knowing there was 50% off all stock until getting inside. It is impossible to describe what utter mayhem there was; I have never ever ever seen a store so full of people in all my life; there was literally thousands of people in there: a swarming sea of shoppers slowing rippling across four levels. The shelves were almost empty, there was stock thrown everywhere, the security guards were standing around pretty much helpless, the queues for the checkouts were at least 100 deep across the store, lasting well over an hour, and the escalators and lifts were completely jammers. It was actually frightening at times, with an every-man-for-himself atmosphere pervading the store. Absolute madness – it was fantastic to see such a consumer orgy in all its glory.

      Spectacular marketing Margaret – gotta hand it to her.

    • #732047
      lostexpectation
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      I couldn’t agree with you more Stephen – indeed I was about to get some pictures of these very stores.

      Incidentally, before the event disappears into the annals of time, the opening of the new Dunnes a few months ago was the most extraordinary spactacle the city centre must ever have witnessed since 1916 – only this time it was a consumer war. I just happened to be passing and went in to see the new store, not knowing there was 50% off all stock until getting inside. It is impossible to describe what utter mayhem there was]thousands[/b] of people in there: a swarming sea of shoppers slowing rippling across four levels. The shelves were almost empty, there was stock thrown everywhere, the security guards were standing around pretty much helpless, the queues for the checkouts were at least 100 deep across the store, lasting well over an hour, and the escalators and lifts were completely jammers. It was actually frightening at times, with an every-man-for-himself atmosphere pervading the store. Absolute madness – it was fantastic to see such a consumer orgy in all its glory.

      Spectacular marketing Margaret – gotta hand it to her.

      mostly women though right? scary thing women looking for a dunnes bargains

    • #732048
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      nah – even the LCD’s, xboxes, Laptops and Plasmas were half price – the lads got in on the madness too!

    • #732049
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Hehe – very true d_d. They were all sold out within minutes, with posters up everywhere from disgruntled staff being asked about them every four seconds ๐Ÿ˜€

      And bizarrely most people were queueing with only a few items of clothing, even though the queues were well over an hour. It’s not as if it was designer savings being made. Some old-fashioned Mr Burns efficiency crept into my head that evening – I’d be happier with the dollar.

      Curiously, while Dunnes has made massive leaps in ‘Euroising’ and modernising Homewares and most fashion departments, large swathes of Menswear remain resolutely in the 1990s – other mid-market retailers beat them hands down. I think it’s next on the list for an upgrade.

    • #732050
      Blisterman
      Participant

      I have to say. I don’t think the Henry St Facade is as horrible and unsensitive as people here seem to think.
      Taking it, as a building by itself. I like the proportions and symmetry. Even taking it in context, it maintains the height of the streetscape. I also like how it continues some of the lines along the streetscape, while breaking others, creating an interesting conflict with the adjacent buildings.

      The one major critisism I have of it, is the choice of stone. It clashes pretty badly with the red brick around it. I think they should have chosen a stone, which would have complemented the surroundings much better. maybe a light coloured limestone or portland stone.

    • #732051
      GrahamH
      Participant

      To say the least. I disagree regarding the lines, Blisterman: only one of the window courses matches, and frankly it’s entirely coincidental. To attribute the ignorant, lazy and insensitive bulldozing of horizontal courses to an intended tongue-in-cheek post-modernist approach is faintly ridiculous, though no doubt exactly what the architects would have spouted had the planning authority pressed them on it. Luckily for them however, it was DCC they were dealing with, who not only blithely waved it through, but also promptly rolled over to have their tummy tickled.

      Agreed the facade itself is crisp and fresh, and not without merit at another location with different cladding. But this terrace should not have been interfered with. It’s as simple as that.

    • #732052
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Having seen it myself last week, its worse than Graham’s photo’s suggest. The glossy facade borders on bling set against the muted tones of its neighbours, its ‘design’ is absolutely without context, destroying the continuity of a lovely terrace.

      Why DCC allowed any kind of intervention here is beyond me, the finished product adds insult to injury & seriously undermines DCC and their truck load of IAP’S.

    • #732053
      hutton
      Participant

      @Peter FitzPatrick wrote:

      Having seen it myself last week, its worse than Graham’s photo’s suggest. The glossy facade borders on bling set against the muted tones of its neighbours, its ‘design’ is absolutely without context, destroying the continuity of a lovely terrace.

      Why DCC allowed any kind of intervention here is beyond me, the finished product adds insult to injury & seriously undermines DCC and their truck load of IAP’S.

      + 1

    • #732054
      PTB
      Participant

      I’m a little confused over this – is the part of the Ilac that is occupied by Debenhams (formerly Roches) designed by AJ Wechjerc or NMA? Or did NMA just design the interior of that plot?

    • #732055
      Anonymous
      Participant

      When did Dunnes start doing decent shopfronts?

      This could have been a lot worse and the development heading towards Sampson’s Lane is a piece of real progress; I’m not totally sure about the permission to demolish but at least the end result is decent considering it is mass market commercial space.

    • #732056
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Sorry, but what a load of concessionary nonsense. We are to be thankful that ILAC Round II in the form of a four-storey concrete wall wasn’t loaded on us? Or this development is acceptable because a typical ‘mass market’ motorway shed wasn’t built here? We should be eternally grateful to Dunnes for not scarring the city even more for their mass marketing ends?

      The entire point is that we have planners in this city to control development; to enforce standards for the sake of the greater good. And you’re suggesting we be thankful for them not allowing something even worse?!

      This case runs a lot deeper than meets the eye, and judging An Bord Pleanรƒยกla resoundingly enforced every last word that has been expressed on this site in opposition to the Henry Street facade intrusion, DCC have a lot to answer for. They are consistently flouting their Development Plan in areas pertaining to sensitive development – this behemoth smashing through the streetscape is the most telling monument to that end.

    • #732057
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Dunnes on Henry Street is a very pleasant addition to the street and in this case I am happy to consider that the gain of an anchor department store behind a very sympathetic stone facade that at parapet level is in line is a very good result.

      There may be issues around the loss of two early 20th century buildings but given the choice between two buildings and Samsons Lane or a way to create a department store linking almost directly to the Parnell Mall of the Ilac Centre this is real progress. In 10 years the typical visitor to Henry Street will think this is an auld building.

    • #732058
      Bago
      Participant

      @PVC King wrote:

      Dunnes on Henry Street is a very pleasant addition to the street

      Very interesting yet simple reflective wall beside the elevator inside, reminds of the prague undreground pictures.

    • #732059
      PTB
      Participant

      Whats going on in the Ilac at the moment? The management seem to be drilling for oil.

    • #732060
      BTH
      Participant

      Looks like they are piling – probably to put a big sculpture or something there in the central mall. The place would need something to liven it up!! Soulless is not the word….

    • #732061
      dave123
      Participant

      Yeah it’s boring alright, ditto, souless is not even the word! The central Mall looks so empty, considering the units are bland and are not much bigger than an average sized living room. I could go on.

    • #732062
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I’d have to agree. Was in there a few hours ago thinking exactly the same (as with every time I pass through). A remarkably soulless centre that’s still the biggest waste of urban space it ever was. The ongoing mall project has been little more than a re-clad job of mammoth proportions – although there are some attractive plaster suspensions in parts. The dingy units are still the same size with low ceilings, and the Parnell Mall as pokey as ever. As mentioned before, the choice of non-slip granite flooring across the centre is particularly horriffic. It looks so cheap, and like it’s been painted on from a pattern in a Georgianise Your Home book from 1984. Such a disappointing choice.

      Saying all that, the centre is most afflicted by poor tenants – once this is resolved, and the central area finished, it may yet garner a bit of character.

      It really does look like they’re drilling for oil though – trying to fund the rest of the refurb perhaps…

    • #732063
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Saying all that, the centre is most afflicted by poor tenants – once this is resolved, and the central area finished, it may yet garner a bit of character.

      Spot on

      They have made a lot of progress by replacing Easons with H & M and extending Dunnes into the centre directly from Henry St. I do however agree that a lot of the fashion retailers in side are pure c**p and this really doesn’t help.

      It is however encouraging that they are trying to take the asset forward in its current format and the centre is much better for the removal of that dreadful elevated cafe.

      I’m sure that they are plotting and scheming further changes on an ongoing basis but fear that the retail mix will only move dramatically forward once the Carlton site is integrated into scheme.

      Would you advise anyone to grant 20 year leases on the Moore Mall at passing rental levels with the Carlton scheme only a few years away?

    • #732064
      murphaph
      Participant

      @PVC King wrote:

      It is however encouraging that they are trying to take the asset forward in its current format and the centre is much better for the removal of that dreadful elevated cafe.

      I loved that restaurant as a kid! So futuristic to eat look over the rail at the shoppers far below!

      I actually prefer the old ILAC to this reclad one. At least the old one was honest.

    • #732065
      BTH
      Participant

      I have to say I sort of agree! Pre renovation it was pretty horrific but I did like the old quarry tiled floor and the simplicity of the big monopitch glazed roof. And at least there was SOMETHING in the central mall area – not the current big nothing. I actually find walking through the place quite unsettling – all that pristine white and grey contrasted with the utterly crap shop units in their shades of beige and brown…. I guess itll all change eventually but the new Arnotts scheme is surely going to pull the lions share of the more high-brow retailers that could bring the ILAC up to standard.
      Oh on another note – the exterior of the H&M and main entrance area is looking so dated and shoddy already. What were they thinking?

    • #732066
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @murphaph wrote:

      I loved that restaurant as a kid! So futuristic to eat look over the rail at the shoppers far below!

      and the glass lifts ! felt like you were on your way to outer space ๐Ÿ˜€
      (well in my head as an 8 year old anyway)

    • #732067
      igy
      Participant

      Am i gone crazy or was there a big hot-air balloon suspended from the centre of the fountain?
      I can sort of imagine it, but I don’t think it was still there when i started going to town by myself (circa 1996 or so)

    • #732068
      Anonymous
      Participant

      pretty sure there was, ascending & descending i think, yellow & red stripes spring to mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #732069
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yep spot on :p

      Oh how we yearn for Jonathan’s. 80’s chic truly at its most dazzling.
      A fountain with coins completed the uber-sophisticated ensemble.

    • #732070
      GrahamH
      Participant

      The recent cleaning and general sprucing up of an 1918 facade opposite Dunnes has demonstrated what can be achieved with these delightfully whimsical buildings that don’t really take themselves seriously.

      The trademark glowing orangey brick of the early 20th century gives a lovely warm glow. The sashes turned up great too.

      With by-then established cement mortar (some dodgy repointing of which around the granite wasn’t removed alas). The granite is still lovely and crisp, not least as it’s all north facing.

      With the gradual improvement of properties along Henry Street, the intrusion of Dunnes into what was an entirely intact early 20th century streetscape is becoming all the more regrettable.

    • #732071
      johnglas
      Participant

      Beautiful facades, which should teach some people a lesson about over-enthusiastic remodelling or even removal of early 20th C buildings. But what about those shopfronts?! Bland or what? Where is DCC’s design guide?

    • #732072
      GrahamH
      Participant

      18/4/2009

      Oh my god, so River Island has like, finally, like opened on Henry Street, yeah!

      This is loike, so fantaaaastic. Gingham shirts, skinny jeans and hair straighteners at the ready guys! (diamante earring optional)

      Finally this vacant unit has been filled (and more importantly all of that nasty advertising hoarding removed) and a new focus given to the junction of the three streets here. The Henry Street/Mary Street axis is now holding up well, with big (if universal) attractions distributed evenly along its length. All we need is that vertical band of crassness to the right removed and we’ll be getting somewhere. One suspects we shall be waiting.

      The fit-out is of a good standard, typical of River Island (and miles above that of H&M), with a cavernous ground floor and a more modestly scaled first floor. The demands of what is now the theatre of retail has resulted in some clever uses of materials, notably lining the stairwell.

      Sadly, however, this new facade to the Ilac remains the cheap, incoherent and unimaginative paper-thin commercial veil it always was. I cannot see it lasting even as long as the original Ilac did.

    • #732073
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      At least they have window displays and not large stickers on all the windows.

    • #732074
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yep. It’s notable actually how all of the international retailers are really the only ones with decent shop displays in Dublin. Even BT’s innovative displays (with fantastic lighting units at the minute incidentally) claim their origins from the firm’s international ownership. Arnotts make a good attempt, but their tounge-in-cheek approach never quite works in that 1960s host environment.

      Could I just ramp up criticism of the Ilac facade a gear. It grossly offends me every time I pass. It’s not even a building – a cardboard cutout piece of urban infill trash. Absolute rubbish. The redundancy of the upper levels is particularly frustrating, while the choice of materials virtually across the board is cheap, tawdry and thoroughly disposable. It also makes no attempt to generate an ‘incident’ or sense of grand entrance on the streetscape. Shame on whoever threw it together.

    • #732075
      fergalr
      Participant

      The H&M curvy glass wall is nice. But the rest of the centre is a disgrace. It’s even tackier inside than it was before the refurbishment.

    • #732076
      hutton
      Participant

      Hmmm, the overwhelming negative assessment of Ilac Mark 2 does not bode well for one’s hopes of what the adjacent Dublin Central scheme might amount to, which is after all being developed by the same developer Joe O’Reilly.

      One thing I did note re Ilac, was that while the architecture may not amount to much, the redevelopment was a textbook case of site management – i.e. being able to keep the centre open while redevelopment was taking place.

      We will continue to watch this space with interest…

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