Laughter Lounge – Eden Quay
December 27, 2004 at 10:21 pm #707548
Most of the canopy is down on the Laughter Lounge on Eden Quay and on first impressions, it’s absolutely disastrous.
It’s combination legoland redbrick, with sub-standard granite slabs in the middle of it. The windows are green but the street-level has not been unfurled yet. If anybody has a camera, they should take a snap.
Another abysmal addition to the quays. Not necessarily any worse than what was there before but pretty bad nonetheless.
I also notice that the mini Eiffel Tower on the top of the Dublin Gas building has disappeared.
It was like a pyramidal aerial with the top quarter lopped off. I assumed it was an original art deco feature of the building – but could be wrong.
December 27, 2004 at 11:31 pm #748989
The little mast can be seen here:
Photo six years old approx
December 28, 2004 at 1:09 pm #748990
The Eden Quay building is actually a lot smaller than it looks coming in at 1279 sq m which I’d have to say surpised me given the frontage it has. There are basic images on http://www.lisney.ie ( click onto the Dublin Office tab and then onto offices (they don’t have specific web pages))
Initially I was very negative on it, but having seen the renderings I will wait until the scaffolding comes down before I decide if I like it.
Re: The Gas building it is a surprise that the antennnae has come down, it is I suppose lucky that it hasn’t been drowned in mobile phone transmitters.
Another feature of the building worth checking out is the Walnut & Kingswood pannelling that runs up the stairs, pure deco 😀
December 28, 2004 at 4:10 pm #748991
Doesn’t look too bad on Lisney.
Here’s the image attached.
Finishing looks a lot cheaper in reality.
December 28, 2004 at 4:48 pm #748992
its a nothing – another new Dublin nothing – might as well be an apartment block on Conygham Road or the “new town centre” in Asbourne…. its a nothing piece of architecture….
i was under the impression that the architects had proprosed something…
December 28, 2004 at 6:01 pm #748993
Eden Quay is my nomination for Dublin’s worst Quay architecturally, it is sad to say that this building is possibly the best addition to the quay in over 100 years. I agree with Paul that it is an entirely unremarkable building, but it is at least reasonably in scale with the rest of whats down there.
My own pet hates down there are the corner building with marlborough St with its nasty aluminium windows and the shops that complete the Liberty Hall Scheme, both of those could gladly disapear.
December 28, 2004 at 8:01 pm #748994
yeah eden quay is dreadful, the new building is a big disappointment, wasted opportunity, especially being so near to O’Connell bridge … maybe the boardwalk will lift the quay a bit …
Read in yesterday’s Irish Times that SIPTU are considering selling Liberty Hall … potential for a decent recladding under new ownership maybe ??
Do you have a pic of the original transparent glazing Paul ? … think you posted one before …
link to Tuesday’s times …
December 29, 2004 at 1:09 am #748995
The image of the new Laughter Lounge doesn’t tell us much except that it is strikingly similar to the Trinity Capital Hotel (which is not good)
I agree that it is ‘anywhere’ architecture, but then again – to dabble a toe into vast waters of debate – isn’t that the nature of modern architecture? Certainly in the context of expecting much higher quality architecture for a prominent site in the heart of the capital I’d agree.
Should be able to get a pic tomorrow.
I can’t agree Peter & Diaspora that Eden Quay is poor architecturally, if anything quite the opposite; it looks especially well in the morning sun. There is a fine mix of buildings there, albethey somewhat underwhelming for the centre of the city, not least in height terms, with most of the quay easily able to accommodate an extra storey.
There is a nice mixture of 1920s and earlier bulidings that are very attractive making up most of the quay – maybe it’s the poor state of repair of the buildings and general down-at-heel environment you refer to, in which case I’d agree.
A case in point are the aluminium windows you refer to Diaspora, and the windows of the lovely building on the opposite corner, where the steel originals were replaced with (convincing at a distance, but nasty up close) PVC.
Also agree about the Liberty Hall shops, they are woeful. That’s an interesting story about Liberty Hall – wonder who’d take it on. I couldn’t get over the amount of space the lift & stair shafts take up the first time I was in there – often heard it harped on about but you really can’t believe it till you see it!
It really goes to show how the building went up in that format purely for height status.
December 29, 2004 at 2:40 am #748996
I think the poor environmental condition of Eden Quay – and it really is an awful quay to stand around on, with all the bus termini, quays traffic and anything else that has turned in from O’Connell Bridge – causes an unfairly negative impression of its architecture. All the buildings from O’C St. to Marlb. St. are rebuilds after 1916. A couple of them are quite nice, especially the Samaritans building on the Marlb. St. corner (although its Marlb. St. facade windows have been PVC’d as Graham said, the quayside facade seems to retain its originals).
Then from Marlb. St. down to Liberty Hall are mostly original Wide Sts. C.’s four-storey Georgians, though the pale yellow one at the corner (originally 3 buildings) does look about as un-Georgian as a Georgian building can possibly look, after a gutting for offices in the â€˜70s. Some of the others look quite well though, with their pitched roofs, chimney stacks and faded red brick on the upper floors.
The scale of the quay does seem a bit low for its width, but it had to be four stories in order to be subsidiary to five-storey Oâ€™Connell Street.
Havenâ€™t seen the new L. L. in person yet, but it doesnâ€™t look great in that little imageâ€¦a Morrison Hotel pastiche?
December 29, 2004 at 2:50 am #748997
Sorry Devin but that is impressive re the Samaritans building – I was hoping someone wouldn’t pick up on the river facade windows which indeed are originals. I remember checking before to see if they were original after seeing the PVCs on Marlborough St, but forgot what I discovered!
The WSC arches are much ignored along here – there’s quite a few across on Burgh Quay too.
Eden Quay is quite wide along here which gives it a distinct advantage over other Dublin quays that should be exploited to pedestrian advantage.
December 29, 2004 at 3:06 am #748998
Yes, and even with the space taken up by the buses at the quay wall side, there’s going to be a lot of space left over for all other traffic when HGVs are removed into the Port Tunnel. Maybe it would have been better to create a broad pedestrian riverside walk for Eden Quay instead of putting another boardwalk outside the quay wall, which just adds one more piece of clutter into the view of the Custom House from the O’Connell Bridge area.
December 29, 2004 at 3:26 am #748999
I certainly would have preferred this anyway – the current Boardwalk is almost acting as a diversion steering people clear of manky Eden Quay – no no come this way, you don’t want to go down there, look over here at the river and the lovely Corn Exchange, that’s better 😀
God this tube of Jelly Tots is going to my head – enough!
December 29, 2004 at 4:16 am #749000
I know the feeling!!! making this my last as well!
Well that’s one good thing about the Eden Qy boardwalk – it will be a good place to lounge on the hand rail & enjoy the Corn Exchange, which though north-facing gets a lot of sunshine from late afternoon onwards in spring & summer. And especially since the Georgian house on its east flank has been restored to reveal its granite-arched shopfront (which was hidden behind a single storey wall). This is a great & underrated Dublin setpiece; the massive 2-storey granite Corn Exchange with matching red brick 4-storey houses to either side, with arched shopfronts.
But a load of jerry-built rubbish was piled up behind this in the â€˜90sâ€¦the argument was that the skyline of the Corn Exchange, as seen from Eden Quay, was already lost because of Hawkins House on Poolbeg St. 🙁 🙂
December 29, 2004 at 3:16 pm #749001J. SeerskiParticipant
At first impressions, the replacement for the Laughter Lounge IS quite an improvement. The building lines of the quay have been maintained. The materials are sympathetic to the surrounding red brick terrace with limestone dressings. I think it will help Eden Quay and will be a much needed improvement. In its place, do you really want a pastiche Georgian nonsense?
I see some call it another bit of nothingness – couldn’t Georgian Dublin be called that? The point of georgian terraces was that they would not detract from centrepieces in the vicinity – ie Belvedere House, Four Courts, Customs House, St Georges Church etc etc. Really, this new building will not seek attention in an area that has some magnificent example of architecture – and thats not a bad thing.
December 29, 2004 at 5:10 pm #749002
I never said anything about the rest of the quay – there are some nice pieces on it – as mentioned the WSC buildings with shopfronts…
Seaman’s Institute original glazing’
I quite like the grimness of the Mercantile Seaman Office
December 29, 2004 at 7:01 pm #749003
One of the points that I was trying to make but which appears to have got lost is that it looks nowhere near as good as that little picture on Lisney. Also the picture on lisney.ie is deceptive because it includes the next door building, a pub called Eden, which is already open and some kind of hanging silver box as an extension. This makes it look better than it is. If this does in fact exist, I am completely blind because I’ve never seen it and see no evidence of its construction.
December 29, 2004 at 8:13 pm #749004d_d_dallasParticipant
Is the ground floor access to an alley?
December 29, 2004 at 8:13 pm #749005
yeah i was referring more to the overall appearance of the eden quay, uses etc. a number of fine buildings, many of which neeed attention though.
It wouldn’t be hard to improve on what was already there J. Seerski … the problem is this building is trying to fit in in some sort of half assed way, with a fair mix of styles already on the quay whatâ€™s the point in playing it safe with this red brick rubbish …
December 29, 2004 at 11:18 pm #749006
Well saw it today – looks as you’d expect really, average.
Not that there’s anything wrong with average – as J Seerski points out, these terraces act as a foil to greater things – but there’s good average and there’s bad average, and I think it unfortunately falls into the latter.
It’s a blah building, one that tries to please everyone with olde worlde & modern materials, but both used in a traditional way, creating an unremarkable, entirely forgettable structure.
But it’s the parapet height that annoys me, it crudely breaks it – ironically the very level I said could do with an extra storey, but not in this fashion. The extra height adds an additional bulk to the building as a whole making it push out onto the quay.
The regular cornice height along here is kind of respected – at least limestone was used, which works quite well with neighbouring buildings. What does not, and annoys me most about this building is the modern dusty pink red-brick used. Why was the orangey-red of all other stock not used? It is the same with nearly every other similar development in the city, the same coloured brick is never sourced which I find totally inexcusable.
Here’s a pic – sorry about the light, it was disappearing way too fast 🙁 :
December 29, 2004 at 11:22 pm #749007
And some up-close detail, including the bizarre green windows. They remind me of those really old sliding Lego windows from the 60s 🙂
December 29, 2004 at 11:26 pm #749008
And some wider views of the building, showing its context.
I would have preferred either a starkly modern building here, using limestone and/or red sandstone, or decent sympathetic stock mirroring neighbouring buildings – ok, replicas. But they are 20th century, hardly a case of ‘fooling’ people!
December 30, 2004 at 5:09 am #749009
It probably would have been better to take the approach of the recent Henry J Lyons faÃ§ade which adjoins the Corn Exchange on Burgh Quay opposite. This building contrasts quite well with the Corn Exch. & red brick houses when you are on Burgh Quay itself. But although the parapet height respects the scale of the quay, it has several setback stories piled up behind, so it doesnâ€™t work so well when seen from the other side of the river. But at least there is a modern idiom â€“ the new yoke on Eden Quay isn’t one thing or the other….Parnell St. architecture!
The “hanging silver box” is the building adjoining the pub, which has an underpass into an alley.
December 30, 2004 at 2:26 pm #749010
the new yoke on Eden Quay isn’t one thing or the other….Parnell St. architecture!
I don’t think that your assessement is fair devin, it is not remarkable but it certainly is not anywhere as bad as some of the stuff thrown up at the back of the Ilac centre. It is as a lot of people have said ‘in scale’ and at least the architects made some effort with it, I’m not sure their vision came off as planned but it will work well with the existing buildings, which is in my opinion the minimum acceptable standard.
December 30, 2004 at 3:30 pm #749011
The new Laughter Lounge is worse than both the Jury’s and the Penneys extension buildings on Parnell Street.
December 30, 2004 at 5:03 pm #749012J. SeerskiParticipant
Now thats a bit OTT – we haven’t even seen the ground or top floors yet! I think it is a subtle addition to the quays – not a bad thing considering all those ugly ‘statement’ buildings that are in its midst (Hawkins, O’Connell Bridge and Liberty Hall to mention but a few…)
December 30, 2004 at 6:13 pm #749013
I don’t think it’s subtle – look at that last picture again, it’s landed from outer space.
The materials used may be muted, but the scale is not.
A set-back could be got away with here, but only if the concession of parapet regularity is made – and it hasn’t been.
Maintaining that level would have made the world of difference. Obviously modern interiors have different interior ceiling requirments, but externally even in design the quay level could have been acknowledged, what ever about actually chopping it at that point, rather than having the wall sneakily rise above as it does.
December 30, 2004 at 11:29 pm #749014rperseParticipant
When you look at the wider view of the quay the design of the building (in relation to its neighbours) seems to be doing one thing more than anything else. It seems to be trying to make an architectural unit out of the buildings from the corner of o connell st down to (but not including) the seamens institute. ie The new building is the new centrepiece in this terrace, flanked by two 3 storey buildings on either side and then matching the height of the irish nationwide (4 storey) on one end and then the other 4 storey on the other end. A basic classical design. Make any sense to anyone else
December 31, 2004 at 6:48 am #749015
Yes, it does sort of do that (unintentionally). And it shouldnâ€™t haveâ€¦a monolith centrepiece building was not called for here!!
It breaks the hierarchy of scale between Oâ€™Connell Street and the Quays. The 5-storey WSCâ€™s buildings of Lr. Oâ€™Connell Street returned onto the Quays for 9 bays each, before dropping to 4 stories – and this hierarchy was maintained in the post-1916 reconstructionâ€¦..The new thing should of course have kept the parapet height of Eden Qy., whatever about a setback storeyâ€¦..Grrrr! Iâ€™m annoyed now! More erosion of Dublinâ€™s design!!!
Hereâ€™s the building that was there before the previous laughter lounge – the Corinthian Cinema. You can see that, although a flashy building, it kept the parapet:
December 31, 2004 at 6:55 am #749016
And a modern view of Eden Quay fron the Loop Line Bridge (taken from a crossing Dart) – the unity of scale is evident:
January 3, 2005 at 8:41 pm #749017
A centrepiece building is not needed here at all – the whole length of the quay must be taken into account.
February 21, 2005 at 11:51 am #749018urbanistoParticipant
Hmmm if you thought it looked ugly with half the scaffolds off you should see the rest. Tasteless, boring rubbish. Also the bulk behind the facade is quite substantial. Those glass box windows look dreadful. And no doubt we can expect boring featureless shopfronts like those on the new Talbot St developments…. and a Centra. That would be nice, and much needed on this stretch of the Quays!
Meanwhile across the street…. the boardwalk is finally nearing completion. Only took about 15 months.
February 21, 2005 at 3:18 pm #749019
Yes the setback is nothing short of a disgrace. Look at it here from Westmoreland St, clad in all-singing red brick. Whatever about its architectural qualities, the way in which it merges in the eye with the Irish Permanent on the corner (indeed actually overrides it), esp when you move a few feet closer from where this pic was taken, it completely changes the relationship between the quay and O’ Connell St.
The setback looms over the quay in such a way as to make it appear like another storey along the quay at facade level.
How was this allowed? I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to describe this building overall as monsterously overscaled.
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