Office blocks @ Kilmainham Gaol & Royal Hospital
November 23, 2000 at 4:09 pm #705248
SENSITIVE ARCHITECTURE OPPOSITE
A NATIONAL MONUMENT !!!
Ref: Proposed Kilmainham Offices & Technology â€œParkâ€ !!
Inchicore Road, Kilmainham (Presently Nestle/ Rowntree Site).
By CHARMSIDE( Treasury Holdings) DEVELOPMENTS.
Planning Ref: 2467/00
MACRO OFFICE BLOCK development. These MACRO = (Huge)
(Charmsideâ€™s own term) OFFICE BLOCKS are NOT what should be built or even GIVEN CONSIDERATION right IN FRONT of Dublinâ€™s premier and Irelandâ€™s most visited heritage site Kilmainham Gaol & Museum standing only 3 miles west of the city centre.
Letâ€™s examine the figures for the site:
Office space = 36,453 sq metres = 392,380 sq ft.
Retail space = 450 sq metres = 4,843 sq ft.
Ratio of 98.9% office space to 1.2% retail.
This miniscule amount of retail space is surely destined to become â€œoffice supply unitsâ€ if this MACRO development, God forbid is ever built.
Yes this site requires development (but not this) as it has evolved from a chocolate factory (Rowntree Mackintosh) into now a storage area for Nestle products, Kit Kat bars etc. Over the last few years we the residents of Kilmainham have happily seen the numbers of tourists entering our area increase in great numbers due to the presence of Kilmainham Gaol, Royal Hospital & The Memorial Park. What brings them to the area primarily is the presence of Kilmainham Gaol on Inchicore Road. Every tourist to Dublin who takes a bus tour is aware of the Jail and its location.
They come in droves (last count 130,000 last year) to see this fine museum the most popular heritage site in Ireland, attendance figures published in last Sundayâ€™s papers. The tourists then stand aimlessly or lean against the walls of the Nestle site opposite Kilmainham Jail when their visit to the museum is over .
They then walk to the bus stop on Emmet Road and stand in packs awaiting the 78 or 51 bus to take them out of the district and back to the city centre. Those with transport exit the district on their tour buses (if they can be parked, a coach parking space is badly required opposite the Jail) or in cars, as there is nowhere adjacent to the Jail for them (or us)to mix / relax or buy a heritage book (bookshop), an Irish art piece, enjoy a meal (restaurant) or any attraction or local focal point to entice them to stay and spend their morning or afternoon exploring the many other historical sites in the district. This focal point NOW exists and is directly opposite the Jail i.e. the Nestle site!!
This massive site has the potential and is THE PERFECT SITE in the district for a heritage centre for to provide tourist amenities for the district of Kilmainham/ Inchicore if not the City of Dublin. It should provide local and tourist amenities in the form of bookshops, restaurants etc. Also to include what the district badly requires a hotel to be built to accommodate tourists and provide local and tourist amenities in the form of an information centre, conference rooms, bookshops, restaurants and a meeting point (all having traditional shop fronts) etc for local residents and tourists alike. Enter any small town in rural Ireland and you will be directed or will soon find a tourist Information centre. Enter Kilmainham Inchicore and not as much as a leaflet relating to the area is to be found.
The architectural style of these much needed developments must compliment sensitively the presence of Kilmainham Gaol, the Courthouse & the Richmond Tower. Certainly NOT TO OUTSCALE in a MACRO fashion these local / national landmarks and the Victorian housing of Inchicore Road and the SCR. Not only is the scale of this development not in tune with its surroundings but also its function and purpose is totally wrong opposite the Jail â€“ offices and technology. Offices and technology parks are required but in purpose built estates on the periphery of the city not here in Old Dublin / Kilmainham. A development in scale with the Jail, Courthouse and Richmond Tower is required here i.e. A SUBSTANTIAL TOURIST / HERITAGE DEVELOPMENT to blend WITH THE SURRONDINGS. Contemporary architecture could support the traditional Victorian housing along with Kilmainham Gaol, the Courthouse and Richmond Tower once itâ€™s in scale and its function is appropriate.
The only part of Charmsideâ€™s proposal that reflects a public/tourist awareness is the supposed building of a â€œPublic Squareâ€ and yet they state that there is no guarantee (outside their control) of this (Trojan Horse) ever being laid even if the MACRO development God forbid is ever built. The â€œPublic Squareâ€ is not even part of the site so they need have no concern that it may be paved across the SCR and Inchicore Road . Some hope of a public square being built on these main arteries (the old Slighe Mor & Slighe Dala ways of ancient times) out of the city considering the traffic plans or lack of same over the coming years!! The â€œPublic Squareâ€ WILL NEVER HAPPEN, WE ALL KNOW IT. Iâ€™m more concerned about the greater possibility of the MACRO BLOCKS being built. The sun will never shine or the rain will never fall on the peoples â€œPublic Squareâ€ unless the residents form their own public square by sitting down in the middle of the road to protest against this proposed monstrosity. They did it in 1988 to save the Spire of St. Judeâ€™s (that lies in the shadow of Kilmainham Jail) from a demolition crew in the employment of Robert Guinness.
The main body of St. Judeâ€™s now stands in Straffan (for all intent and purposes as an Inchicore â€œheritage centreâ€!!) containing among other things prototype model trains built by the Inchicore Engineers and railway artefacts from the Victorian Inchicore Railway works ( Great Southern and Western Railways). What a great tourist attraction was pulled from its roots only to be â€œreinstatedâ€ in a non-industrial, non-tourist area.
To quote from Charmsideâ€™s own commissioned
â€œEnvironmental Impact Statementâ€:
â€œKilmainham Jail is a landmark building in Dublin together with The Royal Hospital and Con Colbert Road. It forms a distinct mental node in oneâ€™s mental map of the city. This will be further enhanced ON A MACRO SCALE by provision of the proposed development that will ENLIVEN a former industrial site.â€
â€œ ..the proposed blocks will rise gradually to 6 storeys..â€
Charmsideâ€™s further charm offensive lists all the historical events and even the most notable people associated with Kilmainham down the centuries are resurrected to endorse these totally speculative office blocks. This development if even built to half its proposed scale has the potential of becoming the greatest â€œnegative externalityâ€ built in the city (due to its location alone) this century. The function of the development built opposite Kilmainham Jail must reflect the importance of the Jail to our district, Dublin and the nation. This issue will exceed local concerns and must become one of national if not international (Irish America / London Irish) importance.
They unwittingly state a major negative here and its LOUD and clear this development is going to be SO BIG that the most exact / appropriate word to describe their proposal is rightly as they say MACRO!!
There is all fancy talk in the EIS about Maigneann our Monk, our local flora, Viking remains, Strongbow , Brian Boru having camped in the district before his defeat of the Danes in 1014, the arrival of the Normans to Kilmainham and The Knight Templers . They have all the events and characters of local and national history here to build a successful theme park at least.
What a great history they have suddenly learned, which we as locals are already fully aware of, and wish to share our great history / architecture of the district with all on a most perfect site i.e. opposite Kilmainham Gaol. There is even a breakdown (in the EIS) of the constituent gases making up our atmosphere!! WHAT BALDERDASH !! We donâ€™t want our atmosphere and our Jail polluted by the presence of these blocks. Also some lovely photos of our village and the Pheonix Park. Photos taken from the Magazine showing todayâ€™s lovely view. All postcard shots of our district as it exists at present. Itâ€™s the future views that I can envisage already in 3 D form from all aspects and distances that I know is so wrong for Kilmainham and its Jail Enough said by CHARMSIDE on their â€œcharm offensiveâ€ to develop / push these MACRO OFFICE BLOCKS upon us and future generations.
What a SMOKESCREEN is this EIS report!!
What concerns us as Kilmainham / Inchicore residents is THE FUTURE and these MACRO BLOCKS. This site is also included in the Integrated Area Plan for the district and thereby could avail of lucrative tax incentives (public monies). This is ALL THE MORE REASON that any development on this site should be driven by the needs of the local community and the requirements / facilities that tourists,
(ever increasing in numbers ) would expect visiting Irelandâ€™s most visited heritage site in the most historic yet also so neglected part of the city. An ideal opportunity now presents itself for the city authorities to ameliorate the mistakes and neglect of the past.
In the context of the cityâ€™s history, Inchicore Road and the Jail are unique. Every era in the development of Dublin is reflected here, either in some building or feature or by association. All the key developments which shaped the modern world in history and politics are represented in the area. We have some of the greatest attractions for the serious tourist to Dublin i.e. Royal Hospital, Bullyâ€™s Acre, Richmond Tower, Memorial Park what remains of the Richmond Barracks /the Railway Works and all where the waters flow of the Liffey, Camac, and the Grand Canal. As I said this site is of national importance. If the nation could buy for posterity the Guinness mansion in the Park could not this site in front of Kilmainham Jail also be bought by state intervention to enhance the presence and importance of Kilmainham Gaol to the nation.
To quote from Dublin Corporations own Integrated Area Plan magazine â€œLink inâ€ Volume 1- Issue 1- Summer 2000 :
The Plan calls for the development of the following:
A Public domain strategy for the Village and extending along Emmet road to the South Circular Road
A conceptual strategy focusing on identifying and developing linkages, to and within the area and PARTICULARLY building on the opportunities provided by adjacent ATTRACTIONS of NATIONAL importance.
Look what a success Smithfield has been with itâ€™s tourist facilities reflecting the presence of the old original Jameson Distillery now like the Jail a Museum. A nearly exact parallel development like which has positively transformed Smithfield is required opposite Kilmainham Gaol. This development in Kilmainham to be driven as Smithfieldâ€™s development has by the Corporations own IAP- with the important and most essential distinction that Kilmainham Jail and its surroundings are of national importance. The revitalised Dublin Corporation, with its integrated area plan for Smithfield has worked so effectively on the Northside (amenities built around the presence of the Jameson Museum, hotel etc) our IAP will and must produce the same results for Inchicore / Kilmainham and right here opposite our Museum, Kilmainham Gaol.
There is a very wide range of architectural styles and types in the area. Within the single entity of Kilmainham / Inchicore, some of the leading architects of earlier eras are represented. Below are some of those names whose work stands here today:
Sir William Robinson â€“ Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
Sancton Wood â€“ Kingsbridge (Hueston) Station.
Sancton Wood â€“ Railway Tower in CIE (now a heritage office).
Thomas Burgh â€“ Dr. Stevenâ€™s Hospital.
Francis Johnson â€“ Richmond Tower.
Sir Edwin Lutyens â€“ Great War Memorial Park.
George Semple â€“ St. Patrickâ€™s Hospital.
Welland & Gillespie- St. Judeâ€™s Church (Spire).
Andrew Devane (founder of RKD) – Inchicore VEC School.
These great architects and the history of their buildings would require a significant heritage site alone opposite the Jail.
This site lies opposite Dublinâ€™s Bastille, Kilmainham Gaol â€“ go to Paris and see how the area (very neglected only some 15 years go) opposite and surrounding where the Bastille once stood has been developed, the cityâ€™s modern opera hall, restaurants, art-shops etc. this district of Paris has BEEN ENLIVENED greatly by appropriate developments and this enlivened ambience lasts long into the evening and the night and all due to â€œthe ghost of the Bastilleâ€.
The history of the Bastille reverberates of the other and in the other appropriate developments surrounding this historic district of Paris. i.e. the magnificent contemporary designed opera hall, restaurants, art shops and bookshops. The atmosphere come the evening, among the Parisians and tourists looking up at the Bastille opera hall all aglow with lights as one enjoys a meal and a bottle of wine in a nearby restaurant has to be experienced. This ambience would permeate the length of Inchicore Road, Kilmainham when similar amenities are planned and built opposite Kilmainham Gaol.
All developments in the Bastille district are appropriate having been planned and built to serve and attract tourists to the area and also to reflect the importance of the former prison to Paris and the French people – WHY SHOULD WE BE DIFFERENT or worse INDIFFERENT especially as we unlike the French still have our Jail
The French would never allow A MACRO OFFICE DEVELOPMENT to cast its long shadow across their Bastille district. The City authorities in Paris have fully exploited the great tourist attraction of the long gone Bastille for the benefit of the local economy and the surrounding area that was once neglected like Inchicore / Kilmainham is presently. There is a great lesson here to be learned from Paris and the French, as we fortunately still have the presence of Kilmainham Gaol to plan and build around. The French would shake their heads if they saw what was proposed here for Kilmainham.
Unlike Paris, Dublin will always have its Bastille, Kilmainham Gaol, letâ€™s plan and build (with the objectives of Dublinâ€™s Corporation own Integrated Area Plan for the area) like the French around its presence as a great tourist attraction and so important district in the nationâ€™s history. This site opposite the Jail has to become a site for cultural / heritage events and provide the amenities so lacking at present for tourist and Dubliner alike.
Kilmainham if it were in Paris would be part of the â€œIsle de Franceâ€ or in Germany the â€œAltâ€“Statâ€. Every capital city in continental Europe protects and cherishes its â€œOld Townâ€. Kilmainham should have been protected and developed as the Old Towns have been on the Continent. Just stroll along Old Kilmainham Road and view the sites i.e. Burmah Oil Garage, Oâ€™Reilly Electrical, Kilmainham Motors, Camac Cars, Wheels Motorcycles, City Gas, Des Donnelly Motors, Dublin Providers and the Massive Jamesâ€™s Hospital Boilerhouse right on the Old Road. Could not a more appropriate location for this essential facility being found on the massive site that is St. Jamesâ€™s. Such a sight I have never seen / would not be allowed anywhere in Europe, East or West. Essentially a mixture of mickey mouse and big business outfits who only abuse and use the Old Road and old buildings (if they survive) as private car parks. They have already ensured that the LUAS will never pass through the centre of Inchicore / Kilmainham only to protect their private parking facility.
They the owners donâ€™t live in or care about the district. Businessâ€™s have to exist but in appropriate purpose built office and industrial estates. Travel to Bruges in Belgium
(Western Europe) or Debrovnic in Croatia (Eastern Europe) to see how old towns/cities are protected and cherished. Dublin will never be in the same league as its too late but the situation has improved if only over the last number of years. Kilmainham is / has the making of a unique â€œAlt-Statâ€ if the right buildings / conversions are planned / restricted to tourist, cultural and housing requirements.
Integrated Area Planners and Architects for Inchicore / Kilmainham, you only have one chance to get this right. A quite magnificent opportunity now presents itself to you donâ€™t squander it and by doing so make amends for the past destruction and neglect of the area by the planners of the past most of whom had no sense of heritage or little interest in Old Dublin or its people. Let you show the difference and mark a line in the sand for all to see. A heavy burden will rest on your shoulders (as planners and protectors of our place) if this goes wrong and we the present residents (and future generations) of Kilmainham / Inchicore will have to live with and look at whatever is built on this site for the rest of our lives. Do THE RIGHT THING for our district , DUBLIN CITY and the NATION. Insist to Charmside that this site realise its so obvious potential and also its economic potential, as a great cultural / recreational area for Dubliners and tourists alike.
The area still suffers from the bad planning and architecture of the past (with all its social ills and consequences) i.e. the building of St. Michaelâ€™s Estate. What a further historical site was lost / demolished when the lovely old stone buildings of the former Richmond Barracks were torn down to be replaced by the flats now thankfully planned themselves for demolition. This site is where the 1916 leaders were detained (in the old gymnasium, thankfully still intact) and court-marshalled before their transfer along Emmet Road to their executions in Kilmainham Jail.
This history should be commemorated (when this part of the IAP is rebuilt) in my opinion by the â€œrebuildingâ€ of the old arch that once stood as the main entrance into Richmond Barracks opposite Mc Dowells. Pictures of this arch are to be seen on the walls of Mc Dowells / Richmond House.
The developments in nearby Bow Bridge and Bow Lane that were driven needlessly by tax breaks have turned out and are known locally as Kilmainhamâ€™s â€œBenidorm Blocksâ€ â€“ a lovely tranquil old rural village atmosphere and walk that ran along Old Kilmainham Lane (in the heart of the city) disappeared practically overnight, please get this site right.
What will the massive crowds think when they throng the district in 2016. One hundred years on from the 1916 Rebellion if the Jail is OUTSCALED (and reduced of its rightful architectural dominance of the area) and by then (2016) still no focal point to congregate, after all the ceremonies on the 100th anniversary of the Rebellion, due to the presence of these by then 15 year old empty (office hours only) MACRO BLOCKS. Dublin planners and councillors again I implore YOU ALL think long and hard before you even consider this proposal the people will not forget. We have already lost to the area the potential tourist sites, by-ways and one time local facilities of:
All the fine old lodge houses that once stood on Inchicore Road. The road now used as a general industrial car park by Sierra Communications JCBs vans and trucks.
The old mills along the Camac now occupied by the Metropolitan Industrial Estate with access down an old lane no wider than a cart.
The Methodist â€œrailwayâ€ Church on Tyreconnell Road (demolished by a JCB at 3am on a Sunday in 1994).
St. Judeâ€™s â€railwayâ€ Church that once stood adjacent to the Jail demolished in 1988 only to be â€œrebuilt in a formâ€ 30 miles away in Straffan as a â€œheritage centreâ€, essentially of our railway industrial past.
A potential transport museum up in THE WORKS (now lost and destined for Mullingar!!). Inchicoreâ€™s finest steam engines now thankfully restored and saved by the wise men of the North and today on view in the Ulster Transport Museum.
The old stone buildings of the Richmond Barracks (of great historical significance).
Much of Old Kilmainham Lane, over built with apartments.
Much of Old Kilmainham Road, cluttered with ad-hoc businesses.
The Irish Permanent, EBS and AIB packed and gone from Inchicore village.
The original and required route of the LUAS derailed from the area.
Again I say help the old district / village.
Fortunately for Kilmainham this proposed development coincides with the first few months of the areas Integrated Area Plan objectives being published. This development by its proposed location alone fails the stated criteria of the IAP. It fails on all counts, which are primarily to enhance the environment and protect / contribute to the districtâ€™s heritage by promoting tourism in Inchicore / Kilmainham particularly adjacent to attractions of national importance.
Thrusting you will give ample thought and consideration to the above as a very important but obvious decision must be made considering this huge site opposite Kilmainham Gaol a place so important in Dublinâ€™s and our nationâ€™s history. Kilmainham has now reached a turning point in its so varied and chequered history, the point at which significant renewal for the benefit of the district its people and its tourists can be realised. Let what is to be built on this site demonstrate this to all. There can be no excuses if this site is allowed to be turned into MACRO OFFICE BLOCKS due to MACRO ECONOMICS , thus denying our district its rightful long due appropriate rejuvenation as outlined in the IAP for Kilmainham / Inchicore.
November 24, 2000 at 12:37 am #718396
can we have a synopsis please
November 24, 2000 at 2:51 pm #718397
I’m familar with Kilmainham as being from Ballyfermot I used to pass through it very regularly on my way to town. It is an area with great potential with the historic ‘Gaol’, court house, viking cemetary and Royal Hospital as it’s centre pieces. An appropriate and sympathic development is really needed here. I remember in the late 80’s/early 90’s they reconstructed and enlarged a petrol station/garage right beside the jail and right across the road fom the (Francis Johnston,I think) castle-like entrance to the RHK. Although pratical and needed the petrol station looks misplaced and well…….crap. Only recently too they pulled down a quaint little Victorian-like red brick cottage close by that had been in ruins for years.A proper planning and development system is greatly needed here for the village to blossom at it’s full potential.
November 24, 2000 at 3:00 pm #718398
…….but to add an appropriate and well thought out design is needed….no run of the mill sub-urban industrial estate like office blocks or offensive pastiche mock-ups.
December 19, 2000 at 3:10 pm #718399seamasParticipant
this is an ABSOLUTE DISGRACE
i’m suprised they’re not going to build another “Milennium Spike” right next to Kilmainham gaol. and why not??? they want to put one beside the GPO
December 19, 2000 at 3:21 pm #718400seamasParticipant
that’s quite an essay you wrote there john callery…but again, what are you going to do about it? sadly, you’re just an armchair activist.
i agree with you, and yes i do think the paramilitaries and the disidents need to accept responsibility for these matters, as the rest of us are far too busy
December 19, 2000 at 3:25 pm #718401
Seamus, what’s proposed for to face Kilmainham Gaol and the other great stone icons of Kilmainham would not be allowed by any city authority in any other capital city in Europe – the Corpo keep saying “well it’s private property” let them start saying to Treasuty Holdings NO NO NO – and remind them that “property has its rewards and also its responsibilities” .
visit http://www.kilmainham-gaol.com if you wish to help.
December 20, 2000 at 1:41 am #718402
Can we see the proposed dreaded architecture??? Words alone make decisions
December 20, 2000 at 11:58 am #718403
What a dull website that Kilmanham-Gaol one is.
Seamus stop your spike bashing
December 21, 2000 at 1:09 pm #718404
Ian Ritchieâ€™s magnificent Spire would be more than welcomed by all in Kilmainham to stand opposite the Old Gaol â€“ to be surrounded by the work of Sir William Robinsonâ€™s ( Royal Hospital), Francis Johnstonâ€™s ( Richmond Tower ), Mc Cauleyâ€™s
( East Wing of the Gaol ) and Sir Edwin Lutyens Great War Memorial Park â€“ somehow Anto Reddyâ€™s speculative office blocks !! does not ring right or seem to fit in here with the aforementioned great historical stone icons.
December 21, 2000 at 7:07 pm #718405kburnsParticipant
Must put the trainspotter’s anorak on here- East Wing Kilmainham Gaol- John Mc Curdy was the architect, not Mc Cauley. Also did the refurbishment & present facade of the Shelbourne Hotel.
On the subject of your campaign ever thought that there might be modern archeology around the proposed blocks? Before Neslte- and probably way before that again- the house of the govenor of the Gaol stood there. There may be a tunnel running under the road way connecting with the prison.
I do agree though that you should show a few images of what’s proposed.
December 22, 2000 at 11:18 am #718406
Updated web site on Kilmainham Gaol:
Visit the new improved http://www.kilmainham-gaol.com
View model â€œof development of renewalâ€ (Minimum population of these 3 Macro Blocks, will be 4000 transient office workers) â€“ along with 500 parking spaces (where are the other thousand cars + to park ?). Also 2 sub floors planned into this ancient site (an enormous blackhole to be excavated here). OK if something positive was to emerge to enhance all that stands here, but for this (sub-urban LEGO) to loom over all and in particular the residents in the Victorian houses to the east and west is criminal in such an ancient and historical place â€“ the actual elevated site where Brian Boru camped the evening before the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 and also the ancient place of St. Johnâ€™s Well.
2 subfloors at least
6 rising â€œgraduallyâ€
Another on top for AHUs and CWSTs – ( 9 floors in total)
The magnificent views from this site opposite the Jail are so unique to Kilmainham and are deserving of an architectural competition for a landmark/gateway building into Kilmainham.
A building of utmost architectural excellence is demanded here.
North- the great expanse of the Pheonix Park and a near mirror image of the Jail itself the 18th century Arsenal / Magazine Fort on the northern horizon and on the same elevation as the Nestle site.
East- the ancient walls of Bullyâ€™s Acre and the only high rise feature we wish to see the Clock Tower of the Royal Hospital.
West- the Victorian residences of Inchicore Road, the â€œnewest developmentsâ€ around the Nestle site and constructed over a 100 years ago. Also the 100 year old trees standing like sentries along the length of the road.
South â€“ the Courthouse (another building that should be providing amenities for us and tourists) instead of screaming villains being pulled daily in front of tourists and ourselves from the back of Garda cars. And on this elevation what has to remain the dominant building Kilmainham Jail itself.
After reading last sundayâ€™s Irish Business Post in which a very pertinent letter from New York was published concerning â€œthe eternal waste of the Nestle Siteâ€ if even one storey of offices is allowed to be built, we are even more determined to let our opinions be made clear to Treasury Holdings.
We know that John Ronan and Richard Barret are intelligent hardworking businessmen. We also think that they must be ignorant / unaware of how this community here views their proposals (speculative office blocks) for our historic place. This is not just any old green field site as they seem to think. They have planned and totally ignored us and all the great protected monuments that surround this site. They must pretend their blind and that we and Kilmaimham Jail are just an inconvenience that will eventually fade away!!! Their arrogance is astounding.
They obviously donâ€™t appreciate or understand our sense of place and identity â€“ and what they propose is like a red flag to a raging bull. It would be sacrilege to us if office blocks are built on this site in any shape or form. They appear to us as yet another invader hoping to pillage Kilmainham and are no different to the Vikings , Normans or English who only came to our place for gain, profit or worse retribution. We are a proud and historic people here in Inchicore and Kilmainham and we only wish for even half of what we see working so successfully around a whiskey museum in the IAP for Smithfield and itâ€™s community.
â€œThis development stems from detailed discussions with the senior architects and planners of Dublin Corporationâ€ so the developers agent
(Frank Benson) informs us in his EIS report. First great act of renewal in the Corpoâ€™s IAP for Kilmainham is LEGO blocks and the ruination of this magnificent site.
This development has being planned as if this site was off the M50 or in a field off the Nass Road â€“ â€œclient briefâ€- Anto, shoehorn in as much rental space as possible across the site down into the ground and up into the air and pretend that the residents, thousands of tourists, heritage, history and all the great architecture that surrounds this site DOES NOT EXIST !!!
December 29, 2000 at 2:09 pm #718407
HOW DARE THE OLD GAOL CAST ITS SHADOW ACROSS KILMAINHAM AND THE MACRO BLOCKS !!!
From: Tom R. Phillips
Subject: Kilmainham Gaol Dublin
> Dear Mr Callery
> We act as Planning Consultants for the proposed development. I note
> from the Planning Files at Dublin Corporation and from the letters page
> of the Irish Voice your correspondence on this issue.
> I am concerned that some of the statements you make are at odds with the
> facts of the scheme. For example, the Gaol is located south of the
> scheme. Therefore the proposal has shadow cast upon it by the Gaol, not
> the other way around. Similarly, your correspondence does not take into
> account the current and long-standing industrial use of the site as a
> Chocolate Factory.
> We held two meetings with local residents in June at the Ashling Hotel
> to outline the scheme prior to lodgement to Dublin Corporation.
> We have also met with senior officials of Duchas – the Heritage Service
> who are vested with the care of Kilmainham Gaol.
> The scheme as submitted stems from detailed discussions with senior
> planners and architects at Dublin Corporation, and the developer is
> fully commited to the realisation of the planning gain elements.
> We will be holding another public meeting shortly for
> local residents to which we will extend you an invitation. We would
> welcome the opportunity to discuss the scheme with you.
> I would like to correct the record in terms of your correspondence with
> the Irish Voice so that any letters of representation stem from correct
> I look forward to meeting with you at the public meeting.
> With regards
> Tom R. Phillips
December 29, 2000 at 2:45 pm #718408
………but please don’t jeopardize the full potential development of this site. This really sounds like panic stations. You may remember too that there was once a manufacturing chocolate factory here before the current warehouse/storehouse. An apparment scheme sounds fine. The city must develop….it would be awful if a mediocre pastiche ensemble were ereccted too.
[This message has been edited by GregF (edited 30 December 2000).]
December 30, 2000 at 4:21 pm #718409
What is proposed after viewing the model on http://www.kilmainham-gaol.com seems to me medicore and insignificent(except in scale) office blocks. I dont think Smithfield has been jeoprdised by its appropriate development – the deserved development of this site would be achieved by similar tourist driven developments, especially as a new meca for tourists has opened in the district of Dublin 8 the new Guinness Storehouse.. What’s in jeopardy here is the diminishing of the rightfull dominance of Kilmainham Gaol on Inchicore Road.
January 2, 2001 at 7:37 pm #718410
Latest news from Kilmainham is that Sile De Velera is anxious after she shifts Mr Mc Gonagle as curator of IMMA (cue presently under way) that she intends moving the IMMA to “the more fashionable docklands” this is a prelude to the opening up of the ancient lands of the Royal Hospital for “renewal and development”- more LEGO to be built- now in the grounds of the Royal Hospital-we always suspected that these massive inner city grounds would have “progressive developers” wishing – “if only we could get in there” the way is being planned and without a doubt we shall read of some great plan of renewal to facilitate them in and over the wall from Kilmainham Gaol when the vacation of the IMMA is announced.
January 3, 2001 at 9:28 am #718411
Well the Royal Hospital was never really suitable for a museum of Modern Art. Modern Art needs huge blank areas cf Tate Modern, not small rooms that used to be old soldiers quarters. I wouldnt be surprised if they moved to Stack A in the IFSC.
What now for the Royal Hospital I wonder – new headquarters for the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht!?!?!?! especially since the plan for the other one was turned down by Charlie McCreevey.
Makes you think doesn’t it.
January 3, 2001 at 4:46 pm #718412
..certainly does..i also overheard in the back room of ye royal oak (very reliable venue) that another possibility for the grounds of the RHK could be wait for it a temporary?? park and ride location until the infrastructure inproves !! – parking for the 4000 office workers in the macro blocks maybe ?? .. but geeting back to the macro blocks. “this site was once a choclate factory”…SO WHAT.. what’s the point here??? look at the model.. a space station is presently being planned for this site..smithfield was once all derelict factories..look now and how modern irish architects have designed and worked so well there. Can you imagine the macro blocks with the lights on!!and bearthed (forever) in the face of the gaol and the royal hospital in a district that has the finest examples of victorian, georgian and remnants of monastic and viking settlement dating back to the 7th C…this “THING” looming at the jail is alien,of no benifit to the district..it will actually negate and set tourism back in kilmainham..its proposterous and architecturally off the wall in every respect for such a location- its totally wrong in every sence of the word and its supposed to be part of the iap by DC!!. Contempory architecture could work and make this site if some architectural vision is demanded by the city planners “..if its appropriate and a well thought out design..” as Greg has rightly previously stated.
January 3, 2001 at 4:53 pm #718413
….and to add let them leave the IMMA in kilmainham and build it opposite the gaol..
January 31, 2001 at 2:32 pm #718414
View architectural sketches and read global comments on Ronan and Barretâ€™s latest proposalâ€™s (through the good agency of their servant architect) for opposite Kilmainham Gaol and The Royal Hospital.
Any commentsâ€¦. â€œCome on Bolton St. lead the wayâ€ â€¦you were never known to a quiet retiring band of architects/conservatives in my student days.
January 31, 2001 at 2:45 pm #718415
February 20, 2001 at 9:44 am #718416
March 16, 2001 at 1:37 pm #718417Paul ClerkinKeymaster
Opponents of a controversial office block planned for a site opposite
Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin are stepping up their campaign today with a
protest outside the prison.
The protest, which starts at 3 p.m., is likely to cause some traffic
disruption at the start of the bank holiday weekend.
The Friends of Kilmainham group yesterday lodged an appeal to An Bord
Pleanala against the planned development, claiming that it will
overshadow historic buildings in the area.
Dublin Corporation granted planning permission for the development last
month, subject to 22 conditions. These include the preservation of any
remains found on the site, which the corporation says is of “immense
The development is designed to provide almost 400,000 square feet of
office space, a three-level underground car-park for 600 cars, and three
retail units totalling almost 5,000 square feet. It is being proposed by
well-known Dublin property developers Mr Johnny Ronan and Mr Richard
Barrett through a company called Charmside Developments.
Mr John Callery, chairman of the Friends of Kilmainham, said the
development would “completely overshadow” a number of historic sites in
the area. These included the gaol, Kilmainham courthouse, the
Richmond Gate of the Royal Hospital (IMMA) and the Irish National
Memorial Gardens along the Liffey.
Kilmainham Gaol dates from 1796 and has strong associations with Irish
history. The leaders of the 1916 Rising, including Padraig Pearse, were
executed there. Last year, the museum attracted almost 200,000
March 21, 2001 at 3:50 pm #718418
Wasn’t the old Rowntree Mackintosh factory that was on this site(demolished during the 80s) about 6 storeys tall? Or maybe I was smaller then.
March 23, 2001 at 10:57 am #718419
I see posters up around the locality saying ‘Save the Gaol’…..when in fact there is nothing to be done to the jail itself….(Ok maybe if they installed a more effective alarm system)….Tthe proposed development is across the road on a site that was never in it’s history an attraction….but just factories and warehouses. Give the development a chance ..it could be regarded as a brownfield site….could it not….anything would be better than what’s there already.
March 23, 2001 at 1:28 pm #718420
Greg F…just to remind you of your initial responce to news of 3 office blocks planned to face Kilmainham Gaol. Posted Nov’24th 2000.
” An appropriate and sympathic development is really needed here”
“….a proper planning and development system is greatly needed here for the village to blossom at its full potential”
“….but to add an appropriate and well thought out design is needed.. no run of the mill sub-urban industrial estate office blocks”.
And so say all of us in Dublin 8 and 10.
March 23, 2001 at 1:54 pm #718421
True……but a compromise must be met ….you don’t want to end up either with something ‘Safe’ and mediocre…you know like a two storey red-brick eclectic fantasy.
…to add does the new development add substance and give the area a city-like quality.
[This message has been edited by GregF (edited 23 March 2001).]
May 22, 2001 at 12:27 pm #718422
ADDITIONAL GENERATED IMAGES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON KILMAINHAM MACRO BLOCKS.
View on http://www.kilmainham-gaol.com additional generated images on what Dublin Corporation, Treasury Holdings and Tony Reddy plan for to overlook â€œThe Western Gateway into Dublin Cityâ€. Greg, you reckon the front elevation of this â€œadds substanceâ€ and gives Old Kilmainham
(Dublinâ€™s last urban village) â€œa city like qualityâ€. I recall the same words being said about the office blocks of the late 60s that still stand 40 years later all over the city and are totally alien to the context as surely the flat roofed (profile steel panels) Macro Blocks are in 2001. Any opinions on the â€œbackâ€ of this landmark building ! which faces the Pheonix Park, the Western Gateway into Dublin City and the residents of the South Circular Road.
Can you imagine the view of this from the Magazine Fort ! How would you like to live on St. Johnâ€™s Terrace with this in your back garden ? These could be 3 blocks transplanted from Beaumont Hospital (minus the flues)- they will come later (on another layer) no doubt. Also as it states in the so called EIS â€œthis development stems from detailed discussions with the senior architects and planners of Dublin Corporationâ€. Then as result of objections from all sides on this development the Corporation responded with their â€œadditional informationâ€. In other words the following was not even taken seriously or discussed at these cosy â€œpre planning decisionâ€ consultations between developer and Corpo only.
DUBLIN CORPORATIONâ€™S REQUESTED
In Dublin Corporationâ€™s (very responsible) â€œadditional informationâ€ Jim Barret and Kiaran Rose demanded and I quote â€“
â€œThis area formed by the junction of the South Circular Road, Inchicore Road and Kilmainham Lane contains an ensemble of buildings of the greatest architectural, historical and cultural importance. The area is also a gateway into Dublin City. Given the great importance and sensitivity of the site and all surroundings areas, a development of EXCELLENCE IS ESSENTIAL on this site.
Aside: This is Dublin Corporation correctly saying this is mediocre and architecturally of little merit.
Regarding the effect on the Protected Structures and other built environment, the EIS Architectural Heritage section states
(p157, para. 22.5) that:
â€œThe proposed development does not physically impact on the buildings (nearby), but it will drive a wedge between the buildings and their physical and historical environment. Remedial and mitigation measures are therefore design issues and should be addressed accordinglyâ€.
To quote further:
The critical issues arising in this development are as follows:
The effect of the proposed development on the ensemble of buildings of great architectural, historical and cultural merit and the related urban space and achieving a better architectural and urban design solution.
Achieving a better mix of uses.
Protecting adjoining residential amenity.
Providing for greater use of public transport also cycling, walking etc.
Having regard to the National Importance of the site and surrounding area.
(e.g. opposite a National Monument and the adjoining range of other protected structures all in juxtaposition), the proximity of the gaol alone which is of national significance in the history of the state, means that the immediate environs of the gaol is of greater significance in terms of the historical development of the nation than is the case with any other National Monument. Also regarding the extensive nature of the proposed development and para. 22.5 of the EIS, the applicant is requested to submit:
(a) Alternative architectural proposals which would be more in character with and WOULD ENHANCE the nearby Protected Structures and in particular Kilmainham Gaol. Such proposals should be of ACHITECTURAL AND URBAN DESIGN EXCELLENCE and have a character of solidity (with a high solid to void ratio), simplicity and elegance which would compliment (and not compete) with the Protected Structures and related urban space.
Aside: This is Dublin Corporation now saying that this proposal offers little architectural merit / urban design excellence ! yet itâ€™s still permitted with minor modifications by the senior officials of Dublin Corporation.
(b) Alternative proposals to be submitted which would provide for the proper integration of the proposed development with the adjoining public realm.
Aside: The same development came back Christmas Eve 2000 and its density increased by 40,000 ft sq. Total â€œaccommodationâ€ now 650,000 ft sq.
The applicant is requested to submit proposals for a greater mix of uses on site. Residential uses and / or a hotel should be considered.
â€¦â€¦the result (after mitigating and remedial work)! of the above is what you can seeâ€¦ basically Dublin Corporation binned their own â€œadditional informationâ€ along with 2000 objections and also went against the wishes of the elected representatives of the entire Dublin City Council who represent the people of Dublin City. They took out the original plans + an extra 40,000 ft.sq. and sanctioned this development.
Incidentally, most of us in Kilmainham are aware of the great legacy Jim Barret (Dublin City Architect) left for Limerick and the nation in his tenure as Limerick City Architect when he oversaw the restoration and appropriate development of and surrounding King Johnâ€™s Castle. Limerick Corporation refused planning permission for a hotel opposite King Johnâ€™s Castle saying â€œthe scheme as presented is too big and out of character with the historical context. Its ultra modern design is at odds with the mature historical setting surrounding the Castleâ€ how would Limerick Corporation have reacted to the Macro Blocks right opposite King Johnâ€™s Castle?
Kilmainham would gladly swap the Macro Blocks for the much required tourism and local facility that a hotel would represent. Model flat roofed retro-fit office blocks are OK for Dublinâ€™s Kilmainham Gaol but a tourism development that Kilmainham cries out for would not be permitted in Limerick.
May 22, 2001 at 4:12 pm #718423
OK……although the building style may be debatable…. it’s on a par with what’s going on elsewhere throughout the city but it is not as bad as a lot of recent schemes that could be mentioned in the heart of the city. It is a difficult one…..blending architecture that holds a sympathetic view of it’s established surrounding areas with something that’s new and radical and of the time….without ending up with something bland and mediocre.
But as you mentioned the developments of past saw the heart torn out of the city many intact old buildings were torn down to make way for the modern buildings……..
……but not in this case, the proposed site is a ‘field’ with one warehouse/factory.
Besides developments need to be of a more substantial nature today ….curbing the urban sprawl. The appartment complex wiil bring people into the area too ….people with money….A corporation development would be a far worse fate would it not.
Also the Gaol itself will not be touched, one would think that the Gaol itself is to be demolished and perish the thought. The ‘development to be’ is across the road and will be act as an anchor point balancing the Gaol.
I would’nt worry about views from the magazine fort…it’s not that spectacular in the first place….a bit of height is needed….and well if you compare the photos of before and after there is not that much of an infringement….
The John’s Road too acts more like the gateway instead,a dual carriageway that cuts savagely in part through the viking cemetary and the Memorial Gardens with an overblown bridge junction. The view of the houses is not a particularly interesting view in the first place either from the bridge,is it …with the railway line running by below.
Our architectural heritage is precious,the bit we have (and have left) but I think there is a zealous streak of anti-development
running through everyone today (read the visitors guest book on the site)….and our little bit of modest architectural heritage does not merit a halt or hinderance to new developments….because of shadowing, or whatever as trivial.The city must live…
[This message has been edited by GregF (edited 22 May 2001).]
May 22, 2001 at 7:03 pm #718424DARA HParticipant
In principle i would not really have anything against the development in general. But, considering the importance of the site context something that is only ‘o.k.’ or ‘standard’ is not good enough.
I would have to say no to what is currently proposed.
The building looks (from the ‘generated images’) to be boringly monolithic in its colouring and to a lesser extent its ‘shapes’.
Maybe its seemingly overall grey colour is a nod to Kilmainham but, that building can get away with it because of the decorations and styles it has, that the proposed building does not seem to posses. In other words, the proposed building looks grey and fairly boring. I would not advocate a pastiche building because 1. They are useally not as good as the real thing & 2. the building is not physically attached to Kilmainham.
As for height, it looks like its setback a fair bit – set it back more and throw in a fully segragated bicycle path? Throw in a load of trees and some hard lanscaping – stone beches, and /or contemporary, steel and wood benchs (personal preference) – steps that can be used as seating, bike racks + cover for them, and so on.
Jazz up the design of the building – e.g. use some copper for roofing??
Stick a meaningful (& mixed tenure/tennent) residential element in it.
Are there any convenience shops (e.g. newsagents /grocers like ‘Spar’ near by?). Should one of those be specified as one of the retail units?
Overall, in my opinion the development is ‘alright’ but, not quite good enough for its context.
May 22, 2001 at 11:46 pm #718425notjimParticipant
I agree it is okay, but if a bit drab and a copper roof could be fabulous. However, the main objection seems to be the height. The height looks about right to me. Four or five stories is what is needed to anchor the space in front of the gaol and it wouldn’t intrude on the gardens of the Royal Hospital either. It is a pity the new apartment blocks between the formal garden of the royal hospital and Phoenix park are so awful, again there is no problem with the height, but they look terrible.
I must say, Kilmainham is a pleasure, mostly because the topography is so interesting and the various new developments are all piled on top of each other in an interesting way. I think it is a bit precious to call Kilmainham village the last urban village though. I live in Fairview, which certainly wouldn’t top anybody list of urban villages (Ranelagh, Stoneybatter, Phibsborough) and it seems a lot like a village to me and I grew up in a (rural) village.
May 29, 2001 at 8:21 am #718426
Having been unfortunately tied up with personal illness in my family over the last eigth months or so I was not in a position to keep abreast of all developments and happenings in my locality,i.e kilmainham I was astounded to learn the proposal for “development’ in the vicinity of the Royal Hospital and Kilmainham Gaol and even more amazed to hear that Dublin Corporation had granted planning permission for such misproportioned and inappropriate office block, I would’n’t grace the present proposal with the title development.
June 1, 2001 at 2:00 pm #718427
Having perused the description of the proposal for office and development park by Charmside LTD. I doubt how any Architect or planner could be a party to it and retain any vestige of integrity. THe proposal flies in the face of what development should mean in 2001 Ireland and is more reminiscent of Wood Quay twenty years ago, where a historic location was desecreted in the name of development (i.e the twin towers of Mr.Stephenson) destroying views of Christchurch from the river and over- shadowing the medieval street pattern for evermore. It is doubtful if anybody claiming a sensitivity or understanding of the Urban form would or possibily could defend such an ugly apparation beside a medieval Cathedral today. Development means more than mere functionalism and expediency, as appears to be the case with the Charmside proposal in Kilmainham, it must mean more than massification of office space in a non Central Bussiness District or Industrial/Technology Park, it must be in harmony and not clash with the Aesthetic and historic elements of such a unique overlap of different traditions of our country as represented by the Gaol and Royal Hospital. Development I beleive is about fullfilling the potential of an area and facilitating the socio-economic wellbeing of society at large.This would mean taking an imaginative look at the possibilities for such a historic and topographically rich location as this site at Kilmaimham is. Development must spread its view near, far and wide. By its nature it must be concerned with the present or near present import and future impact of its works. This area of the city, let us not forget that we are talking about city location which has a considerable amount of long term residents and newcomers, has needs pertaining to the nature of the National Monuments and indeeds needs of the above said local community. In other words development should addresss cultural aspects when they present themselves so clearly and concentrate itself on these aspects and on how they could be enhanced and not skirt around them as is the case with the Charmside Proposal. The future well being locally and nationally will be roughshod over if this proposal by Charmside goes ahead. It will sound the death knell for future of Kilmainham, in an era when a more culturally appropriate and economically far sighted Creation is financialy viable. The potential for the area is almost limitless with views across the river to the expanse of the Phoenix Park and the long vista to the Royal Hospital. Any planner must surely identify the potential for long term Cultural tourism as representated by the juncture of the magnificient Royal Hospital, the atmospheric Gaol not to mention the possibilies for the present courthouse, if it was restored and received a change of use after its long service. Any architect with some fertile thoughts could conjure up a a model edifice to do justice to the Ireland of today on the old Rowntree site, one in which views of the Phoenix Park and River would be reciprocated by views of a stylish and thought provoking development, complementry in scale to the present buildings and adding a modern dimension to the area whilst serving a usefull service to tourists, national and international and the local communtiy,e.g a Hotel. The quantity of tourism in Ireland is doubtlessly keeping the tourist Industry very happy but in the future visitors to Irelands may well be more discerning, more demanding and therefore a sensitive and properly thought out development is what’s required on this site. The massive scale and density of Office space as proposed by Charmside is totally contrary to the long term benefit of not only Kilmainham but the whole nation. The present proposal if it went ahead would eliminate views across to the park which still can be enjoyed, for thought the present Rowentree building is no work of Art it does not crowd out everything else in sight. I see that Charmside have designated there application as ‘AN Office and Technology Park”, I do not see any earthtly reason for locating such ‘park’ amongst the Culturally Significant Structures of a rich and diverse past.By labelling a proposal ‘Technology Park’ does not turn an Area into a Futuristic Zone where other dimensions of culturel life must bend to a brave new world, we are surely not living in some cultural desert berefit of architectural and social referece points both to our hertiage and modern architectural endeavours on the continent. I can understand how Property Developers like the directors of Charmside wish to build on every square inch of the site as the intention of ‘Real Estate’is to make as large and as quick a return on investment as possible. They presumbly do not work under any other constraints, there is the world of competition, the searching out of lucrative site before the competition. It would be more normal for such sites to be restricted to where they belong, in a real Technology Park like in Stillorgan or out on the Naas Rd. However planners, developers and society at large must be concerned by any emphasis on quick profit which will adversely affect the social fabric and cultural integrity of the area and the nation. Such an Office and Technology Park at such a scale on an elevated position will fullfull only the aim of quick profit, little if anything in the way of services for our most valuable resource Tourism and will cast a negative shadows for decades to come on such a potentially rich location. New thoughts and ideas are required on this matter from the Architectural community to counter such an ll-conceived proposal as set out by Charmside if we are to start beleiving in their vision for Ireland in the 21st Century.
June 7, 2001 at 12:38 pm #718428
What’s Dermot Deering and John Callery’s views of the new developments (mainly appartments) around Green Street Courthouse….. an historic area too…… ie the Debtors gaol etc…
June 7, 2001 at 9:06 pm #718429
I will have a look at the Green st. area this weekend if I get a chance. If I remember right some form of urban renewal took place around the Fourt Courts in the 19th century with clearance of tenements inorder to improve sanitation in the city resutling in some decent housing done in a planned manner.
June 12, 2001 at 2:33 pm #718430
…..again what’s Dermot’s and John’s opinion of the appartment blocks near Collin’s Barracks…… especilly a block been built right now beside it.
June 14, 2001 at 12:43 pm #718431
Green Street Development.
Halston St. Park â€“ former site of Newgate Prison.
Stone finish and nice amenity for children / residents.
Green Street, ground floor of your average apartment block incorporates retail units along its entire ground floor = amenities for old and new residents.
Mostly apartments on both sides of Park.
ST Maryâ€™s Church with its stepped tower has character and its presence and varied shapes not dominated by 6 storey office blocks.
Surrounded on all sides with varied buildings all in scale with each other.
New office extension facing North King Street onto The Debtorâ€™s Gaol. Iâ€™m glad to see does not imitate the old building and is in scale with the old building. But it is really banal and quite an ordinary block and devoid of any shape other than as flat as a mirror on its northern elevation. Office block on Green Street (again run of the mill) but not rising to diminish this old district. Nothing remarkable but in scale with itâ€™s surroundings.
Unlike Kilmainham Gaol the Debtorâ€™s Gaol is not a National Monument surrounded on all sides by protected structures and visited by thousands of tourists all seeking amenities and facilities which are so lacking opposite Kilmainhamâ€™s unique national / international heritage sites.
General topography around Green Street is the same and extension to Debtorâ€™s Gaol is insignificant in its built environment when compared to development opposite Kilmainham Gaol which is proposed to sit on the highest naturally elevated site in Dublin West- consisting of 3 purely speculative blocks – 100% rent a space office blocks of 650,000 ft sq. and rising to 6 stories. No comparison exists here with the tiny Green Street scheme which is in scale and tacked neatly onto the Debtors GaolTo quote you, your words again Greg:
â€œAn apartment scheme sounds fineâ€
There is no ( ZERO) residential element within the 650,000 ft sq. Macro Blocks.
â€œthe city must developâ€
Old Kilmainhamâ€™s tourism must develop and have priority over office blocks that could be built up the road on Goldenbridge or Jamestown Road Industrial estates.
â€œthe city must liveâ€
What is proposed for Kilmainham is dead office blocks after 5pm and over weekends and holiday periods when the tourists are here in abundance to face these empty dead spaces on leaving the Gaol and the Royal Hospital. With only people having business (9-5) in the blocks availing of its magnificent location and panoramic views.
Office blocks are not an appropriate development for Kilmainham considering its vast tourism potential presented by all its heritage sites and parks and zero amenities / appropriate development. If the function of this work planned for here had substantial community / tourism gain (as Kilmainham cries out for) then its architectural merits would be of secondary importance â€“ this has neither.
The Corporation and Treasury only envisage rates and rent respectively. In the mid 60s nearly 100% local voluntary labour (of all political persuasions) restored the Gaol and saved it from it from becoming a national ruin-when the entire roof had fallen in. A similar fate faced The Royal Hospital when all it was, was an abandoned playground / wonderland for us to play as kids.
All this was done when no developer or government agency was even remotely interested in the preservation of either architectural or historical icon. And now when the district is so popular with visitors, itâ€™s to be dominated by 3 monolithic office blocks- it just does not make sense.
This scheme opposite the Gaol is nothing less then a new version of â€œPark Houseâ€ that stands on the North Circular Road above Stonneybatter. Its devoid of any character other then its monolithic proportions and simple monetary function â€“ rent a space office blocks.
â€œThe proposed site is a fieldâ€
But not just any old field in any old place Greg. Whatâ€™s planned is just not good enough (in purpose and architectural style) considering the context into which itâ€™s proposed to land and not on a short visit but to stay for generations like Park House on the NCR.
â€œAnything would be better than whatâ€™s there alreadyâ€
Greg are you serious? ??ANYTHING?? considering the unique architectural and historical stone icons that surround this site on all sides.
â€œOur architectural heritage is precious the bit we haveâ€
Well said, and a substantial amount of it stands in Kilmainham and all in the vicinity of the Gaol.
â€œ A zealous streak of anti development running through everyone today (read the visitors book on the site).â€
The following (among many) have visited http://www.Kilmainham-gaol.com and have commented publicly as follows.
1. Liam Oâ€™Brien, California.
â€œAs a film producer for Discovery Channel, I have featured Kilmainham Gaol in our serious â€œInvisible Placesâ€ which has been seen by over 30 million people and is still aired worldwide. Fortunately I did not have to then and when I film at Kilmainham in the future I hope I will not have to include these oversized, out of perspective, dreadfully lumpy and monumental office blocks in any exterior shot of the Gaol. In my opinion these buildings as drawn, ruin the experience that is Kilmainham. Liam O Brien Los Angeles, California.â€
2. Michael Chretien , (Neatherlands).
â€œIn my capacity of an University professor dealing with heritage and inner city revitalisation, I am convinced that such so-called â€œmodernâ€ development near Kilmainham Gaol would simply be a crime against intelligence, against the environment, against the very basic principles of urban development and Irish identity. After the bunker already committed along the Liffey, this would definitely promote Dublin Corporation as the champion of the worse urban projects worldwide.â€
3. Hugh Pearman ( London).
â€œThis is the horrible story of a developer trying to squeeze the maximum possible flooespace out of a site, and to hell with the surroundings. There comes a point when basically bad and inappropriate proposals such as this one cannot be â€œimprovedâ€ any more. If itâ€™s overscaled (and it is, grossly) then no amount of fiddling about with the elevations is going to help much.
At which point it is time to wave goodbye to whoever is proposing the bad scheme and invite new approaches from less greedy people fielding better architects, capable of producing a suitable lower density scheme. Preferably mixed-use. You know, homes shops,cafes, etc as well as offices. That way it doesnâ€™t go all dead at 5pmâ€
4 Suzanne Barret (USA).
â€œI have visited Kilmainham Gaol four times over the last 12 years, twice to gather information for a novel set during Irelandâ€™s War of Independence, and a fourth time to write an in depth feature for my travel website IRELAND FOR VISITORS. I think it is a misuse of land to develop across from a National Monument with a high-rise office complex and parking garage. Surely the property could be better be used to benefit the huge number of visitors to the Gaol and the nearby art museum by providing visitor related resourcesâ€
And to conclude with comments by Renzo Piano on office blocks in general:
â€œOffice blocks have a bad reputation because they are selfish, they are totally enclosed worldsâ€
June 14, 2001 at 2:14 pm #718432
You have explained your case very well John……and I understand fully all the points you have made which are very true.
October 5, 2001 at 1:29 pm #718433
Oral Hearing granted by An Bord Pleanala on Treasury’s first application(2467/00)for office space opposite the Gaol
Meanwhile Treasury have submitted virtualy the same plans, a spare bun in the oven!! (with one block rising by a floor) / scheme under a different application (2217/01) and renamed the application now “The Hueston Office and Technology Park!!”
Kilmainham prepares !!
Dates and venue for oral hearing on (2467/00) to be announced.
October 6, 2001 at 1:09 pm #718434DeclanParticipant
using capital letters MAKES IT LOOK LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING!!!…interesting…..
October 17, 2001 at 12:23 pm #718435LOBParticipant
From todays Independent…
Green light for historic NestlÃ© site
THE ambitious and controversial development proposed for the Nestle Rowntree site, opposite Kilmainham Jail in Dublin 8, has just been granted the green light by the capital’s planners and already a pre-let has been agreed.
The scheme, by Charmside Ltd (a Treasury Holdings company) will be located on a four acre site opposite the South Circular Road entrance to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. The site was in use up to eighteen months ago as a manufacturing base for Nestle Ireland and was subsequently acquired by Treasury for almost Â£10m
The new development, a variation of one already under appeal with an Bord Pleanala, will comprise three office blocks, capable of sub-division, with a lettable area of 32,217 sq.m. There are 572 parking space, a large restaurant, creche, 625 sq.m gymnasium and ample retail and tourism space which will be at ground floor level.
Strategically located between the city centre and the M50, the site has prominent corner frontage with views of the Phoenix Park to the rear. It is also five minutes walk from the refurbished Heuston Station and new Luas Davitt Road line.
However, the scheme has its opponents who are currently objecting to a separate planning permission granted earlier this year. They argue that the development will loom over the jail and its Victorian streetscape and could impact on tourism in this area. The appeals board is due to make a decision on the earlier permission next month,according to Treasury Holding’s John Bruder.
Mr Bruder is hopeful that a decision will not be delayed because there is already a pre-let agreed for space here, subject to planning. Contrary to many market reports, John Bruder says there is a great deal of domestically-generated demand for office space. Two different occupiers are seeking 6,500 sq.m. in Kilmainham and Central Park. This is the large office park project in Sandyford, Co Dublin that is 50pc owned by Treasury Holdings. Offices in the proposed new Spencer Dock development and on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay are also in demand, mostly from indigenous companies, he reports.
October 17, 2001 at 9:12 pm #718436dc3Participant
5 minutes walk to Kingsbridge Station?
Well some parts of it I suppose, assuming that you can cross the road.
March 6, 2002 at 9:37 am #718437
This is the forum topic referred to by Greg on the plans to turn Kilmainham into an office block.
March 15, 2002 at 10:25 am #718438
You lot in Kilmainham and Dublin 8, must realise that the march of a nation cannot be impeded by emotion and lack of realism. You should be grateful for a modern development that will manifest our dynamic economy to the thousands of tourists who visit Dublinâ€™s Kilmainham, which makes a bold statement.. a grand project.. of the new Ireland and a vision of our success and modernity. No doubt other derelict sites and opportunities await development and must not be squandered i.e. office blocks as a backdrop to the Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle, King Johnâ€™s Castle or the old decrepit Arsenal in the Park. Knock the bloody thing down and the Jail as they only remind us of our past oppression and domination. Thatâ€™s the problem with Kilmainham its full of â€œbrit-ish-er ar-chi-tec-tureâ€ and none of our own great visions… …..until now. Happy St. Patrickâ€™s day 2002 to all the enlightened city planners in Dublin Corporation and to our very own Paddy Celtic Tiger Type property developers..I believe they call themselves something else now ..the Corporation that is.
[This message has been edited by Luke Gardnier (edited 19 March 2002).]
March 20, 2002 at 3:30 pm #718439SimonParticipant
First thing that I would like to say is that Kilmainham/Inchicore is not just of historical importance in Dublin but in the whole history of the state.
Kilmainham is not the site for these office blocks,just literally five miles up the road you have Park West industrial site,why not here???It would be such a crying shame to a monstrosity of an office block erected in such a historicaly significent site.
March 20, 2002 at 4:27 pm #718440
“It would be such a crying shame to (have) a monstrosity of an office block erected in such a historicaly significent site.”
I thought they were proposing to build it on a site across the road. Are they actually going to demolish Kilmainham jail and build on top of it! Come off it, they’re building on an old chocolate factory, what’s historically significant about that? Maybe we should never build anything anywhere near anything thats even remotely old, would that suit you?
Don’t know what the proposed building for the site looks like, but to rule it out purely on the basis of being near a historical site is just stupid.
March 21, 2002 at 1:59 pm #718441
You don’t know what it looks like then visit http://www.kilmainham-gaol.comand ask would office blocks be allowed as a backdrop to say Edinburgh Castle or to stand in the Place de la Bastille (where once their Jail stood) or 25ft away from the Tower of London – not in a million years. This site in Kilmainham requires a little vision and some thought on its future function and architetural profile.
[This message has been edited by John Callery (edited 22 March 2002).]
March 21, 2002 at 2:02 pm #718442
I think this is a load of fuss about nothing. Kilmainham Jail is nothing architecturally IMO so building across the road from it doesn’t matter. The RHK is well removed and protected by its parkland.
March 21, 2002 at 2:53 pm #718443
Let’s face it this will seriously damage the development of tourism in Dublin’s Kilmainham as this is the only and most appropriate site in the district if not Dublin City where tourism could and must be developed as “a grand project”. Rent a space and car garage office blocks can be built anywhere. This unique site considering its surrounding context(historical and architectural)has only one chance and that presents itself now.
March 21, 2002 at 3:44 pm #718444
Originally posted by Luke Gardnier:
Let’s face it this will seriously damage the development of tourism in Dublin’s Kilmainham as this is the only and most appropriate site in the district if not Dublin City where tourism could and must be developed as “a grand project”.
Bollox… Conservation Scare Mongering
How ill it seriously damage it?
March 22, 2002 at 9:38 am #718445
â€œThe RHK is well removed and protected by its parklandâ€
Why should the Royal Hospital need to be protected as you say MG (among other things) from these office blocks if they are of architectural excellence and a landmark of contemporary development. The Jail then has no protection at all. As somebody previously stated this is Park House moving over from the NCR, its smash and grab and stay forever, dead zone in the evening and weekend office space in a developing tourism district.
March 22, 2002 at 9:42 am #718446
You miss my point, I don’t believe the jail is of any architectural merit. It is only interesting because of the historical accident of various terrorist (and they were terrorists) being incarcerated there. As a building or tourist attraction, it is only interesting for its interior.
As for Kilmainham area becoming a major tourist attraction, get a life. Tour bus comes in, vommits out its passengers, they walk into prison, do tour, walk out of prison, into bus and off to Phoenix park.
March 23, 2002 at 12:00 am #718447
Just took a look at the images of the proposed development and if thats all you people are worried about then you really do have too much time on your hands. What the hell is the big fuss? OK, its no architectural marvel, but its not half as bad as some scaremongers are making out.
Actually I’m beginning to hope this gets the go-ahead, as I’m being drawn to the conclusion that some conservationists may well be full of crap, as well as their own self-importance. Although, knowing An Bord Pleanala, no doubt they’ll get their own whinging way.
March 25, 2002 at 9:50 am #718448SimonParticipant
MG, as you are the only one to have introduced your political opinions on Kilmainham Gaol, I must remind you that half of the nationâ€™s Capitalâ€™s streets, bridges, statues, commemorative events (Easter Week etc) train stations, public buildings even this speculative office complex (Hueston) are named after â€œthe terroristsâ€ executed in Kilmainham Gaol.
Suffice to say this is an architectural forum one should leave oneâ€™s political opinions at home and debate the issue, Iâ€™m sure the siteâ€™s administrator would concur.
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