Royal College of Surgeons & York Street

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    • #705682
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      What is it with the RCSI? Loads of money, buying and developing property all around their original premises. But the buildings are never of any great quality architecturally.

      Look at recently completed Beaux Lane House.

      Think of their extension behind the original building!
      Think of the hotel and carpark complex!
      Think of the rather bland extensions to the former Mercer Hospital building!

      Also theyre now placed rather ugly maroon signs on the sides of the office block next door on the Green. Used to contain a merchant bank or something, but they bought it a few years back.

      And now to the city council. Do something with your properties on York Street. They look awful. Many look empty, some are boarded up and you have to feel sorry for the odd few who have window boxes and nicely kept curtains, as they’re obviously living in hell.

    • #720771
      urbanisto
      Participant

      The amazing thing is that the York st buildings were renovated in 1988 for the Dublin Millennium! You have to credit the building management here eh!

    • #720772
      JackHack
      Participant

      Personally Beaux Lane House looks good to me except for the Use of the Black Glass, Maybe I’m just a sucker for curves. Also the “Beaux Lane House” sign looks terrible, the corporate colours don’t work with the building in this case.

      There’s a reasonable big office block behind Baggot St. Upper of the Maspil Road, it’s clad in a Blueish glass that looks really refreshing.
      No More Black Glass Please.

    • #720773
      Rory W
      Participant

      Yeah noticed the RCSI Maroon sign plocked very badly over the old carved in ABN Amro sign on the granite (so bad you can still see the A and part of the B) Best viewed from outside of Shanahans restraurant ugh!

      Rich surgeons!! Whatever next

    • #720774
      Anonymous
      Participant

      beaux lane house looks bland and bloated… we can’t build anything over 5 stories but yet its fine to build this kind of crap??

      our planners are definitely on something or else are permanently locked.

    • #720775
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      This is exactly my problem too, Peter. Why is anything over five floors deemed unacceptable when most of the stuff they do allow is horribly unimaginative and nothing to look at? I know I’m just repeating what you said, but I’m glad somebody else pointed that out. I get the feeling that our planners and indeed the whole system is terribly conservative and afraid of upsetting anybody, so we’re left with the dregs that they do allow for fear that somebody’s windowbox might be “overshadowed” (is that a buzz word these days?), or that something new might look out of place amongst all the red brick.

    • #720776
      GrahamH
      Participant

      What do people make of the newly finished RCSI building on York St?
      Don’t have a picture of it yet but the black corner glazing I think looks fantastic, very elegant, as is the stone detail above it.
      The rest though is disappointing, faceless in design, and it also suffers from the dated and standardised nature of the stone used – polished granite. Acres of the stuff.

      Also on York St, notices have just gone up confirming the demolition of the fine terrace of housing. I can’t believe this is happening, all to be replaced with 5 storeys of apartments, with 7 storeys to the rear. A total of 66 apartments are to be built, with part of the site being sold off. A retail unit is planned for the corner with Mercer St.

      When do these buildings date from – the terrace is mine of architectural contraditions that make it difficult to date.
      Whereas it isn’t exactly uplifting in design, or form a sweeping terrace of elegantly proportioned townhouses, the block has a unique grim quality to it that is worth maintaining. Likewise the railings, plinths and doorcases are worthy of retention. The street is much more damaged by the the dour RCSI concrete lump across the road than it is by this terrace.

    • #720777
      Devin
      Participant

      Think that terrace is a 1950s rebuild, with some original stone doorcases reused. The window cills, railing plinths & other doorcases are in cast concrete though.

      Know what you mean about the grim quality.

    • #720778
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Originally posted by Graham Hickey
      What do people make of the newly finished RCSI building on York St?

      Typical Burke Kennedy Doyle

      Not a lot of imagination but it is an interesting piece of commercial extension and the I absolutely agree that it would be a lot better if the polished granite were a matt limestone.

      I don’t have too much of a problem with the terrace of 1940’s ‘Georgian style pastiche’ being replaced it will be interesting to see what replaces it. I have always found the existing buildings very dark and unlike the real Georgian buildings there are no pastel shaded bricks to add light to the streetscape.

      Thankfully Martin Reynolds will have no more influence over this area, his extension to the Mercer St hospital c/w the pvc windows really annoys me as does his legoland RCSI carpark/hotel.

    • #720779
      Punchbowl
      Participant

      Interesting that they where re-building Gerorgian streets in the ‘ Nationalistic ‘ 40’s/50’s.. what happened when the sixties came along though??
      It’s a shame they’re knocking them though. I always found them curious, never quite knowing what they where trying to achieve with them…
      Incidentaly, nice touch to call that resturant beside Stephens Gn Centre ‘ The Dandelion Market ‘..

    • #720780
      notjim
      Participant

      i think it is a great shame to know these buildings, it is both handsome and historically interesting.

    • #720781
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Originally posted by Devin
      Think that terrace is a 1950s rebuild, with some original stone doorcases reused. The window cills, railing plinths & other doorcases are in cast concrete though.

      Know what you mean about the grim quality.

      I have a photocopy of some pages from a long dead UK architecture magazine featuring the latest Irish architecture… dated 1950 or 51 ( i think if i can find that box)… busaras is featured (under construction) as is this terrace for some unknown reason

    • #720782
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I think their demolition is more about ‘cleansing’ the area, than it is about rejuvinating it. Whereas I fully welcome the creation of a substantial residental element in the city centre, and so close to Luas, these buildings could be completely redeveloped and refurbished without their demolition, including retail elements.

      Thanks for these dates – the brickwork seemed to date from the 30s or 50s, as did the windows, but the doorcases caused confusion with some appearing older than others. Presumably this is why the CC only wanted to delist the doorcases a while back.

      I think curious is the appropriate term for describing this terrace, they are probably the only significant example of neo-Georgian (ok more pastiche than neo) in Dublin from this period, built at a time when so much of the real Georgian city was just about to be pulled down.

      I agree about the Mercer St hospital extention. At least the recent cleaning of the facade and painting of the windows was carried out well. It looks stunning now.

    • #720783
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I’ve some pics here I forgot to post – here’s the new RCSI extention:

    • #720784
      GrahamH
      Participant

      And the doomed terrace, with that sinister side elevation:

    • #720785
      GrahamH
      Participant

      And there’s quite a lot of original brickwork here too as can be seen here – there’s extensive amounts elsewhere in the terrace as well.

    • #720786
      Devin
      Participant

      Not as atmospheric as the York St terrace, but there is another example of ’40s/’50s Georgian buildings in Dublin at 10-11 Gardiner Place, off Mountjoy Square.

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