Spencer dock development
September 27, 2002 at 2:31 am #705708dezaParticipant
Read yesterday that the revised plans for the office bloke which will form the centre piece of the Spencer dock development, was approved. Apparently, the original was too tall (groan). Does anyone know how tall (in stories) approx, it will now be.
September 27, 2002 at 9:31 am #720999MGParticipant
Well it was fasttracked, so it’s the usual five storeys plus setback boardroom level.
From the Indo:
September 27, 2002 at 2:04 pm #721000N3Participant
The present scheme by STW is hardly a radical departure. Nevertheless the scheme by Kevin Roche was really awful stuff churned up by his C-team. It seems the scale and nature of huge developments such as this are the main problem. What architects would people have nominated instead to enclose the hundreds of thousands of square feet of Spencer dock? Would it have a vastly different result if the same programme stayecd the same ?
The problem with Ireland is that there is no architectural planning, just zoning. Developers get hold of a site a try to cram as much square feet as possible (wouldn’t you) And the usual fight begins. If there were an existing plan for this area giving indications of scale and amenities to be provided things might be somewhat different
September 27, 2002 at 3:20 pm #721001dezaParticipant
Thanks for that. For a city which claims to be progessive, Dublin has such a parochial attitude towards tall buildings.
Dublin is a great city and in many ways a beautifull one. But our city fathers seem obsessed with maintaining a skyline which doesn’t upset the Georgian buildings. If you look at any other major city, they all have buildings which represent the time and subsequent development which took place over the years. Georgian architecture was the imposing building of it’s day believe it or not, then victorian etc. Tall buildings if they are in the right place do not detract from the old ones. A prime example is London. London architecturaly is a beautifull city. All it’s building represent it’s chronological developement. And, it’s got a lot of tall buildings too!! Yes, they dominate the skyline, but they don’t spoil the overall feel of the place.
Dublin should be proud of its Georgian past, respect it, then as time goes by, add chapters which reflect other stages in development. As someone famous might say, “these old buildings won’t go away you know”.
When our city fathers back in Georgian times had the foresight to transform Dublin from a medievil city to one of grandiose proportions and (for its time) imposing and best planned cities in Europe, they showed great vision. They probably had to listen to people campaigning to keep Dublin medievil! I feel the time has come for the new custodians of power, to reflect the times they are living in and think bigger than 5 stories.
September 27, 2002 at 6:02 pm #721002N3Participant
People in on this site seem to want tall buildings in Dublin as if “tallness” was a quality in itself. Tall building can be just as mediocre as groundscrapers but because of their conspicuousness they can do a lot more damage. They tend to become landmarks and affect far more peoples live than just their users. For this reason they should be vetted thoroughly for quality. But the problem in Ireland is that there is no vetting for architectural quality excepting through competitions. This also is the reason how scemes such as Spencer Docks come about.
September 30, 2002 at 10:25 am #721003SimonParticipant
Exactly there should be a Q Mark for architectural quality …far too much critical debate revolves around height..to the extenth that it diverts attention away from the architectural quality of whats proposed….. the legacy of the the last 10 years is just largely the same bland apartment blocks and offices been repeated.. simple to design, build.. also architectural competitions are few and far between.
September 30, 2002 at 1:16 pm #721004Rory WParticipant
From looking at the image above it seems to be that this building will be on the site proposed for the conference centre. Can we take it that the NCC has been shelved?
September 30, 2002 at 2:03 pm #721005
…….and which looks more appealing………..Roches proposal of the NCC I think with it’s glass cylinder
September 30, 2002 at 4:17 pm #721006
That’s a confusing picture. I know it was in the Indo but where did it come from?
The building behind the bus must be an existing building. The only building even a bit like that on Spencer dock is the North Wall Station beside the British Rail Hotel.
So it looks like that new grey thing is built on top of Campions bar – which was listed as protected in the EIS. Leaving room for the convention center to fill the remainder of the site to the left.
Or is this fragment meant to be further up the quay towards Castleforbes?
September 30, 2002 at 4:58 pm #721007Paul ClerkinKeymaster
EW, that’s exactly where I understand it to be, on the site of Campions.
“Treasury Holdings have received planning permission for a 300,000sq ft building at Spencer Dock which will house anchor tenant PricewaterhouseCooperâ€™s new headquarters building. The new HQ is scheduled for occupancy by early 2004 in place of their existing Dublin offices at Wilton Place on Georges Quay.
“We are delighted to be the first tenant on the Spencer Dock site. Our own rigorous review of various possible locations convinced us that Spencer Dock would be the best location for our people and our business. We are particularly focused on transport and social infrastructure and we are convinced that Spencer Dock will satisfy our requirements in these regards. A train station on site would be key to these infrastructural requirements. We look forward to joining other leading companies, financial institutions and professional firms in Dublinâ€™s growing Docklands area” commented Donal Oâ€™Connor, Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ireland.
“DDDAâ€™s vision and commitment to the North Dock will result in an entirely new city quarter benefiting from water frontage on the Liffey and Royal Canal. With over 25,000 people living and working at the Spencer Dock site when it is completed, the development will breath new life into this city area” commented Mr Robert Tincknell, Development Director, Treasury Holdings.
Treasury expects to generate up to 500 direct construction jobs at this landmark development, beside the prestigious financial service centre, within a matter of months with an addition of 500 indirect jobs being created through sub-contractors and suppliers on the site.
Spencer Dock will be serviced by trains, buses, LUAS, DART and will have direct access to the South side of the river by a new bridge designed by Spanish architect Calatrava. Two hotels, a large number of apartments (including social and affordable), restaurants, shops, pubs, a health centre and educational facilities are also planned for the site.
Mr Tincknell said that the combination of DDDAâ€™s foresight and planning, Scott Tallon Walkerâ€™s imaginative design and the range of transport facilities serving the site has attracted PricewaterhouseCoopers as anchor tenant which is an enormous vote of confidence in the development. “We are actively negotiating with other potential tenants, Irish and International, who have expressed a strong interest in our plans for Spencer Dock” commented Mr Tincknell.
Potential tenants at Spencer Dock will be able to avail of DDDAâ€™s fast-track planning process for buildings designed within their development planned requirements. The Spencer Dock team will design and customise high quality buildings to client specifications with particular emphasis on the demands of new technologies. “
October 1, 2002 at 9:57 am #721008
Either way the proposed building is an awful looking concoction is’nt it ……….it looks far too fussy with all those horizontal lines and far too stumpy…………It looks shit putting it plainly and in no way will it be a landmark as it looks quite similar to the other shit that STW are building in this vacinity…….ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………..Boring!
The way STW has a monopoly down the docks almost reminds one of the political skullduggery, backhanders etc …..regarding the planning laws that is now in the news…….How they have the overall say in the design and look of the place is quite strange (allegedly)
October 1, 2002 at 12:41 pm #721009urbanistoParticipant
GregF! surely you arent suggesting that there are stakeholders within the Dockland development which have no concern for the creation of an architectural legacy in the area and are only out to make a fast buck (ala Mohair Suits brigade) Shame on you! Think of those farseeing city fathers of the 1960s who gave us such beautiful buildings as those which now line Tara Street or O’Connell St…
October 3, 2002 at 4:34 pm #721010
Looking at the IFSC extention a few days ago I was thinking about how likely it is that in 20-30 years time it’ll all be torn down to be replaced by something,…. well…..good. Personally I think its odds-on to happen, can anyone else see this happening? The same goes for whats now being proposed for Spencer Dock i.e. more of the same boredom. If so surely this is a major indictment of the inadequacies of the DDDA and their lack of any kind of ambition whatsoever.
October 3, 2002 at 9:35 pm #721011notjimParticipant
The funny thing is that they seem to be succeeding
with manor street now the nci is open. It feels much much like a street and less like an industrial estate than the original ifsc complex. the new square will be nice, the only pity is that the apartment block on the north edge is poor and worse in the way it addresses the building to either side.
October 4, 2002 at 1:18 am #721012
Well to clarify a little, I’m most annoyed by the buildings that front the river. Apart from the Clarion Quay apartments which aren’t too bad, the rest of that row of buildings are awful. With a bit of luck the Citibank block will be gone in about 25 years time, the same goes for the other office blocks (I think Commerzbank are in one of them).
I can’t help but think that not only should these buildings have been at least twice as high given the width of the river there but that some sort of competition to design them be undertaken, rather than modelling the whole place on a Rice Krispies box. At least that way they’d provide some kind of focal point rather than the black-hole they are now.
Just a thought, but doesn’t the lack of height and therefore space in the city-centre have to be made up for elsewhere? i.e. the suburbs and urban sprawl. Now I know the mantra about high rise not necessarily equalling high-density but surely a little more leniency, especially in the relatively remote docklands wouldn’t go astray? Do the planners think endless Rice Krispie boxes look great or something?
Anyway, I’m beginning to think I’m obsessed by the rubbish ultra-conservative planners we have in this country. Hopefully they’ll get their act together soon or I might go mental altogether.
October 4, 2002 at 10:44 am #721013
I totally agree with you Blain……..the docks are rubbish, aka mediocre…..The buildings in this part of the city…. aka the capital of Ireland….. especially along the quays as you have said are far too stumpy for the width of the Liffey as it widens…………
The buildings are the same as what you get in sub-urban industrial estates, ie Sandyford, Ballycoolin, etc …………..not metropolitan city scapes…….a typical major Irish f**k up on reflection………….and it’s sad that we may never see in our lifetime Dublin docks looking spectacularly significant….as like what you find in other major cities……..but mediocre, provincial and insignificant….and nobody in the Irish general public cares I suppose…… A culturally ignorant Taoiseach does’nt help either……..Is their no politician in Ireland of the calibre and insight of Mitterand?……A person who stands for high architectural and civic principles…I guess not….bog standards apply across the board…….a pig in a pokery and Haughey was a skullduggerer too as is the case.
It would be good if a firm of barristers with a wordly achitectural insight could sue the DDDA and Scott Tallon Walker for their misconceived and unartistic plans for Dublin City Docks….but that is stuff of fairytales I suppose.
October 4, 2002 at 12:43 pm #721014
I agree – Mayor street is indeed coming on well. It is even starting to have a european, neighbourhood, community feel. This is already enhanced by the opening up of the square at the college and will be further improved by the LUAS. It still has a long way to go but does seem to be learning from mistakes made in IFSC phase one and other business parks.
AS far as I know the height of buildings on this street are restricted to allow light get to the street. There are many pictures in the EIS and Master plan which show the light angles, time of day, shadows etc. It seems to me that if there is to be light on the street for a reasonable length of time during the day, a balance with the height needs to be reached. I don’t know what rules were used but the balance seems about right and is also the balance point they reached in a lot of post war european development. Given our climate, people don’t see shade as an asset. For the street to be lively and develop the busy community feel, it needs to be attractive – sunlight is one of the factors that needs to be considered. If you increase the heights then the road would have to be in shade or wider – which would lead to an empty feel.
In this context, the suggestion to double the height of all the buildings fronting the river seems ridiculous to me. That really is just height for heights sake. Surely for any mixed development it is vital to get the street level right and build to enhace that rather than build a wall of high buildings on the south of a site and hope someone wants to live and work in the shade behind them..?
Tall can be good, but this environment in moderation. I hope there will be the odd high quality tall tower introduced down there. But as there will be a higher proportion of 5, 6, 7 story buildings built I’d love to know why they appear so hard to do. The crap that’s there is not bad because its 5 stories – It’s bad cos they bore. Do the talented people refuse to work on buildings this height? or is there a general lack of talent in Ireland? I was trying to think of some buildings this size that were well done, and can only think of Fingal co.co and Herbert park at the moment. Surely there’s some more.
October 4, 2002 at 1:09 pm #721015
But you must remember it is a cityscape and buildings cast shadows…….we don’t get much sunlight either in Ireland……It is crazy to adhere to something so stringent as that…..ie buildings casting shadows ….
I don’t want to see souless windswept dark chasms of streets either…..but one must agree with what already has been said that the Dublin docklands could be of more achitectural significance . It is featureless ….and so bland……….so provincial.
People complain of noise and crowds as in the case of the Temple Bar and Croke Park folk ….they should realise that they are living in a city with all the hustle and buslte it brings …If they don’t like it then they should move out to the countryside or suburbs where they can have their garden barbecues and all the peace they need.
October 4, 2002 at 1:51 pm #721016
Exactly, there are always trade-offs if you want the conveniences of city living – except it seems in Ireland. Here they seem to be quite keen on covering the entire country in concrete just so they can appease some nimby protestors who don’t want their kitchen window “overshadowed” or whatever the latest buzzword is.
Just look at London, a city with a similar climate, hours of sunshine and all the rest as Dublin, the general height and bulk of buildings there is far greater than it is in Dublin (and they mostly look good too) yet most people I’ve heard seem to love the place architecturally and I’m not talking about Canary Wharf sized developments either.
The fact is that whats going on in the Dublin docklands right now could pass for developments in Grimsby or Swansea or Stoke-on-trent or some other such backwater in England. Do we want to aspire to be more like London or more like the places I just mentioned? Apparently the DDDA want the latter – if only they could be removed from power – even An Bord Pleanala seem to be gradually being dragged kicking and screaming out of the 19th century if their permission for the Tara Street building is anything to go by.
October 4, 2002 at 3:31 pm #721017
Tara Street does look like being great. I too am delighted that An Bord Pleanala may be getting realistic.
However I think the hustle and bussle refered to earlier needs to be one of the aims of a city development. I’m just not sure that building high will necessarily provide it. THese things need to be planned for.
October 6, 2002 at 9:53 pm #721018notjimParticipant
Has anyone seen the incredibly stylish prefab that
is being constructed on the quay side just to the west of the rail head, it looks like it might be a site office.
October 7, 2002 at 11:01 am #721019
Probably better than the shite that’s going up
October 7, 2002 at 1:13 pm #721020
October 7, 2002 at 1:17 pm #721021
That prefab probably is whats going up. The DDDA would’ve thought long and hard about how it might overshadow some weeds growing beside a kerb, how once in a while a car might have to drive up to it, how it might actually be visible from someones house and how it might ruin the uninterrupted view of the wastelands (the IFSC extension) from the sea, but eventually decided to be brave and controversial and let it go ahead, turning down the alternative, more conservative proposal of a five-man dome tent which was heavily pushed by some members of the board.
Those poor DDDA guys will be tossing in their beds tonight wondering when the torrent of protest from local residents will arrive, still they’ve allowed yet another prefab be built in whats supposed to be our capital city – Other cities will be green with jealosy.
October 14, 2002 at 5:00 pm #721022Rory WParticipant
Appropriate use of the word “tossing” methinks
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