Stephenson – poacher turned gamekeeper?

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    • #704593
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      In an affidavit, the architect Mr Sam Stephenson said the proposed monument would affect buildings of artistic, architectural or historic interest on O’Connell Street, particularly the GPO, “the most significant building on the street and probably that with the most important historical resonance for the public”.

      from 3 May Irish Times…..

      ….obviously building the ESB HQ on Fitzwilliam Street didnt affect anything of historical, artistic or architectural interest…..

    • #711692
      john white
      Participant

      Oh that’s right – wasn’t it the longest unbroken Georgian Street in the world?

      Some crap documentary about him years ago
      related how on his way to school he was hit
      by a big bone thrown out of a doorway whilst on the way to school. With a chuckle the
      narrator said “Well, Sam got his revenge on the woman years later when he built the Bord
      Na Mona offices on Baggot street.” Ha Ha.

    • #711693
      john white
      Participant

      Oops, sorry.
      You meant Fitzwilliam Street. He messed up that too?

      J

    • #711694
      Charlie
      Participant

      Sam Stephenson seems to have done more than any other architect to screw-up Dublin architecturally. A list of the crap he’s designed would proabably overload this message board.

    • #711695
      Anonymous
      Participant

      That’s it – blame the architect. Sam Stephenson was merely the instrument of Irish society’s confusion and self-loathing at the time. The design merits of his buildings may be open to quesstion, but he can hardly be blamed for the demolition spree of the sixties/seventies.

      In fact, I think that the ESB building on Fitzwilliam Street is a rather fine example of new-build architecture in an established historical context. The materials are contemporary yet sensitive. The scale and rhythm of the facade are excellently judged and it looks like a large amount of accommodation has been fitted in while maintaing the scale of the area. It IS rather unfortunate that an enoprmous chunk of intact Georgian architecture was flattened in order to provide a site. But this is something that everyone was was doing and the wider society is guilty of. It is unlikely that it made any financial difference to Sam Stephenson where the building was built. The ESB, on the other hand, obviously had a great financial interest in the demolition.

      Rant over.

    • #711696
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I think we’re missing the point here… what i was drawing attention to was the fact that Stephenson is opposing the spike on aesthetic and historical grounds which seems a bit much…….

      maybe he’s mellowing as he get’s older…..

    • #711697
      Charlie
      Participant

      J. Lobb, That’s right I DO blame the architect. Yes the powers that were had a lot to do with it, but the majority of Mr. Stephenson’s architecture that I’m aware of is awful – with the exception of the Central Bank. And those resposible in the ESB for the desicration of Fitzwilliam St should be shot. Maybe the building there would be acceptable if it was stuck in some industrial estate. Shot too should most of the Corpo be for the Wood Quay disaster which has only recently been masked by the half decent STW building.

      Paul, I agree that this thread has gone off the point. For my part of the ranting, I appologise!

    • #711698
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      i dont mind the thread diverting – afterall thats what discussion is

      [This message has been edited by Paul Clerkin (edited 10 May 1999).]

    • #711699
      Jas
      Participant

      The thing about the ESB building is that it actually replicates the rhythm of the previous Georgian buildings through dividing the facade into a similar number of divisions as there were houses.
      From that point of view it is reasonably sensitive and doesnt break the streetscape up unduely but overall its a pretty poor building with little or no interest at streetlevel.

    • #711700
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Interest at street level? Unlike the surrounding Georgian terraces I suppose – they’re a real hoot.

      Dublin Georgian architecture is like a vulgarly oversized wild-west cousin of English Georgian and at the end of the day, these were the fortresses of an aggressive colonial regime.

      These buildings are valuable as historical artifacts, but the failure of Dubliners to utilise them as anything more than cheap office space shows how at odds they are with a modern democratic society.

      Keep them and say “Never Again”!

    • #711701
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I remember reading an article in the Irish Times by Frank McDonald last year about the possibility of replacing the ESB facade with a Georgian reproduction. As far as I remember it was only going to be a possibility if the ESB moved out of the building. I would think that it would be a mistake to do this now as the ESB building is an interesting example of urban infill of its time. I am not trying to defend the destruction of the original buildings but I think that the damage is done and to replace the present facade would be almost like putting a giant photograph of the originals in its place. Who knows if this had not happened maybe gradually Georgian Dublin would have disappeared completely over a longer period of time. As it is it was the destruction of some of these areas that might have saved the rest of it.

      I had heard that the ESB were thinking of moving to Sandyford. Anyone know anything else about it?

    • #711702
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Quote “to replace the present facade would be almost like putting a giant photograph of the originals in its place.”

      I agree the last thing we want is a pastiche facade although a new comtemporary facade might be a welcome change. As the existing facade really is very dated and lacking any architectural merit at all.

      I too was surprised by Sam Stephensons remarks on the Spike. Given that he returned to O’Connell St in 2000 to laud Spencer Dock as ‘high quality architecture’ of course in a paid capacity.

      That said Sam did some good buildings although most of them were definitley in the wrong places. But being grown up about it, his at least had some architectural merit and many of them will probably be listed as time rolls on.

      As for the ESB moving you just don’t know with ESB, they seem to change senior management more often than their customers change lightbulbs.

    • #711703
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Originally posted by phil
      I remember reading an article in the Irish Times by Frank McDonald last year about the possibility of replacing the ESB facade with a Georgian reproduction. As far as I remember it was only going to be a possibility if the ESB moved out of the building. I would think that it would be a mistake to do this now as the ESB building is an interesting example of urban infill of its time. I am not trying to defend the destruction of the original buildings but I think that the damage is done and to replace the present facade would be almost like putting a giant photograph of the originals in its place. Who knows if this had not happened maybe gradually Georgian Dublin would have disappeared completely over a longer period of time. As it is it was the destruction of some of these areas that might have saved the rest of it.

      I had heard that the ESB were thinking of moving to Sandyford. Anyone know anything else about it?

      http://www.archeire.com/news/2002/000051.htm

    • #711704
      FIN
      Participant

      “The ESB’s planning application for a major office development in Leopardstown opens up the possibility that the damage it did to Dublin’s “Georgian Mile” more than 30 years ago could be undone.”
      “The board claimed that the late-18th-century houses were structurally unsound and commissioned Sir John Summerson, an English architectural historian, to condemn them as “simply one damned house after another”. “
      ” it would be possible to rebuild the 16 houses – both inside and out – thereby reinstating Lower Fitzwilliam Street and atoning for what was probably the worst single crime perpetrated on Georgian Dublin. “

      the only crime is that they didn’t knock the whole f**king lot of them.. what a disaster if they rebuild them. talk about not learning from mistakes of the past.

    • #711705
      GregF
      Participant

      the only crime is that they didn’t knock the whole f**king lot of them.. what a disaster if they rebuild them. talk about not learning from mistakes of the past. [/B][/QUOTE]

      You are from Galway, therefore you ignorantly say that!

    • #711706
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for that Paul. I should have looked for it first.

      Thanks again

      Phil

    • #711707
      FIN
      Participant

      Originally posted by GregF
      You are from Galway, therefore you ignorantly say that!

      what has me being from galway got to do with anything? the fact the georgian houses are a mistake to keep execpt for 1/2 so people can get on a tour bus and see them or the fact that i believe that it’s a huge mistake to rebuild some on some terrace? these are poxy houses. if a bungalow was destroyed would you want them to recreate it? same difference. they were a style for a forgotten era and so should be left there and more modern houses built to accomodate people from this era because the way we live our lives, spend our leisure time have changed immensly.

    • #711708
      GregF
      Participant

      Originally posted by FIN

      what has me being from galway got to do with anything? the fact the georgian houses are a mistake to keep execpt for 1/2 so people can get on a tour bus and see them or the fact that i believe that it’s a huge mistake to rebuild some on some terrace? these are poxy houses. if a bungalow was destroyed would you want them to recreate it? same difference. they were a style for a forgotten era and so should be left there and more modern houses built to accomodate people from this era because the way we live our lives, spend our leisure time have changed immensly.

      My Jasus….what a stupid comment! I’m not even gonna reply, but I reckon ye should get those architectural history books out so as to learn a bit about architectural heritage so as to appreciate it more. You sound like an amadan at the moment.

    • #711709
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It is interesting to read what Frank McDonald said in that article from February 15th of 2002 with regards to the Georgian Mile, when on February 16th he had the following to say about Collins Barracks;

      Irish Times: February 16 2002: A facade too far

      “Fundamental questions about architectural integrity are raised by the OPW’s decision to take a ‘facadist’ approach to the next phase of the National Museum at Collins Barracks. If one of the fine Georgian houses on Merrion Square were to be destroyed by fire next week, nobody could argue that it should be replaced by a contemporary building. The only acceptable solution from a conservation viewpoint would be a faithful reconstruction, both inside and out.But in the case of Collins Barracks, the issue is not quite so clear-cut. Built in the first decade of the 18th century as the Royal Barracks, it was laid out around three squares, only one of which – Clarke Square – survives intact. The buildings that formed its central square were demolished in the 1890s.”

    • #711710
      notjim
      Participant

      fin, don’t be silly.

      as for restoring the esb, there would be no point in recreating the facade if the esb building stood in isolation, but, it is part of a fine terrace and recreating the facade would restore the terrace. here is the analogy, there is no point in building a reproduction table, but, if you have an antique table with a missing leg, it is perfectly sensible to make a repro leg.

      as for sam stephenson, the cb is great and the dublin ias building is kind of cool and, quite well layed out for its purpose, but sadly it was built so so cheaply, also it isn’t big enough for the whole ias, on the school of theoretical physics is there with celtic studies next door and cosmic physics on merrion sq so i guess they will move eventually and then i don’t know what will happen to it. that mews with the conversation pit is fantastic, i had some important work visitors we put up there once and it was such fun talking to them there, you felt like you were in the sixties.

    • #711711
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I still would think that it should be left, as both a reminder and as a piece in itself.

    • #711712
      FIN
      Participant

      Originally posted by GregF
      architectural history books out so as to learn a bit about architectural heritage so as to appreciate it more.

      appreciated yes, recreated no. absolutely stupid to do that. progress is what’s needed not harping back to yonder years. ” why weren’t they great, they can build houses” f**k sake. it’s time do look to the future. this is what has dublin the kip it is. it’s a low level dirty city that most people dislike execpt for a few.
      now i know i’m going to get abuse for that statement but it’s time someone woke you from your slumber. it’s a kip and while it is improving it has a long way to go and maybe when they were first built they might have been nice but not now. they are outdated, dull and contribute nothing to modern society.

    • #711713
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Wait a minute Greg, don’t you think Fin has a valid point. If you rebuild a Georgian House in 2004 it’s not a Georgian House, really. Is it?

      Why would you want to hang on to something anyway that is so representational of the Empire?

    • #711714
      notjim
      Participant

      hey, fin, what’s your view on paris then, dirty, low level, knock the lourve but leave the pyramid?

    • #711715
      FIN
      Participant

      the louvre is a different proposition than some georgian houses
      and yes it is fairly low level and fairly dirty.

    • #711716
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Notjim, I think that was Le Corbusiers plan.

      I hate the way when I look at some of those buildings on Stephens Green (East side) I look at them in the knowledge that they are not really georgian buildings. It does nothing for me and it really takes away from the experience of some of our other georgian buildings. I always now look at them with a little bit of doubt (except of course for the ones that are obviously original). I also have a strong admiring of those ones which look like patchwork quilts because of repairs which have been done to them over the years.

    • #711717
      GregF
      Participant

      Well let’s say as has already being said it’s like replacing the missing leg of a fine old antique table. Would you replace it with tubular steel. The damage was done to 16 houses of a mile long street. In the context of the whole street it would be, I believe, the best solution if it were repaired with faithful replicas, (although I am totally against pastiche(see Gardiner Street)

      In Europe for example after WW11 fine squares and streets which were partially damaged due to air raids/bombings were faithfully reconstructed, yet those that were obliterated were built anew in the then contemporary style. Let’s say then in this case that Fitzwilliam Street has been partially damaged.

      I accept our colonial past, it’s a fact we Irish must accept as part of our history.
      However, it does not justify the destruction of our architectural heritage that has been left to us.

    • #711718
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Paris is an interesting example, the building that has the cultural longevity there is still the Centre Pompidou, not Pei’s pyramid.

      Paris has outstanding areas but some very repetative and frankly boring bits, usually where the 19th Century building have been recreated. The most succesful has been where dynamic new architecture compliments the old, in my view.

    • #711719
      Rory W
      Participant

      Why would you want to hang on to something anyway that is so representational of the Empire?

      Because without it we’d have bugger all else of interest in this town – after independence we had a short bust of excellence followed by a downward spiral of dross and mediocrity which we are only really starting to drag ourselves out of. Never forget these buildings were built by Irish craftsmen.

    • #711720
      FIN
      Participant

      it’s not our architectural heritage though and even though it was built by irish slave labour it still isn’t ours. so why not build something of interest that is ours and not try to recreate this rubbish.
      you are beginning to think about what your saying now greg which is good. i am not trying to piss you off saying that but your previous rambling wasn’t convincing. you make some good points but i still think that it’s a mistake to put up replica’s of what is sadly inefficient design for today.

    • #711721
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sorry Rory it’s not for me to say really………. but if you’re determined slag your city well that’s up to you.

      A quick look at recent Irish Architecture Award books will confirm that you have some very, very good new buildings.

      Sam Stephenson, Michael Scott, Ronald Tallon Peter and Mary Doyle et al are cultural influences to be cherished………….whether you like their work or not.

    • #711722
      GregF
      Participant

      Fin, you just can’t dismiss it as rubbish, that is an innane remark. You come across as being rather cavalier and ignorant.
      What would you propose then a few glitzy appartments and a Spar, more practical I suppose.

    • #711723
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      Personally I have no problems with ESB HQ – what I do have a problem with is people still going on about the destruction of the Georgian vista etc etc etc. That was a long time ago. We need to move on. Let it go. It was a shame it happened – but time is a healer and to many people ESB HQ is as much part of Fitzwilliam St’s fabric as the Georgians on Mount St. We should be grateful to have the Georgian stock we still have and cherish it – not insult it with some pastiche facade covering ESB, pretending as though history never happened. It is 2004.

    • #711724
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well said d_d. You have said in a few sentences what I have been waffling about in a few different replies to this thread. I also think it would be an insult to both the originals and to the ESB HQ to put a new facade on it. GregF, with regards to your anolagy with antique chair, I think that if the georgian mile was absolute perfection originally of absolute uniformity than you might have had a point, but it was not perfect. I still enjoy, as I have always, looking down the Georgian mile. As a young person growing up I always remember wondering why the ESB building was different to the rest of them. However, I also took it for granted that it was part of it and have always admired it, if you see what I mean!?

    • #711725
      GregF
      Participant

      People hark on about Georgian vistas etc…..because they were designed with the most fundamental tenet of urban design, with symmetry and focal points in mind…..which is why Modernism failed at times too. If you look at the rejuvenation of O’Connell Street these tenets or principles are being applied in a way …ie the positioning of the Spire, the specific landscaping and planting of trees and placement of furniture, the widening of the foothpaths etc… This is whats at the core of good urban design. A lot can be learned from such classical times that can be applied today (and not just in a pastiche Post Modernist sense or style)

    • #711726
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The issue is not about retention or demolition or modern architecture or heritage.

      In Glasgow, as I think also in Dublin, we have somehow to create an environment where excellence in urban design and architecture is expected. That’s what seems to happen in Scandanavia and northern Europe.

      Bye the way, I’ve just been looking at the Opus Housing Awards and the Ardoyne Mews project by Design Strategies in Clyde Lane. For me, it is worth more than any Rebuilt Georgian infill.

    • #711727
      FIN
      Participant

      cavalier but not ignorant greg. my point although lost(by me mostly) was not to put up some mock georgian rubbish to hide the fact that someone built something other than houses there. urban design is also about marking “landmarks” for orientation( term being used a lot recently to it’s demise as a significant marker of urban spaces) the uniformity of an entire street needs something to standout. while the esb pays respect to the street it is something completely different and i think completely suitable. the proportions are important but a new design can give proportions as well. and glitzy maybe but it doesn’t have to be. and a spar is more practical but i don’t think the green sign and red christmas tree would do anything of note to the streetscape.
      alan is right there is a lot of good architecture going up and gone up recently and to now while we are moving forward take this approach ( which may be used as a dangerous precedent) is crazy.

    • #711728
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Quote “the uniformity of an entire street needs something to standout”

      It has already, Holles St Hospital is the Landmark building on the Merrion Square end, and the Dublin Mountains on the Leeson St end.

      Building a pastiche facade would serve no purpose other than to admit the original mistake. I think that a new facade could be the solution but exactly what style it should take I am unsure other than it would have to be contemporary and sympathetic. If such a thing is possible.

    • #711729
      GregF
      Participant

      I think it would be best then to leave the Stephenson building there keeping it’s usage as offices!

    • #711730
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Originally posted by GregF
      People hark on about Georgian vistas etc…..because they were designed with the most fundamental tenet of urban design, with symmetry and focal points in mind…..which is why Modernism failed at times too.

      Good point Greg. Trinity College is a good example of this. In saying this the Long Library and the GMB are of very contrasting styles architecturally which face opposite each other, as are the Dining hall and the 1937 Reading Room which also face each other. I think that the ESB does not take away from the symmetry of Fitzwilliam Street. As pointed out by Diaspora focal points are provided by the Mountains at one end and Holles Street at the other end. It seems that once there is some sort of symmetry and focal points (in the Trinity example the whole of parliament square, the Camponale, the Rubrics) that the composition works.

    • #711731
      GrahamH
      Participant

      It dosn’t matter in the slightest what type of modern building fills this in, by definition a modern building on this scale will change the character of the area from Georgian to – well, something else.
      Whether it is a sweeping glass clad structure or something clad in copper or polished granite, it matters not in the slightest if it is ‘sympathetic’ or not. If any modern building was to continue on this site, it should be the existing facade (which was designed not by Sam but by Arthur).
      It relates to the street excellently, as do the materials used (excluding the horrendous ground floor)

      Here comes the but.
      I think the house facades should be rebuilt.
      Why?
      For one reason only, to restore the unity of the area, and not just Fitzwilliam St, but the whole Georgian character of the area.
      I remember as clear as anything the first time I saw this building – it was the first time I walked around the Georgian city, an area completely alien to the rest of the generally shabby and incoherent Dublin.
      I was bowled over by the manner in which no matter where you looked, there were Georgian houses lining the streets, from Merrion Street to Merrion Square, to Mount Street and then – the ESB.
      And contrary to what someone mentioned earlier about the building acting as a good orientation point, I found it had the exact opposite – muddling – effect, it was like I had exited the historic area, the junction with Baggot St further confusing matters and the unity of the area was lost.
      When you come up from the Green through Baggot St, past all of it’s Georgians, you arrive at the junction. Look left – more Georgians. Look right – aggregate concrete. The area is destroyed.
      And the route from Merrion Square, also taking in the Mount St vista, through Fitzwilliam St to the magnificent Fitzwilliam Square and further on down to Leeson St is also wrecked – with the ESB plonked mid-way, disrupting the whole flow and ruining the continuity.

      The basic point is that Dublin’s Georgians rely on each other for effect, to create the ‘massing cliff’ formation. And each street relies on it’s neighbours to unify the character of the entire area.
      Rebuilding the facades (not interiors etc) restores this unity and character.
      At this stage its nothing to do with history, harking back, the British or anything else.
      It is about architecture, and the architecture of the area in my opinion would be greatly enhanced with the reconstruction of the 16 houses’ facades.
      If this Geogian core had been built 5 years ago, most people would see the logic in unifying the area.
      But most discussing this issue get what is essentially an architectural issue mixed up with the usual issues of being revisionist, harking back, colonialism, what is Irish etc etc

    • #711732
      GrahamH
      Participant

      That’s not to say the history and age of the existing stock is not important.
      And the point I would make in response to the suggestion that rebuilding the houses would be an insult to the originals – I think building in a completely different manner is equally an insult, if not moreso, invading into what essentially is ‘their area’.

    • #711733
      GregF
      Participant

      Is’nt the Peppercannister Church a great little focal point in this area too.

    • #711734
      Rory W
      Participant

      Alan D – I agree there are some good new buildings – my point was that a lot of what was built here in Dublin from the late 50s onwards was dross that will never attain attractive building status – some great stand out work, but a lot of crap as well.

      And if I quote from my own posting “which we are only really starting to drag ourselves out of” – our buildings are definitely starting to improve – for example no-one will accept the early Zoe style development anymore.

      Fin – “irish slave labour”, please read Dublin 1660-1860 as to who built the Georgian buildings.

    • #711735
      GregF
      Participant

      Aye ……there were some great Irish craftsmen who decorated these homes such as the Stapleton Brothers who were stuccadors (they were plasterers Fin)

      Graham Hickey conveyed much better what I was trying to say and Rory is correct by saying that there was mainly dross built here since we rightfully gained our independence with just the few exceptions.

    • #711736
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well hullo to you too Rory…….beginning to feel as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit, stuck out here in cyberspace with no response. However, I take your point.

      Every city though has a lot of crap, that’s what makes the good stuff stand out as good

      Anyway, the thing about Georgian architecture Graham is that it is simple, pared and clean like all good modernism should be. There is no reason why a new infill should conflict.

    • #711737
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve just been showing a group of architects from Chicago around Glasgow, the most complete example of a Victorian City to be found anywhere in the world.

      A precious thing, or so you would think but before that it was a Georgian City, like Dublin and before that a medieval city.

      That’s the nature of cities they grow and develop and change over time…….. otherwise they stagnate and become like Edinburgh.

    • #711738
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I’d settle for Edinburgh any day of the week

    • #711739
      FIN
      Participant

      while quite nice in a backward kindq way it is very hard to get anything in the city…hence stagnate. it’s a bit late now to be saying this about dublin. it’s on the path to becoming a vibrant modern city so i still believe this and other thinkings along the same line will only have a detrimental effect on the city.

    • #711740
      GregF
      Participant

      I was over in Glasgow last year AlanD for the Scotland V Ireland game and noticed that Glasgow is a charming city but it has got some awful high rise 60’s developments plonked in fine old uniform streets.
      What do you think of the newish Royal Concert Hall …..there’s a fine statue to Donald Dewar there….and the Buchannan Galleries.

      George Square looks great with it’s City Chambers and central column; vestiges of it’s Victorian past.

    • #711741
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Jings Greg……now you’ve lit the blue touch paper.

      It’s my city and I love it and it has its good points and bad, like Dublin.

      The high rise developements as insensitive as they are to us now were to replace the overcrowded and decaying building stock left after the war.

      Kids were dying in the Gorbals where a family of ten lived in a single room or single end as we called it…… open plan high rise blocks on the outskirts of the city with access to fresh air seemd like a good idea at the time.

      Unfortunately the concert hall was built before the lottery so high cost public buildings could only be obtained by giving developers prime land to build their retail schemes and in return they provided the venue as a proportion of the scheme.

      So unfortunatly we have a massive retail outlet with a concert hall attached. It is also rather FASCIST because Lesley Martin died and it was left to lesser architects to complete the job.

    • #711742
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      Settle for Edinburgh… euuuuw!

      Stagnant stagnant stagnant. Lovely place to visit – in a theme park kind of way. Wouldn’t ever want to live there.

      Glasgow has so much more charm and life – it has a tale to tell with the scars to prove it.

    • #711743
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      and they’ve just appointed Terry Farrell as their design Tsar………….really what more need be said?

    • #711744
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Glasgow is very fine, from what I can recall from a fleeting visit many moons ago.

      I totally agree Alan about Georgian and streamlined modern working together, by their nature they are compatible.
      But my point is about the character and completeness of the area, no amount of ‘sympathy’ or cleaniness of modern design can contibute to this.
      In Dublin, this area is all we have of a distinctive complete set of historic buildings.
      It’s not as if Dublin is a museum city, or the Venice of northern Europe! This is a very small, compact area, and should be consolidated.

    • #711745
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I think you would find a lot of Irish people live in Edinburgh, either as students or work in the professions.

      Not having a go at Glasgow because it has progressed a lot, but it is not in the same league as Edinburgh.

      Very few cities were as unscathed by WW2 and Edinburgh was one of the first cities to cry halt to Appollo house type of architecture in the 1960’s.

      Now that modern architecture has progressed to a level of maturity and design is considered ‘good’ because it is good and not because it is new and shiny possibly Edinburgh should revisit its development policy.

      But to say that Edinburgh is bad becuase it prevented the ‘Lower Mount St’ phase that plagued Dublin is ridiculous.

      At least in Edinburgh you have good streetscapes within which to place sufficiently high quality contemporary buildings. 😉

    • #711746
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Why does no one ever mention Bath?
      It’s always Edinburgh this, Edinburgh that…!

      We had a rather nasty handbrake incident on one of its notorious 90 degree hills – pretty scary.
      Anyway, when you see the likes of Bath or Edinburgh, you really do see how bone lazy they were in Dublin with regard to set pieces and unified facades.
      To a large part they couldn’t even be bothered to get parapet heights even, although the Gardiners made a good attempt later on.
      More Irish than the Irish themselves springs to mind.

    • #711747
      shaun
      Participant

      alan d, first of all, greetings to our Scottish friend……So how complete a Victorian city would Dublin or Belfast be in comparison with Glasgow, seeing that all three are essentially British cities that grew up when the UK consisted of all of the British Isles. I’ve haven’t been to Glasgow yet, wouldn’t mind going just to have a look at the Rennie MackIntoshs’ art school.

    • #711748
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I can only tell you as a visitor Graham…….I love Dublin for it’s “incompleteness”

      Sure a complete set of historic buildings are important to an extent but it’s diversity and vitality and an interest in its future that make a city great.

      All fur coat and no knickers, Diaspora. That’s Auld Reekie.

    • #711749
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      That is what I love about somewhere like St. Stephens Green. Although I hate the pastiche or the Stephens Green Centre on many levels I still love the way in which the whole green is such a hotch-botch of buildings. A jumble of styles which have built up over the years.

    • #711750
      FIN
      Participant

      a tale for all seasons…

    • #711751
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yeah Fin, maybe it’s a bit like the way Alvy (Woody Allen) describes California when he goes there during Annie Hall:

      “Yeah, the architecture is really consistent,
      isn’t it? French next to Spanish, next to Tudor, next to Japanese.”

    • #711752
      FIN
      Participant

      makes the place interesting though!
      the old saying ” too much of a good thing is a bad thing”

    • #711753
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Quote “I still love the way in which the whole green is such a hotch-botch of buildings”

      It always was there were 18 individual buildings between the College of Surgeons and Rices Bar (the entrance to the Stephens Green SC)

      There were 143 individual buildings on the Green that up to 1960 would have changed sporadically due to accidents such as fires.

      With the exception of the Lisney building at No 25 every addition since 1960 is crap.

      With particular reference to

      62-65 The Bank of Scotland offices
      66-68 Hainault House
      69-71 The Dept of Justice

      Russell House (KPMG)

      The Ardilaun Centre Eircom Blocks A +B

      57-59 The Pastiche Irish Permanant HQ

      44-45 The Corner of Hume St (Ivor Fitz)

      26 Compustore

      15-18 Stephen Court (Anglo-Irish)

      An unmitaged disaster of crap

    • #711754
      FIN
      Participant

      as i’m sure the other ones were thought of in their day also.

    • #711755
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      You forgot the shopping centre. I also think you are being a bit harsh on Stephens Court:)

    • #711756
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Agreed – a very subtle and muted affair, Probably the only building in the city from that decade that took into consideration it’s surroundings.

      Also agree about Compustore – as far as I remember Frank McDonald and others raved over this building, why is beyond me as they look woeful in that white.
      I think Lisney next door used to be green but was also painted white – they stand out like sore thumbs.
      The Ardilaun Centre isn’t that bad, it’s the best brick built building from the 80s in the city.

      All of the modern Georgians are rubbish, esp the one at the Leeson St corner, the bricks are terrible, the windows & stonework are terrible, and its ‘dining room’ window would be too small for an en suite toilet…

    • #711757
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.entertainment.scotsman.com/visual/reviews_specific.cfm?id=4554

      Edinburgh’s idea of contemporary architecture……….think you’ve got one just like it in Dublin, Diaspora

    • #711758
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Thats a good building, I prefer the Dublin one because it is simpler. I find the article interesting and the opinions refreshingly diverse.

      It is only a pity that the newspaper isn’t avialable here, since the solitary ‘Scotsman’ reader dissapeared last year giving a total Irish circulation figure of 0

    • #711759
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Could’nt help it, she chucked me out………… Jeez Diaspora you really do know everything

    • #711760
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Far from knowing everything it was in the advertising & marketing section of the Irish Times, it struck me.

      One meets many tams here and if the paddy trend is anything to go by it is hard to grasp as one sees Irish newspapers in most airports and it would not be uncommon to see five or six Irish times being read in a heathrow or Schipol departure lounge.

      Whats the story with the Scots, they don’t build modern buildings because they are too conservative and they don’t read the Scotsman abroad because they are too progressive?

    • #711761
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well…….as I’ve told you before, Edinburgh is’nt really Scotland. Kinda more like Brigadoon with lawyers.

      Glasgow has all the progressive stuff

      It may be some consolation to know that only one copy of the Irish Times gets delivered here. Wonder to who? ………….”coming dear”

    • #711762
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Originally posted by Graham Hickey

      The Ardilaun Centre isn’t that bad, it’s the best brick built building from the 80s in the city.

      which building is that Graham?

    • #711763
      GrahamH
      Participant

      It’s Eircom, on the corner of Cuffe St, or as some joker who meddled with the sign prefers, CUFFF St.
      I think it’s a clean, neat and streamlined building, accounting for the materials in the area, whilst not decending into pastiche or smothering sympathy – if that makes sense.

      Although it could do without the railings along the top, that protect top brass entertaining business guests with views of the city over espressos, from falling over the edge.

    • #711764
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Got you now. I know the one you are talking about, thanks

      Phil

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