The Reconstruction of Dublin

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    • #709275
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I know the forums come down usually very much against pastiche, but looking at all of the interesting structures that have existed in Dublin up until quite recently, I have always thought that some structures obviously should never have been let go in the first place – and now that they are gone, they should not necessarily be gone forever.

      Some quarters of the city are now totally devoid of their historic fabric – and relying on current building styles to create a decent streetscape seems unlikely when you look at streets like Parnell St. I think even the odd historic building of architectural quality goes a long way to relieving some of the monotony of our poor bland red brick faced breeze block apartments.

      Of course this will lead to chants of architectural conceit and lies, but I have a question: which buildings to do think most qualify for rebuilding in Dublin?

      The only building I know that has been rebuilt is the art deco garage on Grand Canal St. But I hear mention that the Dutch Billy buildings on both Kevin St and Leeson St are reconstructs from the 19th century. Bare in mind I’m not talking reconstruction as per Zoe development but real facade preproduction albeit with a relevant modern interior.

      So what should be rebuilt?

      My suggestion: Weaver’s Hall in the south Liberties – a historic area of the city desperately in need of quality.

    • #787801
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      In the spirit of the game – and not to get sidetracked by the pastiche argument 🙂 – the Theatre Royal?

    • #787802
      admin
      Keymaster

      The Theatre Royal would be a great reintroduction; but one feels that the plot ratio of the combined plots of Apollo, Hawkins & College Houses together with the Screen Cinema may be combined be the planners if all three existing horror stories are to be erased.

      The term pastiche really pisses me off as do the bland undesigned apartment blocks terms ‘sensitive infill’ by their proponents.

      There are two types of non-contemporary desigbs that I find acceptable. Firstly in architectiural comservation areas where research is undertaken to establish what was on the site being reinstated accurately.

      Secondly where there are unusual plots of undeveloped backland and a restrained but faithful to a specific period is executed with the materials one would expect for a fire reinstatment. An example of somewhere suitable for this would be the blank wall on Kildare Place between Dept Ag and the Museum. A short terrace faced in portland stone or copy of 33-35 Fitzwilliam Place in granite could tidy this area up and give more of a plaza feel to thia completely wasted public space.

    • #787803
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Its worth noting that pastiche is somthing that is only vaguely “old” looking and uses an ill thought out mixture of styles. Real scholarly reproduction can work very well and may be suitable where there is a jarring gap, eg the ESB block on Fitzwilliam Street or some of the Georgian Buildings that were demolished on Stephens Green. They would obviously not be original to the trained eye but would restore some of the athmosphere that the place once had. I think there is a snobbery among architects about this kind of idea but if you ask me it has got its place in some circumstances. This would be an interesting topic for debate but please note Im not saying all new builds should be of an historic style.

    • #787804
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @blaise wrote:

      Its worth noting that pastiche is somthing that is only vaguely “old” looking and uses an ill thought out mixture of styles. Real scholarly reproduction can work very well and may be suitable where there is a jarring gap, eg the ESB block on Fitzwilliam Street or some of the Georgian Buildings that were demolished on Stephens Green. They would obviously not be original to the trained eye but would restore some of the athmosphere that the place once had. I think there is a snobbery among architects about this kind of idea but if you ask me it has got its place in some circumstances. This would be an interesting topic for debate but please note Im not saying all new builds should be of an historic style.

      Wasn’t the Sun Alliance (I think that’s what it’s called) building at Leeson Street Bridge once voted Dubliners favourite building the same year it was voted Irish Architect’s least favourite? I believe it dates from 1981

      It can be made to work, and I think a pastiche Georgian terrace, with who cares what going on behind the facade on Fitzwilliam street would be way better than that muck there now

    • #787805
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Zap wrote:

      I know the forums come down usually very much against pastiche, but looking at all of the interesting structures that have existed in Dublin up until quite recently, I have always thought that some structures obviously should never have been let go in the first place – and now that they are gone, they should not necessarily be gone forever.

      Some quarters of the city are now totally devoid of their historic fabric – and relying on current building styles to create a decent streetscape seems unlikely when you look at streets like Parnell St. I think even the odd historic building of architectural quality goes a long way to relieving some of the monotony of our poor bland red brick faced breeze block apartments.

      ………..

      So what should be rebuilt?

      This corner (below) beside St. Patrick’s Cathedral is going to come up for redevelopment sooner or later. I would like to see a faithful reconstruction of the 19th century terrace here, with proper roof and chimney detailing. I think it would be the only thing to do. There was a contemporary building built at the other end of the terrace a year or two ago and to be honest it didn’t work …. very ill-fitting.
      .

    • #787806
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Not to knock it because it’s ‘modrin’, but fully agreed – that recent corner building stands out like a sore thumb. It’s ridiculously proportioned and detailed, and so out of context in both materials and design relative to its location. I pass it on the bus regularly and cringe every time, mainly at the colouring. It seems blue limestone was chosen to ‘match’ St. Patrick’s but it just doesn’t work at all next to that all-singing stock brick terrace. They’re like milk and orange juice in terms of compatibility – they make you feel queazy just looking at them. And the elevational detailing was clearly limited by budget constaints. Nice ground floor joinery however.

      Yes a full streetscape and parapet reinstatement is in order for the above site – what a miserable little yoke that building that is.

    • #787807
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I agree that it’s the facade on Lennoxs pub that’s all wrong. It’s completely bizarre there.

    • #787808
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Here is the building being talked about. Restraint and a response to the simple surrounds of the cathedral was needed. But instead we have a look-at-me corner statement. The potential sensitivity of the stone cladding used has been destroyed by creation of two giant ‘windows’ in each facade … all wrong for the location.
      The roof is the worst part for me. What is this obsession with architects working today to slap a big canopy on top of every setback penthouse? The clash with Dublin’s traditional pitched roof forms could not be greater. What was needed here was a quiet roof storey, maybe clad in lead or zinc, one which would not draw attention to itself. But instead there’s a big plank sticking out on the approach to the cathedral. Why?

      I think there are still big problems with building in the historic city. In all the years of regeneration we have not yet learnt to do this. Some architects can but many can’t. The existing environment is not being read. Look at that recent extension proposal for Portobello House, the Penneys building proposal beside the GPO, the Dame Street folly, the Henrietta Street building …. The casualties are mounting.

      In contrast, this (on the opposite side of the junction) is a successful modern corner building. It has read and responds to the existing environment.

    • #787809
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve just being doing some searching on this Patrick Street/Kevin Street corner building shown in the last post. I knew that it had been appealed by the Dean of St. Patrick’s back in 2003, and specifically went to look for the ABP planner’s report, to see how its design was justified. But, when you go into the details on ABP’s site, the planner’s report is not there!! :

      http://www.pleanala.ie/data1/searchdetails.asp?id=8141432&caseno=201793

      Even weirder, the on-screen info on the appeal says the building was refused!!! It’s only when you click on the order you see it’s been granted. Where is the planner’s report? Why is it not there? Planner’s reports are always there. Why does it first say it was refused?

      Our city is being robbed. What is this building going to look like in 60 years? It’s still going to look wrong. We don’t know how to respect the urban traditions of the city. We are fulfilling the short-term need to infill a gap rather than continue any tradition. We are getting Lexington buildings. The site should have given to someone who knows how to build in sensitive location. McCull. Mulvin or somebody.

    • #787810
      admin
      Keymaster

      Totally agree the choice of architects was inappropriate in the extreme. Planners should simply tell applicants pre-application that only architects with a track record of quality design will be considered for uber sensitive sites.

      Unfortunately pre planning consultation is most often more about applicants being told how to fill out a form for a one off house than any meaningful consultation on major or sensitive sites.

      Welcome to McPlanning Dick style

    • #787811
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What?! Is that a reference to Dick Roche?

    • #787812
      admin
      Keymaster

      Who else?

      Although it would be a lot better if Mr Gleeson set national planning guidelines in general he probably should keep more of an eye on all commercial applications in locations such as this.

    • #787813
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Maybe this isn’t in the same theme of the thread but from previous reconstructions such as the Bank of Ireland building on College Green I think windows should be reintroduced to the building instead of the concave concrete walls that substitute them.

    • #787814
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There were never any windows in those (granite) walls, Urban_Form – thank Mr Gandon and his niche fetish for their absence. I think they work to great effect, creating an austerely classical ‘feature’ in the city rather than another predictable facade punctured with fenestration. The lack of windows also sets the screen walls apart from the original building, managing to detach them to a certain degree, whereas windows would aid in the suggestion of a broader, more bloated, sprawling building than what we see today with the uncompromising blind walls. Of course in any event, there’s nothing behind the walls to provide windows for 🙂

      Indeed the eastern (Trinity) curved wall was the only one of the two walls built (then without columns) until the arrival of the BoI – it was an open colonnade on the opposite side up till that point. Only the blocked up apertures on the wall behind the main portico colonnade were windows originally.

      That is extemely odd about APB and that file…

    • #787815
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Quote [Devin] :

      “Even weirder, the on-screen info on the appeal says the building was refused!!! It’s only when you click on the order you see it’s been granted. Where is the planner’s report? Why is it not there? Planner’s reports are always there. Why does it first say it was refused?” [ End]

      Weird..?

      Thats an understatement.
      One can sniff the aroma of “something not quite right” about this.

      Take for example a boot on the other foot scenario.

      If a member of the Publick wishes to make application or even to Object to some planning related matter the SAME Authorities will closely scrutinize one`s paperwork.

      Should you have as much as a semi-colon missing or otherwise out of place your application will be refused or binned.

      Well spotted on the omission Devin….Now let`s see just how much of the “Freedom Of Information” Act will be required to unearth the missing paperwork.

      Dublin City`s administration is in a state of semi chassis and hookey practices such as the JCDecaux Cycle scam are presented as beneficial and mould breaking without a trace of embarassment…..:p

      A Tribunal.a Tribunal………My Kingdom for a Tribunal !!…….Oh oops sorry….I forgot…We already have one…Oh Well Another fine mess you`ve gotten me into ! 😮

    • #787816
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Interesting coverage in the Herald tonight of Mick Wallaces contribution to the Irish Planning Institute conference.

      Anyone who has observed the Dublin streetscape refurbishment works over the last decade or so cannot have but seen the redoubtable Mr Wallace getting down and dirty alongside his employees.

      His recent appearance on Pat Kennys show also gave an insight into his thoroughly sensible thinking on Dublins regeneration.

      What is abundantly clear from his statements and more importantly from the putting his money where his mouth is stance,is a clarity of purpose which appears to be totally missing from DCC`s “Professional” planning section.

      Irrespective of the actual design appearance of many Apartment Developments,Wallace`s opinions on “maximising community interaction and avoiding inappropriate uses based solely on the highest rental income” should most definitely be spray painted on the windscreens of every senior DCC Planners Car as they sit cooling down in the basement of Civic Offices.

      A recent late night walk along Cork St as far as the Coombe was,for me,a salutory and somewhat scary experience.
      What was once a VERY vibrant,albeit rough diamond community,has become an urban morgue with little sign of any identifiable community interaction.
      It reminded me of some of the bland urban streetscape scenes now featuring on various TV ad`s for Soft Drinks,Cars and other consumables now running on various channels.
      Vaguely identifiable,clean cut lines,and oh so politically correct demographics but not much in the way of atmosphere.

      It`s also refreshing to see a hands on millionaire developer who is not afraid to nail his colours to the mast on serious issues such as the Iraqi misadventure which continues to cost the world so dearly.

      I dont know the man personally,nor have I any affiliation with his company but he certainly makes a refreshing change from the ultra cautious,hard to pin-down professional planners whosviews he has to pander to in his attempts to put a little “Real” life back into this Capital City.

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