Forum Replies Created
Heineken v. Guinness.
Anyone know exactly when O’Connell Bridge House (aka Heineken House) switched brand loyalties? I’m writing a small bit about it and am hoping to verify what O’Connell Bridge House was drinking, er, advertising specifically during the Millennium celebrations on New Year’s Eve 99. I think I’ve managed to narrow the switch down to the 98-2000 window… anyone know for certain?
On a similar note, I’m guessing (you’ll help me out if I’m wrong here, won’t you) that the scaffolding mentioned here popped up after the celebrations were over, perhaps as part of a regret-tinged, hungover New Year’s Resolution:
‘This Millennium, I, O’Connell Bridge House, promise to…’ (Archiseek fun for hours– fill in the blank!) :p
Here’s a glance at what’s happening with the Mateus hotel. It looks as if they’ve added another lift shaft since November and there’s more activity going on at ground level I can’t make out. There are some good pictures from Devin and CM00 in the New Public Space for Docklands thread that, combined with some of these, give a good sense of how the plaza is developing.
In keeping with the cart-before-the-horse spirit, they have started to install some of the lighting that will form a pathway alongside the rumored ‘performing arts theatre.’ They seem to be a bit cheaply made and don’t look as though they’ll wear well over time.
Lots of lights. Lots and lots of lights. One can only grit one’s teeth in anticipation (fear?) of what it will look like once the Libeskind mothership lands. There are such bizarre juxtapositions going on right now, some quite wonderful:
So far, so good. But then, gentle reader, you get this travesty:
Arrggh! The cheapy green bulbs, apart from reminding me of a marquee or some emergency exit path lighting gone all wrong, are garish and detract from the oddball, elegant simplicity of the vertical red lights.
The renderings of the plaza are flashy all right. When you look at the plans for everything all together: the red sticks, the green Disney benches, the odd triangular yokes, the performing arts theatre and its ‘meaningful’ angles, the sleek checkerboard of the Mateus, it really is sensory overload. All of them? All at once? I know I should suspend judgment until it’s all built, but I feel at the moment rather like that Grand Canal Harbour chimney… hidden away, standing in the center of a bizarre half-wasteland, half-art installation, wondering whatever was wrong with leaving a little open space.
Enjoy it while it lasts…
Really? Are you by any chance a member of the Irish Georgian Society?
Ah, no, they didn’t seem too keen on my walking tour proposal, ‘Interesting Bits of Rubble I’ve Wondered About’ and told me to take my work elsewhere. Philistines!
Thanks for the insights, Graham and ctesiphon. Makes you wonder why they’d go to the trouble of demolishing something perfectly historic as a Victorian era engine shed while leaving this creepy old thing from the ’50s just next to it, left to rot. I can’t imagine it’s had much practical use lately, but I could be wrong. That said, I’d prefer this piece of dereliction instead of sticking in some glossy, inevitable high rise in its place. But then maybe I just like creepy, run-down inexplicable buildings.
If pictures aren’t available of the original shed, I wonder if there be any land surveys or maps that might show precisely where it might have lived before it was demolished. And if there’s any evidence at all in the new Grand Canal DART station of this original wall they claimed to preserve, it’s certainly scant evidence. Invisible, one might say. Unless I’m not looking closely enough… I’d love to be proven wrong on this one.
But I do have a spare pony.
Is it a bicycle? 😉
I’m assuming this is not the railway shed mentioned earlier in this ancient thread (seeing as it’s far from demolished… and about seven years later) but I was wondering what this shed is/was. Does anyone know?
It is in fact on the left (heading south of Pearse) just as you pass Grand Canal Basin… also quite visible from the Grand Canal DART platform, where this picture was snapped. The sign down on the locked gate on Barrow Street says IRISH RAIL PLANT DEPOT. If anyone knows what this building is, what the nature of the damage is (fire? neglect?) or how long it’s been standing there in all its gutted glory, I’d be interested.
Also, Archiseek Picture/Information Fairy, I wouldn’t mind a picture of the original stone shed with the ‘Barrow Street Engineering Works’ on the side, insight on how/if a wall of it was incorporated into the Grand Canal DART, more cool stuff about demolition and rebuilding on Barrow Street and oh yes, a pony. Thank you.
I think about these buildings all the time. Even though I’m bracing myself for the dull, unimaginative retail fixture this fantastic architectural piece will eventually deteriorate into, I have to say I’m really enjoying this stage right now of it existing purely as this sculptural part of the landscape. Forget about the plans and articles. Right now, it’s nothing inside. It’s pure potential.
Generally it’s cause for impatience when a finished building takes so long to ‘open’ but in the case of Stack A, I have to say I’m enjoying this period of emptiness. One of the best things about Stack A going uninhabited for so long is that it’s become this great canvas — not quite blank, but still with so much to be filled in — for daydreamers such as ourselves to wax imaginative on its many possibilities and uses. A spa? A science musuem? A modern art museum? None of the above?
In daylight, a few signs of partitions inside — a blight on the blank canvas. How could anyone want to split this thing up into tiny boxes?
Another interesting feature of the redevelopment of these buildings is how the original shape/materials and new glazing combine to create a surface that changes dramatically in different light. A rare structure that looks just as intriguing no matter the natural light.
You know this is the kind of image that architects love — oh, it will reflect the color of the sky and the buildings opposite (think back to the optimistic renderings of the glass-facade beast beside City Hall) — how cool!
Forgetting that most days are like this:
And still — lovely, desolate, full of possibility.
Wednesday 13th December 2006: The Henrietta Street Conservation Plan will be launched today by Lord Mayor Councillor Vincent Jackson and the Dublin City Manager, John Tierney at the Kingâ€™s Inns, Henrietta Street at 6pm. The Conservation plan re-affirms Henrietta Street as one of the principal architectural and urban ensembles of this country.
â€œThis conservation plan is essential in highlighting the architectural vulnerabilities on Henrietta Street and will help to re-affirm its significance through the implementation of appropriate policiesâ€, said the Lord Mayor.
Don’t look now, it’s the latest Conservation plan at work. Just think how much easier it will be to ‘highlight architectural vulnerabilities’ on Henrietta Street with this imported white granite! I’m getting out my higlighter now…
Not that we needed a closeup:
If this is how they treat one of the ‘principal architectural and urban ensembles of this country,’ it doesn’t bode well for the rest. Not that any of this is news. Still, the evidence is pretty appalling. Oh, and don’t forget to wave hello to our friend in timber cladding on the right.
Had another stroll past the glowsticks on the docks this morning and was surprised to see the red colored illumination inside each pole is not static. There appears to be a beam of red light inside each pole that undulates upward in a subtle wave pattern. It was a bit eerie as I hadn’t noticed it before. My first thought was, ‘cool’ and my second, alas, was ‘lava lamp’. The photos obviously can’t capture the effect but it’s well worth a look.
A digression here, but I’m wondering with all of this optimistic light-show business going on, are we going to see another unsavory, revisionist name change for the area? I don’t know if this is the idealist or the ironist in me, but I hope the name ‘Misery Hill’ will remain attached to this brilliantly lit strip. Though in light of some other developments (renaming townlands after shopping centers), I’m a little worried. I’ve never actually seen a ‘Misery Hill’ sign anywhere and it’s omitted in certain city maps. Is this going to quietly slip away in a heap of rubble and fanfare?
KerryB, I meant honest-to-goodness midtown traffic: Times Square, garment district, crosstown 57th st. where you could eat lunch in the time it takes to get 5 blocks up Mad. Ave. Traffic flows relatively well along the major arteries on either side flanking Central Park: 2nd Ave, 7th Ave, etc.
Central Park is a great example of how bicycles, pedestrians, and cars can coexist, but that’s mostly because cars are limited to a few crosstown streets. Bike lanes are plenty wide and for the most part, pedestrians stay out of the way (always a few bumbling exceptions). Areas like Christ Church feel like such a zoo in comparison and I wish I knew what the solution would be. It’s always hard when the main concern seems to be cars first, pedestrians second, and then the bike lanes, “sympathy lanes” as I call them that they toss out as an afterthought.
In NYC there is an excellent cycling path up the West Side Highway where you’ve got the Hudson River to your left and all of Manhattan to the right. You can start down at Battery Park and cycle all the way up to 180th without fear of being smacked by an opening car door or mowed down by a taxi. But then, the bike lanes are entirely seperate and it is mostly intended for leisure.
What are people’s favorite places or routes to cycle in Dublin? And do you feel there is anything comparable in terms of cycle-friendly zones?
Sorry to confound, jimg. I belong to the outmoded, old-fashioned quill and scroll tradition that doesn’t insert smileys when unleashing my good old-fashioned sarcasm about cultural stereotypes. But I’m actually not a Dutch supremacist, nor did I intend to come across as entirely dismissive of this experiment. (The great polarizing Keith Richards aside)
I absolutely agree with you that there is great appeal to a polite, intuitive system of moving about towns and villages, which is maybe why this system works well on smaller scale projects, as you’ve pointed out. I think we are actually in agreement that it has great potential (and real life applications) in places like Temple Bar and in villages and towns throughout Europe (not to mention gridlocked midtown Manhattan). I just found that the “unsafe is the new safe” optimism expressed in the article aroused a healthy knee-jerk skepticism. This does not believe I think the idea is entirely without merit.
Aesthetically, I think it’s a great idea to scale back on unneccessary road signs that just add clutter, as has been pointed out in other threads. I do not think the same about the total abolition of road signs. Road signs are there, primarily, to serve a practical function. Whether or not everyone obeys the speed limits, they are there to ensure (or at least promote) the safety of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Bottom line. If there is a dangerous curve ahead, I want to know. If a street is one-way, I want to know. And whether or not I want to travel to (insert culturally stereotypical undesirable place name here), I have a right to have strategically placed road signs with arrows indicating which route I can take to get there.
Out of curiosity, is it the aesthetics or the social dignity of the idea that appeals to you? Or both?
(And please don’t begrudge me my skeptically cocked eyebrow. I made it one day and my face froze like that.)
Ah, the Netherlands… such infrastructure, such law-abiding citizens, such Utopia.
Sure, Amsterdam remains to this day the only city where I’ve been clipped while cycling by a passing vehicle, but I’ll gladly put aside my bruises and chalk that up to bad luck. However, (call me a pessimist) kicking off this “let’s chuck out all the road signs and trust in people’s innate goodness” campaign (see jimg’s link to the charming little Der Spiegel article) wouldn’t seem to be the most, er, effective first step. It seems about as ill-advised as a “pay what you wish” night at the pub. Yes, other major cities like Dublin can learn from the Netherlands’ example, but I tend to think it’s the exception rather than the rule. Kind of like how scientists should study Keith Richards’ immune system… freakishly well-functioning.
However, to be fair, this “road sign-free” idea is not entirely misguided. In fact, the plan has enjoyed a long and colorful history in New York City for example, where cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike are able to effectively communicate through non-verbal signs such as the vigorous fist-shake, the flipped bird, and the “In my refusal to make eye contact or utilize any of my rearview mirrors, I’m going to just charge straight ahead and trust in my fellow citizen’s ability to get the f**k out of my f**king way.” In a charmingly democratic way, it gets traffic moving in a way that road signs fail to do. It could work in Dublin. Call me visionary.
And as a test run for this no-road-signs policy, perhaps Dublin can begin by removing the “LITTER” and “BRUSCAR” signage from bins and see if that improves the littering problem…
Clearly a fresh crop of bronze palm trees is the only way to help the area regain its splendor.
Has anyone been able to locate a picture of what the steel bollard of the Millenium Clock actually looked like? I’m very interested to see if anyone has been able to find photos of the damage that was done to the bridge, not to mention the postcard dispenser or the postcards themselves. (Not to drive you mad again, Lotts.) It almost seems the stuff of myth now. I want some hard evidence.
Between the failed chime in the slime and Fr. Pat, this location seems to be a nesting place of transient memorials. A museum of spurned memorials might be in order. Pieces of the Millenium Clock, the pink tank of Prague… Woe to the project that seeks to fill the empty space!
Perhaps this eyesore can be temporarily ameliorated by an emergency Jeanne-Claude/Christo-like wrapping, in which the looming banal structure is wrapped tightly in heavy tarpaulin and manila rope. The controversy that erupts over this building’s extravagant emergence, then sudden disappearance under wraps, will not only provide visual interest on this corner but will also allow ample time to coerce a confession out of the shameful, disgraced building and allow the disappointed public to come up with something better.
An elegant tarp covered with EL ARCHITINO drawings would certainly make my day, as would it create this much-touted “incident in the square.”
I liked this street so much better with only one sick & indigent house on it.
@a boyle wrote:
i think i shall have to object.
Is one allowed to object on the basis of poor architecture ?
I hope so. I’m almost too blindsided by the ugliness, the sheer ostentatiousness of the design, to even formulate an intelligent objection. What a shame. This is one of my favorite sites in the city.
Out of curiosity, how long does it usually take before a decision is reached on these proposals? And are the concrete silos fated to go either way?