Forum Replies Created
If you tore down at least a third of the buildings on both quays and replaced them with interesting modern architecture, painted over or removed all the grey plaster (which blights Dublin in general), concealed the swarm of wires nailed to the front of every building, put in appropriate windows, actually cleaned these buildings, put in appropriate shop fronts, widened and improved the pavements, removed the poles and other clutter, and removed most of the bus traffic, you would have a couple of nice quays.
He said Eden Quay “is one of the more attractive quays in the city”. That’s like saying Susan Boyle is beautiful, just because she would be if she lost 50 pounds, dyed her hair, and went to a plastic surgeon.
I’m going to assume the Eden Quay comment is a joke. I just think your criticism is ridiculous. It’s not that bad, and improves a drab area, while also making that often used vista towards Liberty Hall a tad less grey. Also, the comment about provincial cities is idiotic, since Dublin is probably the city in Europe which is most pathologically averse to flash, even if it would be advantageous to introduce a bit of it.
Graham, the entire area around that bridge is a dump, included both quays which are truly truly depressing and awful. Any change is an improvemnt. And unfortunately there’s no vista of the Customs House because it’s blocked by an ugly bridge, and overlooked by a badly maintained high rise.
I’m all for maintaining character, I just really don’t think there’s anything left here, aside from one or two buildings. Common sense says Ormond Square should be razed to the ground, and yet I suppose it’s quirky that something like that is at that location. However, I really do think this is an area that needs to be mostly razed and redesigned, including the rest of that two storey housing. Something doesn’t have to be old to have character, and as the photographs above demonstrate, something which is old doesn’t necessarily have character, or isn’t necessarily worthy of being saved. I’d be in favour of the council just publishing some firm guidelines on what can and can’t be built here, nothing below six storeys for example, and the threat of garroting should anybody complain about shadows, and letting private interests pour their money into the area. Because that’s the only way it’s getting better in our lifetimes, when even the main street going from Christ Church to the biggest tourist attraction in the country is an unspeakable kip after 20 years of a booming economy.
That says it all really.
Graham, when it comes to this cesspit of an area, anything is better than nothing. And, in fact, nothing would be better than what’s there – razing blocks to the ground and paving them with concrete would be better. There’s literally no way to salvage whatever character it once had – unless you’re going a sort of I don’t give a shit/halting site type of vibe. If vainly trying to restore character involves building more ugly two and three storey boxes clad in red brick – I’d rather take the “corporate” eight storey buildings that might actually bring more people to live in a derelict shithole which, being so central in our capital city, verges on a national embarrassment.
I agree, there’s almost nothing in this area worth saving. I can’t see a problem with that proposal above, if it improves on the dump that’s already there. Where’s the loss exactly in removing buildings that are either derelict, or so undistinguished that they were mediocre even at the time they were built? And I don’t see the problem with going up a few storeys since we’re apparently living in the 21st century, when European capital cities generally don’t have one storey warehouses and two storey huts less than a mile from the city’s main street.
I think the attitude towards preservation is a bit extreme here sometimes. We should be focusing on improving the quays and preserving Georgian Dublin, not on dreck like this area.
Why can’t somebody just paint this building … why?!!! White paint isn’t that expensive!
Well lets not count our chickens just yet Graham. This is the terrace today:
A couple of things to note. The big canvas advertising that went up in the last couple of days on the front to add to Nokia et al. The shocking pink shopfront of the new sew and mend business that opened last week (with no planning permission for shopfront changes). The refurbished shopfront of the former Elverys/then newsagent/now Max cafe.
Suffice to say, I think you’ll be waiting a while for your coordinated rusticated granite shopfronts along the full terrace.
The planning decision is messy. I reckon the condition that mentions the replicated Georgian shopfront to No. 34 is a cut and paste error by the planner. It may well be clarified in the Final Grant.
I think you overstate the significance of improving this terrace. It would be welcome to improve the terrace certainly, but as the humble postcard is in demise, I think its unlikely to radically alter people’s perceptions of our fine city.
Across the way, the new currency converters in 1 O’Connell Street has put up new signage – without planning.
I have to disagree with this. Maybe it’s just my obsession, but I think this terrace is the worst thing in the whole of Dublin city centre. It’s a combination of its prominent location and the egregiousness of its aesthetic crimes that does it for me. It’s supposed to be a gateway to O’Connell St, “the premier street of the nation”. What does it say about us as a country, then, that this is what the entrance to it looks like.
In fact it’s so important, that the city needs to provide a financial incentive to get that original brickwork exposed. That rendering of the corner building is a complete aesthetic disaster, regardless of how long it’s been there. It makes the whole area seem shabby and grey, and really drags down O’Connell St and Bachelors Walk. It should be removed, or at the very least painted over – but the former option is of course by far the more desirable.
No, you’re right. We’ll attract plenty of tourists by abandoning the city centre. It’s literally impossible to imagine how a city could be viable in the 21st century – every other city in Europe is already dead.
Well that’s fair enough. Maybe there don’t have to be city centres. Maybe we can all drive from one retail park to another, and from one suburban pub to another. We could just shut down the city centre, and dissolve Limerick as a city and as a community. I think most people would disagree with you.
You seem to think that “leisure activities” encompasses in its entirety students sitting in cafes and vomiting on doorsteps. Shopping is a leisure activity, as is going to a poetry reading, or visiting a library. So is sitting in parks, admiring the river, and admiring buildings. People generally are interested in leisure activities, as evidenced by the number of people who visit the Crescent Shopping Centre. People are also quite interested in doing it in the context of a city centre, as evidenced by Cork and Galway and Dublin. And competing with them is not irrelevant, but actually vital. There is nothing, and there never will be anything, that will attract people from abroad to Ireland in this region. That’s not why people visit Ireland. They visit Ireland mainly to visit Ireland, not to visit Cork, or the Rock of Cashel, or Kilkenny, and certainly not King John’s Castle. So if we’re competing, we’re competing for a slice of that pie.
There are plenty of potential Limerick brands. On the other hand, this is an architecture and planning forum. Limerick is in some rather important places a grotty dump, and, again, most people would probably disagree with you that making Limerick better for the benefit of its citizens is nothing more than a futile exercise in “tarting up” the city to be sneered at. That’s really the mentality that spent the last century destroying Ireland’s architectural heritage.
But this is not the 19th century. As much as people may want it, there will be no manufacturing in the city centre – that is not how modern city centres work. So what is the city centre for, then, but for leisure and living? I don’t see what the problem with that is – it’s the model of every other city in Ireland, and most cities in Europe. I don’t see a lot of manufacturing in central Paris or central Dublin.
It’s not just about young people drinking coffee, but that’s a part of it. The city centre should be a place where people from different areas of the city, and surrounding towns, come to socialize. It should be a place where they can get an atmosphere and facilities they can’t get anywhere else. Again, what’s the problem with that? If you can think of a better, more sustainable use for a historic core of a city, now’s the time.
And I think the appearance of the city centre is crucial, not just because it’ll make more local people want to go there, but because it’ll draw tourism. Another big use for modern city centres is tourism, which draws in money for the further improvement of the lives of its citizens. Limerick has more in the way of historic landmarks and tourist sites than Cork or Galway, yet it gets overlooked because it is thought to be, with some justification, grotty and dank.
Well Cork and Galway also seem to have suburban shopping centres and yet their city centres are buzzing. The fact is that people will go where the buzz is, and there’s now a cycle of decline in Limerick city where fewer and fewer people are going because the lack of people is making it a less pleasant place to be. There’s a few things which need to be done:
1. Get more people living in the city centre. Maybe the Opera centre could have a significant residential portion involved. If people live there, people will shop there.
2. Clean up the city centre. I think this is really one of the main reasons for Limerick’s decline. It’s just not a nice place to be – at least in terms of its shopping areas. There are certain stretches of William St. which demonstrate what rejuvenation plans might achieve, but the pedestrianization has frankly completely failed to rescue the place. Somebody really needs to start knocking down or beautifying the 70s and 80s buildings, which are reminiscent of the worst English suburbs. Number one priority should be Brown Thomas, which should actually look like what it is – the flagship store of the entire city. Maybe BT will at least revamp the facade when the pedestrianization of O’Connell St. is being carried out.
3. Start moving parts of UL into the city centre. In retrospect, the decision not to build UL closer to Limerick City might have been a bit of a disaster. Not only would it have brought interesting new architectural developments, but it would have transplanted thousands of young people currently living in Castletroy into the city centre.
You know I had thought of something similar. If the UCH could be persuaded to be transferred to a new Opera House on the site it would bring a lot of life to the city. And wouldn’t the old city hall be a lovely opera house entrance?
In an ideal world, I wouldn’t like to see this site become a concert venue. I think the buildings in the area should be refurbished and be reopened to retailers. I thought the Opera Centre proposal was the right idea, although the whole aesthetic is a little too plasticky and the kind of thing that will become outdated pretty fast. Some attempt to incorporate the historic nature of the area alongside new retailers, like the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin, would be perfect.
In terms of an concert venue, I think a new landmark building near the river, perhaps on the Dunnes site, would be ideal for that – something weird and wacky that adds to the riverfront in a modern way.
This is all fantasy in the current climate though!
Considering where it’s located, that entire block represents the most appalling stretch of buildings in Dublin. Is there not some way they can force the removal of that advertising? If you did that and painted those ugly building it would go some way towards making that area of Dublin seem less grotty. I think somebody in the City Council needs to stand on O’Connell Bridge and ask themselves what could be done to make this worthy of the dead centre of a capital city. Everywhere you look is grottiness and decay.
I think that a lot could be done with Merchant’s Quay, Patrick’s Quay etc before moving out into the docks. As it stands the whole area is a dump and needs to be redeveloped.
@Global Citizen wrote:
Dublin V Barcelona…. Spot the difference.
None of the on street postcard stands, protruding signage, oversized adverts and overall brashness in the Catalan capital.
The city that gave the world the word ‘gaudy’.
Have you been on the Ramblas?
I’d rather the seats were a darker shade of green.
Ya you’re right. They should just demolish the place. Is there no end to the moaning of people on this website?
er, Form follows function:confused::confused: (clichÃ© fans)
So do people still believe that anyone ever took that seriously? Look to your local retail park for an example of “form follows function”. In fact if people took it to its logical conclusion, we’d have nothing but metalb oxes – a bit like the O2 I suppose. The great modernist architects were as concerned with aesthetics and sculptural effects as any of their predecessors – in fact moreso because they had to invent new ways to make building aesthetically pleasing.
Eh are we forgetting that architecture isn’t all about aesthetics? It’s probably one of the best venues in the world in terms of sound quality.
Architecture is primarily about aesthetics. If you have the greatest acoustics in the world and a stunningly ugly building, the scheme has failed from an architectural perspective. And that’s why I think the Point is an abject failure.