"Modern" Protected Structures in Dublin

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  • #708998

    d_d_dallas
    Participant

    Anyone know what “modern” structures (modern as in post War 20thC) DCC has on the Record of Protected Structures?
    Given the off hand removal of a great curtain wall on Suffolk St last year, the much reported planned demise of Liberty Hall (icon of it’s era etc etc etc), reports of BOI on Baggott St being up for the chop, is there a skewed focus on particular eras rather than a holistic view of all of Dublin’s built environment?

    Politicians, public buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.

  • #785641

    Anonymous

    A few that I found on the list:

    Archer’s Garage (Rebuild)
    Bus

  • #785642

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
  • #785643

    Anonymous

    The ’30s council flats, Chancery House, on Chancery Street are on the Record of Prot. Strucs.

    I wonder what the youngest building on the Dublin RPS is? It must be between the Carroll’s Building and the Berkeley Library.

  • #785644

    Anonymous

    @devin wrote:

    I wonder what the youngest building on the Dublin RPS is? It must be between the Carroll’s Building and the Berkeley Library.

    Or Archer’s Garage 😀

    Thanks for the link Paul. It got planning in the recent past for a new restaurant extention.
    link here

  • #785645

    Anonymous

    @phil wrote:

    Or Archer’s Garage 😀

    Or for an even newer ‘rebuild’ example there’s 86 Thomas Street – the Thomas House pub – a Protected Structure totally rebuilt behind the facade about a year ago.

    There’s also 16 Parnell Square (Georgian house at the corner of Gardiner Row) – demolished and rebuilt from scratch around the same time as Archer’s.

  • #785646

    Anonymous

    Not to mention the protected former Irish Times WSC terrace’s 1950s rebuilds clamped in the middle – but that’s just picking holes :p

  • #785647

    Anonymous

    @paul Clerkin wrote:

    http://www.irish-architecture.com/news/2006/000087.html

    There is likely to eventually be some infill development on the site. Quinlan has always looked for ways to “add value” to existing buildings such as the infill plans for one of what was then the Savoy Group of hotels (can’t remember which one at the moment) and the Knightsbridge estate.

  • #785648

    Anonymous

    Is the Investment Bank of Ireland at Leeson Street Bridge and Fitzwilliam Place (c. 1982) on the Record of Protected Strcutures?

  • #785649

    Anonymous

    Hasn’t the horse already bolted having Archers still on the list?

  • #785650

    Anonymous
    Paul Clerkin wrote:
    http://www.irish-architecture.com/news/2006/000087.html

    COULD BANK OF IRELAND&#8217]

    Just reading the full text of this article, I’m starting to feel the building had better be listed sooner rather than later! What exactly does Ronald Tallon mean by a new owner “might get an extra floor on Baggot Street – it’s quite capable of taking it alright”? Would this not upset the composition? And how might an extra floor be executed – as a facisimile design? Would you still be able to get matching materials for a seamless look? Or maybe he’s thinking of a heritage mansard roof? Or a glass-canopied hkr-special perhaps??

    And an atrium over the plaza? That would certainly respect the design!! Maybe a glass cage should be built over the whole thing.

  • #785651

    Anonymous

    No doubt a fascimile storey would be proposed on the lower front block – a very cheap and easy way to make big rental gains…

    The horse has bolted indeed – why was Archer’s Garage built with cheap aluminum windows?

    At least they look reasonable on the ground floor.

    Steel frames are still available in the UK, even for domestic installations. They ought to have been forced to source them there.
    Of course if the steels had already disappeared pre-demolition, then Planning probably couldn’t enforce the sourcing of such an expensive material that’s probably not even made in this jurisdiction anymore…

  • #785652

    Anonymous

    The windows of the rebuilt garage were a bummer.

    Something else from that article on BoI Baggot Street needs to be taken up:

    The bank building didn’t involve the demolition of Georgian houses

    What are these then, Christmas trees? :
    .

  • #785653

    Anonymous

    What a spectacular juxtaposition – if anything even more preferable to what we have today, though doubtfully the case at street level. A remarkable sight from this location at least.

    Isn’t the Georgian on the opposite corner of James Street a replica too? 🙁

  • #785654

    Anonymous

    Not so much a replica as a makey-uppy

  • #785655

    Anonymous

    @grahamh wrote:

    What a spectacular juxtaposition – if anything even more preferable to what we have today, though doubtfully the case at street level. A remarkable sight from this location at least.

    Isn’t the Georgian on the opposite corner of James Street a replica too? 🙁

    As I recall it’s dodgy.

    Those two houses in the last picture were not right on corner of James’s Street. There were about four more again to the west of them, so somebody’s giving you false information about no Georgian houses being demolished for the bank, Emma. The ground-floor remains can be seen after demolition (below).

    The authors of this publication (A Future for Dublin, 1975) agree with you about the juxtaposition, Graham.
    .

  • #785656

    Anonymous

    Yep – reading back on the story from The Destruction of Dublin, there were six houses remaining fronting Baggot Street as can be seen above. Deirdre Kelly sought an injuction from the High Court for their temporary protection, claiming the oral hearing for the terraces’s demolition to be ‘null and void’.

    “Two days before the writ was issed, the bank hired a demolition crew and gave them

  • #785657

    Anonymous

    @grahamh wrote:

    Deirdre Kelly sought an injuction from the High Court for their temporary protection, claiming the oral hearing for the terraces’s demolition to be ‘null and void’. …. “Two days before the writ was issed, the bank hired a demolition crew and gave them £30,000 to ‘shift these houses within a week’…”

    The things they had to go through back then!!
    Can you imagine all of us on this forum 30 years ago: ‘Ah jaysus, another five are after being demolished this morning on Mount Street’!

  • #785658

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    It’s interesting that it’s taken only 30 years from the demolition of these georgians to worry about the future of the building that replaced them.

  • #785659

    Anonymous

    @paul Clerkin wrote:

    It’s interesting that it’s taken only 30 years from the demolition of these georgians to worry about the future of the building that replaced them.

    I think 30 years is about right to decide whether a building is good or bad (assuming that it is somewhat controversial to begin with)?

  • #785660

    Anonymous

    What’s interesting is that there’s still a debate over the Georgians that BOI replaced which raises my initial point again – wouldn’t an holistic view of built environment be better for the RPS? If we can move past the removal of worthy structures or an era, indeed many Georgians were ripped down to be replaced by garbage, but in this case at least their sacrifice was for something that is worthy of preservation.

  • #785661

    Anonymous

    @d_d_dallas wrote:

    What’s interesting is that there’s still a debate over the Georgians that BOI replaced which raises my initial point again – wouldn’t an holistic view of built environment be better for the RPS? If we can move past the removal of worthy structures or an era, indeed many Georgians were ripped down to be replaced by garbage, but in this case at least their sacrifice was for something that is worthy of preservation.

    A genuine holistic view would be good – but whose view? – would you take, say, the view of the Minister for the Environment? Of An Taisce? Jackie Healy Rae/the Knight of Glin/the local Residents’ Assciation/IRDA?

    Personally I would not allow the politicians any say in anything to do with the built environment – they are too compromised to take anything but a very short term view – and there is generally an election in the offing or else some other grubby advantage to be gained.

    The RPS is inflexible and generally only considers obvious buildings – but it has some element of democracy. Views on modern buildings diverge – didn’t one recent poll show the unwashed public having diametrically opposing views on favourite buildings to the choices of architects?

    The highly respected architect (an English Lord I think?) who spoke for the ESB re. the demolition of the Georgians to facilitate the ESB thing in Lower Fitzwilliam Street described them as “just one damned house after another” Maybe that was the holistic view of the day?

  • #785662

    Anonymous

    @publicrealm wrote:

    The highly respected architect (an English Lord I think?) who spoke for the ESB re. the demolition of the Georgians to facilitate the ESB thing in Lower Fitzwilliam Street described them as “just one damned house after another”

    Sir John Summerson, I think. Not sure if he was a ‘Sir’ at that stage, though.

  • #785663

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Sir John Summerson was as fair as I know paid for his opinion by the ESB and was ever-so-slightly biased

  • #785664

    Anonymous

    @paul Clerkin wrote:

    Sir John Summerson was as fair as I know paid for his opinion by the ESB and was ever-so-slightly biased

    Only so slightly 😀 Walter Gropius – to his shame – also egged that scheme on 🙁

    One or two other things I have noticed about the RPS, apart from lacking modern structures:

    1 It tends to be dominated by bourgouis streets, where judge so-and-so does not want development near his home and so pushes for an entire street may get listed – meanwhile buildings of merit in a less well-healed area gets overlooked; might this explain the dominance of the southside on the rps?

    2 Buildings of historic merit – rather than architectural – are frequently overlooked, particularly on the northside (excuse my chip this morning :p ). An example of this would be 16 Moore St.

    3 There is no consistancy to the RPS; in Donnybrook, Eglinton Road has some of the finest 19th c suburban houses in Dublin and yet the only thing to be listed is the reconstructed St Brocs well in the middle of a 70s housing estate; meanwhile Marlborough Road – also in Donnybrook – which is of far less architectural substance, is listed in full!

    H

  • #785665

    Anonymous

    dallas,

    The demolition of the Georgians was only raised in the context of the factual error in the Irish Times piece. The loss of the houses was worth the gain of the bank in this case.

    Lower Mount Street is a different story though!

  • #785666

    Anonymous

    @paul Clerkin wrote:

    Sir John Summerson was as fair as I know …..(cut)….

    Very brave of you to say so – not a popular view but I would defend your right to state it! 😀

  • #785667

    Anonymous

    I think it is quite interesting as to how few modern buildings are on the list of protected structures. Would others agree that this is having the effect of dictating that only buildings which are recognised as being ‘old’ are deemed suitable for inclusion?

    The Heritage Council indicates the following as defining a Protected Structure:
    “A protected structure is a structure that a planning authority considers to be of special interest from an architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social, or technical point of view.” It does not automatically imply that structures must be older, but in practice this is what happens.

    Therefore, should the balance be redressed, or, would this be too restrictive? Maybe there is no need to protect the likes of Bank of Ireland on Baggot Street or The Central Bank as they are still in active use and protection might simply limit the ability to transform their usage over time. Or, should they be protected to stop them from being altered over time? I often feel some of our Georgian buildings lose something when they are restored to their ‘original’ condition, and believe buildings should show their age in whatever alterations are made to them. However, I also believe that if no form of protection is given to buildings from our recent past we could lose a valuable part of our heritage.

  • #785668

    admin
    Keymaster

    I nominate the New Ireland Building at 7-9 Dawson Street as worthy of inclusion and after the Carrolls Building it is probably the most expensive build of the 1960’s in Dublin Offices.

    This building desreves inclusion for three reasons:

    Firstly it captures the mood of the time by drawing on Celtic inspriation for its detailing and that for the first time in commercial architecture that Irish imagary was the way to go; this building more than any other is a manifestation of the 1960’s economic revival and Lemass and his less note worthy fellow travellers.

    Secondly the doors are in themselves a fine peice of work and indicative that thibuilding was to make a statement even if they are not to everyone’s taste.

    Thirdly the quality work was not just confined to the main facade but the side elevation also received an above average spec

  • #785669

    Anonymous

    I have often admired that building. Was it completed around 1966 by any chance? Anyone know who the architects were?

  • #785670

    Anonymous

    FYI, there’s a notice in the back pages of The Irish Times today from Dublin City Council stating its intention to add the HQ of the Bank of Ireland on Baggot Street to the RPS.

    Submissions to the usual address etc.

    The notice in the paper says that the particulars are on the website at http://www.dublincity.ie, but I can’t find them in the conservation section. Perhaps someone else will have better luck?

  • #785671

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
  • #785672

    Anonymous

    Thanks Paul.

    I notice that the press release is now on the front page of the Business section, but it’s still nowhere to be found on the Conservation page and notably has not yet been added to the Proposed Additions and Deletions to the RPS page.

  • #785673

    Anonymous

    Is there a charge to submit an observation?

  • #785674

    Anonymous

    Not in cases such as this, afaik. The notice would have to state it if that were the case.

    If I hear otherwise or if the P&D Act 2000 contradicts me, I’ll let you know.

  • #785675

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    @ctesiphon wrote:

    Thanks Paul.

    I notice that the press release is now on the front page of the Business section, but it’s still nowhere to be found on the Conservation page and notably has not yet been added to the Proposed Additions and Deletions to the RPS page.

    I sent the details to the Irish mailinglist to make sure that people saw it.

  • #785676

    Anonymous

    Re: Proposed addition of BoI to RPS

    Great news! If sucessful, this will set a good precedent too for protection of architecture of the era. The BOI at the acute junction of Upper Leeson Street & Sussex Road might be another.

  • #785677

    Anonymous

    Friday 25th May, 6pm sharp
    Studio 6 (access via side door, Lower Fownes St)
    Temple Bar Gallery,
    5 – 9 Temple Bar, Dublin 2

    MAvis* is pleased to announce a special evening of discussion with Geraldine Walsh of Dublin Civic Trust and Prof. Kevin B.Nowlan of the Irish Georgian Society, who will speak on Modern Dublin – a look at the first generation of office blocks built in Dublin between 1950 and the 1970’s, and a case for the preservation of these.
    Also Prof.Nowlan will speak on the history of preservation and conservation in Ireland.

    All very welcome to attend!
    Refreshments available.

    *MAvis is a masters programme (Visual Arts Practices) run by DLIADT and located in the Temple Bar Gallery.
    This talk is part of a series of exhibitions and events open to the public, which are hosted by participants on the course every Friday evening at 6pm until the end of the summer.

  • #785678

    Anonymous

    @nina wrote:

    Friday 25th May, 6pm sharp
    Studio 6 (access via side door, Lower Fownes St)
    Temple Bar Gallery,
    5 – 9 Temple Bar, Dublin 2

    MAvis* is pleased to announce a special evening of discussion with Geraldine Walsh of Dublin Civic Trust and Prof. Kevin B.Nowlan of the Irish Georgian Society, who will speak on Modern Dublin – a look at the first generation of office blocks built in Dublin between 1950 and the 1970’s, and a case for the preservation of these.
    Also Prof.Nowlan will speak on the history of preservation and conservation in Ireland.

    All very welcome to attend!
    Refreshments available.

    *MAvis is a masters programme (Visual Arts Practices) run by DLIADT and located in the Temple Bar Gallery.
    This talk is part of a series of exhibitions and events open to the public, which are hosted by participants on the course every Friday evening at 6pm until the end of the summer.

    Would you like to stick your neck out Nina and name a few examples worthy of preservation/ adding to the RPS?. My guess is the list would struggle to make it out of single figures…

  • #785679

    Anonymous

    How did this go Nina? Interesting topic of discussion I think. Seems to be an assumption amongst many that much of our modernist stock is not worth preserving. For example, in today’s Commercial Property section of the Irish Times there is an article about the possible demolition of the New Ireland Assurance Buildings on Dawson Street by Jack Fagan.

    In the article, which discusses the potential of the area as a retail destination, Fagan highlights how “the formula – similar in many ways to the development being carried out in South King Street by businessman Joe O’Reilly – would have appealed to Dublin city planners because not only would it have led to the demolition of two unattractive 1960s and 1970s office blocks, but it would have greatly strengthened the appeal of Dawson Street as a retail venue (Irish Times Commercial Property Section, May 30th 2007).”

    Apologies for the long quote, but I find it interesting that the aesthetic merits of such buildings as being unattractive and not worth keeping are presented by many in the media as being a fact. I am actually quite a fan of these buildings. Particularly the one further up the street with the coats of arms of the four provinces on the door. I think it might be time we started to reappraise such buildings and their future within Dublin.

  • #785680

    Anonymous

    It is amazing, people have a “60/70s” building blindness; they work out a building is from those years, or looks like it is, and then assume they don’t like it. I work in TCD and this is often applied to the arts building, to my mind one of the best designed academic buildings I have been in and believe me I have been in a lot. When questioned, most people actually turn out to like everything about the building except the fact that it is one of those buildings they assume they dislike.

  • #785681

    Anonymous

    That is very true. It is like a lot of people don’t actually look at the building in and of itself, and just assume they have to say they don’t like it because it is from this period, and this period was ‘bad’.

    I am a big fan of the Trinity Arts block. I particularly like the four pipes beside the stairs near the coffee shop. One of the only truly communal gathering spaces on the campus as well.

  • #785682

    Anonymous

    its funny- would seem that a ‘certain’ period of time needs to pass in order for these buildings to become fashionable again- i could be wrong but i believe this period is about 40-50 years in duration- im just thinking about how the classic ‘modern’ of the 1930’s became fashionable in the 70’s…though i wonder if this cycle is speeding up? im looking at 80’s buildings that have a classical pastiche vibe going on with a certain tenderness of the eye! i kid you not!!

  • #785683

    Anonymous

    @nina wrote:

    its funny- would seem that a ‘certain’ period of time needs to pass in order for these buildings to become fashionable again- i could be wrong but i believe this period is about 40-50 years in duration- im just thinking about how the classic ‘modern’ of the 1930’s became fashionable in the 70’s…though i wonder if this cycle is speeding up? im looking at 80’s buildings that have a classical pastiche vibe going on with a certain tenderness of the eye! i kid you not!!

    Ah, nostalgia for the postmodern! Be careful of that, sounds like it could be dangerous 🙂

    I was thinking of forming the Fake-Georgian Society, if you want to join? Essentially, my aim would be to stop reproductions that attempt to mimic original Georgians and instead force anything built in or near the Georgian area of the city be in keeping with the reproductions from the 1980s. :p

    Joking aside, I remember hearing that it buildings may be in vogue for up to 25 years, and then may go out of fashion for about 25 before being appraised again. However, with the speed in which 1st generation offices are disappearing in Dublin it could happen faster, if it was to happen at all. I always feel that I am alone in my fondness for buildings like House of Ireland and the New Ireland buildings on Nassau Street, to name a few.

    Of course it seems there are buildings from this era that are already coming into much wider appreciation, such as Bank of Ireland Baggot St. I think that the Central Bank will be widely appreciated in the city in years to come. I like the way small bits of it can be seen from various areas around the centre of the city.

  • #785684

    Anonymous

    I was only thinking about this the other day when passing some postmodernism. There’s so very little of it in the city that without question it will eventually crop up for consideration for protection. The three best examples would probably the Tara Street office building, one on Herbert Street (below)…

    …and the Dublin Castle conference centre, though the latter perhaps a slightly different kettle of fish given it’s being influenced by its surroundings. Otherwise, there’s very few ‘pure’ examples in the city, and in spite of it not exactly being everyone’s cup of tea, the better postmodernists do hold up very well. The prissiness aside, Tara Street still looks very polished, ‘executive’, and desirable as a corporate HQ, as with the above pc too. And at the end of the day, its desirablility that determines survival of any building – good or bad.

  • #785685

    Anonymous

    http://www.irish-architecture.com/news/2006/000087.html

    COULD BANK OF IRELAND’S HEADQUARTERS BE LISTED?

    Now that the Bank of Ireland headquarters building on Lower Baggot Street is expected to be sold and leased back, many are wondering what the future holds for the 1970s structure. Emma Cullinan reports

    “I do feel a link with it, of course, it’s almost as if it’s one of your children,” says architect Ronald Tallon about the Bank of Ireland headquarters building his practice, Scott Tallon Walker, designed in Baggot Street, Dublin 2, which is expected to go for sale.
    While the bank is due to lease back the 1970s building for at least five years, the prospect of new owners does throw up the possibility of changes being made to the structure.
    Many are wondering now whether the building, which was completed in 1975, should be listed. But while this would prevent changes being made to the building, a spokesman for Dublin City Council points out that even without such status, any changes would be subject to a rigorous planning process.
    One of the criteria for protected status is that a building has to be of significant architectural interest and, so far, most of Dublin’s 8,500 listed buildings are Georgian, followed by Edwardian buildings, yet, with the advancement of architectural quality in Ireland recently, more contemporary buildings will need to be considered.
    At the moment anyone can propose that a building be listed (or delisted). If the planning department deems it a suitable candidate, it is then put to the councillors.
    If they give it the go-ahead, a report is done on the building. After that, public notices are served (in newspapers and so on) and the property owner is notified. After this, councillors decide whether to proceed. The whole process usually takes around six months.
    The problem, says the council spokesman, is that what is deemed to be of architectural interest is subjective.
    But, while people may be divided on whether they like the Bank of Ireland building or not, some may consider that it indeed has merit on historical grounds.
    This was one of the first modern buildings to be slotted into a Georgian streetscape and was based on the work of architect Mies van der Rohe, in line with world trends at the time.
    While anyone can propose a building for listing, Tallon himself is leaving it up to others to decide. It was German tutors at the Architectural Association school in London who helped to get another Scott Tallon Walker building listed: the Goulding Summerhouse in Enniskerry, Wicklow.
    Michael Scott’s Busárus is also listed, as is the P J Carroll’s cigarette factory in Dundalk which Scott Tallon Walker is restoring for the Dundalk Institute of Technology. “There’s a sense of relief when one of your buildings is listed,” says Tallon. “It’s great to see a building restored and given a whole new life.”
    When the practice designed the Carroll’s factory it was with a view to expanding it. Its modular design was added to three times in the past.
    In the case of the Bank of Ireland building, the composition is important to its placing which will make it more difficult to expand. It’s in three parts, set around a central plaza, with two lower buildings on Baggot Street matching the scale of surrounding Georgian buildings while the higher building to the rear is set well away from the street frontage.
    “If it is bought by a developer, I presume they may want to maximise the density of the site but it’s pretty dense anyway,” says Tallon. “It’s a nine-storey building in the centre of the city.
    “They might get an extra floor on Baggot Street – it’s quite capable of taking it alright. I suppose they might want to take out the plaza and turn it into an atrium or something but it would be a shame because it’s one of the nice spaces that the public has access to.”
    The bank building didn’t involve the demolition of Georgian houses, but instead replaced the Lincoln and Nowlan car assembly plant and showroom. While the dark building looks somewhat imposing, as the bank may well have wanted, the materials are of high quality and show a remarkable craftsmanship that has been lost to Ireland.
    “We chose a curtain wall in bronze because it’s a beautiful material that lasts forever and needs no maintenance,” says Tallon.
    It was also the material Mies van der Rohe used on his Seagram Building in New York. “What is amazing is that the whole curtain wall was made in Ireland by Smith and Pearson, an Irish firm with Irish craftsmen.
    “That couldn’t happen today. Despite all our technology and all our advances no-one could do that in Ireland now.”
    © The Irish Times

    @devin wrote:

    Just reading the full text of this article, I’m starting to feel the building had better be listed sooner rather than later! What exactly does Ronald Tallon mean by a new owner “might get an extra floor on Baggot Street – it’s quite capable of taking it alright”? Would this not upset the composition? And how might an extra floor be executed – as a facisimile design? Would you still be able to get matching materials for a seamless look? Or maybe he’s thinking of a heritage mansard roof? Or a glass-canopied hkr-special perhaps??

    And an atrium over the plaza? That would certainly respect the design!! Maybe a glass cage should be built over the whole thing.

    17.vi.08

    Re the above discussion from a few months ago- I just heard the other day that an application is due to be submitted (if it hasn’t already been) for three extra floors on the BoI.

  • #785686

    Anonymous

    @ctesiphon wrote:

    17.vi.08

    Re the above discussion from a few months ago- I just heard the other day that an application is due to be submitted (if it hasn’t already been) for three extra floors on the BoI.

    Yep, I think HKR are doing it. Not sure of the details but I think they’re planning on making a glazed link between the three buildings on the site and adding floors to parts of the structure.

  • #785687

    Anonymous

    Don’t like the sound of that at all. Hopefully it’ll be rejected.

  • #785688

    Anonymous

    Interesting thread; I remember an incident in the 1980s when I tried to convince the conservation section in Glasgow CC that the ‘Angel Building’ on a prominent corner location should attract their attention. They looked at me as though I was daft; it wasn’t ‘on the list’, so they weren’t aware of it or much interested. It’s not just bourgeois judges, it’s bourgeois architects and planners. And you’re right hutton to point out that historic interest and townscape value must count as well.
    Below is a pic of the building; I think it’s now listed. For some reason, only half the pic has posted, but you get the idea.

  • #785689

    Anonymous

    @ctesiphon wrote:

    17.vi.08

    Re the above discussion from a few months ago- I just heard the other day that an application is due to be submitted (if it hasn’t already been) for three extra floors on the BoI.

    Yep, there as some good detail on it on the front of The Sunday Times business section last week (bottom right hand corner)

  • #785690

    Anonymous

    That Architectural Review feature on Dublin from 1974, that I’ve dredged up a few times before, had a piece on the Bank of Ireland headquarters in Baggot Street. Their view on the scheme was that the main set-back block, together the lower perdendicular right-hand block, succeeded as a piece of ‘Modern’ intervention in the otherwise Georgian streetscape, but that the subsequent demolition of a terrace of good Georgian houses on the left to make way for the third block (the local brance building) spoiled the scheme.

    The photographs would tend to support that view, although it may not take fully into account that the plazas were afterwards fitted out with ‘Art’, in primary colours!

  • #785691

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    I’m dismayed by this news – and I really think we should comment on the application when it is made. Anyone interested in lending their names to it?

  • #785692

    Anonymous

    No record of the lodgement with DCC yet, unless the site is playing up for me (not unusual). Anyone know if it has a Reg. Ref. yet?

    Not sure I can put my name to it, but I’ll gladly help if required.

    Surely journals of the time, such as the AR quoted above, would have reference to ‘design integrity’, ‘compositional rigour’ etc. – something that can be quoted back to counter the ‘…it’s quite capable of taking [an extra floor]’ argument.

  • #785693

    Anonymous

    I am the opposite of ctesiphon; happy to lend my name but incapable of providing expertise.

  • #785694

    Anonymous
  • #785695

    Anonymous

    A planning application to extend the Bank of Ireland on Baggot Street, has been lodged. 15,000 sq m, several additional floors and various bits added.
    3255/08

  • #785696

    Anonymous

    @goneill wrote:

    A planning application to extend the Bank of Ireland on Baggot Street, has been lodged. 15,000 sq m, several additional floors and various bits added.
    3255/08

    This was posted in another thread this morning. At least now we have the Ref. No.

  • #785697

    Anonymous

    GrahamH: thanks for posting the pic of Herbert St – it was a welcome relief from a lot of the blandness elsewhere. I agree you can’t condemn pmism out of hand; it has its moments, like every other -ism. What I like about Herbert St is its sheer street presence, its symmetry and harmony and the eccentric little ‘classical’ details on the facade. A street full of this would be bad, as a one-off it’s what a ‘civic’ building should be. There is also the office block on (I think) Essex Street West (?) clad in Scottish sandstone – does that count as pm?
    I’ve always thought that a recladding in a pm style would do Agriculture House no harm (that and lopping-off a couple of stories to stop it muscling-in over Govt Buildings).

  • #785698

    Anonymous

    Re Herbert Street, I agree. Christine Casey’s Guide notes that it “is an astonishing pseudo-Art Deco office building of c. 1999 by James O’Connor of Arthur Gibney & Partners, vivid white, giant pilasters, bronze-coloured window aprons and incised linear ornament.”

    O’Connor has of course since gone on to do other worthwhile schemes, not least of which are the conservation projects on Joyce’s Dead House on the quays, and also St George’s with its beacon-like restored spire at Hardwicke Place 🙂

  • #785699

    Anonymous

    You may well be right about James O’Connor of Arthur Gibney and Partners. Jimmy died three or four years ago. However a different James A O’Connor does a lot of conservation work (eg. the Academy, Pearse Street), and I wonder did he work on the two later projects you refer to.

    He is not, of course, to be confused with James Mary O’Connor, AIA. Design, Architect, Moore Ruble Yudell,, a DIT grduate whose firm has been appointed to design the “looney uni”!

  • #785700

    Anonymous

    Re. Herbert St. Wow! Is that all it takes? Eight years – to go from being a despised, bland and vacious symbol of everything that is lacking in commerical architecture in Dublin to being something worthy of, if not admiration, at least architectural interest?

    😮 I never thought it was that bad myself. It’s certainly older than 1999 ‘though surely?

  • #785701

    Anonymous

    Happened to be in the City Council (without camera unfortuntely) this morning and saw the model for the Bank Of Ireland, Baggot Street proposal.

    I’m so disappointed. They obviously just don’t get the whole Miesian thing about proportion and relationship between the various blocks. It looks awful.

    I have a lot of sympathy for the bank as these older buildings will need to be updated and adapted to create accommodation which meets the more stringent standards required today but this is so badly done.

    Sorry for lack of images – couldn’t find it in the planning search either…

  • #785702

    Anonymous

    @reddy wrote:

    couldn’t find it in the planning search either…

    @goneill wrote:

    A planning application to extend the Bank of Ireland on Baggot Street, has been lodged. 15,000 sq m, several additional floors and various bits added.
    3255/08

    🙂

  • #785703

    Anonymous

    Cheers!! I’m goin blind / senile!

  • #785704

    Anonymous

    @reddy wrote:

    Happened to be in the City Council (without camera unfortuntely) this morning and saw the model for the Bank Of Ireland, Baggot Street proposal.

    I’m so disappointed. They obviously just don’t get the whole Miesian thing about proportion and relationship between the various blocks. It looks awful.

    Here’s a couple of rough shots of the said model.

    It was only a matter of time before blindly following the modern movement gave us the ‘box’ on a ‘box’. This is going to turn into a tubberware party!

  • #785705

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    “more is more” eh?
    Hard to judge it properly but the extra two floors on the main block look terrible. Wheras I think it might be possible to do a nice job with the infill between the blocks.
    But in general it’s a shame that the building is going to be extended.

  • #785706

    Anonymous

    O……..M……..G……..!!! 😡

  • #785707

    Anonymous

    thats a disgrace, hope it gets thrown out.

  • #785708

    Anonymous

    Cheers for the pics Gunter.

  • #785709

    Anonymous

    now if they built THAT on Wellington Qy…

    😉

  • #785710

    Anonymous

    If they’re allowed to add contrasting bits onto each block, they’re definitely going to ruin the whole Miesian purity of the scheme, but I wouldn’t be totally opposed to some redevelopment of the site. An option might be to look at the squat four storey square block on the left. IMO this the least architecturally successful of the three blocks and also the block with the most adaptable floor plate. If they absolutely have to have more floor space, I’d prefer if they left the other two blocks alone and knocked that block entirely. The whole complex, and it’s setting on Baggot Street, might benefit from having something contemporary and bigger on that part of the site.

    As an aside, the people in that block control gunter’s overdraft (and not in a nice way), so if they could organize knocking that block, without necessarily a full evacuation, we’re looking at a win win situation.

  • #785711

    Anonymous

    Numerous objections have flooded in at the last minute. Those from John Meagher and Edward McParland are particularly good. Patrick Scott’s (formerly of M. Scott and Partners) is co-authored by Seamus Heaney, Louis le Brocquy and Sean Scully. Even the president of the RIAI has written on its behalf expressing severe reservations.

  • #785712

    Anonymous

    Do architects not have any kind of ethical code? Is that not the equivalent of a priest taking a slash in the communion goblet?. Was up in Dundalk yesterday and the Carolls building is still empty, I wonder does it await the same fate/

  • #785713

    Anonymous

    It’s empty because it’s summer, tommy :). School’s out in DKIT.

    John Meagher’s submission on the BoI is excellent – glowing in his praise of the complex, solidly referenced, and positively mocking in his highlighting of unsubstantiated claims.

    Read them all here:

    http://www.dublincity.ie/AniteIMWebSearch/Results.aspx

  • #785714

    Anonymous
    GrahamH wrote:
    It’s empty because it’s summer, tommy :). School’s out in DKIT.

    I could only see the rear of the building from the Crowne Plaza car park and a lot of windows were boarded up with ply and what looked like a loding bay was just a collection of rusty roller shutters?

  • #785715

    Anonymous

    Ah yes – the former entrance to the factory (one of two). As far as I know the factory part is still largely empty, with just the office wing being used at the moment. A major media installation was recently installed though, and at least one course is run from there too. They seem to be converting the complex by degrees.

  • #785716

    Anonymous

    Yes, architects do have some kind of ethical code, called “The Code of Conduct”. http://www.riai.ie/public/downloads/RIAI-CODE-310106.pdf

    Is which not the equivalent of taking a slash….? The proposed design or the objections to it?

  • #785717

    Anonymous

    @goneill wrote:

    Yes, architects do have some kind of ethical code, called “The Code of Conduct”. http://www.riai.ie/public/downloads/RIAI-CODE-310106.pdf

    Is which not the equivalent of taking a slash….? The proposed design or the objections to it?

    The proposed design. How about another shoddy metaphor…is it not like considering some great symphony would be enhanced by the addition of a kazoo quartet or a penny whistle solo?

  • #785718

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
  • #785719

    Anonymous

    A lot of people in Irish architectural circles have huge regard for the original Scott, Tallon and Walker. Ronny Tallon, in particular, comes across as a committed professional, dedicated to bringing Miesian modernity and finesse to Ireland. All of that’s a given, but when I look at the B of I in Baggot Street, the phrase that comes to mind is: How did they get away with this?

    The B of I is a well executed 1970s provincial version of Mies’s 1950s Seagram Building in New York. It’s not a re-interpretation of Mies, it’s a cut-down copy of Mies. Seagram is three blocks on a plaza, so Baggot Street is three blocks on a plaza. The composition of blocks is different, but the design is modular, so the heights are arbitrary, the number of bays are arbitrary. If you tried this today, you’d be up in the High Court tomorrow.

    Mies van der Rohe (d. 1969) was an astonishing architect and an incredible visionary, his dedication to precision, craft and materials shames most of us. I don’t think Mies had the artistic creativity of Corb, but he demonstrated the power of clarity and simplicity, and with his ‘less is more’ mantra, he was the first minimalist (Loos talked the talk, but did he walk the walk?).

    Seagram was a commercial commission, but I think the brilliance of Seagram lay in it’s demonstration that minimalist modernism could be classy, it could be posh, it could be expensive looking when all around them there were growing signs that the modern movement (that they had created) was delivering only cheap and crude versions of their vision.

    ‘Cheap and crude’ is exactly how John Meagher characterised the HKR proposal for additions and alterations to the Baggot St. building and it is the ultimate put down. It is refreshing to finally see some of our grandees dip into the vitriol in responce to a proposal to over-develop a bit of Dublin, it’s just a pity that the occasion isn’t one of the several issues of principle weaving their way through the planning process at the moment, but to come to the defence of one of their own.

    I hope the current proposal is thrown out, I agree that it’s a crude intervention, but I don’t hold with the view that the B of I is some kind of masterpiece of composition and I’d be more than happy to just keep the two rectangular blocks and let HKR show us what they can do, from scratch, on the site of the square block. Given the context, it could be a test case of whether the Modern Movement really did deliver a new vision to follow, or whether the best we can hope for is to reproduce a classic from one of the master’s back catalogue.

  • #785720

    Anonymous

    I wouldn’t describe Seagram as “three blocks on a plaza”.

  • #785721

    Anonymous

    @goneill wrote:

    I wouldn’t describe Seagram as “three blocks on a plaza”.

    Oh I think it is. The arrangement is the opposite way, one main tall block and two low supporting blocks behind, but that’s because it’s in amongst the skyscrapers in central New York.

  • #785722

    Anonymous

    Well, each to his own! i don’t get any sense of “three blocks in a plaza”. The blocks are mainly stuck together quite unlike the Federal Centre Chicago, or Toronto Dominion among many others. In fact it is a commonly used criticism of the building that the rear blocks are an unresolved cop-out. They are rarely shown in any of the contemporary publicity shots or in Mies’ sketches.

  • #785723

    admin
    Keymaster

    Whatever opinions are regarding the esteem the building is held in, whether its considered to be a sharp interpretation or perhaps a lesser parody of Mies; there is unanimous agreement that this intervention as proposed (and for me any intervention) is and should be out of the question.

  • #785724

    Anonymous

    @peter Fitz wrote:

    there is unanimous agreement that this intervention as proposed is and should be out of the question.

    Sorry, I shouldn’t have distracted attention away from that basic truth.

  • #785725

    Anonymous

    And just to add to the fun, there’s two further objections from An Taisce and Alexander Kearney.

    In fairness it’s worth noting that Dublin An Taisce originally put in a particularly erudite submission giving great weight to having the buildings added to the RPS – citing the Architectural Reveiw piece from 1972 or thereabouts etc… Now weren’t they the helpful fellows?

    I agree with Gunter. BOI should never have been allowed build that there, but seeing as they went to such trouble – weekend demolition jobs etc thwarting the late, great, Deirdre Kelly from getting her injunction – it would be a great shame not to let them keep it. Environmental karma, some might say 😀

    In any event, apart from the debate regarding the building’s own merits, it is worth noting that any further development here would be wholly, totally, and completely unsuitable – being where it it at the heart of the South Georgian Quarter.

    Down with this sort of thing…

  • #785726

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    I believe there are seven other objections including the Arts Council

  • #785727

    Anonymous

    Before we all get super excited by the quality of the submissions, let’s not forget that the recent decision by ABP re the Clarence, if applied to this building, would likely permit this development to take place.

    It is, after all, ‘continuance of use’, and the quality of the architecture could be described as outstanding. Not by me, you understand, but if the Board thinks the Foster was top drawer, then anything goes.

  • #785728

    Anonymous

    😡 That is the nightmare interpretation of the Clarence decision isn’t it? Unfortunately hard to avoid it given the almost diametric positions taken by the inspector and the board (practically unanimously).

  • #785729

    Anonymous

    Very much so.

    @gunter wrote:

    when I look at the B of I in Baggot Street, the phrase that comes to mind is: How did they get away with this?

    The B of I is a well executed 1970s provincial version of Mies’s 1950s Seagram Building in New York. It’s not a re-interpretation of Mies, it’s a cut-down copy of Mies. Seagram is three blocks on a plaza, so Baggot Street is three blocks on a plaza. The composition of blocks is different, but the design is modular, so the heights are arbitrary, the number of bays are arbitrary. If you tried this today, you’d be up in the High Court tomorrow.

    I must agree. As much as I drool over this complex, I’ve never quite understood the unflinching regard in which Tallon is held purely in respect of this building (noting the quality and imagination of his other work). Essentially if you could copy n paste back in the 70s, that’s what this would be called. Of course the devil is in the detail, which Tallon executed exquisitely, but so too did Mies. Perhaps the genius is being so informed in the language of Mies, which is unquestioningly apparent. But an important distinction to make nonetheless.

    As an aside, I find it faintly irritating that (some) of the stars of the built environment and arts only come out of the woodwork to defend a flagship case like this one, when countless other proposals which so erode the character of the city, and urban centres nationwide, slip through unchallenged on a daily basis. Fair enough, this is the Custom House of modernisim, but a greater input and indeed holding to account of fellow members of the architecture and plannng sectors in Ireland wouldn’t go amiss for the other 364 days of the year.

    Indeed in that vein, it was refreshing to note Shaffrey Associates dedicating considerable time and professional expertise submitting against the Clarence development. More enlightened and principled input like this from architecture and planning professionals please.

  • #785730

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
  • #785731

    Anonymous

    Obviously this is essential viewing for any serious commentary on the affair –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5oNd6RziDo

    I think I’ll just beatle off now… *gets coat*

  • #785732

    Anonymous

    God I miss the gasometer.

  • #785733

    Anonymous

    Quit blubbing, gunter! Anyone would think you were Italian!

    @hutton wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5oNd6RziDo

    Genius.

    All I want for christmas is a shamrock bass.

  • #785734

    Anonymous

    the axe in question is in an Irish rock museum in Derry if you’re feeling light fingered, form did follow function in this instance for a then contemporary diddley -eye rock outfit’s backline. All we need now is the Edge playing a grotesquely oversized gibson explorer to bring the rock/architecture contextual gamesmanship to its rightful conclusion.

  • #785735

    Anonymous

    I can f**king blub if I want to.

    And another thing, they can only keep their bloody windows that clean because of the extortionate rates the charge ordinary people for exceeding their overdraft limits.

  • #785736

    Anonymous

    @gunter wrote:

    I can f**king blub if I want to.

    Oh hush now. 😉 I was talking about the gasometer. I’m right with you on the BoI.

    @tommyt wrote:

    the Edge playing a grotesquely oversized gibson explorer

    Gentlemen, choose your weapons.

  • #785737

    Anonymous

    hey ctesiphon!!! How did you get into my bedroom to take that pic!!!

    (ah I’m more of a flying V man m’self)


    pure sex

  • #785738

    Anonymous

    @gunter wrote:

    It’s the DCC heritage-style bin on the pavement that I find a particularly charming juxtaposition.
    Must be one of the few left; do you reckon it too is now listed de-facto as part of the setting? It’s essential :p

    @ctesiphon wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5oNd6RziDo
    Genius.

    Why thank-you. It’s the banker having just got out of the blue Lada at the start that I reckon is crucial. What self-respecting banker would need the vanity of a Merc? Maybe it’s a vision of the not-too-distant future…

  • #785739

    Anonymous

    I see Frank has gone soft.

    The killer instinct must have gone with the moustache.


    The vista down Bath Avenue and Londonbridge Road to the modern black box of the Bank
    of Ireland and the white classical stone temple of the Pepper Canister church. I don’t want
    to use the word ‘iconic’, but you know what I mean.

    (I think this one needed Graham’s superior lens)

  • #785740

    Anonymous

    Great shot! What a monster.

    Also a view from the west.

  • #785741

    Anonymous

    yeh the view down Bath Avenue is great, especially as you go over the Dodder. It’s also quite a surprising one as it truly gives you the sense of how big this building is. Closer in doesn’t do the scale justice and a lot of people would not be aware of it.

  • #785742

    Anonymous

    From the letters page in today’s Irish Times:

    Madam, – Contrary to the suggestion by Frank McDonald in his article “Back to a brave new world” (July 26th), I have not until now made any statement regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Bank of Ireland Headquarters buildings in Baggot Street. For the record, I do not approve of the proposed development. – Yours, etc,

    RONNIE TALLON, Scott Tallon Walker Architects, Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

  • #785743

    Anonymous

    @dgf wrote:

    From the letters page in today’s Irish Times:

    Madam, – Contrary to the suggestion by Frank McDonald in his article “Back to a brave new world” (July 26th), I have not until now made any statement regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Bank of Ireland Headquarters buildings in Baggot Street. For the record, I do not approve of the proposed development. – Yours, etc,

    RONNIE TALLON, Scott Tallon Walker Architects, Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

    Mmeeeow!

    Isn’t it a shame Ronnie didn’t get the job?…

    Anyhow for the record, an interview he gave to the IT 2 years ago in which he says “They might get an extra floor on Baggot Street – it’s quite capable of taking it alright.”, but in fairness follows it up by saying “I suppose they might want to take out the plaza and turn it into an atrium or something but it would be a shame because it’s one of the nice spaces that the public has access to.”

    Perhaps the latter bit didn’t quite appeal to the lads 🙁

    Wonder where Frank McD got the following bit so that RT is referring to above?

    The 2 articles in their entirety also follow.

    “As for the radical nature of the proposed renovation, Ronnie Tallon is on record as saying that “the one lesson you learn, really, over the years is that buildings do change. I think the day is gone where you make a building and it’s a complete entity, never to be touched again. That really doesn’t happen in the real world, in the commercial world.

    “Almost every building that we made has had to change over the years. It’s a very simple concept. Good buildings can accept change. If you have a simple structure, I believe it can take expansion and it can take change without too much damage.”

    And this is from the eminent architect who feels that the Bank of Ireland is almost like one of his children”

    Could Bank of Ireland’s headquarters be listed?
    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Now that the Bank of Ireland headquarters building on Lower Baggot Street is expected to be sold and leased back, many are wondering what the future holds for the 1970s structure. Emma Cullinan reports

    “I do feel a link with it, of course, it’s almost as if it’s one of your children,” says architect Ronald Tallon about the Bank of Ireland headquarters building his practice, Scott Tallon Walker, designed in Baggot Street, Dublin 2, which is expected to go for sale.

    While the bank is due to lease back the 1970s building for at least five years, the prospect of new owners does throw up the possibility of changes being made to the structure.

    Many are wondering now whether the building, which was completed in 1975, should be listed. But while this would prevent changes being made to the building, a spokesman for Dublin City Council points out that even without such status, any changes would be subject to a rigorous planning process.

    One of the criteria for protected status is that a building has to be of significant architectural interest and, so far, most of Dublin’s 8,500 listed buildings are Georgian, followed by Edwardian buildings, yet, with the advancement of architectural quality in Ireland recently, more contemporary buildings will need to be considered.

    At the moment anyone can propose that a building be listed (or delisted). If the planning department deems it a suitable candidate, it is then put to the councillors.

    If they give it the go-ahead, a report is done on the building. After that, public notices are served (in newspapers and so on) and the property owner is notified. After this, councillors decide whether to proceed. The whole process usually takes around six months.

    The problem, says the council spokesman, is that what is deemed to be of architectural interest is subjective.

    But, while people may be divided on whether they like the Bank of Ireland building or not, some may consider that it indeed has merit on historical grounds.

    This was one of the first modern buildings to be slotted into a Georgian streetscape and was based on the work of architect Mies van der Rohe, in line with world trends at the time.

    While anyone can propose a building for listing, Tallon himself is leaving it up to others to decide. It was German tutors at the Architectural Association school in London who helped to get another Scott Tallon Walker building listed: the Goulding Summerhouse in Enniskerry, Wicklow.

    Michael Scott’s Busárus is also listed, as is the P J Carroll’s cigarette factory in Dundalk which Scott Tallon Walker is restoring for the Dundalk Institute of Technology. “There’s a sense of relief when one of your buildings is listed,” says Tallon. “It’s great to see a building restored and given a whole new life.”

    When the practice designed the Carroll’s factory it was with a view to expanding it. Its modular design was added to three times in the past.

    In the case of the Bank of Ireland building, the composition is important to its placing which will make it more difficult to expand. It’s in three parts, set around a central plaza, with two lower buildings on Baggot Street matching the scale of surrounding Georgian buildings while the higher building to the rear is set well away from the street frontage.

    “If it is bought by a developer, I presume they may want to maximise the density of the site but it’s pretty dense anyway,” says Tallon. “It’s a nine-storey building in the centre of the city.

    “They might get an extra floor on Baggot Street – it’s quite capable of taking it alright. I suppose they might want to take out the plaza and turn it into an atrium or something but it would be a shame because it’s one of the nice spaces that the public has access to.”

    The bank building didn’t involve the demolition of Georgian houses, but instead replaced the Lincoln and Nowlan car assembly plant and showroom. While the dark building looks somewhat imposing, as the bank may well have wanted, the materials are of high quality and show a remarkable craftsmanship that has been lost to Ireland.

    “We chose a curtain wall in bronze because it’s a beautiful material that lasts forever and needs no maintenance,” says Tallon.

    It was also the material Mies van der Rohe used on his Seagram Building in New York. “What is amazing is that the whole curtain wall was made in Ireland by Smith and Pearson, an Irish firm with Irish craftsmen.

    “That couldn’t happen today. Despite all our technology and all our advances no-one could do that in Ireland now.”

    © 2006 The Irish Times

    Bank in a brave new world
    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    FRANK McDONALD
    Built only 30 years ago, the Bank of Ireland’s head office in Baggot Street, Dublin is a protected structure – but a major alteration of the building could bring it right up to date, writes Frank McDonald .

    YEARS AGO, after the battle for Georgian Dublin had been joined, it was a common theme – almost an article of faith – for architects to argue that the 18th-century houses conservationists sought to save were “only built to last a lifetime”; it is no thanks to this grim-reaper view that so many are still standing, after more than two centuries.

    Now we are being told by HKR Architects that the Bank of Ireland’s headquarters in Baggot Street “has come to the end of its working life” – after just 30 years – and needs to be radically altered, upgraded and extended to create “market-leading [office] space, fit for the future demands of an international corporate headquarters building”. What the bank’s headquarters and the Georgian houses around Merrion and Fitzwilliam squares have in common is that they are all protected structures – even though Scott Tallon Walker’s three-block composition, clad in Delta manganese bronze, was only completed in 1978, at the expense of demolishing five late 18th-century buildings.

    The Bank of Ireland was Ronnie Tallon’s homage to his great hero, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Its bronze façades are carbon copies of Mies’s Seagram Building on New York’s Park Avenue from 1958 – right down to the detail of I-beams and double re-entrant corners; it also has exactly the same layout as Mies’s Federal Centre in Chicago.

    I have to confess, however, that I was unduly harsh in my judgment of the bank’s headquarters in The Destruction of Dublin (1985): “By its sheer mass and bulk, the bank’s head office destroyed the essential unity of a once fine Georgian street – more aggressively even than the ESB, just round the corner [in Lower Fitzwilliam Street]”.

    That was the view of an angry young man. On mature reflection, I believe that the architects managed very cleverly to conceal the bulk of the eight-storey main block behind the much lower four and five-storey buildings on the street frontage. In fact, its true scale is only evident from the rear or in distant views – notably from Merrion Row.

    Largely built on the L-shaped site of Lincoln Nolan’s car assembly plant (yes, they were making cars in Baggot Street once), the first phase was completed in 1969 – the year Michael Scott won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Gold Medal. It was the second phase, finished in 1978, that required the demolition of a Georgian terrace.

    When Landmark Developments, headed by Paddy Shovlin, teamed up with financier Derek Quinlan to buy the bank’s headquarters for just over €200 million in June 2006, it was not a protected structure. But Dublin City Council moved quite swiftly to add the entire complex to its lists – just in case the new owners might have tried to get rid of it.

    This was not their intention, as they made clear in a submission to the council. Instead, the Quinlan-Shovlin consortium indicated that they would be preparing plans to upgrade and extend the complex – taking into account its newly acquired status as a protected structure – while the bank scouted around looking for an alternative head office site.

    Before lodging their planning application a few weeks ago, HKR Architects consulted with the city planners and also ran the scheme past the “three wise men” of the council’s Urban Advisory Committee (architects Ken Shuttleworth and John Worthington and urban design consultant Kelvin Campbell), getting a generally positive response.

    “We like these buildings and need to show respect,” says David King-Smith, the HKR partner in charge of this sensitive project. But what’s wrong with them is multitudinous – from leaks in the glazing units to solar gain in summer, heat loss in winter, over-large service cores and “completely outdated” mechanical and electrical systems.

    This entire schedule of dilapidations would be addressed by the renovation programme, which includes replacing all of the glazing with new triple-glazed units fitted with “interstitial blinds” to combat solar gain. The existing bronze-tinted glass would be replaced with clear glass, but coated with a patented film to eliminate glare.

    King-Smith stresses that the bronze curtain walls that define the three buildings will be retained Рexcept at the rear, where most of the fa̤ade would be stripped away to add a seven-storey extension, to increase the floorplate at every level. The existing service cores Рlifts, stairs, toilets, and so on Рwould also be substantially reduced in size.

    Instead, a replacement service core would be created in a new atrium between the three blocks, occupying most (though not all) of the existing open plaza – which the architect describes as a “quite windswept quasi-public space that can be bleak – you wouldn’t go in there unless you worked there or had business to do in the bank”.

    Bridges at several levels within the glazed atrium would link the three blocks, easing access from one to another; at present, inter- communicating staff must go outside or via the basement. King-Smith says the atrium not only addresses this issue, but gives the complex a “new heart”, which will be open to the public during office hours.

    More controversially, the scheme proposes to add two floors to both the existing eight-storey and four-storey blocks and one floor to the five-storey block. Altogether, including the proposed rear extension, more than 15,000sq m of (mainly) office space would be added to the complex, bringing it up to a leviathan-like 35,300sq m.

    “It’s significant, there’s no doubt about that,” King-Smith concedes. But he points out that the extra floors would be set back and clad in frameless glazing, to distinguish them from the original buildings. This is in line with the 1964 Venice Charter on architectural conservation and the idea that there must be clear legibility between old and new.

    Is it not a bit greedy? “Of course, it all revolves around commerciality, given the vast money changing hands. There’s a game to maximise, but also physical constraints,” he says. “The bank is to move out in five years and these buildings are commercially unlettable in their present form . . . In other cases [or places], they would simply be torn down.”

    The payback from the “aspiration by the client to achieve extra space” is that the renovated buildings would achieve the highest environmental standards in terms of their energy performance. It is also envisaged that the ground-floor areas of the two street-front blocks could accommodate livelier uses, such as cafes or even shops.

    On-site car-parking would be reduced from 220 to 100, in compliance with the current Dublin City Development Plan, and the buildings would have universal access. Renovation of the complex would also help to reinforce traditional office use in Dublin 2, which is in danger of draining away into Docklands where much larger floorplates are possible.

    As for the radical nature of the proposed renovation, Ronnie Tallon is on record as saying that “the one lesson you learn, really, over the years is that buildings do change. I think the day is gone where you make a building and it’s a complete entity, never to be touched again. That really doesn’t happen in the real world, in the commercial world.

    “Almost every building that we made has had to change over the years. It’s a very simple concept. Good buildings can accept change. If you have a simple structure, I believe it can take expansion and it can take change without too much damage.”

    And this is from the eminent architect who feels that the Bank of Ireland is almost like one of his children.

    © 2008 The Irish Times

  • #785744

    Anonymous

    A single ray of light on an otherwise cloudy day.

    In pursuance of its functions under the Planning and Development Act 2000, Dublin City Council, being the planning authority for the City of Dublin has by order dated 11-Aug-2008 decided to REFUSE PERMISSION for the development described above, for the following reason(s):

    1. The Bank of Ireland complex is a protected structure as it is one of the most important modernist buildings in Ireland. The Planning Authority is not satisfied that the Bank of Ireland complex cannot be upgraded without having an adverse impact on the protected exterior of the structure. It is considered that the proposed development would: not protect the special character of the protected façade; have a significant undesirable impact on the integrity and Miesian character of the complex; have a significant visual impact detracting from the character of the conservation area and surrounding Georgian streetscape; Enclose an urban space to which the public presently have access; and reduce permeability through the site. The proposed development would therefore: seriously detract from the character of a protected structure and conservation area; be contrary to the provisions of the DoEHLG ‘Guidelines for Planning Authorities – Architectural Heritage Protection’; be contrary to the provisions of the Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011; and be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

  • #785745

    Anonymous

    Great! I mean it seemed amazing this was even considered,

  • #785746

    Anonymous

    Who was the planner, do we know?

    Somebody deserves an honourable mention.

  • #785747

    Anonymous

    Presumably it was Emma Dea… 😉 Oh hang on, it was Bryan Ward.

    Is this the quid pro quo for the Clarence? For Ballsbridge?

  • #785748

    Anonymous

    I doubt this is the end of it somehow. I mean considering the “special circumstances” and BOI’s struggling share price, they deserve a second bite of the cherry on this.

  • #785749

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    BOI don’t own it anymore – so they don’t really care either way.

  • #785750

    Anonymous

    They’re laughing all the way to th… Wait, how does that work?

    I suspect the new owners were bulling when it was added to the RPS. Not even Tom Phillips’ crack team of conservation specialists could work its special brand of magic on this one.

  • #785751

    Anonymous

    On the Bank of Ireland headquarters in Baggot Street, (was the refusal appealed to APB?), an interesting fact has come into my possession.

    It turns out that the original scheme did comprise just the main block and the right hand block, and it was originally a speculative office block development that had already gone on site in 1968, before the Bank of Ireland bought the site.

    The architect was Ronny Tallon and he was kept on by the bank on the instruction that he smarten up the design and up the specification, understandably so when you see the original proposal.

    So the whole ‘Miesian’ skin was an after-thought!, as was the third block.

    Interesting.

  • #785752

    Anonymous

    Very nice drawing/render. Although I am not sure it would be fair to say the Meisian skin was an after-thought. Perhaps an evolution? Maybe the bank allowed for, or demanded, a more corporate style and had the finances to back it up? Anyone know a time line on this relative to the Goulding House and Lisney’s on the Green?

    I must admit that I had lost track of this application. Great to see it rejected, and congratulations to all those involved.

  • #785753

    Anonymous

    Thank god the original wasn’t built, Looks like a concrete coucil housing block.

  • #785754

    Anonymous

    I believe that the original planning scheme which set the terms of the development was by Desmond FitzGerald (of airport fame), which suggests that the renders may have been by his favourite perspectivist, his son-in-law and colleague, Brian O’Halloran. I’d love to know where the originals (or even copies) are, gunter. Never seen it before.

  • #785755

    Anonymous

    Published in 1983 in ‘Bicentenerary Essays, Bank of Ireland 1783-1983’ edited by F.S.L. Lyons.

    Relevant essay by Eddie McParland! He says original Baggot Street scheme by Tallon, so it must be true.

    Essay also contains everything you ever wanted to know about the the Bank of Ireland, College Green (old Parliament house).

  • #785756

    Anonymous

    Thanks, gunter! I should have recognised Stephen Woulfe Flanagan’s hand in that sketch.

  • #785757

    Anonymous

    @hutton wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5oNd6RziDo
    It’s the banker having just got out of the blue Lada at the start that I reckon is crucial. What self-respecting banker would need the vanity of a Merc? Maybe it’s a vision of the not-too-distant future…

    Posted on July 25th – when BOI shares were tipping above €6.00

    Today the price is €1.80…

    Visions of the future came to pass :eek::eek::eek:

  • #904902

    admin
    Keymaster

    Former Bank of Ireland headquarters to be faithfully restored by Goodman firm

    The former Bank of Ireland headquarters on Lower Baggot Street changed hands for a king’s ransom during the boom, when it was sold to a consortium headed by Derek Quinlan and Paddy Shovlin for €180 million. Then, after the crash, canny meat baron Larry Goodman snapped it up for €50 million.
    Fortunately, the man who survived the beef tribunal is fully aware of the the architectural importance of this bronze-clad office complex from the early to mid-1970s. He also bought it knowing that its original façades and external spatial arrangement are listed for preservation.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/commercial-property/former-bank-of-ireland-headquarters-to-be-faithfully-restored-by-goodman-firm-1.1908528

  • #946053

    admin
    Keymaster

    Interesting to see that now in 2015/16 the replacement of the first generation of office buildings in central Dublin has begun in earnest.

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