Pyramid in Merrion Square

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This topic contains 64 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 9 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #710046

    dc3
    Participant

    A small Canova style pyramid was visible in Merrion Square park at luchtime when the hoarding was briefly opened. It is located just opposite the Oireachtas, facing the “temporary” car park. About 3m high and with a slash running from the apex, could this be a fountain?

  • #801328

    Anonymous

    It’s some soprt of war memorial – being constructed by the department of defence. Not sure when it’s to be opened or any more details….

  • #801329

    Anonymous

    From Dept of Defence:

    The Memorial being designed by the artist, Mr. Brian King, is a pyramid shape made primarily of granite slabs resting on a steel frame interspaced with toughened glass panels. In the structure there are figures representing members of the Defence Forces. Four Defence Forces personnel in relief are cast in bronze, representing the Air Corps, Army and Naval Service both permanent and reserve.

    The concept is simple in theory but has proven more difficult in practice due to the intricacy of the design and the need to ensure precise compatibility of each component part.

    This is a complex art piece comprising many components, the four main components being, stone, steel, glass and bronze. Each individual component is crafted by specialists and the artist has worked closely with the various craftspeople to ensure precision in each component part to ensure minimum delay in constructing the piece. It is important that the extra time needed is spent at this stage to ensure the overall success of the project when it goes on site.

    The memorial, which will be situated in Merrion Square, Dublin, is expected to be completed by the end of June 2008.

  • #801330

    Anonymous
  • #801331

    Anonymous

    It is only 81 years too late 🙁

    Mulligan the Buck may be upset that such a venture is now going ahead
    – and at great expense, vastly increased from the £45,000 when first mooted, tutty-de-tut-tut…
    Yet that other writer – the one who mused about a woman long gonne –
    may be better versed in his disposition, 81 years on:

    http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/S/0008/S.0008.192703090003.html

    🙂

  • #801332

    Anonymous

    Interesting link.

    “Sir BRYAN MAHON: As a subscriber I object to the Merrion Square proposal as a National War Memorial. It does not, in any respect, fulfil the requirements of such a memorial, nor do I consider Merrion Square, in any way, a suitable site for a war memorial. Certainly we must have a war memorial, and nothing that we can erect will be magnificent enough to do honour to my comrades who voluntarily gave their lives for their king, country and liberty, but let us do our best in erecting something as nearly worthy of the occasion as possible. […] The proposal to open Merrion Square to the public is an admirable one. I should like to see every square in Dublin open to the public, and if you want to improve the beauty, the health and everything else of the city have no railings around any of those public squares; have them open spaces like one sees in the Continental cities. Nothing could be more beautiful and have more effect, but as a site for a war memorial it is absolutely unsuitable…”

    So even back then we have an acknowledgement of the lack of civic spaces in the city.

    Given the extent to which pragmatic considerations won the day for countless projects in the infancy of the State, from housing Parliament, to the Civil Service masterplan for the Castle, to Abercrombie’s Dublin proposals, and later such as the John F. Kennedy Concert Hall, it’s both a wonder and refreshing that a typically compromised solution of choosing Merrion Square wasn’t arrived at for this important project.

  • #801333

    Anonymous
  • #801334

    Anonymous

    Some evening images of the new National Memorial to Deceased Members of the Defence Forces, unveiled by President Mary McAleese on November 8th 2008.

    The pyramid-shaped memorial is formed from granite slabs resting on a steel frame, with toughened glass panel inserts.

    Designed by artist Brian King, the interior of the memorial depicts members of the four components of the Óglaigh na hÉireann: Army, Naval Service, Air Corps and Reserve cast in bronze standing guard over an eternal flame that emanates from the Defence Forces Badge at the centre of the structure. (Defence Forces)

    The LED lighting is well considered.

    A striking structure in its outward form, its inner concept I feel is less successful. The thick glazing, compromised internal sightlines and awkward shape of the wider body when looking inside leaves one feeling somewhat disorientated and unsatisfied with the whole experience. Sitting on the surrounding seating is similarly uncomfortable, having the view of a blank granite wall and expressionless sheets of glass. Views to the interior – even if intentionally so – are extremely constrained both day and night, leaving one questioning what exactly one is supposed to be looking at, given the pyramid is not something to be appreciated at close quarters.

    Sadly the site chosen also feels like a compromise, as is to be expected of a chunk taken out of a public park. The site feels like a convienient and economical piece of land stolen from the park, rather than the memorial acting as an organic incident set into its landscaping. Its off-centre positioning on Merrion Street and its access via distinctly unceremonious double gates hacked out of the former railings and granite plinth wall is not helped in this respect, while a hideous day-glo red brick substation with concrete capping directly inside the boundary competes head on for attention as one enters the site. The uncomfortable relationship between respecting the park while trying to make an independent ceremonial statement is clearly apparent.

    Perhaps matters will improve with time once the wider site matures and appears less hacked about and shell-shocked as it does at present. Certainly the two young gentlemen friends getting cosy on the intimate seating to the rear seemed to like it (and thanks lads for accommodating my lurking).

  • #801335

    Anonymous

    I was very disappointed by this; the location is poor, it deserves its own site and the way that Merrion square is used as a dumping ground for sundry memorials is terrible; the figurative bronzes, as is almost always the case with figurative bronzes, are bland and generic and the glass would be bad in any way, but the current glass with the visible silicone sealant is awful.

  • #801336

    Anonymous

    Great photographs Graham!

    . . . but is it not all a bit Stargate?

  • #801337

    Anonymous

    I thought there would be a pyramid scheme one day… just in time 😉
    Another very valid reason why glass should not be used in public places…
    ( read metro entrances ) and we can only look forward to more proposed interventions and broken cracked n scratched stuff…
    even the man on the rock might agree (eyeing the glass before him )…
    I’m all for cast bronze or cast iron…
    Merrion square is in the red zone

  • #801338

    Anonymous

    Fully agreed, notjim about the glass. Its detailing is crude and its thickness gives the impression of an industrial glass floor brought up to eye level. Not only does it look unpleasant, the internal subjects appear to be suffocating under what comes across as ridiculously over-engineered bullet-proof glass. The execution is all just too distracting from the theme..

    There were complications with construction, resulting in the project running a considerable number of months behind schedule. One wonders if the glazing proved part of the problem.

    Definitely a monument that requires a dedicated – preferably corner – pocket site.

  • #801339

    admin
    Keymaster

    @grahamh wrote:

    A striking structure in its outward form, its inner concept I feel is less successful. The thick glazing, compromised internal sightlines and awkward shape of the wider body when looking inside leaves one feeling somewhat disorientated and unsatisfied with the whole experience. Sitting on the surrounding seating is similarly uncomfortable, having the view of a blank granite wall and expressionless sheets of glass. Views to the interior – even if intentionally so – are extremely constrained both day and night, leaving one questioning what exactly one is supposed to be looking at, given the pyramid is not something to be appreciated at close quarters.

    I’d have to agree. The air of poignant respect that normally descends as you approach a war memorial is diminished by what amounts to a brash casing, that achieves little other than to detract from what lies within.

    Its like approaching a museum or Gallery only to find that the door is locked. I understand the thinking & connotations behind encasing the memorial but unfortunately it just doesn’t work.

    Which is a pity, becasue i think the interior, the actual memorial if you like, with its four representative soliders standing guard is simple & appropriate only to be hampered by the heavy-handedness of the pyramid structure.

    So remove the pyramid & re-work – a modest sunken space with the four lads backed by simple pillars facing flame or flag, surrounded by outlying seating – would allow the poignant tone created by semi-enclosure to remain only this time it would be tangible to the visitor.

  • #801340

    Anonymous

    I was looking at this on Friday and would agree that the glass is a large part of the problem. The crudeness of the fittings on the class are also shocking given with exposed bolts on the back with not even an attempt to hide them.

  • #801341

    Anonymous

    The use of the pyramid has echoes of the ‘diabolical’ Freemasons…………aghhhhhhh!

    Well so says the conspiracy theorists.

  • #801342

    Anonymous

    could you not get a better photo of the figures?

  • #801343

    Anonymous

    Does nobody else see the irony of the government building a pyramid monument – right while we’re all losing our shirts thanks to the government-led pyramid property market?

    Perhaps it’ll give Ahern somewhere to hide while the mobs look to lynch him…

    Btw the red brick meter box now inside the gates is such a shoddy bungalow baroque detailing, you just couldn’t come up with worse. At least if they had left it as concrete blocks tourists might think it to be only temporary – rather than regarding the Irish as an aesthetically illiterate lot, which imo is how it reflects on us 🙁

    On a lighter note, for another pyramid, see here:http://www.archiseek.com/content/showpost.php?p=90912&postcount=122

    Are the masons taking over?

  • #801344

    Anonymous
  • #801345

    Anonymous

    Looks very nice! Although that design would have looked quite spectacular if 3 or 4 times larger.

    Still, very good.

  • #801346

    Anonymous

    @Yixian wrote:

    Looks very nice! Although that design would have looked quite spectacular if 3 or 4 times larger.

    Still, very good.

    I like the design too.

    Design is one thing. End result is another.

    The silicone between the glass panes ruins it for me.

    And I believe if it was “3 or 4 times larger”, it would be completely out of scale given it’s location.

  • #801347

    Anonymous

    @Global Citizen wrote:

    And I believe if it was “3 or 4 times larger”, it would be completely out of scale given it’s location.

    Of course.

  • #801348

    Anonymous

    I think Frank McDonald is a little unfair to Merrion Sq in his article. It is quite an attractive park and I quite like the various “arrays”. The lamps could certainly do with some upkeep and I would suggest that there are probably too many sculptures, a number of which could be relocated to various locations around the city. However the park works very successfully and is an oasis from the surrounding urban jungle. I like the lush planting and the flower beds can be spectacular. By contrast Fitzwilliam Sq is closed and to me doesnt seem worth the vsiit anyhow.

  • #801349

    Anonymous

    I have to agree with a lot of what Frank McD says.

    That memorial is in the wrong place.

    Firstly a park within a park is just silly.

    Secondly and more importantly Merrion Sq has no association with the military or modern art.

    The Royal Hospital on the otherhand hosts the annual service for the fallen as well as the IMMA, hence the perfect place for a modern memorial. The central median of O’Connell St would be the other obvious choice, plenty of military connections and traditionally a place for siting monuments. It would also not have looked out of place with the modern street scape.

    I would suggest lazy TDs had something to do with it being sited there, perfect for TV interviews and the like.

    The rest of the park has its problems. It feels very murky in Merrion Sq, even in summer. The Green on the other hand is much lighter and welcoming.

    And I very much agree with him about the fountain.

  • #801350

    Anonymous

    Speaking of IMMA, I’m really disappointed that during the boom nobody ever decided to build a new modern art gallery in the docklands.

    I hate to say it but having a modern art gallery in an old building, and so far out of town, is just… lame. It’s a wonderful building with good installations, but seriously: Hadid, docklands, new IMMA, make it so. Something with a large space for crowd-pulling installations, like the turbine room in the Tate – that room alone is responsible for about 30% of the Tate’s visitors.

    The Royal Kilmainham would be better off a museum for anything else.

    /sorry for the derail

    EDIT: In fact, a giant version of something like this pyramid would work pretty well. The galleries could be housed within the quarters of the pyramid while the middle would be a huge towering room reaching right up to the top of the building, glass walls all the war round with 4 entrances around the building.

  • #801351

    Anonymous

    Frank rouses from his slumber and gets angry, but unfortunately it’s with flower beds and sculptural trivia!

    @service charge wrote:

    IMMA . . . . the perfect place for a modern memorial.

    Stop trying to dump this shit in Kilmainham.

    @Yixian wrote:

    Speaking of IMMA . . . . the Royal Hospital Kilmainham would be better off a museum for anything else.

    I think that most people, deep down, know that this is true, but personally I would miss spectacle of watching a function struggling with it’s own pointlessness.

    @Yixian wrote:

    EDIT: In fact, a giant version of something like this pyramid would work pretty well. The galleries could be housed within the quarters of the pyramid while the middle would be a huge towering room reaching right up to the top of the building, glass walls all the way round with 4 entrances around the building.

    If you left the ‘art’ in the shipping containers where it belongs, and put the ‘artists’ in the glass prism, you could be onto something there Yixian:)

  • #801352

    Anonymous

    One of my favourite pastimes is observing visitors at IMMA as they peruse the various random installations about the serene white rooms, before closely inspecting the oh so tongue-in-cheek FIRE HOSE installation by Action Fire Services Ltd. of Tallaght Industrial Estate. The occasional solitary triple light switch tends to arouse similar interest.

    Frank requires a response after my soup.

  • #801353

    Anonymous

    FMcD back on form in today’s IT giving the thumbs down(quite correctly in my view) to the melange of mediocrity in Merrion Sq.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2009/0811/1224252364181.html

  • #801354

    Anonymous

    Anyone know if we’re anywhere near a replacement building for IMMA? I mean really, it can’t go on…

  • #801355

    Anonymous

    @Yixian wrote:

    Anyone know if we’re anywhere near a replacement building for IMMA? I mean really, it can’t go on…

    There was meant to be extra exhibition space provided as part of the Heuston Gate development, which is not yet complete.
    The OPW are part owner of this site and were ment to get this space as well as the Science Museum (Exploration Station) as part of the deal. It also connects the site well with Heuston. What is your particular problem with the Royal Hospital Building? Would you like it to be knocked down and replaced with a giant pyramid?

  • #801356

    Anonymous

    No, I’d like it be used appropriately.

    All the successful modern art galleries of the world are housed in modern buildings in city centres. If Dublin is serious about improving tourism, maybe it should consider this.

    Would also be very nice to have a “huge installation space” as is pretty much the standard now, for some reason they didn’t seem to plan for hospitals to have spaces like that in the 17th century.. Not sure why.

    You can not underestimate the effect exhibitions like this had on tourism in London:

  • #801357

    Anonymous

    Is it true that one of the recent ‘installations’ in the Tate Modern was a large crack in the floor? . . . . . and people paid in to see this!

  • #801358

    Anonymous

    @gunter wrote:

    Is it true that one of the recent ‘installations’ in the Tate Modern was a large crack in the floor? . . . . . and people paid in to see this!

    Its free to see this part of the exhibition, and its fantastic!
    you can’t beat a good old crack for a bit of fun in the afternoon, you must try it out.

  • #801359

    Anonymous

    This is starting to sound like a carry-on movie!

  • #801360

    Anonymous

    @gunter wrote:

    This is starting to sound like a carry-on movie!

    Carry on up the crack!
    Ohhhh Matron, you wouldn’t get away with that sort of thing passing as family entertainement these days!

    The exhibit is fun though, and thats the whole point of it, and it about the only think I remember from the Tate as well as the view from the balcony at the top.

  • #801361

    Anonymous

    Yeah that exhibit was great.

    The Tate is SUCH an asset to London, I wish Dublin would try and compete.

  • #801362

    Anonymous

    @Yixian wrote:

    No, I’d like it be used appropriately.

    All the successful modern art galleries of the world are housed in modern buildings in city centres. If Dublin is serious about improving tourism, maybe it should consider this.

    Did you really just illustrate this statement with a picture of Tate Modern: you do know Tate Modern was not purpose built?

  • #801363

    Anonymous

    @notjim wrote:

    Did you really just illustrate this statement with a picture of Tate Modern: you do know Tate Modern was not purpose built?

    A couple hundred years after the Royal Kilmainham -_-

    Contemperising a 50 year old power station is a little different to using a 17th century building to house the national modern art gallery of Ireland. You know Guernica was painted 30 years before Bankside was even built right?

    I suppose they could use Guiness Power Station but in all honesty, it’s far uglier than Bankside.

  • #801364

    Anonymous

    @notjim wrote:

    Did you really just illustrate this statement with a picture of Tate Modern: you do know Tate Modern was not purpose built?

    Yeah, lay off Yixian, notjim, Yixian knows his stuff. You don’t come from that far down the alphabet without learning a few things as you stand in line.

    @Yixian wrote:

    The Tate is SUCH an asset to London, I wish Dublin would try and compete.

    This was the thrust of the Ciaran Cuffe blog I rescued from oblivion recently and re-posted on the Thomas St. & James’s St. thread. Although if I was in charge, I think I’d use that white concrete 1920s Guinnes building behind the old James’s St. post office, rather than the little Guinness power station as Cuffe was suggesting, which might just look like a toy Tate.

    That’s probably still not city centre enough for some people, but such people will never be satisfied.

    @ac1976 wrote:

    Ohhhh Matron, you wouldn’t get away with that sort of thing passing as family entertainement these days!

    Where is ctesiphon? . . . . was there some terrible bicycle tragedy when I was away?

  • #801365

    Anonymous

    With a Metro/Luas stop and enough else to do down there, it should be central enough.

    Bankside is a lot more spectacular a space than the Guinness Power Station though, let’s be honest.

    They should definitely use it for something though.

  • #801366

    Anonymous

    There will be a Dart and Luas stop at Heuston which will connect to the Royal Hospital via Heuston Gate
    the Guinness site is less accessible, I cant think of anything more unique that entering IMMA through a brand new urban space with a blank canvas of exhibition space and end up in a beautiful 17th century building overlooking the phoenix park and its own gardens.

    With a bit of effort The Royal Hospital and its future adjacent space could be a unique attraction in its own right and not seem like a poor copy of the Tate Modern. There’s no reason why it can’t work if it’s done right.

    Using an industrial building at Guinness is not very original.
    If you’re going to propose an alternative location it’s gonna have to be better than that!

    Honestly though, if someone offered u a brownfield site in the City Center along with a 17th century building beside it to create a modern art museum would that not be ideal?

  • #801367

    Anonymous

    Not ideal for a modern art gallery, maybe a museum of medicine! Somewhere in the docklands a Hadid style building on the Liffey would be perfect, perhaps opposite Point Village or Spencer Dock.

  • #801368

    Anonymous

    I think everyone agrees that the choice of site for IMMA was inappropriate, for a number of reasons, including the interventions that were necessary to make the 17th century ranges suitable, the (then) isolated location of the building, and the lack of flexibility and absence of large spaces in which to host substantial installations and exhibitions. Nonetheless, what is done is done, and with the alterations already carried out, the increased (and growing) connectivity of the complex with the city centre, and the potential for new space as part of the Heuston Gate scheme, it might as well stay where it is. Okay, it’s not optimal (more so for the Royal Hospital than IMMA in my opinion), but it’s a perfectly pleasant, charming, even quaint cultural attraction, where the juxtaposing of age and style greatly enlivens the whole experience. Also, we’re a small nation – let’s get real here. If anything, the institution already punches above its weight.

    @ac1976 wrote:

    about the only thing I remember from the Tate as well as the view from the balcony at the top.

    Nothing prepares you for it does it? Simply breathtaking.

    Perhaps these posts can be moved to the ‘Heuston framework plan’ thread?

  • #801369

    Anonymous

    Can I agree 100% with GrahamH: it did violence to the original building but, that done, it makes quite a good modern art museum, the setting, with the court, is lovely, the flow though the galleries is good, the varying room size is interesting and useful and the light, etc, works quite well and the mixture of the art, with the other features, the garden, the chapel, etc, is charming. With the addition of further space on the existing perimeter, space for storage and more gallery space to allow both a permanent hang of the collection along with their existing, very strong, programme of temporary exhibitions, it seems almost perfect. It is hard to feel as appears to be argued above that the setting diminishes the art because the building is older than Tate Modern. Edinburgh has another good modern art museum in an old building. We need to finish with this debate.

    Of course, many of us would like to see a good contemporary _public_ building in the city center, along the docks for example, but there are so many things we lack: a substantial public library for example, and we are so well blessed with fine old public buildings seeking a good contemporary use, that it seems silly to argue about the IMMA.

    and yes, can we move these posts.

  • #801370

    Anonymous

    @Yixian wrote:

    Yeah that exhibit was great.

    The Tate is SUCH an asset to London, I wish Dublin would try and compete.

    I was dossing on a friend’s floor in blackfriars in 1995 when the whole Tate Modern thing was kicking off. They took groups of the local residents around the old power station to give them a 30 minute synopsis of the proposed scheme. I didn’t listen to a bit of it because I was so in awe of the interior of the original power station and its machinery etc. It was absolutely mind boggling in its scale and its form and I think the single most diabolical thing about the Tate is that they trashed the lot. Why not leave a turbine in the turbine hall?

    The sheer scale of it could never be portrayed by a photo. It could have rivalled the Musee D’Orsay as an example of how to pay homage to a giant of the industrial age rather than the bland monolithic interior that prevailed. I went back after it opened and couldn’t have been more underwhelmed. Vowed never to return and never did. The OXO tower refurb just 200 yards up the Thames has much more credibility

    I think the picture of the view from the top is rather sad – St Paul’s is really a building lost forever in a vortex of shite

    Anyway, I like IMMA – Might not be the greatest hanging space but it has a nice atmosphere and the gardens are great

  • #801371

    Anonymous

    [assuming replies to be posted in other thread]

    Responding to Frank’s critique. I think he is spot on about Merrion Square park. It is however important to acknowledge that, as far as parks go, the vast majority of people are happy with anything that looks vaguely rustic and leafy in an urban setting: a dash of B&Q decking and a smattering of patio heaters is likely to go down just as well with most people in the midst of the square. Therefore, it is understandable that major investment has not been made in the park to date. If something passes off quietly as a quaint amenity which people enjoy, however aesthetically compromised or ill-informed, who in authority is going to rock the boat when funds can be allocated elsewhere? The problems with the park are principally legacy issues, with which nothing can be done short of a multi-million euro investment in the space, so that context must be taken into account.

    Saying that, the likelihood of anybody in authority noticing the dismal state of Merrion Square park in the first place is just as dubious. Indeed, it is not an unreasonable concept that some of the millions collected in commercial rates from the surrounding townhouses and the cash cow of on-street parking which so dominates every available inch of the south Georgian core, from which local stakeholders derive absolutely no tangible benefit, be reinvested in returning the park to something approaching its original appearance.

    Personally, I hold no affection whatsoever for Merrion Square park – indeed, to be honest I dislike it and go out of my way to avoid it. It is an ugly place, quite a remarkable achievement for a haven of nature. Yes, it is easy to snidely remark on the prissy flower displays, but these are not the problem – if anything they enliven the otherwise dank environment. Rather, as Service charge alluded to earlier, it is the murky, claustrophobic dense planting, the grotty choice of planting, the absence of transparency, and the almost blanket isolation of the surrounding terraces from the park, that make it such an unpleasant place. The shabby, coarse laurel bushes are reminiscent of the seedy garden in Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, while the dense shrubbery flanking all of the entrance pathways could not make the park any more uninviting of they tried. Likewise, the similar treatment of winding pathways within the park makes them intimidating and unpleasant.

    The air of anti-climax upon arriving in the centre of the park is palpable, encountering a bizarre cliff face-like enclosure focused on two hideous suburban evergreen trees surrounded by a random array of municipal flowerbeds. Above all at this point, it is the sense of drudgery at having to trek along the boring walk to the other side of this dismal oval that is so dispiriting, and the undoubted feeling of most visitors that they must again negotiate the same pointless Alice in Wonderland-like labyrinth of bushy corridors to escape out the other side. Having to walk along a rather pointless path-to-nowhere, right in front of seated persons who have nothing else to look at, is similarly awkward.

    The little ‘theme’ gardens thrown in the mix, ranging from bizarre thickets of cherry blossoms, to clusters of weeping birches, to the downright weird expanses of grass surrounded by dense shrubbery that nobody wants to use or even look at for the 360 days of the year that the sun doesn’t shine, are at best curious, but ultimately confusing, arbitrary, and serve no real function. Frank is also right that the setted edging is awful. It would probably look well in a rustic garden, but in an urban context, and particularly a Dublin context, the setts’ misuse is so rawly apparent. It jarrs. The historic lamps are fun in their current context, and a decent idea in the absence of a city museum, so I wouldn’t take away from that (with any chance to fondle an historic lamp in a shielded setting naturally being a plus). But in the context of a restored park, they would of course by unsuitable. But even at present, there is little or no information about them, they are of course falling apart and unoperational, and the mismatching of many of the heads and columns borders on the farcial.

    I’d wholeheartedly support any ambitious plan to restore Merrion Square to its original design, or a design appropriate to the late 18th century. This would serve as a major attraction in the south Georgian core, where currently there is actually no obvious amenity space to frequent, and in that I would include the current park. It is uninviting and unpleasant. By contrast, an open and transparent park, that read as part of the greater urban ensemble of Merrion Square would be absolutely spectacular. Fine gravelled paths, delicate water features, and simple, unpretentious ponds or small lakes with cut stone edging and matching seating would do wonders for the square as a whole, while a double line of trees around the perimeter with views beyond from both sides would transform the square beyond recognition. Above all, the cultural and government quarter across the road would be finally both served and appropriately addressed. When one considers the utter shambles of this side of the park at present, with hacked out railings, the completely random and invasive Defence Forces memorial, the dense shrubbery, car parking, and the ridiculous platform behind the (compromised) Rutland Fountain, there is simply no contest. It needs to be done, and done properly or not at all.

  • #801372

    Anonymous

    @gunter wrote:

    Is it true that one of the recent ‘installations’ in the Tate Modern was a large crack in the floor? . . . . . and people paid in to see this!

    Only if those who paid to see it are cracked themselves.

    Admission to “The Tate” is free.

  • #801373

    admin
    Keymaster

    @grahamh wrote:

    The air of anti-climax upon arriving in the centre of the park is palpable, encountering a bizarre cliff face-like enclosure focused on two hideous suburban evergreen trees surrounded by a random array of municipal flowerbeds. Above all at this point, it is the sense of drudgery at having to trek along the boring walk to the other side of this dismal oval that is so dispiriting, and the undoubted feeling of most visitors that they must again negotiate the same pointless Alice in Wonderland-like labyrinth of bushy corridors to escape out the other side. Having to walk along a rather pointless path-to-nowhere, right in front of seated persons who have nothing else to look at, is similarly awkward.

    The little ‘theme’ gardens thrown in the mix, ranging from bizarre thickets of cherry blossoms, to clusters of weeping birches, to the downright weird expanses of grass surrounded by dense shrubbery that nobody wants to use or even look at for the 360 days of the year that the sun doesn’t shine, are at best curious, but ultimately confusing, arbitrary, and serve no real function. Frank is also right that the setted edging is awful. It would probably look well in a rustic garden, but in an urban context, and particularly a Dublin context, the setts’ misuse is so rawly apparent. It jarrs. The historic lamps are fun in their current context, and a decent idea in the absence of a city museum, so I wouldn’t take away from that (with any chance to fondle an historic lamp in a shielded setting naturally being a plus). But in the context of a restored park, they would of course by unsuitable. But even at present, there is little or no information about them, they are of course falling apart and unoperational, and the mismatching of many of the heads and columns borders on the farcial.

    I’d wholeheartedly support any ambitious plan to restore Merrion Square to its original design, or a design appropriate to the late 18th century. This would serve as a major attraction in the south Georgian core, where currently there is actually no obvious amenity space to frequent, and in that I would include the current park. It is uninviting and unpleasant. By contrast, an open and transparent park, that read as part of the greater urban ensemble of Merrion Square would be absolutely spectacular. Fine gravelled paths, delicate water features, and simple, unpretentious ponds or small lakes with cut stone edging and matching seating would do wonders for the square as a whole, while a double line of trees around the perimeter with views beyond from both sides would transform the square beyond recognition. Above all, the cultural and government quarter across the road would be finally both served and appropriately addressed. When one considers the utter shambles of this side of the park at present, with hacked out railings, the completely random and invasive Defence Forces memorial, the dense shrubbery, car parking, and the ridiculous platform behind the (compromised) Rutland Fountain, there is simply no contest. It needs to be done, and done properly or not at all.

    Nicely put Graham.
    The existing park is a dreadful hotch potch of random planting with the worst excesses of 1980’s landscape interventions thrown in. Its haphazard layout stands in stark contrast to the square it seeks to turn its back on & actually manages to diminish the set piece that is Merrion Square.

    Really there is little that warrants saving, with just the odd semi-mature tree, at this point the lot should be raised to the ground.

    I think another poster on the Stephen’s Green thread favoured reinstating both the green & merrion square as vast open expanses, with almost uninterrupted views of their surrounds. While I would strongly disagree with same for Stephen’s Green, such an approach on Merrion Square would be warranted, given that the square stands largely intact and would benefit massively if the ruddy mis-match at its core was transformed in to a largely transparent, minimalist, landscape set-piece.

    Indeed, it is only really possible to appreciate the scale & spectre of the square from its centre.

  • #801374

    Anonymous

    I like the hill in merrion square but I agree its all messed up

  • #801375

    Anonymous

    I hadn’t given Merrion Sq the treatment GrahamH has so admirably done, but anything that can rid us of the mindset of (a) municipal planting and (b) Schwarzian overkill-zany would be welcome.
    In the realm of might-have-beens we could envisage a Mullingar-style 1930s cathedral (as was proposed) occupying, say, half of the square area with Graham’s neo-18thC elegance calming it down in the other. On second thoughts, just let’s have the elegance.
    It would be a very good civic project to have the three great public spaces – Merrion, St Stephen’s and Iveagh – all illustrating different approaches to civic green space and all used to the extent they deserve to be.

    PS Is Fitzwilliam public or private?

  • #801376

    admin
    Keymaster

    @johnglas wrote:

    PS Is Fitzwilliam public or private …?

    Its private John. As simple as it should be, though what was likely a double line around the perimeter of Fitzwilliam is nearing its end aesthetically.

    http://www.howbertandmays.ie/projects_civicPublic.htm

    @johnglas wrote:

    …but anything that can rid us of the mindset of (a) municipal planting and (b) Schwarzian overkill-zany would be welcome.

    I wasn’t suggesting either for Merrion Square but will happily defend Swarthz’s Grand Canal Square as the necessary anti-dote to the hectares of chinese granite and general car park evoking banality that has* passed as ‘landscape design’ for your average Irish public space.

    *optimism on my part.

  • #801377

    Anonymous

    Peter Fitz: I was being provocative (not like me), but too much Martha would cause visual indigestion, if that’s possible.

  • #801378

    admin
    Keymaster

    @johnglas wrote:

    Peter Fitz: I was being provocative (not like me), but too much Martha would cause visual indigestion, if that’s possible.

    No quibble there, its not the kind fo thing that could or should be replicated elsewhere really anyway, and thats probably just as well.

  • #801379

    Anonymous

    @gunter wrote:

    Is it true that one of the recent ‘installations’ in the Tate Modern was a large crack in the floor? . . . . . and people paid in to see this!

    Yep, another brilliant piece of contemporary sculpture by Anish Kapoor.

    What the RHK needs are better exhibitions and exhibits to get the public in. I never see it advertise anything anymore. The location is fine, with the brilliant Kilmainham Gaol museum beside it too as well as the new develpments springing up beside it.

    BTW, that war memorial piece of sculpture in Merrion Square is kinda awful, sorta out dated Post Modernist cheesy stuff!

    ………….some example of Kapoor’s works. Imagine if some of these were in Dublin!

    http://www.ttsmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/anishkapoor.jpg

    http://voidmanufacturing.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/anish-kapoor31.jpg

    http://images.artnet.com/artwork_images_445_124202_anish-kapoor.jpg

    http://static3.unlike.net/system/photos/0033/5159/TESTAnishKapoor.jpg

    http://www.orbit.zkm.de/files/sky1big.jpg

    ,,,,and the “the hole in the ground”

    http://talkingbollocks.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/jeanne-darc.jpg

  • #801380

    Anonymous

    Ho hum… Yes, they’re quite diverting, but so what?

  • #801381

    Anonymous

    maybe the biggest problem here was that the didn’t reject the monument when they say what it was like when it was finished

  • #801382

    Anonymous

    Some street art in Berlin ….

    …. as Dublin gets yet another twee bronze scultpture of figures in old times clothes. It’s outside the Oliver St. John Gogarty pub in Temple Bar. My the place is going to the dogs. Former artist quarter and all.

  • #801383

    Anonymous

    In the end temple bar has been given to the tourists and tourists love twee. Maybe the real edgy stuff should be focused on a regenerated Smithfield.

  • #801384

    Anonymous

    …. as Dublin gets yet another twee bronze scultpture of figures in old times clothes. It’s outside the Oliver St. John Gogarty pub in Temple Bar. My the place is going to the dogs. Former artist quarter and all.[/QUOTE wrote:

    I agree. WYB, the 2 figures are supposed to represent Oliver St. John Gogarty and James Joyce. I can’t see any resemblance. Disneyland stuff!

  • #801385

    Anonymous

    Tackarama in Temple Bar

  • #801386

    Anonymous

    Temple Bar’s been lost to us. There’s not much east of Parliament St that I’d have much time for. It’s the area around George’s Market that we should focus on preserving as a pleasant part of town with as many independent stores, restaurants and pubs as possible. Right up to the long drag of Camden St.

    As for Smithfield – it’s dead and gone now.

  • #801387

    Anonymous

    Is there a thread for Temple Bar? …..doesn’t seem to be one ..

  • #801388

    Anonymous

    @fergalr wrote:

    As for Smithfield – it’s dead and gone now.

    Don’t say that ;(

  • #801389

    Anonymous

    @Yixian wrote:

    Don’t say that ;(

    It’s with Liam Carroll in the grave.

  • #801390

    Anonymous

    Celtic Phoenix, 2013, believe! xD

  • #801391

    Anonymous

    Continuing on the theme of ‘place is going to the dogs’:

    The Auld Dubliner pub beside the other place applied to replace the ‘old Dublin character’ mural at the side of the pub with this horrible corporate Diageo ad. But it was refused – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=3286/09&theTabNo=2&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%203286/09

    Meanwhile, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Guinness, Diageo have a current proposal in to line the wall on Victoria Quay with Guinness advertising – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=3432/09&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%203432/09. As a civic and philanthropic gesture to the city, it’s up there with the Iveagh Trust regeneration Guinness did 100 years ago, hey?

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