An apartment block is forever.

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    • #709112
      jimg
      Participant

      This has bothered me for some time and it’s a very serious issue which seems to me is hardly appreciated or recognised by professional planners or the public.

      When I see a single purpose office, retail or hotel buildings which is horribly “designed”, cheaply built, inappropriately located, etc., it doesn’t frighten or disgust me as much as when I see similarly poor quality apartment buildings. In the former case, there is generally only one owner which at least makes redevelopment possible. We’ve seen this happen all over the city not only recently but all through the history of the city.

      This situation contrasts with that where an apartment block can up to 100 different owners. Given our strong constitutional protection for property rights (a good thing), it will be virtually impossible to replace a rubbish building with something better until the building literally falls down. For example, the defilement of Henrietta St with that apartment block will NEVER be corrected (or at least not for a couple of centuries, I would estimate). Had the building been an office block or retail outlet it wouldn’t be surprising to see it replaced in 20 or 30 years time.

      I don’t believe that this fundamental difference has been generally recognised. Therefore apartment blocks must be held to higher standards of quality than single use buildings when it comes to planning.

    • #786786
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      weird i was just thinkin the same thing on the 46A this morning as I was passing Ashurst at the junction of Mt Merrion Ave. and the N11. It’s a 1960’s piece of utter sh1te with no merit whatsoever. Anyone familiar with this corridor will know that a donkeyload of new high spec residential developments are being built here. Some are fantastic lookin, some not so great. But it did come to mind that Ashurst would need to be bought unit by unit by a developer in order to be removed, unlike single occupancy office blocks, which can be erased in one fell swoop.

      btw, I’m a planner and I did recognise it šŸ™‚ it’s just not easy to do much about it in the current target driven approach to housing, where planners are under pressure at Council level to grant while the goings good…

    • #786787
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Alonso,

      I agree – like the well known saying – A dog is not for xmas….” So are apartment blocks – and sectin 23 I fear has not helped us achieve the best our planners and architects can in the race the throw up apartments in huge numbers. Great to finally speak to a planner who can hold up poor examples of apartments and recognise the need for a high spec to be brought to bear in the new apartment development because of the potential future issues dealing with numerous owners.

      BTW – what is your view of building 8 storey apartment blocks opposite a world renowned church and pastoral centre and behind ( directly) 2 storey listed structures ???

      There seems to be no appetite to listen to or try to manage existing reasonable inhabitants of 2 storey homes who border sites marked for development. High density in Tallaght village has meant apartments, apartments and only apartments. No duplexes, townhouses, just apartments. The future will not judge developers or planners in Tallaght viallge are well.

      This is happening in Tallaght village ( beside the N81 – under section 23 ) and to be honest – the interested residents of Tallaght are wall fallen trying to get anyone to recognise the need to employ some savvy in terms of sympathetic design to compliment a historical streetscape……Tallaght has seen section 23 translate every development into a number games of how many units, how cheaply and how quickly… all in an envirionment adjacient to 2 storey semi detached houses which will not be eliminated and therefore have to be considered..

      I am not a planner and admit to only having an interest in the result a building has in terms of asthetic design, streetscape, experience for the inhabitants and the community it creates.

      Any insight you can offer would be hugely appreciated Alonso !

    • #786788
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jimg wrote:

      This has bothered me for some time and it’s a very serious issue which seems to me is hardly appreciated or recognised by professional planners or the public.

      When I see a single purpose office, retail or hotel buildings which is horribly “designed”, cheaply built, inappropriately located, etc., it doesn’t frighten or disgust me as much as when I see similarly poor quality apartment buildings. In the former case, there is generally only one owner which at least makes redevelopment possible. We’ve seen this happen all over the city not only recently but all through the history of the city.

      This situation contrasts with that where an apartment block can up to 100 different owners. Given our strong constitutional protection for property rights (a good thing), it will be virtually impossible to replace a rubbish building with something better until the building literally falls down. For example, the defilement of Henrietta St with that apartment block will NEVER be corrected (or at least not for a couple of centuries, I would estimate). Had the building been an office block or retail outlet it wouldn’t be surprising to see it replaced in 20 or 30 years time.

      I don’t believe that this fundamental difference has been generally recognised. Therefore apartment blocks must be held to higher standards of quality than single use buildings when it comes to planning.

      I agree wholeheartedly.
      But I wouldn’t worry too much bout the longevity of these shitty thrown up buildings. Their shoddy quality will make them short lived and consign them to an early grave.

    • #786789
      admin
      Keymaster

      It is a thought everyone interested in the Built Environment has had more than once; once you enter a scenario of multiple ownership the control is certainly watered down. Throw in a few inherent defects a managing agent who doesn’t care and you have a recipe for disaster.

      I do however think that planners are tightening up on management plans for apartment buildings and that many grants for permission are part of a phased development so at least in theory on most sites it should be possible to enforce at least some standards.

      Once more than 8 units are involved planners should think very carefully before granting consent for apartment schemes as the fragmented ownership makes it very difficult to acquire poor quality buildings in boom times and renders remodeling / demolition unviable in a weak market. Choice could be slum housing or surface car-park in worst case scenario.

    • #786790
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jimg wrote:

      This has bothered me for some time and it’s a very serious issue which seems to me is hardly appreciated or recognised by professional planners or the public.

      When I see a single purpose office, retail or hotel buildings which is horribly “designed”, cheaply built, inappropriately located, etc., it doesn’t frighten or disgust me as much as when I see similarly poor quality apartment buildings. In the former case, there is generally only one owner which at least makes redevelopment possible. We’ve seen this happen all over the city not only recently but all through the history of the city.

      This situation contrasts with that where an apartment block can up to 100 different owners. Given our strong constitutional protection for property rights (a good thing), it will be virtually impossible to replace a rubbish building with something better until the building literally falls down. For example, the defilement of Henrietta St with that apartment block will NEVER be corrected (or at least not for a couple of centuries, I would estimate). Had the building been an office block or retail outlet it wouldn’t be surprising to see it replaced in 20 or 30 years time.

      I don’t believe that this fundamental difference has been generally recognised. Therefore apartment blocks must be held to higher standards of quality than single use buildings when it comes to planning.

      I agree with you 100%. The build quality of some apartment blocks bothers me as well, pity it does not bother most planners (or more to the point their Managers) who continue to pander to developer greed in allowing future slums for a quick buck.

    • #786791
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A point well made – multiple ownerships can have a potentially disastrous impact in the case of dodgy buildings. I’m sure there’s international precedent for this though – can anyone cite for example the state of Thatcher era developments in the UK? Are the dodgy ones a permanent eyesore, or have any successful efforts been made by management companies to revamp?

      Though it takes a good few years to filter through to all properties, I know for example of one case in Brighton of a large, ten storey International Style šŸ˜‰ apartment block where the management company (or possibly a developer that bought it out) insisted on a contribution of

    • #786792
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jimg wrote:

      This has bothered me for some time and it’s a very serious issue which seems to me is hardly appreciated or recognised by professional planners or the public.

      When I see a single purpose office, retail or hotel buildings which is horribly “designed”, cheaply built, inappropriately located, etc., it doesn’t frighten or disgust me as much as when I see similarly poor quality apartment buildings. In the former case, there is generally only one owner which at least makes redevelopment possible. We’ve seen this happen all over the city not only recently but all through the history of the city.

      This situation contrasts with that where an apartment block can up to 100 different owners. Given our strong constitutional protection for property rights (a good thing), it will be virtually impossible to replace a rubbish building with something better until the building literally falls down. For example, the defilement of Henrietta St with that apartment block will NEVER be corrected (or at least not for a couple of centuries, I would estimate). Had the building been an office block or retail outlet it wouldn’t be surprising to see it replaced in 20 or 30 years time.

      I don’t believe that this fundamental difference has been generally recognised. Therefore apartment blocks must be held to higher standards of quality than single use buildings when it comes to planning.

      in order to sell an apartment the developer must have a floor area certificate, which must be signed off by the DOE. This applies to aprtment blocks but not commercial developments. The process is onerous and all building materials and systems must have a life span of min 60 years before they might need replaced. The idea behind this process – in conjunction with the new Part L regs – is to try to improve workmanship and overall build quality, which is a good thing. The DOE aren’t interested in the architecture tho………..

    • #786793
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @wearnicehats wrote:

      in order to sell an apartment the developer must have a floor area certificate, which must be signed off by the DOE. This applies to aprtment blocks but not commercial developments. The process is onerous and all building materials and systems must have a life span of min 60 years before they might need replaced. The idea behind this process – in conjunction with the new Part L regs – is to try to improve workmanship and overall build quality, which is a good thing. The DOE aren’t interested in the architecture tho………..

      In theory you are of course correct, reality however shows that greed can take over aided by local authorities regarding build quality.
      Skip forward 35 mins if the begining of this programme is too distressing.

      http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0522/primetime.html

    • #786794
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I work for a large architectural company. These eye sores you speak of, are not solely the responsibility of the architects, and definitley not the planners either. I have experienced at first hand the pressure a money hungary developer can put on a planner to except any piece of crap. The developer rarely cares about the architecture of a building or the quality of life within the apartments.. all they care about is numbers and making the building look some what appealing, while stripping the archiects design to the core and making them apply cheap and ‘sh1t’ looking materials in its place. The planners generally have to go along with all these changes as large developers usually have enough pull with higher powers to push any monstrosity through the planning process.

      As for the doe.. they actually are somewhat of a pain as they try to make out there more powerful than they are, contradicting what building control allow and even what regs say. I have had to change things which were of a minimum standard according to the regs, and the DOE refused to issue floor area certs unless we increased it to the optimum… these were internal apartment changes. So a word of advice to all architects..tell your client.. the developer.. not to piss the DOE off.. comes back to haunt you.. but then again.. some developers deserve it as they think there above the law.

      Just had to get it off my chest before the festive period.

      JS

    • #786795
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @alonso wrote:

      weird i was just thinkin the same thing on the 46A this morning as I was passing Ashurst at the junction of Mt Merrion Ave. and the N11. It’s a 1960’s piece of utter sh1te with no merit whatsoever. Anyone familiar with this corridor will know that a donkeyload of new high spec residential developments are being built here. Some are fantastic lookin, some not so great. But it did come to mind that Ashurst would need to be bought unit by unit by a developer in order to be removed, unlike single occupancy office blocks, which can be erased in one fell swoop.

      btw, I’m a planner and I did recognise it šŸ™‚ it’s just not easy to do much about it in the current target driven approach to housing, where planners are under pressure at Council level to grant while the goings good…

      I don’t think those apartments are too bad at all esp. considering when they were built.They may have dated esp. the windows but I think they compare quite favourbaly with some of the “Doll’s house” red brick apaertments that went up in the 80’s & 90’s. I’ve never been in them but I believe they offer quite generous accomadation. I also believe they sell for over 500,000 so the punters like them. Also in the context of where they are, on a dual carriageway into the city I don’t think they cause offence. Basically I don’t see your problem with these apartments. Have you ever observed the appartments on your way into any major European city? They are mostly functional looking but they usually offer comfortable accomadation near transport routes and make efficient use of space. I think these apartments do this and I also think they don’t look too bad. Ok they don’t make my spirit soar but I wouldn’t call them “60’s shite”

    • #786796
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @alonso wrote:

      …………………..as I was passing Ashurst at the junction of Mt Merrion Ave. and the N11. It’s a 1960’s piece of utter sh1te with no merit whatsoever….

      Agreed, and they have a sh1te finish inside also, but in fairness they are much more spacious than the crappy boxes that are being built in the name of “stylish gracious living” today. Strange that Ashurst was built by PV Doyle, and Paddy Fitzpatrick, another hotelier built the sh1t brick flats next to Killiney Castle.
      KB

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