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Planning & Tall Buildings in Dublin

  • 19-07-2012 4:17pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    Having read the following article, its not surprising why some people despair about the planning system in Ireland.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0719/1224320381139.html

    There seems to be a very vocal, and well funded, lobby who oppose any form of 'high rise' in Dublin.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for protecting our heritage sites. However, does that now extend to eyesores like Liberty Hall? Next thing they'll be telling us that Hawkins House is a modern day masterpiece.

    I would love to see more high rish buildings, where appropriate, in suitable locations around the city (IFSC, Heuston, etc.). Would be interested to know if I'm in the minority on this or not...


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 165 ✭✭ richiek83


    PRAF wrote: »
    Having read the following article, its not surprising why some people despair about the planning system in Ireland.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0719/1224320381139.html

    There seems to be a very vocal, and well funded, lobby who oppose any form of 'high rise' in Dublin.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for protecting our heritage sites. However, does that now extend to eyesores like Liberty Hall? Next thing they'll be telling us that Hawkins House is a modern day masterpiece.

    I would love to see more high rish buildings, where appropriate, in suitable locations around the city (IFSC, Heuston, etc.). Would be interested to know if I'm in the minority on this or not...


    You're certainly not in the minority on that. Planning in Dublin has been a joke, not always because of DCC but because of An Bord Pleanala. High rise in an Irish context would only at best make medium rise in most other jurisdictions. The Liberty Hall is an ok proposal, could be better architecturally but it's height proposal is just about right. It will provide a nice contrast to Custom House without completely destroying its character. High rise should def be considered at docklands, heuston and maybe medium rise at Hawkins house area. An opportunity was lost spencer dock to have high rise in dublin. As far as I'm aware, the original proposal was for medium/ high rise before being scaled back due to planning authorities and lobby groups


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    richiek83 wrote: »
    You're certainly not in the minority on that. Planning in Dublin has been a joke, not always because of DCC but because of An Bord Pleanala. High rise in an Irish context would only at best make medium rise in most other jurisdictions. The Liberty Hall is an ok proposal, could be better architecturally but it's height proposal is just about right. It will provide a nice contrast to Custom House without completely destroying its character. High rise should def be considered at docklands, heuston and maybe medium rise at Hawkins house area. An opportunity was lost spencer dock to have high rise in dublin. As far as I'm aware, the original proposal was for medium/ high rise before being scaled back due to planning authorities and lobby groups

    Yeah the proposal isn't fantastic, agree with you on that. I thought the previous proposal they had was better. A lot of the infilled areas of Dublin Bay - Spencer Dock, Poolbeg, around the old Point Depot, etc - would be ideal for high rise. Here's hoping the planners get it right someday!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,725 ✭✭✭ charlemont


    Too much interference from nimbys etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 951 robd


    PRAF wrote: »
    Having read the following article, its not surprising why some people despair about the planning system in Ireland.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0719/1224320381139.html

    In fairness, it's written by Frank McDonald who's never been shy about his objection to high rise and most sensible sustainable planning. He's more into the eco than the urban. It's really just his slant on the thing.

    High rise policy in select zones was already approved for Dublin in 2009.
    http://www.thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=26862


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    If this gets approval, at least it'll give future "high rise" submissions an extra ~30m to work with, as it seems "height in relation to liberty hall" is the metric by which all proposals are judged.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 165 ✭✭ richiek83


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    If this gets approval, at least it'll give future "high rise" submissions an extra ~30m to work with, as it seems "height in relation to liberty hall" is the metric by which all proposals are judged.


    Decision due by 31st of October according to ABP website


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ Rock of Gibraltar


    Why do you think that? Liberty Hall hasn't been the tallest building in the city for 15 years and the Watchtower and U2 tower were supposed to be well in excess of the new Liberty Hall proposal.

    I've very much in favour of further high rise buildings in Dublin but I think this Liberty Hall proposal is a big mistake.
    The existing Liberty Hall is a very imposing building in a negative way, it turned people off the idea of further high rise in the city when it was built because it was seen as an eyesore.
    Adding 30 metres at it's current location will make it far far more intrusive and I really fear that we'll get a similar negative backlash against high rise.

    It's great that Siptu want to build a skyscraper but do it in the docklands, the Dublin high rise district.


  • Registered Users Posts: 760 ✭✭✭ dRNk SAnTA


    I don't have a problem with high rise but if it hadn't been for an An Bord Pleanala, the last 10 years would've resulted in the same poor quality architecture and design, but those rubbish buildings would've been twice as big.

    A lot of people want high rise for high rises sake. It should be about QUALITY and not height. I don't mind them building high at Liberty Hall, but I do mind them proposing mediocre bulky rubbish in such a prominent spot. Why was there no public design competition? The proposal is so inelegant it's an insult to James Gandon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    Hard to disagree with a lot of posters here in terms of the proposed quality of the new building. I think it's ok, definitely an improvement on the current version of Liberty Hall IMO, but yes it could be better. Maybe we just need one or two exceptional buildings to win over the naysayers.

    I think the proponents of high rise should have to answer to queries around the architectural merit of their proposals. However, from reading the article, a lot of the objectors seem to be basing their argument on whether or not SIPTU should just renovate and refurbish rather than rebuild.

    IMO, that kind of argument is irrelevant. The planning proposal should be judged on whether it complies with the planning laws, not based on other peoples preference that the building be refurbished or not.

    The other main argument against the new proposal seems to be based on the existing Liberty Hall being some sort of modern masterpiece. Ok, it is a recognised piece of the Dublin skyline but it is far from loved in this city.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    dRNk SAnTA wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with high rise but if it hadn't been for an An Bord Pleanala, the last 10 years would've resulted in the same poor quality architecture and design, but those rubbish buildings would've been twice as big.

    A lot of people want high rise for high rises sake. It should be about QUALITY and not height. I don't mind them building high at Liberty Hall, but I do mind them proposing mediocre bulky rubbish in such a prominent spot. Why was there no public design competition? The proposal is so inelegant it's an insult to James Gandon.

    Yeah good point - totally agree that high rise should also be high quality. However, should mid and low rise not also be high quality. Look at the IFSC, besides a few nice ones we just have low quality, bland, low rise buildings. Unfortunately ABP seem to think that very poor quality low rise is better than mediocre high rise.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ Rock of Gibraltar


    PRAF wrote: »
    The planning proposal should be judged on whether it complies with the planning laws, not based on other peoples preference that the building be refurbished or not.

    Yeah totally agree with you on this, it's another thing that really bothers me about this is that the City Council made an exception to their planning policy and rules to accommodate Siptu.
    The current city plan prohibits buildings above 60m (i'm pretty sure its 60) in that area, but somehow Liberty Hall doesn't have to play by the rules. Why bother putting together plans and guidelines if they're just going to be disregarded like that.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    I think there there's too much focus on high rise when the lower-end restrictions are often too low.

    We're stuck on normal heights the city was was reaching for 100 years ago:

    "The council voted for a normal maximum height of six storeys for residential and seven storeys for offices (19m – 28m) in the inner city, and four storeys (13m – 16m) for both offices and residential in the outer city" - http://dublinobserver.com/2010/07/council-challenged-on-“anti-social”-height-limits/

    It's worth a read in full as there's a mix of views from councilors, but one said, “We are living in a low rise city. Nobody at any residents’ association meeting I have ever attended consider seven storeys low rise, they consider seven storeys high rise. And, whether the city manager likes it or not, the people in Dublin do not want to live in a high rise city. People in Dublin like low rise.”

    Yeah totally agree with you on this, it's another thing that really bothers me about this is that the City Council made an exception to their planning policy and rules to accommodate Siptu.
    The current city plan prohibits buildings above 60m (i'm pretty sure its 60) in that area, but somehow Liberty Hall doesn't have to play by the rules. Why bother putting together plans and guidelines if they're just going to be disregarded like that.

    Because Liberty Hall is a landmark site like no other around it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    dRNk SAnTA wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with high rise but if it hadn't been for an An Bord Pleanala, the last 10 years would've resulted in the same poor quality architecture and design, but those rubbish buildings would've been twice as big.

    A lot of people want high rise for high rises sake.

    I don't doubt that might be true in some quarters, but for me personally it's about sustainability first of all. If the appropriate city centre areas aren't used for high-rise/high-density buildings then this increases the risk of urban sprawl. Indeed we already have huge swathes of ugly housing estates destroying our countryside. As an alternative to that ruination, I'll take a slightly ugly higher rise building. We need to get people used to the notion of apartment living, rather than the expectation that everyone is going to have their own semi-D just outside the city. It's not sustainable planning at all.

    Secondly, from a purely aesthetic point of view, whilst some people might claim to enjoy the "low rise" character of the city (and anyone reasonable will readily admit that there are areas not suited to taller buildings), scores of identical height buildings are actually not attractive to look at either. A variety of heights is far more pleasant on the eye. No one is asking Dublin to be setting records for heights, but the scepticism and downright fear that any proposal over six stories is met with is often ridiculous, and I feel is holding the city back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    I don't doubt that might be true in some quarters, but for me personally it's about sustainability first of all. If the appropriate city centre areas aren't used for high-rise/high-density buildings then this increases the risk of urban sprawl. Indeed we already have huge swathes of ugly housing estates destroying our countryside. As an alternative to that ruination, I'll take a slightly ugly higher rise building. We need to get people used to the notion of apartment living, rather than the expectation that everyone is going to have their own semi-D just outside the city. It's not sustainable planning at all.

    Secondly, from a purely aesthetic point of view, whilst some people might claim to enjoy the "low rise" character of the city (and anyone reasonable will readily admit that there are areas not suited to taller buildings), scores of identical height buildings are actually not attractive to look at either. A variety of heights is far more pleasant on the eye. No one is asking Dublin to be setting records for heights, but the scepticism and downright fear that any proposal over six stories is met with is often ridiculous, and I feel is holding the city back.

    Not being an expert on architecture, but this appeals to me (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rainprel/5872021767/) far more than this a lot of the low to mid rise stuff in the IFSC


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Ah yes, the oft-dismissively named "Canary Dwarf". :D

    It looks quite nice in that particular picture though, and not at all excessive for the area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 760 ✭✭✭ dRNk SAnTA


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    I don't doubt that might be true in some quarters, but for me personally it's about sustainability first of all. If the appropriate city centre areas aren't used for high-rise/high-density buildings then this increases the risk of urban sprawl. Indeed we already have huge swathes of ugly housing estates destroying our countryside. As an alternative to that ruination, I'll take a slightly ugly higher rise building. We need to get people used to the notion of apartment living, rather than the expectation that everyone is going to have their own semi-D just outside the city. It's not sustainable planning at all.

    Secondly, from a purely aesthetic point of view, whilst some people might claim to enjoy the "low rise" character of the city (and anyone reasonable will readily admit that there are areas not suited to taller buildings), scores of identical height buildings are actually not attractive to look at either. A variety of heights is far more pleasant on the eye. No one is asking Dublin to be setting records for heights, but the scepticism and downright fear that any proposal over six stories is met with is often ridiculous, and I feel is holding the city back.

    When I said high-rise I was referring to the clamour of people supporting every skyscraper proposal, no matter the quality.

    What you are referring to is the need for high-density developments. High density can be done by developing urban areas to an average of 5/6/7 storeys, not by building a couple of towers down the docks.

    Paris city centre has very high population density despite it's strictly controlled low-rise nature.

    Georgian Dublin is the most densely developed part of the city with not a single tower to be found.

    I don't want to sound as if I'm against high-rise, because I'm not. I like them when they're planned properly. I just want the focus to go to "how high quality is the architecture and design", and not just "how many floors does it have?".

    Also, as you said, to the need to raise the density of the Dublin suburbs and to have an intelligent masterplan for the city, rather than sitting back and waiting for developers to send in whatever rubbish they can get financing for, so that it can be rubber-stamped in the name of "job creation".


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    I think the current Liberty Hall is quite appropriately scaled for its location. The unnecessarily bulky loop-line railway bridge is a much bigger detraction to the area. Of course, once the new public transport bridge is finished you can say goodbye to whatever absence of visual clutter remained along that stretch of the waterfront.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,019 carlmango11


    I think high-rise buildings never look good alone. No matter how beautiful a building may be I think tall buildings have to come in clusters. Would the Empire State look as good if it was surrounded by just semi-detached houses?

    Look at Lyon, they have a tall building which stands alone - anyone think it looks out of place?

    There are actually some other ones nearby but I think you can see it looks weird alone.

    The Ulster Bank headquarters look great and I'm convinced it's because it is a cluster of buildings rather than just one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    I think high-rise buildings never look good alone. No matter how beautiful a building may be I think tall buildings have to come in clusters. Would the Empire State look as good if it was surrounded by just semi-detached houses?

    Look at Lyon, they have a tall building which stands alone - anyone think it looks out of place?

    There are actually some other ones nearby but I think you can see it looks weird alone.

    The Ulster Bank headquarters look great and I'm convinced it's because it is a cluster of buildings rather than just one.

    Agree with you here. But you could also argue that Liberty Hall is a good exception to that rule because it is one tall building on its own sitting directly opposite some other tall buildings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ Rock of Gibraltar


    I think high-rise buildings never look good alone. No matter how beautiful a building may be I think tall buildings have to come in clusters. Would the Empire State look as good if it was surrounded by just semi-detached houses?

    Look at Lyon, they have a tall building which stands alone - anyone think it looks out of place?

    There are actually some other ones nearby but I think you can see it looks weird alone.

    The Ulster Bank headquarters look great and I'm convinced it's because it is a cluster of buildings rather than just one.

    Yeah similar situation in Paris with Tour Montparnasse http://www.flickr.com/photos/haykal/6254292438/

    Luckily the Parisians learnt their lesson and put most of their high rise in La Défense business district since then.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/La_D%C3%A9fense1.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7/La_defense.JPG

    I don't buy this argument that the Liberty Hall site is landmark so we must put a tower there, if a tower doesn't look right there now I don't see how building a taller and bulkier one is going to suit the site better.

    I'd rather we adopted a Parisian policy and clustered the high rise in the Docklands and demanded better quality new lower rise and better maintenance and care of older buildings (the amount of dereliction in inner Dublin is ridiculous, something not as prevalent or maybe just not as obvious in Paris).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Inside of tilting at being property developers, SIPTU should approach CIE about partnering on the tower proposal at Tara Street. But I suppose NBRU would have a fit, what with SIPTU getting in at LUAS...

    The question is, with Dubbalin getting a 93m tower, what can we build for 94m in Cork? :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    dowlingm wrote: »
    The question is, with Dubbalin getting a 93m tower, what can we build for 94m in Cork? :D

    I think the more pertinent question is: if Dublin gets a 93m tower then what does all the regions get? ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 doodlebla


    I think the proposed Liberty Hall is much better looking than the existing version. Having said that, I think it would be better to confine future skyscrapers to the docklands. It would be nice to see some quality high-rise buildings. There is a serious lack of economical, family friendly living space in the city center.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    Looks like the flat earth / pro-urban sprawl / anti-change brigade have got their way again. ABP says no to redevelopment of Liberty Hall.


  • Registered Users Posts: 41 350125GO!


    PRAF wrote: »
    Looks like the flat earth / pro-urban sprawl / anti-change brigade have got their way again. ABP says no to redevelopment of Liberty Hall.


    Woohoo! Hopefully it will be restored to its former glory. (Pre 70's facelift)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    You've got to admire the language of the flat earth / pro-urban sprawl / anti-change brigade:

    - excessive height
    - considerably bulkier
    - etc.

    these terms are bandied around as if they were gospel truth. We're actually talking about extremely low rise (or at best mid rise) developments here.

    That said, I think it's basically impossible to have any even remotely high rise in Dublin now. The only area it could conceivably go through relatively unopposed would be in the docklands.

    By the way, who are these guardians of the Dublin skyline anyway. I think ABP are doing enormous damage to this city of ours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 148 ✭✭ varberg


    Crazy stopping the new building going ahead.Regarding the siptu building , the current one looks dated and run down compared to many possible alternatives. Surely a minature of the empire state building or some other stylish building would benefit the city? It makes way more sense to build upwards rather than build outwards? From an asthetic point of view some tall buildings in the city centre can provide residential and offices and double up as a tourist attraction. why turn that down? Building outwards like what happened in previously compact villages like lucan, mulhuddard etc creates traffic problems during the day among other hassles with amenities and urban sprawl means that communities on the outskirts are changed.

    Any modern city needs high rise to grow and expand as a city.Walking to work in the city centre should be an affordable option for people not having to buy 15 miles outside the city and driving into work every morning , having to leave an extra hour or so to drive rather than casually walk to work. Add up the amount of time in the car that could be spent at work and thats a lot of work hours lost. It mightnt suit everyone but the option should be there.It cant be that hard to design a stylish eco friendly economical medium to high rise building in dublin in the 21st century ? surely those that stopped it going ahead could work with the planners at an earlier stage of planning?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,097 ✭✭✭ pigtown


    Am I correct in thinking that the Irish Georgian Society objected to the proposals? Why on earth would they do that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 877 ✭✭✭ steve-o


    varberg wrote: »
    Crazy stopping the new building going ahead...
    The planners have identified plenty of locations in the city where new high density buildings are allowed (docklands, around transport hubs). There are several high rise proposals that have planning permission (The Watchtower, U2 Tower, Heuston Gate) but haven't been built because of the economy. The planners might not like the SIPTU proposal, but they aren't against high-rise.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    Was in Paris yesterday, a famously low rise city, and was really impressed with some of their high rise buildings in the La Defence area of the city.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that we should just designate one or two areas for high rise. Definitely the IFSC and general docklands area.

    The Dublin City Plans are too wishy washy at the moment. They should just make is absolutely clear that high rise is ok in those areas. There are too many grey areas in the plans and the anti-high rise mob, and a notoriously conservative ABP, will use any excuse they can to block it.


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