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“Ugly Buildings” in Dublin April 9, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Reading this piece in the IT I was a bit amused to see that the 8-storey block in the middle of Phibsborough is described as one of the ugliest in Dublin. I have to be honest – I’ve a different attitude to it. Back in 1982 or 1983 I spent a week there one Summer clearing offices on a couple of floors and chucking stuff into skips in the basement area. It was the first proper paid job outside the area I’d lived I ever had and – I don’t know if exotic is the right word for what was a drab old structure, but it seemed almost futuristic. I loved it. Was kind of my own boss for the week and enjoyed the work. There was a supervisor who dropped in from time to time to ensure I wasn’t on the hop but otherwise it was great. And it paid, for the time, IIRC, fairly well.

It can’t be demolished but:

The tower will, however, be clad with “expanded metal mesh” and existing roof-top antennae will be screened with the same material. The developers could, under the city development plan, have added an additional storey to the eight story block but have chosen not to.

To be honest I’m kind of partial to that style of 1960s/early 70s architecture. That was the future when I was growing up – not the airy streamlined structures that represent it today. And it was a bleak and totalitarian future – all Blake’s 7, Faranheit 451, any number of dystopian shows on British TV. But it was the future.

Still, it got me thinking. Any nominations for other ugly buildings in Dublin? Or perhaps the ugliest?

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1. sonofstan - April 9, 2017

Love that building.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2017

Is it due to familiarity I wonder, is it were just so used to it ?

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sonofstan - April 9, 2017

I think i genuinely like it.
Where i work, there’s an assortment of buildings of various 20th/21st c styles. The one my office is in is red brick post war dullness – Pevsner said ‘undistinguished 🙂 – the one i look out the window at is 21st c pomo clad in blue glaze. Some days i like, some days not. it took me ages to realize that the third big block, 60s uncompromising modernism,was actually beautiful. And clever.

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sonofstan - April 9, 2017

What i mean is, buildings are meant to be lived with/ in and not necessarily to be all about the ‘wow!’. The Berkeley library in Trinity gives a lot of pleasure, inside and out but that took a while too.

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6to5against - April 9, 2017

I love the Berkeley. A lot of the modern trinity buildings are well done.

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2. 6to5against - April 9, 2017

O Connell bridge house has always annoyed me. Ruins the symmetry around there and plain ugly at street level.

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6to5against - April 9, 2017
3. dublinstreams - April 9, 2017

is the problem with them not that they are ugly but badly built

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2017

That’s a very good question DS. I’m not sure what do others think?

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4. Lamentreat - April 9, 2017

Ugliest I can think of by far is the Ulster Bank HQ on Georges Quay, horrible 2000s glass ziggurat, somehow both bland and obnoxious.

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6to5against - April 9, 2017

shows how difficult this is, because I quite like that one.

wrt Dalymount, I always thought the problem was with the single storey shopping units beside the tower, not the tower itself.

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Pavement Trauma - April 10, 2017

The highest building in Georges Quay Plaza was meant to be 20 storeys but got knocked back to 10 at planning permission. Hence the occasionally used moniker ‘Canary Dwarf’.

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5. Dermot O Connor - April 9, 2017

On the whys and wherefores of architectural aesthetics, this blog (by Kate Wagner, an architect who loves modernism, btw) explains why McMansions are hideous – I think a lot of these principles can be applied to larger structures – ones that use modernism as a trope (as the ziggurat above).

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/148605513816/mcmansions-101-what-makes-a-mcmansion-bad

Here’s her series of posts on modernism:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/152824831716/what-the-hell-is-modern-architecture-part-one

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/153744814616/what-the-hell-is-modern-architecture-part-two

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/154043891761/what-the-hell-is-modern-architecture-part-three

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2017

Thanks us brilliant DOC

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6. sonofstan - April 9, 2017

The Convention Centre annoys the fuck out of me though; gimmicky and, along with the Beckett Bridge, defines that stretch of the river and not in a good way. The other side, viewed from the northside, is quite pleasing.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2017

+1

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