Grafton Architects.. Possibly the ugliest buildings imaginable

PAGE61

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I watched Nationwide on 31st October which featured Grafton architects, a Dublin based firm .Initially it told the story of a group of young architects who came together with a common goal, succeed in working initially like a co-op out of a small office in Grafton street Dublin. It was good to see an Irish group organize and rise to the top of their profession both Nationally and Internationally .

Then it came to their buildings and designs .

Communist concrete monstrosities came to mind. The buildings shown, which were no doubt technically to the highest standards were without an exception some of the ugliest eyesores I have seen . They were all devoid of exterior features and were without exception concrete in color. As well as been Large ugly shapes which did not fit into there surroundings , they stood out like sore thumbs and If i could use one word to describe them it would be Cold ..if I could use two words it would be freezing cold.

grafton architects - Google Search

I have nothing against modern architecture .Some of it is exceptional .
Theses however made the DCC building on wood Quay look beautiful.

They are All technique and No feeling ( a bit like computer made music)

The worst bit was finding that they have the contract for Parnell Square where behind the facade of old ...the eyesores will be contained.

Who decided these things. Is it the brown envelope .. A blind Planner or a do they not care ?

View attachment 950
 


between the bridges

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Can also depend on the design/budget brief, concrete is a fairly cheap, easy to use, readily available and flexible (in its usage) product. As the OP says it can give the impression of being cold and hard, the links given show these designers prefer offsets and overhangs whereas curves, shapes, insets, colours, materials and landscaping can be used to soften the effect.
''Modern'' architecture is a tad like ''Modern'' Art throw a few key words at it and people tend to believe they should like it even if they don't. As for concrete its been around for awhile...
 

artfoley56

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they've a long way to go before they catch up with the vile creations of sam Stephenson and desmond rae o'kelly
 

dizillusioned

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Personally not a fan of Brutalist Architecture. Grafton seem to like it.

Only one building that was designed by Zaha Hadid I like in the brutalist genre and that is: Dongdaemun Design Centre.Dongdaemun Design Plaza - Architecture - Zaha Hadid Architects

Even this building is softened by using different materials rather than concrete. It has curves and not just straight angles which give the building a beautiful fluidity despite its "hard" appearance in some quarters. Zaha was a fantastic architect, a visionary.

Unfortunately, Grafton Architects design ethos for me does not impress. That is not to say they are bad architects, it just does not appeal to me.

Other Firms in Ireland (or Irish people working abroad) do. ODOS architects, Lorcan O'Herlihy Currently in USA who designed a beautiful house in Dublin (renovation) called Flynn Mews House and quite a few others.
 

GDPR

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The shapes I don't mind, needs to be softened more with draping plants and more variety in materials. But that's just one person's view and design is subjective.
 

PAGE61

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Dongdaemun is a great design though , it does stand alone . It is more futuristic than brutalist .The curves themselves do a lot to soften it up but the overall design is not sharp and pointy ... I must have a look at some more of his buildings . thanks for the example
 

PAGE61

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The shapes I don't mind, needs to be softened more with draping plants and more variety in materials. But that's just one person's view and design is subjective.

That is sitting on the fence a bit though..You could always argue that a pile of cow poo covered with vomit has merits and is subjective . Its a bit of a PC approach
 

GDPR

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That is sitting on the fence a bit though..You could always argue that a pile of cow poo covered with vomit has merits and is subjective . Its a bit of a PC approach
That's design, opinions will differ.
 

Killerbank

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I watched Nationwide on 31st October which featured Grafton architects, a Dublin based firm .Initially it told the story of a group of young architects who came together with a common goal, succeed in working initially like a co-op out of a small office in Grafton street Dublin. It was good to see an Irish group organize and rise to the top of their profession both Nationally and Internationally .

Then it came to their buildings and designs .

Communist concrete monstrosities came to mind. The buildings shown, which were no doubt technically to the highest standards were without an exception some of the ugliest eyesores I have seen . They were all devoid of exterior features and were without exception concrete in color. As well as been Large ugly shapes which did not fit into there surroundings , they stood out like sore thumbs and If i could use one word to describe them it would be Cold ..if I could use two words it would be freezing cold.

grafton architects - Google Search

I have nothing against modern architecture .Some of it is exceptional .
Theses however made the DCC building on wood Quay look beautiful.

They are All technique and No feeling ( a bit like computer made music)

The worst bit was finding that they have the contract for Parnell Square where behind the facade of old ...the eyesores will be contained.

Who decided these things. Is it the brown envelope .. A blind Planner or a do they not care ?

View attachment 950

It might help if you bothered to tell us what the building shown in the photograph actually is or where it is.
 

truthisfree

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It might help if you bothered to tell us what the building shown in the photograph actually is or where it is.
Their vertical, concrete university campus in Peru has been named the world’s best new building by RIBA, widely regarded as the most rigorously judged awards in the profession.
 

Ardillaun

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Most of the new buildings along the Liffey show very little in the way of an Irish style to my eye. You could just as well be anywhere in the world. Where are the elements that reflect our Celtic, Palladian and Georgian architectural heritage?
 

Who is John Galt?

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Most of the new buildings along the Liffey show very little in the way of an Irish style to my eye. You could just as well be anywhere in the world. Where are the elements that reflect our Celtic, Palladian and Georgian architectural heritage?
Try to combine celtic and modernism and you'll end up with a right Irish stew.
 

IvoShandor

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Try to combine celtic and modernism and you'll end up with a right Irish stew.
What you'd be surprised what architects imagine that "reflecting our.....Palladian and Georgian heritage" entailed. I remember some fool defending the old Bord Failte HQ, a godawful pile of junk on the corner of Baggot Street and Mespil Road and claiming that it reflected it's georgian surroundings in it's strict rectilinearity and ordered facade. It has since been demolished, thankfully. "the Docomomo submission to
An Bord Pleanala likened it to a Renaissance villa and characterised its raised entrance floor and external staircase as references to Georgian architecture"
image.jpg
 

Ardillaun

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Try to combine celtic and modernism and you'll end up with a right Irish stew.
I don't agree. Why bother with architects at all if you're just going to copy and paste? The Palladian style itself was an example of updating a much older tradition.
 

Ardillaun

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What you'd be surprised what architects imagine that "reflecting our.....Palladian and Georgian heritage" entailed. I remember some fool defending the old Bord Failte HQ, a godawful pile of junk on the corner of Baggot Street and Mespil Road and claiming that it reflected it's georgian surroundings in it's strict rectilinearity and ordered facade. It has since been demolished, thankfully. "the Docomomo submission to
An Bord Pleanala likened it to a Renaissance villa and characterised its raised entrance floor and external staircase as references to Georgian architecture"
View attachment 17686
That building is just dog ugly. Many a Soviet builder would be ashamed of it.
 
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Northsideman

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Ireland inflicted Sam Stephenson on the world, Irish architecture is sh!te.
 

Ardillaun

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Combining the existing elements and traditions of our city in a pleasing and modern way shouldn't be beyond the wit of our architects and if our lads can't manage it, I'm sure there are others who can. The alternative is to ignore the existing buildings of the city when putting up new ones, an odd position to take in a country where nimbyism is so strong. And I'm a little taken aback that such anodyne proposals are so vigorously opposed.
 
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Northsideman

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Ardillaun

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Most new buildings around Dublin are copies.

Please point a few original designs you admire?
That's the problem. I'm seeing generic Americanoid new buildings all over the city that have nothing Irish about them at all. It's a collective failure of imagination, really. What's the point of Irish architects if they're just going to copy like this? The only thing that seems to excite the planners is height.
 


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