Sir, – I had a good old chuckle reading Frank McDonald’s article on the proposed 22-storey tower near Tara Street station in Dublin (“Ruined Dublin skyline will be Minister for Housing’s only legacy”, Opinion & Analysis, April 9th).
He claims the tower will ruin Dublin’s skyline. Really? I have been living in Dublin for the past 42 years and at best I would describe the skyline as dull, flat and not befitting a capital city. Will this tower intrude on the vast majority of historic sites and streets in Dublin? No. It is far too low to be seen from most of the city centre.
The idea that Dublin is a low-rise city and so we should be proud of that fact is pure nonsense.
Should we be also proud of the fact that it is a sprawling city?
Dublin is not a private museum, it is not a Venice or a Florence, and it has to be allowed compete on an international level. Tall buildings do not ruin cities; stagnation and lack of ambition do. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Some people believe there is a positive correlation between taller buildings and overall net density yield in cities.
The contrary is true; as buildings get taller, they must be set further apart and take up more land.
The historic core of Haussmann’s six-storey Paris, for example, has a higher population density than Manhattan.
Despite being long debunked by urban planners and architects, this seductively simple, but wrong, narrative continues to persist in public discourse. Whose interests does it serve? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The Tower of London faces high-rise blocks across the Thames. London didn’t stop their development just because it “would downplay the significance of its facade”. The Custom House in Dublin will continue to be an iconic building after Johnny Ronan’s 22-storey tower is erected. – Yours, etc,
Burtonport, Co Donegal.