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23/10/2021

Abbey site: ‘No steel and glass palaces please,’ say citizens

The giant glass and steel structures that dominate the dockland and quay areas of many other cities would be inappropriate for Kilkenny, was one emerging consensus from last Tuesday’s meeting.

The giant glass and steel structures that dominate the dockland and quay areas of many other cities would be inappropriate for Kilkenny, was one emerging consensus from last Tuesday’s meeting.

Confusion dominated the early exchanges, as Anthony Reddy unveiled his masterplan depicting guideline buildings to demonstrate how the space might be used. Several members of the public thought that the drawings were the final product and became very agitated.

One man said the designs did not appear to be sympathetic to the city and were what might be seen in any modern town or city. However, understanding ultimately prevailed, and the first round of applause on the night followed a speech by Cllr David Fitzgerald, who called for the establishment of specific guidelines on how the buildings might look.

“It is important that the buildings should be ‘of Kilkenny’ and reflect the local streetscapes and materials,” he said.

“It should not be glass and steel boxes as with many docklands developments. The next thing we should do is establish a set of design principles and materials.”

Anthony Reddy said this matter would be discussed, and that the issue is how prescriptive it should be made.

Another local resident wondered what maximum height the buildings would be. Mr Reddy told her that the general height would be three to four stories, with five as the upper limit at present.

“But they shouldn’t be all one height – it should be varied,” he said.

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