gild the spike

gild the spike

Postby notjim » Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:54 pm

so its clear that the problem with the spike is that it looks crappy. it's a great idea, it's aspirational, it's simpe, it adds vertical balance, it should be beautiful, etc etc, but it looks poor, scrappy. the joins show, it's dirty, the first section isn't converging in colour with the rest. we don't love it the way we thought we would, we don't show it off to visitors, we don't arrange to meet there; it just didn't work. the only answer is to cover it in gold leaf. i have recently seen the onion dome of the alexander nevski church in sofia and i know; it would be great.
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Postby GregF » Fri Aug 15, 2003 9:45 am

Great idea......but expensive!
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Postby paul_moloney » Fri Aug 15, 2003 10:23 am

Something needs to be done, alright. At night it looks fine, and even from a distance during the day with bright sunshine. But up close, the joins look simply awful. And I'm speaking as a _fan_ of the Spike.

Also, does anyone know what the story is with the Urinal Beside the Gaiety fountain? It seems to be been turned off for a while, and no longer micturating down the street....

P.
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Postby Max » Fri Aug 15, 2003 10:34 am

The bottom section always looks to me as if it has been covered with a protective material which has been torn off, leaving patches of the material remaining. I am at a loss to understand what the artistic intention (of this bottom section) was.
The whole creation looks great from a distance (say from the bridge or Mary and Henry Streets) but the closer one gets the more disappointing it becomes.
Like the London Dome, my feeling always has been that the best way to celebrate the Millenium would have been to have created homes for the homeless, giving no more reason for beggers to be seen annoying the general public on the streets. Or am I being too simplistic?
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Postby Max » Fri Aug 15, 2003 10:37 am

Re Paul's query - may i broaden the issue and ask why all the fountains in the city are turned off? The Tom Davis, the Garden of Rembrance, the Peace Garden etc
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Postby StephenC » Fri Aug 15, 2003 11:01 am

I once asked the City Council and was told that 'Dublin didn't have a tradition of fountains' .... whatever that means. Also DCC say they do not own/are not responsible for the David fountain - its the OPW. OPW says its Duchas. Duchas say its not them it DCC. Here we go round the mulberry bush...
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Postby Niall » Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:29 pm

Fountains- think Anna Livia and lots of bubbles and foam, need I say any more!

The Spike up close, looks awful, the joins are way too visible.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:24 pm

The lack of fountains in this city only serves to underline the pathetic immaturity of so many of it's inhabitants, every other European city, even London, has major fountains/water features - Dublin - a couple of bizzare squirty yokes in Stephens Green.

I always thought that a low level water feature exactly like the one in the grounds of Government Buildings could have surrounded the base of the Spire, with the jets of water squirting inwards towards its base, from which the scupture could rise out from.
At night, lighting from beneath the water would create a dappelled effect on the base.
And a low wall around it would serve as a pleasant seating area as a further focal point for the street, and at the Henry-Earl St axis, for weary shoppers & tourists.

Within a day it would be full of cans, crisp packets - and of course urine.

If it was properly policed however, the situation could have been so different from the dreary and boring dirt trap of a bronze base we have now.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:28 pm

And over a month on from when it's cleaning contract was handed over to a private company, has it been cleaned?

........tumbleweed......................................
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Postby npvd » Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:30 pm

poor old spike. it does look terrible. in 100 years it will look even more Ugly. something has to be done alright. the gold/leaf idea would be great. can't see that happening though. this is ireland afterall.
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Postby Max » Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:32 pm

As to litter - why not a team of litter wardens with the power to hand out on the spot €100 fines. This has worked in some cities in the UK - notably Leicester.

And to the problem of urine - although I condemn the way that some people relieve themselves, may be some public toilets might not go amiss.
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Postby text goes here » Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:50 pm

public toilets yes but ones that are safe to use. i find public toilets dangerous. full of junkies and muggers. i stress not all toilets are bad in this way but they are all filthy. yuck. i think the single public loos are safer.
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Postby StephenC » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:26 am

Poor old Spike... it seems to have been a wasted opportunity. I reckon the DCC will cop on to this eventally though and be forced to spend yet more money bringing the Spire up to the standard originally expected... probably once the paving is completed. A waste of money!

Why do you think the Spire has turned out to be so dissappointing.... bad project management, too many fingers in the pie?
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Postby GregF » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:37 am

......like everything else, too many goofballs running (or ruining morelike) the show!
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Postby notjim » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:47 am

i just don't think it was possible to make a stainless steel spike without it looking like it looks. nobody knew. half the country was saying it would look crap because it was too modern and tall and the other half were saying it would be great becuse it wasn't a flying saucer or a statue of jesus. noone thought about the spike itself.

don't worry, it's nothing 594 m^2 of gold leaf can't fix.
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Postby bluefoam » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:52 am

Personally, I believe that as a nation our standards are too low, from design stage through to completion. There was never any emphasis on the quality of engineering that went into the spike.

I believe we are very immature when it comes to design, most of our population are extremely undereducated on the benefits of good design and our design and manufacturing industries are stifled by the lack of emphasis we put on good design at every level.

I realise that this all goes back to the old argument about our lack of an industrial revolution ...... But it is time to put some real effort into educating Irish people in an active manner about design.

By the way, I have noticed that the only noise being made about the poor quality of the spike is coming from this site, I don't hear anyone else complaining.


.... Ah sure it'll do, won't it!
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Postby StephenC » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:55 am

Hmm Im not so sure... I think it is possible to improve on the Spike as is. I like the pool of water at the base idea.... or at least the original polished black marble base. And all it needs is a clean to get rid of the discolouration. I never expected it to look like the sheer join-free surface depicted on the drawings (I have yet to see structure look as it is suggested on the drawings!) but there must be a way of dealing with surface to at least improve its appearance.
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Postby Max » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:56 am

Try popping into Grogan's one evening - no one there likes it either! To come to think of it the only people I have heard praising it are tourists.
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Postby Papworth » Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:37 pm

Great write-up about "The Spire of Dublin" in last Saturday's Telegraph (arts supplement ) basically saying Dublin's Spire should win this years Sterling prize. Really cheered me up flying home from Malaga. I noticed in Spain that every roundabout along the Costa features a work of art, the only one I am aware of in Dublin is the one in Rialto which features two Dolphins and was financed by DCC but the idea came from local community groups when they were asked what to spend a proposed donation to the area on.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:44 pm

Originally posted by Max
Try popping into Grogan's one evening - no one there likes it either! To come to think of it the only people I have heard praising it are tourists.


Ahh shure Grogans is full of failed bitter artists :D
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Postby blue » Mon Aug 18, 2003 2:38 pm

Just a reminder that the Parisians hated the Eiffel tower when it was first erected.

Maybe it’ll weather well and the colour difference won’t be as noticeable. Give it a hundred years ;-)
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Postby Max » Mon Aug 18, 2003 3:00 pm

How about if we stick an effigy of Nelson on the top, install a lift and charge punters sixpence a go to ride to the top?
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Postby janjaap » Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:04 pm

Its true, the spike is very badly finished and to choose a material which is so easily affected by the dirt in the city air is strange. Either you need a budget for someone to come with a huge bottle of silvo every saturday morning or else the designer should have anticipated the aging process and chosen a material which would intentionally age and reflect its environment.
Why not make the area a stage to host temporary sculptures which would be replaced every four years to conincide with the general elections, and built within this budget?
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:06 pm

I think that all of us on this site could be percieved as being overly critical of the Spire because we have been following it stage by stage during planning, construction, finishing and how it sits in it's surroundings etc, whereas the public have only been experiencing the Spire only in terms of it's finished outcome, they are unaware of the delays, the compromises, the lack of lighting etc etc, - and even then most people don't even look at it closely so they're not even critical of the finish!

But there is no question that the overall finish if far from satisfactory in 3 areas:
.The joins
.The dirt
.The lighting

The lighting at the tip has been the least talked about.
The fact that the tip is made up of 6 different sections - divided by 5 'rungs' is a terrible asthetic cop-out as a result of engineering constraints, it is so contrived and obviously consticted by it's design, the rungs destroying the free flow of the light to the very tip of the sculpture.

And it is clearly evident that it is'nt the overall air quality in Dublin thats causing it to be so dirty, but rather the dust and dirt thats rising from O' Connell St and surrounding areas.

If you stand down Talbot or Henry St, the top third/half or so is shining clean in contrast with the lower half (and its nothing to do with shadows etc)

It is madness that it has'nt been cleaned since its erection, just madness.
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Postby colinsky » Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:52 am

Originally posted by Graham Hickey
And over a month on from when it's cleaning contract was handed over to a private company, has it been cleaned?

of course not. it's self-cleaning. ;)
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