Here's Giles Woseley's glowing encomium, previously mentioned by Papworth, from the Daily Telegraph of August 16:
Viewfinder: Spire of Dublin
The simplicity of Ian Ritchie's towering steel needle belies the complexity of the engineering, says Giles Worsley
Soaring 120 metres high, cutting through the night sky as thin as a blade of light, mysterious on a rainy day, brilliant in sharp sunlight, Ian Ritchie's recently completed Spire of Dublin is as convincing as any monument to be found in a Renaissance city. Constructed in celebration of Ireland's confident future in the third millennium, it is a feat of astonishing technical competence and a sharp rejoinder to the clunking, heavy-handed memorials with which the British continue to clutter their streets and parks.
This is a truly 21st-century monument. It doesn't proclaim the authority of a king or a conqueror, nor does it memorialise some terrible act of savagery. Instead, it is an affirmation of the essential optimism of the human spirit. Built of stainless steel with a bronze base, the spire's apparent simplicity belies the complexity of the engineering. This is what Norman Foster tried to do with his "blade of light" across the River Thames, but where that grunts and strains to appear effortless, Ritchie's spire does not even break sweat.
The site is charged with historic resonance: a statue of Nelson stood there until it was blown up by the IRA, opposite the General Post Office, where the 1916 Irish uprising took place. It lies on O'Connell Street, once the prosperous heart of Dublin, now a tired provincial high street. The spire captures the spirit of the new Ireland, healing the wounds of earlier nationalisms while promising the revival of what should be a great European boulevard.
Modern and yet timeless, the spire has achieved the hardest of architectural feats. Medieval masons seeking to push at the boundaries of the structurally feasible would recognise what Ian Ritchie and the engineers Ove Arup & Partners have sought to achieve. So, too, would Renaissance architects with their keen awareness of the importance of a sense of civic pride in a successful city. And yet there is nothing nostalgic about it. Looking for the winner of the 2004 Sterling Prize? Head for Dublin.