Something which I never experienced going to college myself, in Bolton Street, was that whole notion of exterior spaces separating things like Libraries, canteens, laboratories, sports facilities, bars, bike parking, churches, residences etc.
I mean, the outdoors rooms in Trinity actually perform the same function as corridors and foyers, in a normal one-block institution like Bolton Street. It is interesting, because given the climate here in Ireland, everyone thinks that outdoors is bad - outdoors is wet, outdoors is dangerous, dark and un-inviting.
But O'Donnell and Tuomey even built a house in Athlone, where the corridor became an outdoor space literally and Trinity sort of works the same. I find UCD campus on the other hand, doesn't have the same density yet - but given a couple of masterplans, thesis projects and inventness of architects - will some day I have no doubt.
I am always conscious when looking at visualisations and photos of American campuses or business parks, by the acres of space around buildings. I think that, in turn draws the focus of the American architect to interior spaces a lot more than in Europe.
I mean, because in America, you really need to be a fit, jogging, outdoor, treker, lumberjack type to hack walking from building to builing - not the short skirted type wearing brown seude botties in Trinity college - I think in American facilities they probably have grander interiors - so you don't have to brave the outdoors as much.
Same in Finland, there is practically forests growing between various buildings. Dunno if that could ever work in Belfield somehow - especially given the very dodgy nature of transport services. It is a real pity the LUAS did not pick up a university or two.
What Luas did pick up though, was this huge, highly secured mega-techno park, banking, enterprise wonder world that is called the Sandyford Industrial Estate.
I was walking around there last autumn photographing some of the nice new buildings out there, walking along a public road/thoroughfare, not far from Leopardstown race course - minding my own business - I think I was looking at a FKL building, or what looked like something FKL would do, when suddenly these heavies ambushed me 'MTV Jackass style' out of nowhere, and asked me my life story!
Come'on guys! Is that Berties is building with all of our hard earned Euros. I once had a bicycle stolen in Trinity, but I was never ambushed.
UCD campus is not as bad as that - I like the way that sports field are sort of integrated into the 'campus', the 'environment'. Because they are specifically public in nature - But Sandyford industrial estate just freaks me out. And it gets a f*** 1 Billion LUAS right up to its doorstep? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
I dunno, DCU as well, but perhaps someone else has an opinion.