Poolbeg Chimneys

Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby GrahamH » Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:01 am

Everyone knows them. Most of us like them, and they've become icons of Dublin city. And now they're to become equally prominant after dark according to today's Irish Times, with a dazzling new lighting scheme - they are of course the Poolbeg Chimneys.

Got this relatively unseen view from the sea the other day:

Image

Image

They're bady in need of a lick of paint!

Built as part of the Pigeon House B project started c.1969, the station soon assumed the name of Poolbeg upon completion in 1971. Hence the two 207 metre concrete chimneys date from around 1970, making them the second tallest freestanding striuctures in the State, after the Moneypoint stacks on the Shannon Estuary which rise to 218 metres, dating from 1979-80.

Image



Anyway, the story:


Bright idea for a power plant

An Irish sculptor's flash of brilliance could see the Poolbeg chimneys twinkling like the Eiffel Tower, writes Rosita Boland

They're hard to miss. Two red-and-white striped chimneys on the edge of Dublin Bay. At 207 metres they're by far the city's tallest structures. Seen from the air on the flight path into Dublin airport, they're a landmark of the city: a sign you're home in Ireland. At times, they appear and disappear in the sea mist, like the masts of some immense ghost ship. The Poolbeg chimneys, built in the 1960s, are still in use. Part of an adjoining ESB power plant, which burns oil and gas, some people think they're ugly, but many more are beguiled by these slender structures, visible from so many places in the city.

Now, if Irish sculptor Patrick O'Reilly sees his idea realised, the Poolbeg chimneys will become as beautiful as Paris's Eiffel Tower, which lights up like a firework, courtesy of 20,000 special strobe bulbs and the design genius of the Pierre Bideau company.

Pierre Bideau was the man who decorated the Eiffel Tower with twinkling, starry lights for the millennium. Originally intended to be installed for one year, the lights became so popular with both Parisians and visitors that in 2003 the tower received another lighting redesign, this time permanent. At night, every hour on the hour, for 10 minutes, the tower becomes a shimmering, illuminated pillar.

Bideau has carried out many other lighting design projects, most famously for the 2004 Olympics in Greece, when the Acropolis glowed with eerie beauty from within. He has also lit a number of cathedrals, public buildings and private chateaux, as well as Waddesdon Manor in England, the family seat of the Rothschild family, each time drawing out the subtleties of the architecture. His methods could not be farther removed from the harsh orange-hued floodlighting favoured by so many of our own public buildings.

Bideau retired two years ago, and sold his company, which was established in the 1960s. It still carries his name and does the same type of projects. O'Reilly was originally put in touch with the company through Brigid Harte, a Paris-based visual arts consultant, who is still involved with the project. Bideau retains a consultancy role with the company, with Bertrand Chiron now the general manager. This week, Chiron was in Dublin to visit O'Reilly and view the site. The project is still in a very early stage, but O'Reilly is currently having meetings with both the ESB and Dublin City Council, whose support he is hopeful of receiving.

"I have always wanted to do a project with the Poolbeg chimneys," O'Reilly says. "For me as a sculptor, I see this project as sculpting with light. I want to make something magical with those chimneys. They are beside the water, so the lights would be reflected in the sea, and they would shine through the sea-fog."

O'Reilly hopes that the public will support the project, and feel it belongs to them.

"The ESB are only caretakers for the chimneys. They are owned by the State, and thus really by ourselves. The Spire is technically a very strong piece of design but it doesn't have any magic about it, and the scale is nowhere near that of the chimneys. Also, there is something special about the fact there are two chimneys. They're like two friends. One on its own wouldn't have the same effect."

One reason it was possible to light the Eiffel Tower and get that twinkling, tinsel-like effect is the advances in light-bulb technology. Philips designed the flashing strobe lightbulbs that are on the Eiffel Tower. According to Chiron, since the redesign was installed in 2003, only 140 of the 20,000 bulbs has been replaced. The bulbs themselves have an average lifespan of 10 years.

O'Reilly estimates the Poolbeg towers project would cost about €1 million. The Eiffel Tower project cost €4 million. "The installing of it would be relatively straightforward," O'Reilly explains. "The chimneys already have ladders down the sides, so there wouldn't be a need for scaffolding, which is very expensive. Cables are thin and the lightbulbs are small." Chiron estimates that it would take a year to complete the project.

His idea is to light the upper two-thirds of the chimneys, with the uppermost part being a solid mass of white light. As in Paris, they would be lit for 10 minutes every hour, from lighting-up time to 1am. "So sometimes you'd look up and see them, or you'd be driving past and they'd be on, and sometimes you'd see nothing. People remember things better when they don't see them all the time; it's more of a surprise. And then, maybe they could be lit all night in celebration for special events."

O'Reilly hopes that, if successful, a public body such as the ESB would fund the lighting costs. "It couldn't be a better ad for an electricity board, if you look at it like that," he points out.

As in Paris, the lights would be invisible by day, so even with the lights installed, the chimneys would look exactly the same as they do now. Nor would the function of the chimneys alter in any way. And he argues that they could not possibly constitute a hazard to planes in the flight path overhead since the lights would make them even more visible than they currently are.

"I can't see any reason for a negative response from the ESB," O'Reilly says hopefully. And the name of his Poolbeg Chimneys lighting project?

"Pipe dream."



© The Irish Times


Fantastic news! It's very important though that the apparatus will not visible. Also it's not clear if the 'uppermost part' in white light refers to the upper two thirds mentioned, or literally just the tips - I'd like to think it means all of the striped section. A year is a heck of a long time for installtion though!

Also just an interesting news clip from 1999 here of two (other!) Poolbeg chimneys crashing down :)

http://www.rte.ie/news/1999/0529/1news/1news6A.ram
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby asdasd » Sat Aug 05, 2006 4:14 pm

Sounds really good. Well worth a million.
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby THE_Chris » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:09 pm

Excellent idea :)

Although I hate them as the one I look at in Aghada only has one chimney, the same colour. Wish they'd do something nice to that :(
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby PVC King » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:38 pm

Like the Bank of Ireland ad ;)
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby lostexpectation » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:24 pm

is this the same company going round hassling with legal letters anyone who has amateur photos of the eiffel tower, they/he claims the design is copyrighted and nobody is allowed to use the image of lights . :mad:
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby Morlan » Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:22 pm

Pipe dream confirmed then? :D

I thought it was hilarious that Sandymount and other southside-seasiders complained about the new white strobes on the chimneys. Apparenty the strobes were affecting their sleeping patterns. Feck off.

The towers are the finest structures that Dublin has to offer. Nothing will ever match their impact on the skyline.

Some great shots over at Flickr: http://flickr.com/search/?q=poolbeg%20dublin&w=all

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby Maskhadov » Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:37 pm

That whole area should be developed in the coming decade and maybe the power station should be moved elsewhere
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby hutton » Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:20 pm

Maskhadov wrote:That whole area should be developed in the coming decade and maybe the power station should be moved elsewhere


What? Why they seem to fit in quite nicely with the PD pipe dream -

http://www.newheartfordublin.ie/downloads/dublin_new_heart.jpg

:eek: :D

BTW deadly photos, Morlan
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby Breadain Feasa » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:30 pm

I Propose that the towers be used for a parasitic structure to process chimney smoke , via algae filled tubes to make bio-fuel. I had the idea last thursday while thumbing some science mags.
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby SeamusOG » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:49 pm

I was very sad to read of the demise of one of these chimneys.:eek: :p

http://www.swimleinster.com/OpenSea/Chimneys.jpg
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby THE_Chris » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:39 pm

overyclever :D

Are they ever gonna light them up? Been almost a year since this thread started.
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby Starch » Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:39 pm

...just found this link if anyone is interested in supporting the lighting....

http://www.petitiononline.com/poolbeg/petition.html
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby lostexpectation » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:40 am

as I said no

Image copyright claims

Images of the tower have long been in the public domain; however, in 2003 SNTE installed a new lighting display on the tower. The effect was to put any night-time image of the tower and its lighting display under copyright. As a result, it was no longer legal to publish contemporary photographs of the tower at night without permission in some countries.[13][14]

The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of Documentation for SNTE, Stéphane Dieu, commented in January 2005, "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn't used in ways we don't approve." However, it also potentially has the effect of prohibiting tourist photographs of the tower at night from being published[15] as well as hindering non profit and semi-commercial publication of images of the tower.

In a recent decision, the Court of Cassation ruled that copyright could not be claimed over images including a copyrighted building if the photograph encompassed a larger area. This seems to indicate that SNTE cannot claim copyright on photographs of Paris incorporating the lit tower.
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby PVC King » Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:19 pm

Three ESB plants to close by 2010
Thursday, 21 June 2007 12:55
The ESB has announced that it is to close the power generating stations at Great Island in Wexford, Poolbeg in Dublin and Tarbert in Kerry by 2010.

The move is part of an agreement with the energy regulator to reduce the ESB's dominant position in the marketplace.

The steam turbine at Marina in Cork is also to close but the larger gas turbine there will remain open. These plants currently generate 1300 megawatts of electricity.

AdvertisementIn exchange for closing the stations, the ESB will be allowed to construct a new station in Aghada, Cork Harbour with a capacity of 430 megawatts.

This will bring the ESB's power generation share of the energy market to 27% by the year 2010 down from its current level of 44%


Around 300 staff will be affected but there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Unions at the company accept that, even without the regulator's strategy, the plants are now out of date and would be due for closure.

They will be holding their fire for the real battle over the future of the ESB as set out in the Government's White Paper.

It proposes transferring ownership of the national grid to a separate company, Eirgrid, and wants the networks section to operate on a not-for-profit basis.

Unions view this as asset stripping which reduces the value of the ESB by over €1 billion.


The incinerator is looking weaker every day; now where to put those stinking water works?

Could we decentralise them?
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:56 pm

so the chimneys would be redundant? what to do with them i wonder...
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:43 pm

Peter FitzPatrick wrote:what to do with them i wonder...

A mix of helicopter rides above the city with a bit of target practice?

Cullen: "Mr. Ctesiphon, I'll make you a deal. I'll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel!"
Ctesiphon: "All right, keep your hair on, Martin!"
Cullen: "Put me down!"
Ctesiphon: "Oh, do you want to get off?"

(With apologies to Ian Fleming.)
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby shweeney » Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:02 pm

theres more than one station at poolbeg afaik.
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby who_me » Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:47 pm

Peter FitzPatrick wrote:so the chimneys would be redundant? what to do with them i wonder...


...all they're missing is a crossbar...
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby PTB » Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:25 pm

ctesiphon wrote:Cullen: "Mr. Ctesiphon, I'll make you a deal. I'll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel!"
Ctesiphon: "All right, keep your hair on, Martin!"
Cullen: "Put me down!"
Ctesiphon: "Oh, do you want to get off?"


WTF? Delicatessen in stainless steel? What sort of a dream is that? I mean, people think I'm strange because it's my dream to run for the Daíl as an independent Communist, but thats just wierd.
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:28 am

"Begging Bond to spare his life, Ernst Blofeld baffles viewers with the cryptic line "I'll buy you a delicatessen, in stainless steel!" It is reported that the phrase is attributable to Albert R. Broccoli, who recalled accounts of 1930s New York mafia gangsters offering full-service delis as a bribe to cohorts, complete with stainless steel countertops."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082398/trivia

:)

Me? I dream of a bicycle-priority city centre. Who would you think stands the better chance?
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby PVC King » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:29 am

Do you want a Deli?

I have a 900 sq foot one on the market with a €30k fit out allowance and three months rent free; for you i'll make that 6 months!
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:46 am

"Duuude! You got a Deli!"

:D
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby Andrew Duffy » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:57 am

ctesiphon wrote:(With apologies to Ian Fleming.)


That dialogue has nothing to do with Ian Fleming - he had been dead for nearly two decades when that film was released.
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby PVC King » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:59 am

Really you learn something every day!

Not personally unfortunately

But I have ability to put one your way for the guys who pay my fees!
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Re: Poolbeg Chimneys

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:14 am

Andrew Duffy wrote:That dialogue has nothing to do with Ian Fleming - he had been dead for nearly two decades when that film was released.

Aye- but I'm not sure if '(With apologies to Richard Maibaum.)' would have provided a sufficient clue to the gag I was making. ;)
(Also, the script was based on two Fleming short stories, afaik, which makes it closer to his writing than many of the other later films. But this is getting into hiar-splitting territory. :))
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