Cant help with the Architect Though.
I especially like the man-made coloured conglomerate floors which you often see in old schools and other state buildings. I like the way it's sturdily molded and curves up onto the base of the walls. Presumably to eliminate corner-loving germs. Easy to clean too. I reckon my ideal home will have that material [what is it? How is it laid?] and also those small square ceramic tiles, liberty hall, Busarus, hospitals and strangely enough [don't kill me... it's the only feature I like] Hawkins House!
- john white
- Posts: 213
- Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 11:00 pm
- Location: dublin, ireland
I think you are talking about terazzo. It is, I think, made of concrete with marble chips suspended in it. It usually has brass rods laid in it too. Isn't it fab? Pricey though. I live in a fairly crummy 1950's building which has beutiful pink and green terazzo in the hall. Just shows how little is spent on materials now...or here, its still widely used in Germany/France/Spain. Its nicely used upstairs in Stillorgan shopping centre.
The curvey floors: coving? Yes, for germs.
There are a couple of books on Irish hospital architecture, including one that came out last year by Freddie O'Dwyer (I think). It was reviewed in the Irish Arts Review by someone who said something like wasn't it lucky that modernism with its whiteness and flatness etcetera was used for the hospitals as it suits a 'hygenic' look. Duh.
Further proof of the appalling standard of Irish architectural journalism. I have seen more sense and intelligence in a few months of archeire postings than I have ever seen in the Irish Times/Irish Architect/RTE
The thing about the Irish Arts Review is that its written by a small coterie of people who couldnt get writing jobs in the real world and people who post here couldnt get into that little clique to get published in the journal.
I agree wholeheartedly with the comments on architectural journalism. Shane O'Toole mentioned it in an article in last weeks Sunday Business Post - http://www.sbpost.ie/leisure/Arts-Culture/barometer.html
There is much to do, and quickly, if we are not to bequeath "a legacy of bleak anonymity" to our children. According to the government's task group on policy for the promotion of public awareness of architecture, low levels of expectation of new buildings and of awareness of architecture exacerbate the current predicament. This is further worsened by a lethal gap between the language of the professionals and that of the public, making debate and communication almost impossible. Whatever may be the public's critical attitudes to new development, they are not expressed or heard in an effective manner.
That is hardly surprising when most newspaper commentary on Irish architecture is to be found in the media wilderness of the property pages. Things are done differently in other countries. There, debate on contemporary architecture, on recently completed buildings, is part of the everyday, critical content of reputable newspapers and magazines. In the newsagents of almost any European railway station you can buy half a dozen different architectural magazines published in Germany, Italy or Spain. In Britain, correspondents, such as Rowan Moore of the Evening Standard, Jonathan Glancey of The Guardian and Hugh Pearman of The Sunday Times drive a lively debate on the current state of the art.
It remains true in Ireland that contemporary architecture lacks a popular following, in the sense that much of the population is reluctant to identify with the architectural language set before it, seeking refuge in a caricature of the past. But the same could have been said of the Irish music scene 20 years ago. And look at the sophistication of many of our hotels and restaurants today. Look at the clothes we wear. When will one of our Irish newspapers take the public and social discussion of architecture and urban design to the next level? The demand is there. Archeire (www.archeire.com), the website devoted to Irish architecture reports up to 150,000 pages accessed per month. That is pretty good traffic for what is to date a `niche' subject.
It is widely acknowledged that a high plateau of general architectural quality has been scaled in recent years in Ireland. The peaks of the mountain will come within view only when the social discussion of architecture is extended beyond the specialists.
- Senior Member
- Posts: 559
- Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2000 11:00 pm
- Location: London
Thanks for the info. I should've guessed - I thought the chips were suspended in some polymer, perhaps it's COLOURED cement then.
It was used during the Renaissance in Italy and I think even goes as far back as ancient Rome: eg; Pompeii [esp. the roman villa] and Herculaneum. They used to grind it flat - probably with pumice or something.
I wonder though how it was laid and finished this century? Did they install it in pre-cast slabs or pour it out and grind it on site?
Very interesting. It appeals to me particulary as I've been going through a steadily increasing phase of Kitsch in my work the last couple of years!
- John White
Originally installed in the 1940s I think, they also had very harmonious signage in a clean non-seriffed font.
I'll post a picture of the shop facade at some stage just to show the terrazzo pattern.
[ADDITION] Actually I just remembered that there were also two shops across the street with similar facades but these were removed in the earlys 1980s. They're very unusual and I've never seen anything similar elsewhere in the country - has anyone else?
[This message has been edited by Paul Clerkin (edited 27 August 1999).]
- Old Master
- Posts: 5380
- Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 12:00 am
- Location: Monaghan