Wow, Ian Ritchie is my hero. I simply don't have time for people who don't like the Spire. It really is down to a chronic lack of imagination in the Irish psyche - but it wasn't like this once (let me plug Reinventing Ireland
at this point
). [And I just found some forthcoming book called Reinventing Modern Dublin: Streetscape, Iconography and the Politics of Identity
which looks good]
I think the Spire is going to act as a gateway for the city, certainly - as much as it's actually a product of Haughey's Ireland and the crap that goes with that, it's a change for people to conceive of Dublin in a different way.
I mean, people will be able to see the beacon anywhere in the city - this essentially marks the centrepoint of Dublin so, rather than it being divided between North and South, that axis is going to swivel into a radial conception of the cityscape. People don't notice it yet, but (the) Milligan is going to radically alter Dublin both in people's minds and in reality.
This plan tallies with the City's strategic development plan which hopes to switch the North-South axis to an East-West one, which (at least) strategically makes more sense.
Alls I know is I'll find it comforting to know that the Spire is there pulling the city together like glue. When I look up, I'll know where I am. Hopefully Dubliners' minds aren't so cobwebbed that this effect will pass them completely by.
I wonder, though, what effect it'll have on the skyline of Dublin, in relation to the necessity for a rethinking of the use of space. Is it actually going to prompt more preciousness of the low skyline because people won't want the beacon obscured. Or is it going to encourage people to look upward?