Have they only sold three of these books or what?
Jencksy is a world authority on architecture ye know, he's not some smuck from Fife.
One of the AAI schemes that Jencks clearly loved [it scooped a 'Special Award'
] and which completely escaped criticism again by the new guy in the Sunday Times yesterday, is Niall McLaughlinâ€™s Alzheimerâ€™s Centre in Blackrock.
The AAI juryâ€™s early discussions centred on one of the schemes graphic representations, an â€˜up-axonometricâ€™, and whether itâ€™s Egyptian parallels are 'Hassan-esque'
or not, . . . . yeh, weâ€™ll skip that bit, weâ€™re never going to need that information again.
The jury did discuss the plan this time, the plan being a particularly simple one to read, and there was much mutterings about itâ€™s derivation from the Schindler/Chase House of 1922, which the architects alluded to themselves in their explanation of the project. The Schindler/Chase house, as the Sunday Times reminds us is â€˜considered the Big Bang moment of modernist architectureâ€™
Well, certainly the Schindler/Chase House, together with itâ€™s slicker twin, the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies, is the progenitor of a thousand second-year projects in architecture schools across the world every year, due no doubt to itâ€™s liberating rejection of expression stifling 'rooms' in favour of the creation of a fluid space lightly corralled by disconnected sections of straight wall.
However, unlike the open-plan Schindle/Chase house, which Jencks confided he actually once lived in, and which was designed to house two [disturbingly intermingled] families [hence Schindler/Chase] in presumably proto-Hippy California, and the Barcelona pavilion which was an exhibition piece, or a conceptualized summer house at best, the Alzheimer Centre is very much a collection of rooms and corridors and not particularly inspired ones from the looks of it.
Perhaps a less evocative, but more proximate, parallel for the Alzheimer Centre floor plan might be the Arts Block in UCD
Where there is an element of â€˜open planâ€™ in the Alzheimerâ€™s Centre there is an argument that spaces feels a bit like transit areas with style but without much comfort or enclosure, like a cruel parody of an airport lounge for people who arenâ€™t going anywhere. Itâ€™s not even immediately clear from the plans and pictures how the indoor/outdoor thing is supposed to work in practice, some of the full length glazing appears not to open, and even where the vast areas of lounge glazing do open onto accessible terraces, itâ€™s not California, or Catalonia, out there.
Anyway, Jencksy loved it and thatâ€™s all that matters. Itâ€™s similarity in function to the Maggieâ€™s Centres, to which Jencks is intimated connected, was clearly foremost in his mind, as noted in the first paragraph of his assessorsâ€™ report.
. . . . I dunno, I thought the whole idea of the Maggieâ€™s Centres was that they were supposed to not look like mortuary chapels