Open House Dublin

Open House Dublin

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:27 pm

Get booking! A lots of walks etc are already booked out. Some really interesting city walks planned and as always a great array of interesting and stimulating architecture.

7 - 10th October

Open House Dublin
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:26 am

I see that Dr Sandra O’Connell, curator of Open House Dublin, presumably in anticipation of the Open House Debate on - 'Does size matter' - has started ascribing gender to prominent Dublin building parts:

'' . . . . the geometric masculinity of the Grand Canal Theatre’s fly tower . . . . ''

Straight away we're in trouble here, because the Grand Canal Theatre can clearly multi-task . . . . and you know what we've always been told about that :rolleyes:

. . . I dunno, and I was just about to book tickets for Cinderella on-feckin-ice, but if they're going to tell us now that this building is the contemporary architectural equivalent of a female Bulgarian weight-lifter, I think I might take myself off to the bosom of the Aviva stadium instead.

Anyway, returning to the task of gender assignment, I think we're on much more solid ground with something like the new National Convention Centre, which is clearly male, being both four-square and laid-back . . . . in contrast to the the adjoining Beckett Bridge, which can't make it's mind up, can turn on a pivot, and is highly strung.

. . . just gonna tip-toe away now
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:51 pm

a snippet from Culture Night that caught my eye -

Image

- a drawing of the facade of Saints Michael and John's Church in Temple Bar, projected onto it's own facade . . . . . a bit weird and wonderful :)

Image
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby zesman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:36 pm

Excellent Gunter
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:33 pm

twas excellent, Culture Night rocks, pity we have to wait a year for the next one.

Still I suppose there's Open House to look forward to.

Speaking of which, I see there are moves to rehabilitate Sam -

Image

I like that they've used a photo of Sam from his Guru years, complete with censor's dot.

You can't love Dublin and not have mixed feelings about Sam. I don't remember Fitzwilliam Street, or all that much about the Central Bank, but Wood Quay is burned into my consciousness, it's a wound that won't heal.

Image

How could he ever have believed that this was right?
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:53 pm

Interesting Image Gunter - clearly the bunkers are shortend old P&T phoneboxes
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:53 pm

DOES SIZE MATTER? HAVE YOUR SAY AT THE IRISH TIMES OPEN DEBATE 2010


On Thursday 7 October at the Aviva Stadium, broadcaster and historian John Bowman will chair THE IRISH TIMES OPEN DEBATE, the popular opening event of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE DUBLIN (7 to 10 October 2010), to ask “DOES SIZE MATTER?”

In line with the Open House Dublin theme this year – BIG, SMALL, GLOBAL – a local and international panel from architecture, literature and journalism will discuss scale: the physical, economical and psychological effect of architecture on the city and on the people who live in it.

The panel includes Liza Fior (of muf architecture/art), Sean Love (Executive Director of Fighting Words, a creative writing centre established with Roddy Doyle), Frank McDonald (Irish Times Environment Editor and writer), architect Shih-Fu Peng (of Heneghan-Peng Architects) and urban planning expert Pauline Byrne (Treasury Holdings).

The discussion will include the impact that designed places, either big or small, have on our sense of self, on our quality of life and how we perceive Dublin’s relationship to the rest of the world. Speaking about this year’s Irish Times Open Debate, the Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation Nathalie Weadick said “Open Debate is always a vibrant night of colourful people and heated discussion, where the panel and audience both take on the topic of the moment.”



OPEN DEBATE takes place at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm) on Thursday 7 October at the Aviva Stadium, (Havelock Area), Dublin 4.

Directions: Enter via Aviva Stadium reception at the Lansdowne Road entrance.

You must book to attend Open Debate at http://www.architecturefoundation.ie/openhouse or 01 6165220.

Admission is FREE.
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:20 pm

The website says the Open Debate is booked out already :mad:

I don't remember ever having to book for that before. Last couple of years the place has been half empty
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:39 pm

I dunno - I posted the media release as soon as I got it - but then sometimes I dont get sent this things too timely - deliberately or otherwise I am undecided
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:44 pm

Well there's the answer:- size does feckin matter:

Liberty Hall Theatre, capacity 410; Aviva venue [the one apparently booked by Open House], capacity 150.

So even if the Liberty Hall Theatre was half full last year, they still left us short by 55 seats.
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:46 pm

Rofl
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:03 pm

I tried booking this a week ago and am still getting the same result today - "The email you submitted is not valid" - even when inputting different addresses.

With a renewed interest in the city of late, and an ever-growing population of people with time on their hands, it is baffling that an apparently smaller venue has been chosen this year.
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby SirRaymondMang » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:36 pm

I tried booking this a week ago and am still getting the same result today - "The email you submitted is not valid" - even when inputting different addresses.


I would ring their help line. The confirmation e-mails they sent me were deleted by my e-mail account (hotmail).
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:50 pm

Yep - there are a few places available if you ring quick smart. They have released some extra seats, but as noted above, only about 150 places...

(01) 6165220
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby StephenC » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:38 pm

Ahh good. I thought it was only me not getting a response to my bookings.
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:52 am

The Open Debate kicked off Open House weekend this evening under the baton of John Bowman again, but in the new surroundings of floor four in the Aviva Stadium. The problems with reduced capacity didn’t materialize in the end. No it turns out that there’s actually only a certain number of people who’ll go to something like this, and it doesn’t really matter what the title is either, as the debate always comes around to the same conversation about Dublin sooner or later.

Sooner, as it happens, this time with Frank McDonald first out of the traps with his thoroughly familiar and thoroughly justified rant about the urban sprawl of Dublin into Leinster and ‘even parts of Ulster’. Frank may have written three books and a thousand newspaper articles on the dysfunctional planning of Dublin, but he can still portray convincing bewilderment that ‘bits of Dublin are showing up in Gorey and Carrickmacross’. This would have gone on for some time, but Bowman, sensing that everyone in the room could already recite whole passages from the Book of Frank, interrupted proceedings and passed the mike on to Alan Mee.

Alan Mee is a top floor planning consultant and guys like this read the brief, so we got a couple of minutes on-topic ‘size does matter’ before a particular Mee hobby horse made it’s appearance [that architects need to be re-trained to deal with the vastly different challenges associated with designing a chair and designing a town]. Good common sense stuff, until he appeared to exhort young architects to get aligned with a political party, join up and get work. Jaws dropped, Frank’s face went a funny colour and there was an audible gasp around the room, but the moment passed and composure was regained.

Sean Love [real name unknown] of a creative writing agency called Fighting Words was next up and he was less certain if size mattered, but knew instinctively that creativity mattered and discussion ensued around this subject and on the general theme that quality was a more valuable yardstick than quantity.

Shih-Fu Peng, in the absence this year of Shelley McNamara, was the panel’s star architect and the serial competition winner brought the discussion back to topic of size, as you would do if you’d just designed a Grand Egyptian Museum that is so vast the engineers had to take the earth’s curvature into account in setting out the foundations. By way of contrast and in a nice gesture to a fellow sage, or as a veiled criticism of the current Venice Biennial Ireland pavilion - you take your pick, Peng expressed his admiration for Tom’s [ - de Paor, late of this parish - ] 2m.sq. peat briquette pavilion in Venice from a few years back. In general Peng wore his star architect status lightly with little more than a slow delivery and extended pauses to give any hint that one member of the debating panel was a global player in the contemporary architectural scene.

Even if Peng had worn his citations on his jacket, I don’t think it would have phased the final member of the panel, one Pauline Byrne, Strategic Planning Manager of Treasury Holdings, Beijing division. This lady plans small cities for a living, she doesn’t just believe in ‘planning’, she believes in ‘master-planning’ and it helps that ‘in China there isn’t a democracy to deal with’.

I mean Byrne might look like an air hostess on the outside, but on the inside we’re talking Albert Speer, and this isn’t the first time I’ve detected totalitarian tendencies in Treasury Holdings. There was that time I tried to get a few shots of the back of the former Dutch Billys in the Treasury complex on Stephen’s Green only to approached by several menacing heavies in stain resistant suits all talking into their shoulders, but that’s a digression.

There were several contributions from the floor including a question from a software engineer [with a designer girlfriend] on the possibility of introducing visual awareness and design matters into the mainstream education system. This brought Mee back with the opportunity to pose the question ‘didn’t deValera once remove art, physical education and possibly civics from the school curriculum?’ It sounded plausible, but compared with mooted government cut-backs today nobody was getting too excited about it.

Ali [the City Architect] popped up in the audience to pronounce out of the blue that ‘architects are heroes’ and, in a pointed rebuke to Byrne, she continued that ‘the architect has to have a conscience . . . we are a democracy’. There was more too, stream of consciousness stuff, about ‘joy in buildings’ about architects starting off wanting to be artists and then getting ground down by the compromises inherent in delivering buildings, about how it is that ‘extension architects’ often shine because necessarily they engage one-to-one with their clients across the kitchen table and one-to-one featured again as the scale at which you experience cities, even vast cities like New York. There was good news too for anyone who thought that the Dominick Street new-urban-prototype-on-a-Georgian-plot competition had died and been forgotten, there’ll be something happening on that next month, according to Ali [the city architect]

Pikey chipped in with a few recollections about how long the process of carrying out urban development can be, but that the right guidance, if stuck with, may bear fruit even thirty years later, so now all we have to do is plan something properly and then try and live long enough to see if it worked.

The American-born urban market gardener from last year reminded us from the audience of the value of metropolitan green space, and it was no surprise to learn from Peng that Cairo has less square footage of green space per inhabitant that any other city on earth. I didn't think they had any.

After that Frank fielded an unintended put-down from Love and the evening finished with a vignette from Conor Skehan along the usual lines.

Reasonably stimulating stuff, free Dart ticket, and a good start to Open House weekend :)
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby missarchi » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:37 am

claps (curtains close)

it almost seems like theatre...
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:45 am

‘Towards an assessment of Sam Stephenson’s architectural legacy’ was the title of today’s love-in in a sparse 'venue' recently carved out of the half-built basement shell of the ‘New Dublin Municipal Museum’ that we were once promised would rise out of the Viking layers of Stephenson’s bunkers at Wood Quay, which itself was going to be a sort three-pence-in-the-pound quid pro quo for the Corpo’s action in wiping out an entire, thousand year old, city block

Following on from Thursday night’s Open House Debate at the Aviva, you get a sense of just how minute and incestuous the Dublin architectural community actually is at times like this, virtually all the same people were there again, but sitting in different seats to make it look like a whole new crowd.

Frank McDonald kicked off proceedings again and set the tone with the disconcerting confession that many of the harsh things he had once said about Sam he now regretted, and before we had time to figure out which parts of the destruction of Dublin hadn’t actually happened and it was all a bad dream, Frank had handed over to Shane O’Toole and with Docomomo’s [apparently now former] representative on earth at the wheel there was only one way that this was going.

Docomomo is a sort of rescue pound for the modern movement, and no modern movement mutt is too ugly, scruffy or flee-bitten not to find someone who loves it in Docomomo. And so it followed that Sam’s many creations were presented in a Docomomo slideshow of authentic 1970s photographs, most of them commissioned by Sam from Sam’s favourite photographer.

Shane went on to explain the international architectural context [as opposed to the real context] for each of the familiar blocks that make up Sam’s work, starting with Sam’s concrete blocks [the aggregate used in the precast concrete blocks on the E.S.B. façade was carefully chosen to harmonize with the colour of Dublin brick, as opposed to just using Dublin brick], the glass blocks [Sam was the first architect in Dublin to use the reflective plate glass of corporate American architecture] and finally the brick blocks [Sam really loved brick, he was most at home using brick, I can’t imagine where he got the idea of using brick . . . in Dublin]

Emma Cullinan followed with a flick through some of Sam’s interiors that was every bit as light and air-filled as readers of the Irish Times will have come to expect. We got nothing on the Horseshoe bar, but lots on Sam’s famous sunken conversation pit in all it’s deep pile leather luxury. Again we got a glimpse of the international architectural context, Sam liked to keep up with the latest trends.

By the time Docomomo’s Peter Cody had presented an in-depth comparison of Sam’s ‘Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies’ building on Burlington Road with the Sam’s sources of inspiration, it was beginning to become apparent that Sam’s modus operandi may have been to take the latest iconic output of architects like Louis Kahn and Kevin Roche, add in a bit of James Stirling, and sell them on Dublin streets like badly dubbed pirated CDs.

None of this seemed to matter however, we weren’t here after all to bury Sam but to praise him and everything was tripping along nicely with reminiscences from the floor from former associates like Tony Reddy and current luminaries like Ali [the city architect] until Alan Mee, the top floor planning consultant from the panel of Thursday’s Open House Debate brought the discussion back to Fitzwilliam Street, which is where it all began for Sam and his then partner Arthur Gibney. Like we saw last Thursday, Mee is 95% solid architect, planning consultant and conservation advocate, . . . and 5% daft auntie.

Mee didn’t just want to put Docomomo’s prized Fitzwilliam Street ESB block to sleep, he wanted to rebuild the sixteen demolished Georgian houses, brick by brick, - a suitably controversial notion to air at a symposium on the master of controversy, Sam Stephenson.

The interesting thing is that both Sam and Arthur underwent something of an epiphany in later life, with Sam publicly abandoning ‘Modernism’ and reportedly embracing Palladio and Lutyens in an unlikely threesome, and Arthur becoming an expert in the conservation of Georgian buildings.

With time running out, the last word went to a lady who stated that, while she was not an architect and didn't want to speak about the architectural merits, or otherwise, of Sam and Arthur’s ESB block on Fitzwilliam Street, she had nonetheless observed that the building seemed to be unloved by it’s occupants, who piled all manner of office clutter against the window which remained unwashed for at least the first ten years of the building’s life. It was an eerie note on which to finish.

Like the Open House Debate, this was another excellent event, which although far from packed out, will have got a few people thinking a little more deeply than before, one imagines. The one disappointment was perhaps the airbrushing over of the whole Wood Quay saga. We know that Sam revised aspects of the design of the Civic Offices quite extensively, but we didn’t hear from Shane or Frank or anyone else who knew Sam well if he ever even contemplated revising the concept behind the design, particularly in the light of the seminal Architectural Review dissertation on Dublin published in 1973.

Nobody doubts the compositional accomplishment of buildings like the Institute of Advanced Studies, or the adventure behind structures like the Central Bank, or indeed the skill shown in the design of the Fitzwilliam Street façade, but the Civic Offices were never in this class, despite being the most prestigious commission that Sam won. In fact nothing could better illustrate the gulf between the Modern Movement and every other phase of urbanism than the whole concept of carpet-bombing four office blocks across a historic site like this and presenting it as some kind of master stroke ‘that solved the problems of the site’ as Sam was oft quoted as saying and gave us back glimpses of the cathedral through the gaps . . . . between the blocks.

Docomomo will have a lot of grooming to do if they’re ever going to sell this pup.
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby missarchi » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:03 am

gunter wrote:[B][I]Docomomo will have a lot of grooming to do if they’re ever going to sell this pup.


heheheh the real domo kun. con

I will take you to the rabbit hole... The modules and bricks are important but I could accept some georgian fushion for esb

Image
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Thinking afterwords about Sam and his Central Bank, part of the initial impact of this building was undoubtedly the disgraceful state that the immediate context had been allowed to fall into during the protracted period when, as Frank McDonald reminded us, the whole Temple Bar area was earmarked for demolition and replacement by a central bus station, although I don't think that this plan was still being nurtured by the late 70s in any serious way. Most strikingly, and for at least a decade, the central Bank used to loom up, all modern, rigid and stable, between the crumbling remains of Wellington Quay.

Image

Image

That impact was by default and it has largely passed now with the regeneration [to varying degrees of success] of the quays, and today it's almost hard to imagine what all the fuss was about.
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Re: Open House Dublin

Postby gunter » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:52 pm

Valery Mulvin has just been shedding light on the Long Room Hub on the Radio 1 Arts programme as part of an Open House promo.

Those light boxes on the roof are 'chimneys of light' and 'light' itself 'is a metaphor for inquiry'. I hope that's clear now.

Sean Harrington and David O'Connor are now explaining Herbert Simms.
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