a lot of corks larger developments escape scrutiny in national circles because people are slow to publish them and show them off. For example in the recent aai awards only billy wilson and james leahy (to my knowledge) were recognised for their work. admittedly billys work is a bit dodge, still working off that expo he collaborated on, but surely cork is producing quality work that should be shown proudly on the national stage.
rkd mccarthy lynch and riordan staehli, and also wain morehead, are doing great work, in housing, public projects, and a few good domestics too. i think the question of bad buildings being allowed permission is a matter to be addressed by people being more informed as to whats going on in their area. for example, the redevelopment of the douglas village shopping centre is being fiercely opposed because the local people take active interest in what is built around them, and it has to be said the proposals are pretty horrific, but at the other side of the city, the new blackpool shopping centre went ahead despite the fact that its a hulk, looks more like a defunct departures lounge than the giant tesco boat that it is.
contrast that with dublinerâ€™s attitudes to major projects, especially when they impact their lives through their scale and strategic importance. look at o'connell street. the spike was help up for years because of individuals who were clued in to what was being planned for their streets, but now patricks street is being ripped apart, beth galli's monstrous lights are going up everywhere, and people are looking around wide-eyed wondering how all this came about.
Its easy to understand at times why cork based architects are so slow to make efforts toward gaining recognition. With it comes exposure and from that publicity, which invites difficulties in planning and more scrutiny by locals, press and architectural buffs. Contrasting that with a quiet life and easier planning, its not incomprehensible. And anyway, why bother when everyone who cares is based in dublin. Cork people are personified by the likes of Neil Hegarty, recently retired as city architect. Heâ€™s a practical, straight down the middle stalwart of traditional approaches to change and development. What cork needs is a litte adventure. A daring new airport, a renewal of the bus and rail bases and the transport infrastructure, a little madness from the planners, and some crazy young architects given the chance to shine. And a big wrecking ball for that infernal county hall