Stormont

Stormont

Postby shaun » Sat Feb 28, 2004 5:42 pm

We all know this building. What do you think of it, and how does it compare with "Free state" architecture or projects of the period.
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Postby J. Seerski » Sat Feb 28, 2004 6:07 pm

It is very much of the neo-classical vogue, at a time when governments in the US and Europe were builing in a similar vein (1930s) after the decadence of 1920s art-deco.

It is certainly a powerful building - as was the intention, no doubt. But for all of its strengths it looks clumsy. Irelands only comparable project at the time was the Ministry for Industry and Power - the present Ministry for Enteprise and Employment. More refined with hints of alternative architectural movements - art deco the most prominent.
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Re: Stormont

Postby FIN » Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:46 pm

Originally posted by shaun
We all know this building. What do you think of it, and how does it compare with "Free state" architecture or projects of the period.


indeed! "free state" architecture wasn't supposed to instill fear and domination into a minority population.
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Postby GrahamH » Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:16 pm

A big cumbersome lump, I like the wings but find the portico and central part almost ugly.

It built between 1928 and 1932 apparently.
The landscape and setting is extraordinary, as are those fantastic lamposts lining the drive and up at the building itself.
Something of a folly really.

I've always been deeply jealous of such an architectural statement and setting, while we're lumped with a musty lecture theatre tacked onto a townhouse, hidden behind trees and railings and a galvanised steel ramp...
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Postby shaun » Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:25 pm

I agree, it has something of a folly about it,maybe something in the Brasilia capital city vein, or Coucesceaus' wedding cake palace in Bucherest. Amazing !!! Must go up and visit when I'm next over.

I believe it was originally intended to build the whole complex much larger but I think the money ran out.

This site is obviously not very much visited by people in Northern Ireland, otherwise surely someone from "up there" would have offered an opinion. It must be the Eire reference (in archeire) that is a little off-putting. Anyone know if there are any N.I. architecture sites?
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Postby BTH » Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:30 am

Well, I can offer one side of the N.I. perspective! I hail from Tyrone originally though I haven't lived there for about 8 years now. It's very hard to go beyond the political and psychological resonance of Stormont to offer an architectural opinion. Suffice to say I wouldn't be disappointed if I heard it was to be demolished tomorrow... I'll acknowledge it's powerful grandeur, fine quality in construction and the fantastic landscaping which adds to the overwhelming feel of the place. However it'll always be symbolic of the ideal of "Protestant parlaiment for a Protestant people". Perhaps if the political institutions back home could be re-established the work to turn around that perception in the Nationalist community could continue. However Stormont is still a symbol of oppression. Maybe someday it'll become the museum piece that it deserves to be and a new assembly building created in which all sections of the community will feel a sense of ownership and belonging. I realise thats a pretty major ambition to have but really N.I. needs as many fresh starts as it can possibly have...
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