Can I start a TCD thread, a thread for that glorious island whose traffic licked shores circumscribes my working day and whose, sometimes shaky, dedication to higher purpose anoints our great city.
First off and most importantly, beautiful, or at least uplifting architecture was once expected of many institutions, local banks, Garda stations, schools, hotels, in the case of universities this expectation persists. Although the fullness of time will weigh accurately the fruit of our scholarship and research, in the short term, day to day, academic life is about a lot of ambitious, arguementative, opinionated people expressing their opinions and trying to win arguements. To win, to be listened to, to be even noticed, you need respect and, well, respect is partly about where you work, its history, its reputation and its appearance.
How does TCD do: pretty well, the location, a fine Georgian set piece for front square, the Berkeley library is one of Ireland's finest modernist buildings, the New Museum Building has fine carving and the Calder is a great piece of public art, beautifully sited, the conversion of the Provost's stables is a dream. Where does it fail, well there are lots of trivial buildings too, the houses on the perimeter are poorly maintained, some of the grounds, the same, too many cars, the Pearse St disaster and most amazing of all, the college doesn't routinely buy small pieces of property off but near the main site for student accommodation, leaving it very vulnerable to landlocking and leaving students with an incomplete university experience.
Anyway, here is the newly polished Sphere within a Sphere, about to be remounted on its repaired revolving stand.
<img src="http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg300/mijton/PomodoroRepair6Jul2008.jpg" width=400>