Libeskind at centre stage


As the opening production at the Grand Canal Square Theatre takes to the stage on St Patrick’s Day, the curtain falls on efforts to rejuvenate Dublin’s post-industrial docklands. As Bolshoi ballerinas glide gracefully through the Russian State Ballet’s production of Swan Lake, officials from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) will be looking on, aware that their years of paddling furiously below the surface to stimulate and keep pace with a rapidly transforming city have drawn to a premature close.

In fact, had Daniel Libeskind’s theatre been even six months later getting out of the ground, it is unlikely it would ever have seen the light of day, instead joining the growing list of projects that have been euphemistically “˜pushed out’, or cancelled, during the past year. Buildings we won’t be seeing for some time, if ever, include Foster + Partners’ U2 Tower, West 8’s “˜island’ urban blocks in the Liffey, Agence Ter’s Royal Canal linear park, JDS Architects’ Dublin harbour bath, Heneghan Peng’s Custom House plaza and Antony Gormley’s 48m-high sculpture of a figure standing in the Liffey.

RIBA Journal