Reply To: Dublin’s Ugliest Building

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James McQuillan

As John W’s reply demonstrates, there may be good things to say about any building, and therefore I think that this search for the ugliest Building in Dublin should be wound up.

First, it is not at all positive looking for the ugliest building – it’s like looking for the ‘sickist’ man in a hospital! I think that the fad for league-tables and such like is always highly tendentious, and since someone has to come last, it is always a loser’s prize.

Second, if one regards the urban fabric as a continuity, then buildings contribute to (and detract from) bigger entities – streets, squares, districts and so on, and such larger considerations can negate the woeful presence of many blots.

Finally, we all have to use and live in the city, so there is little to be gained by dumping on a particular area or street – we all might agree about the poverty of a certain area, and therefore enough said.

Far better to try to generate more inclusive criticisms of buildings and not encourage instant put-downs and dismissals, though one can appreciate the strength of feeling behind most of the denunciations in this forum.

If criticism was more detailed and urbanistic, perhaps developers and their protagonists in the design professions would think very hard about what they wish to do, and the Corp. could be encouraged to control matters with more confidence. So let’s drop the ‘Search for the `Ugliest Building in Dublin’ – after all, it’s really unworthy of your still fine city, and Archeire too.

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