Re: Re: 24th AAI Awards 2009

Home Forums Ireland 24th AAI Awards 2009 Re: Re: 24th AAI Awards 2009


@keating wrote:

were a very incestuous bunch darlings..

Foreign Assessors were disgusted by our architecture in general.

But Wang, one of the AAI’s foreign assessors for the 2009 awards, said all of the individual buildings, as excellent as they might be, “will only be regarded in the historical context as fiddling while countrysides burn” unless architects in Ireland and elsewhere recognise their responsibilities to curb urban sprawl.

Another foreign assessor, London-based architect Dominic Papa, noted “an absence of collective, residential-led urban projects … at a scale or level of intention that represent larger strategies of urban or suburban renewal”. Instead, there was “a preponderance of house extensions and houses beautifully isolated”.

Hassett also found it “disheartening to see, yet again … the sheer effort expended by our best architects on the private realm. For sure, this is where people live and it is worthy of care. But it is when the effort transcends beyond care into fashion and the consumption of architecture as status that we must question our relevance.”

Connemara mapper Tim Robinson found it difficult to picture the entries in context, something he regarded as important to judge their architectural quality: “Too many of the photographs and Photoshop images helped themselves over-generously to that moment when twilight and lamplight collude in glamorising whatever they touch.”

Robinson was also “struck by a frightening degree of uniformity in many of these projects … There seem to be very few forms, used again and again – blocks with stuck-on balconies or jutting-out bits and pieces, big timber or metal cubes balanced on small glass pedestals, big oblong windows with no detailing around them.”

Honestly is it not the same in countless other countries?

Are we a disgrace to ourselves? Not really. Look at the bell curve. Look at the amount of work that fits into the higher bracket. Only a tiny amount fits into the upper curve. The vast majority is mediocre, as it is in the vast amount of countries. Please don’t be as pessimistic in a year in which three most splendid buildings won a medal and two awards. This is the peak of Irish architecture for the years to come.

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