Re: Re: AAI Awards 2008

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I got in today and had a look at this exhibition myself. I know the Irish Architectural Archive is a bit off the beaten track and it was a wet Tuesday, but not a single other member of the public showed up the whole hour I was there! If the annual awards are one of the ways that the profession is supposed to be communicating with the public, it’s not working!

By contrast, I stumbled on a (week long) exhibition of the entries to a modest concert hall architectural competition in Regensburg (Bavaria) last summer and you couldn’t get in the door with the crowds.

On the AAI exhibition itself, I was hoping the Hugenot Cemetry block had been submitted and passed over, but it wasn’t there in the also rans, so I guess Grafton are plotting a pincer move on the Downes Medal next year with that and the Italian job. I don’t know how the politics work in the AAI, but a devious little manoeuvre would be to entice Peter Zumptor over as the visiting assessor, but then again he’d probably love the whole homage thing.

I cannot agree with what on the O’D&T killiney house. There are a couple of stunning photographs of bits of the house against a spectacular landscape, but there are also several shots of some seriously butt ugly bits.

Of the other projects that didn’t make it out of the back room, I felt a bit sorry for the Cork Hospital. Compared with other projects, It seemed to be fiendishly complicated and not unaccomplished. The Beauty Salon on Emmet Place, also in Cork, though a fashion victim in it’s own right, did appear to have architectural as well as urban merit, conjured up out of little or nothing.

There was one interesting house extension in the back room that I felt might have merited a ‘special mention’, or whatever the terminology is. I don’t know who it’s by (probably some outfit I can’t stand) but, as box extensions go, I thought it was ahead of the one in the front room.

I hope it’s ok to take pictures of these things, there wasn’t anyone there to stop me.

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