Re: Re: Dublin skyline

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It has to be said though, that the very fact that we continue to have a discussion on whether we should or should not go down the tall building road says everything about the way we are as a culture. Is it because tall buildings, like abortion, contraception, secularism, and so on, are the most physical embodiment of a ‘modern’ urbanised Ireland that undermines the values that have been perceived to be the very foundations upon which the State is built? This is, after all, what is implicit in the concept of a ‘right of passage’ – the construction of tall buildings seem to be understood to stand as physical landmarks in Ireland’s journey towards secular modernity. In Ireland, the construction of tall buildings is not about the physical process of building big, it is more about our national self-perception and the image of Ireland we wish to portray. We have not been able to build big because we seem condemned by whatever factors (colonial heritage??) to think small – to try to curl up into an unnoticeable ball of non-existence on the west coast of Europe. What other reasons could there be for our equivocation when it come sto this architectural form?? Is it because tall buildings smack too much of the perceived godlessness of America. Is it because Ireland – still pulling the dead weight of the Catholic church behind it – seems to have been too influenced by the association between skyscrapers, financial gain and immorality implicit in the opening shots of Dallas in the 80s? Room for a PhD there.

Whatever is the reason, if there are urban planners, architects and social theorists reading this forum in other countries, I am sure they are laughing themselves silly at this discussion. For Christ’s sake, lets quite the bullshit and just get on with it. If such buildings can be economically justified and aesthetically designed for the betterment of the Irish cityscape then lets just do it and not spend the next 2 decades revelling in a teenage angst that most other countries buried in the rubble of the last world war.

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