Re: Re: Super-Rural Superstudio Version 2

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I’ve been watching the emergence of these entries with a growing sense of disbelief over the past few days, and have been surprised thus far with the total lack of comment on the subject here (mea culpa too, btw). I have a bit to say on them, but was waiting until we got the full lot before organising my thoughts. So, in short, I’ll be back. For now, I’ll say I agree with much you say, shadow, and almost entirely disagree with the content of Frank McD’s article in the IT quoting, amongst others, Ricky Burdett of LSE, one of the organisers.

So why the silence here? Are you waiting like me for the full list? Or do you just not use the front page where they’re appearing? Or are you afraid…

Ireland’s entry on suburbanisation a ‘key exhibit’ in Venice
Frank McDonald, Environment Editor, in Venice

Ireland’s ambitious entry in the Venice Biennale has been described by its director, Richard Burdett, as “one of the key exhibits” of the show, which this year is on the theme of “Cities, Architecture and Society”.

Speaking at the official opening of the Irish exhibition, “From Sub-Urban to Super-Rural”, Prof Burdett decried the “erosion of rural space” by suburbanisation and warned that this would lead to “many problems” in the future.

But he applauded the nine architectural practices which had collaborated on Ireland’s Biennale entry for the “polemical quality” of their presentation and on the ability of Irish people to “turn yourselves upside down”.

“To see this exhibition that hits right on the mark of the ‘Cities, Architecture and Society’ theme makes me very happy, and I feel it is one of the key exhibits in this year’s Biennale,” he told the delighted Irish participants.

Prof Burdett said that developing compact urban areas with good public transport represented the only way forward.

Shane O’Toole, Irish commissioner for the Biennale, said that the last 40 years of planning in Ireland had been a “disaster”, but there was now a “small window of opportunity for us to rise above the urban/rural divide”.

Seán Ó hUiginn, in his first official function as Ireland’s ambassador to Italy, said: “This is an extraordinary time in Ireland as we catch up infrastructurally. But with architecture we must remember that the risks of prosperity are often higher than the risks of poverty because of the mistakes that can be made”.

James Pike, president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, told that gathering that his institute was formulating an initiative to counter-balance the growth of Dublin by focusing on Ireland’s other cities.

This “Twice the Size” campaign would argue that Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford, as well as the other “gateways” identified in the Government’s 2002 National Spatial Strategy, should double in size by 2030.

The Irish entry, which is competing against 49 other countries, was curated by Dublin-based FKL Architects and has been staged with the support of both Culture Ireland and the Arts Council.

© The Irish Times

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