James Gandon’s LOSING design

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    • #704626
      Seth Powell
      Participant

      Hello, nice Irish architecture folks!!

      Seth Powell here, American and in love with architecture & cities. I’ve been reading about this “Dublin” you’ve all got over there, and I found out that celebrated 18th century architect James Gandon lost yes LOST a contest to design the Royal Exchange Building (now City Hall); the commission was instead awarded to one Thomas Cooley (sp?). I’ve also read that many folks felt Gandon’s design was actually superior (having seen photos of Gandon’s major works, plus of Cooley’s building, I, um… have an easy time believing them).

      Does anyone know where I might find sketches of Gandon’s (alas) 2nd place entry?

      Many thanks. Happy.. uh.. Happy… oh, heck, be happy.

      sjp

    • #711914
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Have you tried contacting the Irish Architectural Archive – http://www.archeire.com/iaa/ – they may have something or know if the designs actually still exist.

    • #711915
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I think you denigrate Cooley’s building too easily. Granted it isnt Gandon’s Custom Huuse but then many of Gandon’s other buildings aren’t up to that standard either.

      Take the King’s Inns [finished by Henry Aaron Baker] – its main facade onto Constitution Hill is bland and unconvincing while its most impressive view is from Henrietta Street where very little can be seen of the main blocks.

      The Four Courts is heavy with a too-shallow portico and overly heavy drum. Like the Custome House and Kings Inns, this benefits from being built on a flat site. Cooley had to contend with an awkwardly sloping site on Cork Hill for his Royal Exchange.

    • #711916
      Seth Powell
      Participant

      I didn’t denigrate Cooley’s building. I just said that I had read that many folks preferred Gandon’s design. You yourself said that Cooley’s Royal Exchange is no Custom House; which is really all that I said to begin with. For all I know, Gandon’s Royal Exchange plans were no good; I just want to see them for myself.

      (Here on America’s West Coast, all we get so see of Dublin is two or three snapshots in the travel guidebooks – CustomHouse-Ha’pennyBridge-TrinityCollege-goodnight. I’m here on these boards to learn more.)

      sjp

    • #711917
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Did you ever have any luck?

    • #711918
      trace
      Participant

      The late Hugo Duffy attempted in his 1999 book, James Gandon and His Times, to reconstruct Gandon’s lost design for the Royal Exchange. Duffy based his attempted reconstruction (plan, section, elevation) on surviving contemporary written descriptions of Gandon’s design, which are quoted at length in the book.

      (Incidentally, James Hoban, who went on to design the White House in Washington, once worked as an assistant to Thomas Cooley.)

    • #711919
      thebig C
      Participant

      Sorry to resurrect such an old thread but can anybody post a pic of Gandons Royal Exchange design?

    • #711920
      LOB
      Participant

      Not Gandon’s but Francis Sandys
      Came across it online, thought it might be of interest
      http://www.mealys.com/fineart/Bidcat/detail.asp?SaleRef=0198&LotRef=442

    • #711921
      thebig C
      Participant

      Thanks a million for that LOB!:) Having looked at Sandys somewhat understated design I can see why Cooleys design prevailed.

      The search goes on!

      C

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