January 11, 2000 at 12:20 pm #704812
Any idea when this series starts on RTE?
January 16, 2000 at 1:10 pm #714435
I must admit that I am really looking forward to this to see their approach; if it is downright populist or aimed at architects and those with more than a passing interest.
It will be interesting to discuss the programmes on this board.
January 17, 2000 at 9:26 am #714436
I don’t know when it is due to start, as there is no date on the ESB sponsored website for the show [a website with no content!] or on the RIAI site yet.
January 17, 2000 at 7:04 pm #714437Mrs. M. J. ListerParticipant
……i searched that site too….no date
so i wrote to both RTE and the email on the site before x-mas…..still no answer!!
January 20, 2000 at 3:39 pm #714438
Sometime in the second week of February, I hear.
January 21, 2000 at 9:52 am #714439
Ourselves Alone – Looking at state building in Ireland from 1922 to the present day.
A Place of Worship – Will seek to appraise the quality of Irish church architecture and sacred art since the foundation of the state.
Terracotta or Plastic? – Will take a critical and challenging look at the way the visual arts has been marginalised, especially in mainstream Irish education.
On the Land – Examining the radical impact the changes in Irish agriculture have had on the architecture and built landscape of the Irish countryside.
Business or Pleasure? – Will look at the very different approaches taken to the design of the workplace compared to those for leisure and play.
Some Living Space – About domestic architecture that gives special attention to the experience of urban living in Ireland.
This Permissive Society – Will examine the history of public planning policy in modern Ireland.
Nation Building: Beyond the Millennium – Looking at issues such as conservation, government policy on design and architecture, and sustainability.
January 23, 2000 at 3:16 pm #714440
There’s an article about the programme in today’s “The Sunday Times” by Shane O’Toole.
January 29, 2000 at 11:34 am #714441
Nation Building starts on February 10th, RTÃ‰ 1,7.30 p.m.
February 5, 2000 at 5:36 pm #714442
Hopefully, it will be worth watching. There would be nothing as sad, as producing a poor programme that would discourage people from having an interest in architecture.
February 7, 2000 at 8:17 pm #714443
This programme series should be worth watching and at least you can turn off a bad programme, unlike bad architecture.
Perhaps they might be prepared to draw some conclusions concerning brown envelopes and the urban sprawl.
February 8, 2000 at 8:59 am #714444
What will be interesting, will be to see and read the attitudes and responses from the regular posters here to the ideas in the programme.
February 11, 2000 at 8:33 am #714445
You know what I found surprising was the lack of promotion of the TV programme online. There is no mention of the show on the RIAI website and they’re supposedly one of the programmes advisors.
February 11, 2000 at 12:17 pm #714446
I missed it – working too late.
But, a couple of my friends [at least as cultured and as interested as myself] said it was very disapointing.
â€¢ Lots of style – not very good style
â€¢ Lots of drum & bass music – irritating and unnecessary
â€¢ Badly shot – especially the interviews, zooming in on people’s coffee cups or shoulder’s whilst they spoke
â€¢ Unimaginative choices of and repetition of images
I shouldn’t be writing this probably as I haven’t actually seen it; but these were the sorts of comments I heard. Is there any truth to them?
When I say ‘disapointing’ I’m being restrained. I hope I enjoy it next week myself as a series like this is overdue. I suppose the first episode had most of the interesting stuff though. Ireland pavillion etc..
February 13, 2000 at 1:06 pm #714447
It’s definitely a programme for architects about architects and architecture. It’s definitely not aimed at the man or woman in the street.
February 17, 2000 at 8:38 pm #714448
Tonights episode was much better.
With a clearer subject, church architecture and less of the quirky graphics, a good improvement. Two quibbles, why the Honan Chapel after featuring Christ the King and why no churches by other religions?.
February 18, 2000 at 8:32 am #714449
It was much better, less disjointed but I still dont like the voiceover- as it reminds me too much of documentaries made about Ireland for Irish-America.
The photography and presentation is otherwise excellent but how many people will have bene turned off by the first programme?
A pity if many have, as it was a chance of popularising architecture through the use of the most popular information medium available.
February 25, 2000 at 9:40 am #714450
So what did you think of last night’s show?
I think in general that the series is shaping up to be fairly disappointing.
February 26, 2000 at 3:35 pm #714451
The third episode was very repetitive,
While we had scrolling graphics in episode one, we had talking heads in episode three. No only that but very little architecture. Only good thing was the reference to Eileen Grey ,and they could not produce even a photo of E1027
February 26, 2000 at 4:03 pm #714452
I agree, only having a computer model of E1027 was a bit poor.
March 3, 2000 at 3:37 pm #714453
HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA
I saw it again last night. God it’s hopeless.
Is it just me or is the entire thing done in extreme close-up? Perhaps the series was shot [badly] in regular format and then they went “oh crap, it looks really boring – let’s cut off the top and bottom so it’ll be in cinescope!” And then we went “Oh crap, they’ve cut off the tops of people’s heads.”
There are [very occasional] potentially nice shots of lone corrugated steel sheds but the cameras too close and not even centered!??!? Eh? Was the crew blind?
They must have been – everytime they shoot one of the Nation’s Buildings… a bleeding great tractor rolls past it! Oh look another tractor… the grand finale was a shot of a totally dull structure with about 4 tractors obscuring it. Bravo.
Oh yes, and containers of shite trundling along the streets. I said “hey look – it’s another big load of shite” everybody laughed at the irony. The cows arses were also quite tremendous. The edit suite: “Hey, get this! Why don’t we… now stick with me on this… why don’t we put a shot of a building just here I think we’ll get a nice juxtaposition? No, to hell with it – put in another COW’S ARSE.” Genius, Mr. DeMille, sheer genius.
What on earth is that opening title supposed to be?!?!?!?
Can you imagine for one minute what the BBC could do with this subject?
I must say, RTE has a dreadful TV comedy record but no more! Let’s hope next weeks is an improvement.
March 3, 2000 at 7:39 pm #714454
Perhaps the programme is not aimed at architecture buffs, and moving pictures are not stills, they need to show interaction.
March 3, 2000 at 8:03 pm #714455
Yes – the last episode was even worse than usual. Even my normally tolerant wife is beginning to resent me watching it now.
And what the hell is this wonderful spirit of place that a cold damp two room cabin (one reserved for the pig) is supposed to symbolise? A bit late to bring Corbu to Donegal now, or can nothing else be found in rural Ireland that does not have PVC windows and a porch.
March 6, 2000 at 5:03 pm #714456
John… a quick point of clarification…
Do you mean cow’s arse or bus arse?
March 6, 2000 at 5:47 pm #714457
No problem DRC76,
I wouldn’t like to put accross the wrong impression that they were including images of the back ends of Buses in a program devoted to Architecture. No no, not at all… they were most definitely COW’S arses.
Hope this helps,
March 8, 2000 at 8:50 pm #714458
Are you positively sure, John?
It could have maybe possibly been a bus arse with some fur stuck on to the rear bumper. That would have maybe confused you. Also, stick on a fake tail (one you could knit yourself at home) just below the rear window and even I might think it’s a cow’s arse.
I need to be absolutely certain, john. It’s important.
March 8, 2000 at 9:55 pm #714459
God, I never even thought of that before. I bet that nickname didn’t escape most Dubs…
March 10, 2000 at 8:29 am #714460
Last night’s show had a few highlights but the graphics are really starting to annoy me now. I agreed wholeheartedly with Des McMahon’s view of height, skyline and public space. It was a good theory and he presented it well.
However it was another programme last night on RTE which posed more questions re architecture and restoration. A programme about the La Firenza Opera House (destroyed by fire) in Venice. It seems that there is quite a strong feeling towards rebuilding it in a modern idiom rather than replacing it with facsimile. It seems that in Venice, they have a habit of slavish restoration, when the 16thc. tower of St Marks collapsed in 1904, they simply replaced it with an identical one.
This programme made me think more in the 20 minutes I saw of it that the entire series of Nation Building to date.
March 10, 2000 at 5:28 pm #714461
Any arses visible in Venice?
March 10, 2000 at 8:09 pm #714462
OK just a little pedantry here –
The Opera House is “La Fenice” and the Tower was not rebuilt exactly !
Sorry, bad day at the office.
March 10, 2000 at 10:27 pm #714463
Sorry, but Opera ain’t really my thing.
Anyway I just thought it was interesting. And I stand by my comments about Des McMahon, I’m a great admirer of the new Croke Park. Looks great from a distance and close up.
March 12, 2000 at 6:11 pm #714464
The couple of modern looking buildings that ARE in Venice – as far as I’m concerned – have NO right to be there. It disgusts me. Venice is special, it’s not just a city, a collection of functional buildings.
Venice is a complete work of art. If a Renaissance painting is damaged do you fill the hole with a cow’s head in formaldehyde? A video installation?
March 13, 2000 at 6:17 pm #714465
Yes Venice is special but it must remain a liveable city for it to be so special, not just an image. There are a few lovely modern pieces in Venice by Carlo Scarpa – the Olivetti buillding (now an art gallery)on Piazza San Marco is one example.
The challenge facing Venice now is how to preserve its essence and yet allow communities to remain there and even to grow.
It cannot just rely on tourism as a source of income or it risks becoming a self-parody.
March 24, 2000 at 1:23 pm #714466CelfiParticipant
This Permissive Society.
I thought this week’s episode made some good points, especially highlighting past and present mistakes in planning: maybe these issues will get a wider airing now.
Are there any details on the web about the plans for Ballymun? Initially, it sounded good – getting the residents involved, running courses, etc., but from what I saw of the model, it looked like a run-of-the-mill suburban estate, and course shown seemed more about kitchen planning than urban planning.
What is more, Orly wouldn’t be my first choice for a development model, French urban planning is right down there with the British (i.e, crap) – much better to look at post-war Germany or post-wall East Germany.
March 24, 2000 at 7:30 pm #714467
Yes a better episode but
– why did we hear little or nothing of the commitment to flats which was unique to Dublin corporation in the 1930’s, a serious effort to avoid sprawl.
– no mention of the huge housing programme initiated by the first Fianna Fail government.
– no mention that there was little or no housing control until the 1960’s.
– no real mention of (any of) the very questionable planning decisions (brown envelopes?)
– no mention of the Section 4’s
March 26, 2000 at 7:48 pm #714468
does anyone else feel that the thematic approach taken by nation buiding was ill advised? i found it extremely fragmented and repetitive. the only programme that seemed to hang together coherently was the one on church architecture. the other episodes had an annoying habit of backtracking over subject matter already covered ie public housing, architecture and national expression etc. still, it has been a welcome excercise in highlighting that sorely neglected area, irish design.
March 27, 2000 at 7:37 am #714469
I personally think they would have been better off with the “Seven Ages” approach – decade by decade, and have a ten minute round table discussion of the decade interspersed throughout the programme.
I personally have found the series disappointing if not completely uninteresting. I found the Kevin Roche advertorial / corporate video to be far more interesting, better photographed and on the whole a much better documentary.
March 27, 2000 at 6:04 pm #714470
Yes Paul – I totally agree. A chronological approach would have worked best. Simple, arbitrary but logical. Did they think we’d fail to relate a discussion on urban planning from one episode to that in another? They may have feared we’d forget by the next week. Hence – discuss one subject at length per episode. By segregating the issues/elements like this they ran the risk of ignoring other influences on those elements. Just my opimion – not necessarily the right one.
Oh, Daniel – I’ll be back in Venice in 3 week. I was actually only just there in November last but still can’t remember the Modern Olivetti building in Piazza Di San Marco that you mentioned. I’ll make a point of seeking it out.
March 30, 2000 at 7:55 pm #714471
It is very unfair to compare Nation Building with Seven Ages – Seven Ages was made with a huge budget and support. Seven Ages is not without its critics. In between trips to Venice, people should not forget that the subject of architecture/design/planning is held in fairly low esteem by the vast majority of Irish people. Architects themselves despite the rhetoric have stayed out of domestic housing for all sorts of reasons, principal among them, the ‘low fee/high work’ ratio. Nation Building is a good starter to get people taling. It is not for the converted, but rather for a more general audience. Logistically and logically, organising the stories on a decade by decade basis would have been a a very difficult continium to manage. Audiences do forget, in fact very quickly. Also the housing issue and the Dublin Corporation response was covered.
April 2, 2000 at 7:58 am #714472
Well now it is over a final reflection – not worth watching.
Too many stomach churning graphics, too many talking heads and above all little film of buildings. After all they dont move in real life and there is no reason for not fiming them as static objects. How often did we see some of the clips 5/6 times for the “Shannon road trip sequence”?
April 2, 2000 at 2:40 pm #714473
All in all….
…. i was really looking forward to it as I thought it would help to get the general public interested in architecture… it didnt, it was a major turnoff… they found it cumbersome and slow….
…. even as someone with an interest and a small knowledge, I couldnt watch it either.
… very disappointed in the end
May 25, 2000 at 7:01 pm #714474
Olivetti building in Venice?
I looked again 3 weeks ago on my Honeymoon – still no sign of it Daniel. Are you sure it’s there?
May 26, 2000 at 2:58 pm #714475
the building does exist, although is now an art gallery. It used be a showrrom for Olivetti. It is located on St. Mark’s Square.
Try the skewarch site for more info on Scarpa.
May 26, 2000 at 5:53 pm #714476
That looks interesting!
But you mean actually ON the square?
Behind the Basilica? Opposite or at the sides?
June 1, 2000 at 2:26 pm #714477
yes, on the square. If you stand with your back to the main entrance to the basillica, it is half-way down along the arcade to your left. Can’t be more precise for a future visit. try getting the Carlo Scarpa guide if you want to see more of his buildings if in Italy in the future.
June 1, 2000 at 10:05 pm #714478owenParticipant
Something that strikes me about the perception/presentation of architecture and design in this country is its incredible lack of humour. The little bit of Nation Building I saw took itself far too seriously, and the funereal theme music must have appeared so forbidding to the non-initiated.
Anything to do with architecture/design/urbanism is presented so….drearily.
We have so few humorous architects or journalists. Can’t we take a joke???? For god’s sake they’re only bloody buildings.
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