Poolbeg Chimneys

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    • #708824
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Everyone knows them. Most of us like them, and they’ve become icons of Dublin city. And now they’re to become equally prominant after dark according to today’s Irish Times, with a dazzling new lighting scheme – they are of course the Poolbeg Chimneys.

      Got this relatively unseen view from the sea the other day:

      They’re bady in need of a lick of paint!

      Built as part of the Pigeon House B project started c.1969, the station soon assumed the name of Poolbeg upon completion in 1971. Hence the two 207 metre concrete chimneys date from around 1970, making them the second tallest freestanding striuctures in the State, after the Moneypoint stacks on the Shannon Estuary which rise to 218 metres, dating from 1979-80.

      Anyway, the story:

      Bright idea for a power plant

      An Irish sculptor’s flash of brilliance could see the Poolbeg chimneys twinkling like the Eiffel Tower, writes Rosita Boland

      They’re hard to miss. Two red-and-white striped chimneys on the edge of Dublin Bay. At 207 metres they’re by far the city’s tallest structures. Seen from the air on the flight path into Dublin airport, they’re a landmark of the city: a sign you’re home in Ireland. At times, they appear and disappear in the sea mist, like the masts of some immense ghost ship. The Poolbeg chimneys, built in the 1960s, are still in use. Part of an adjoining ESB power plant, which burns oil and gas, some people think they’re ugly, but many more are beguiled by these slender structures, visible from so many places in the city.

      Now, if Irish sculptor Patrick O’Reilly sees his idea realised, the Poolbeg chimneys will become as beautiful as Paris’s Eiffel Tower, which lights up like a firework, courtesy of 20,000 special strobe bulbs and the design genius of the Pierre Bideau company.

      Pierre Bideau was the man who decorated the Eiffel Tower with twinkling, starry lights for the millennium. Originally intended to be installed for one year, the lights became so popular with both Parisians and visitors that in 2003 the tower received another lighting redesign, this time permanent. At night, every hour on the hour, for 10 minutes, the tower becomes a shimmering, illuminated pillar.

      Bideau has carried out many other lighting design projects, most famously for the 2004 Olympics in Greece, when the Acropolis glowed with eerie beauty from within. He has also lit a number of cathedrals, public buildings and private chateaux, as well as Waddesdon Manor in England, the family seat of the Rothschild family, each time drawing out the subtleties of the architecture. His methods could not be farther removed from the harsh orange-hued floodlighting favoured by so many of our own public buildings.

      Bideau retired two years ago, and sold his company, which was established in the 1960s. It still carries his name and does the same type of projects. O’Reilly was originally put in touch with the company through Brigid Harte, a Paris-based visual arts consultant, who is still involved with the project. Bideau retains a consultancy role with the company, with Bertrand Chiron now the general manager. This week, Chiron was in Dublin to visit O’Reilly and view the site. The project is still in a very early stage, but O’Reilly is currently having meetings with both the ESB and Dublin City Council, whose support he is hopeful of receiving.

      “I have always wanted to do a project with the Poolbeg chimneys,” O’Reilly says. “For me as a sculptor, I see this project as sculpting with light. I want to make something magical with those chimneys. They are beside the water, so the lights would be reflected in the sea, and they would shine through the sea-fog.”

      O’Reilly hopes that the public will support the project, and feel it belongs to them.

      “The ESB are only caretakers for the chimneys. They are owned by the State, and thus really by ourselves. The Spire is technically a very strong piece of design but it doesn’t have any magic about it, and the scale is nowhere near that of the chimneys. Also, there is something special about the fact there are two chimneys. They’re like two friends. One on its own wouldn’t have the same effect.”

      One reason it was possible to light the Eiffel Tower and get that twinkling, tinsel-like effect is the advances in light-bulb technology. Philips designed the flashing strobe lightbulbs that are on the Eiffel Tower. According to Chiron, since the redesign was installed in 2003, only 140 of the 20,000 bulbs has been replaced. The bulbs themselves have an average lifespan of 10 years.

      O’Reilly estimates the Poolbeg towers project would cost about €1 million. The Eiffel Tower project cost €4 million. “The installing of it would be relatively straightforward,” O’Reilly explains. “The chimneys already have ladders down the sides, so there wouldn’t be a need for scaffolding, which is very expensive. Cables are thin and the lightbulbs are small.” Chiron estimates that it would take a year to complete the project.

      His idea is to light the upper two-thirds of the chimneys, with the uppermost part being a solid mass of white light. As in Paris, they would be lit for 10 minutes every hour, from lighting-up time to 1am. “So sometimes you’d look up and see them, or you’d be driving past and they’d be on, and sometimes you’d see nothing. People remember things better when they don’t see them all the time; it’s more of a surprise. And then, maybe they could be lit all night in celebration for special events.”

      O’Reilly hopes that, if successful, a public body such as the ESB would fund the lighting costs. “It couldn’t be a better ad for an electricity board, if you look at it like that,” he points out.

      As in Paris, the lights would be invisible by day, so even with the lights installed, the chimneys would look exactly the same as they do now. Nor would the function of the chimneys alter in any way. And he argues that they could not possibly constitute a hazard to planes in the flight path overhead since the lights would make them even more visible than they currently are.

      “I can’t see any reason for a negative response from the ESB,” O’Reilly says hopefully. And the name of his Poolbeg Chimneys lighting project?

      “Pipe dream.”

    • #783927
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sounds really good. Well worth a million.

    • #783928
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Excellent idea ๐Ÿ™‚

      Although I hate them as the one I look at in Aghada only has one chimney, the same colour. Wish they’d do something nice to that ๐Ÿ™

    • #783929
      admin
      Keymaster

      Like the Bank of Ireland ad ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • #783930
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      is this the same company going round hassling with legal letters anyone who has amateur photos of the eiffel tower, they/he claims the design is copyrighted and nobody is allowed to use the image of lights . ๐Ÿ˜ก

    • #783931
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Pipe dream confirmed then? ๐Ÿ˜€

      I thought it was hilarious that Sandymount and other southside-seasiders complained about the new white strobes on the chimneys. Apparenty the strobes were affecting their sleeping patterns. Feck off.

      The towers are the finest structures that Dublin has to offer. Nothing will ever match their impact on the skyline.

      Some great shots over at Flickr: http://flickr.com/search/?q=poolbeg%20dublin&w=all

    • #783932
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      That whole area should be developed in the coming decade and maybe the power station should be moved elsewhere

    • #783933
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Maskhadov wrote:

      That whole area should be developed in the coming decade and maybe the power station should be moved elsewhere

      What? Why they seem to fit in quite nicely with the PD pipe dream –

      http://www.newheartfordublin.ie/downloads/dublin_new_heart.jpg

      ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜€

      BTW deadly photos, Morlan

    • #783934
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I Propose that the towers be used for a parasitic structure to process chimney smoke , via algae filled tubes to make bio-fuel. I had the idea last thursday while thumbing some science mags.

    • #783935
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was very sad to read of the demise of one of these chimneys.:eek: :p

      http://www.swimleinster.com/OpenSea/Chimneys.jpg

    • #783936
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      overyclever ๐Ÿ˜€

      Are they ever gonna light them up? Been almost a year since this thread started.

    • #783937
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      …just found this link if anyone is interested in supporting the lighting….

      http://www.petitiononline.com/poolbeg/petition.html

    • #783938
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      as I said no

      Image copyright claims

      Images of the tower have long been in the public domain; however, in 2003 SNTE installed a new lighting display on the tower. The effect was to put any night-time image of the tower and its lighting display under copyright. As a result, it was no longer legal to publish contemporary photographs of the tower at night without permission in some countries.[13][14]

      The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of Documentation for SNTE, Stรƒยฉphane Dieu, commented in January 2005, “It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn’t used in ways we don’t approve.” However, it also potentially has the effect of prohibiting tourist photographs of the tower at night from being published[15] as well as hindering non profit and semi-commercial publication of images of the tower.

      In a recent decision, the Court of Cassation ruled that copyright could not be claimed over images including a copyrighted building if the photograph encompassed a larger area. This seems to indicate that SNTE cannot claim copyright on photographs of Paris incorporating the lit tower.

    • #783939
      admin
      Keymaster

      Three ESB plants to close by 2010
      Thursday, 21 June 2007 12:55
      The ESB has announced that it is to close the power generating stations at Great Island in Wexford, Poolbeg in Dublin and Tarbert in Kerry by 2010.

      The move is part of an agreement with the energy regulator to reduce the ESB’s dominant position in the marketplace.

      The steam turbine at Marina in Cork is also to close but the larger gas turbine there will remain open. These plants currently generate 1300 megawatts of electricity.

      AdvertisementIn exchange for closing the stations, the ESB will be allowed to construct a new station in Aghada, Cork Harbour with a capacity of 430 megawatts.

      This will bring the ESB’s power generation share of the energy market to 27% by the year 2010 down from its current level of 44%

      Around 300 staff will be affected but there will be no compulsory redundancies.

      Unions at the company accept that, even without the regulator’s strategy, the plants are now out of date and would be due for closure.

      They will be holding their fire for the real battle over the future of the ESB as set out in the Government’s White Paper.

      It proposes transferring ownership of the national grid to a separate company, Eirgrid, and wants the networks section to operate on a not-for-profit basis.

      Unions view this as asset stripping which reduces the value of the ESB by over รขโ€šยฌ1 billion.

      The incinerator is looking weaker every day; now where to put those stinking water works?

      Could we decentralise them?

    • #783940
      admin
      Keymaster

      so the chimneys would be redundant? what to do with them i wonder…

    • #783941
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Peter FitzPatrick wrote:

      what to do with them i wonder…

      A mix of helicopter rides above the city with a bit of target practice?

      Cullen: “Mr. Ctesiphon, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel!”
      Ctesiphon: “All right, keep your hair on, Martin!”
      Cullen: “Put me down!”
      Ctesiphon: “Oh, do you want to get off?”

      (With apologies to Ian Fleming.)

    • #783942
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      theres more than one station at poolbeg afaik.

    • #783943
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Peter FitzPatrick wrote:

      so the chimneys would be redundant? what to do with them i wonder…

      …all they’re missing is a crossbar…

    • #783944
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Cullen: “Mr. Ctesiphon, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel!”
      Ctesiphon: “All right, keep your hair on, Martin!”
      Cullen: “Put me down!”
      Ctesiphon: “Oh, do you want to get off?”

      WTF? Delicatessen in stainless steel? What sort of a dream is that? I mean, people think I’m strange because it’s my dream to run for the Daรƒยญl as an independent Communist, but thats just wierd.

    • #783945
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      “Begging Bond to spare his life, Ernst Blofeld baffles viewers with the cryptic line “I’ll buy you a delicatessen, in stainless steel!” It is reported that the phrase is attributable to Albert R. Broccoli, who recalled accounts of 1930s New York mafia gangsters offering full-service delis as a bribe to cohorts, complete with stainless steel countertops.”

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082398/trivia

      ๐Ÿ™‚

      Me? I dream of a bicycle-priority city centre. Who would you think stands the better chance?

    • #783946
      admin
      Keymaster

      Do you want a Deli?

      I have a 900 sq foot one on the market with a €30k fit out allowance and three months rent free; for you i’ll make that 6 months!

    • #783947
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      “Duuude! You got a Deli!”

      ๐Ÿ˜€

    • #783948
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      (With apologies to Ian Fleming.)

      That dialogue has nothing to do with Ian Fleming – he had been dead for nearly two decades when that film was released.

    • #783949
      admin
      Keymaster

      Really you learn something every day!

      Not personally unfortunately

      But I have ability to put one your way for the guys who pay my fees!

    • #783950
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Andrew Duffy wrote:

      That dialogue has nothing to do with Ian Fleming – he had been dead for nearly two decades when that film was released.

      Aye- but I’m not sure if ‘(With apologies to Richard Maibaum.)’ would have provided a sufficient clue to the gag I was making. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      (Also, the script was based on two Fleming short stories, afaik, which makes it closer to his writing than many of the other later films. But this is getting into hiar-splitting territory. :))

    • #783951
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Demolish them and build a 207m skyscraper instead and a couple of smaller ones, wow instant CBD!

    • #783952
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Whats that got to do with James Bond?

    • #783953
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      glad to see the back of poolbeg… hope they put a 350 meter tower in its place ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #783954
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Just goes to show, if you have a thread running for more than a page it turns into a discussion on high rise.:(

    • #783955
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Has that become the Archiseek version of Godwin’s Law? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • #783956
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      they are throwing up an incinerator in replacement of the chimmeys… what a joke for the location

    • #783957
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Rory W wrote:

      Just goes to show, if you have a thread running for more than a page it turns into a discussion on high rise.:(

      Voice of the people…………………..:D

    • #783958
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Chimneys aren’t going anywhere

    • #783959
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.sbpost.ie/news/the-two-towers-demolition-threat-to-dublin-icons-43787.html

      better get a move on if you want to do something sculptural with the chimney stacks.

      since they have already been mentioned in the STW control tower thread, maybe they could be moved to dublin airport as a new control tower, if they are so iconic:D

    • #783960
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It just shows you what stupid logic people apply. There’s only one single reason that these ugly, grimy-looking poles would be considered iconic – because they’re tall. Yet the same people who would call for their retention would lobby against any high rise buildings in Dublin, which are likely to be far more aesthetically pleasing as well as more iconic.

    • #783961
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I don’t know about that story, last year the ESB were very insistent that nothing would happen to them

    • #783962
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’d really be very disappointed to see these go, but it looks like a possiblity. I love them.

      http://www.thepost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=IRELAND-qqqm=nav-qqqid=43787-qqqx=1.asp

      If they have to go, which I hope is not the case, maybe one of them could be reconstructed on O’Connell Street, as illustrated by Morlan in a very memorable post on a thread which I can’t remember.:o:)

      I thought that picture was fantastic. I must look through the O’Connell Street and Westmorland Street threads – I think – to try and dredge it out.

    • #783963
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Could we not turn it into the worlds biggest reverse bungee/viewing platform ? It would make a fortune. Really

    • #783964
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      ugh demolish them! i’d love to see them disappear in a plume of smoke. They’re dirty, ugly, gaudy and their impact too massive. They always remind me of coming home when i’m on the final appraoch into Dublin airport as they are the only structures you can make out in the city. This is not a good thing. It just reinforces the fact there is no skyline and the most prominent structure in Dublin in an ugly relic from the 70’s…

    • #783965
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I would be extremely disappointed to see them go. Surely this would never happen?

      They are unlikely icons, but they’re icons all the same…

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