Postmodern architecture in Ireland

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    • #706731
      ciarandeeney
      Participant

      Hi.
      I’m doing a project on cultural expression in Ireland focusing on postmodern architecture. What else is considered post-modern architecture other than The National Gallery of Ireland? If this is a naive question, forgive me

    • #739356
      shadow
      Participant

      One place to start would be with the Group 91 architects pre 1990, particularly John Twomey (OPW) Children’s Court Smithfield, O’Donnell Twomey IFC and Photographic Archive Temple Bar, McCulloch Mulvin, IEI and Abbey Theatre extensions, Grafton Architects, Building on Ormond Quay, Shane O’Toole et al Rear of Ark, Temple Bar, Temple Bar Masterplan (in total); facade over content. Throughout the country there are other numerous examples. Also look at AAI awards Books for the era before the awareness of Spanish Rationalism in the 1990’s. Some of the work does not stand up to scrutiny today. The problem with fashion and awards that follow is best summarised in the words of Mao who when asked about the impact of the French Revolution, he replied it was too early to say.

    • #739357
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      are you saying the new extension to the national gallery is an example of postmodernism?
      not to sound too technical here ciaran, but you mentioned both “postmodern” and
      “post-modern” both of which mean different things in that realm of architecturl intellectualism. postemodernism was amovement in the 80’s and 90’s mainly in ireland which used references and motifs from ancient greece, rome etc. in a playful manner, in the hope that buildings would be able to relate to the general public’s ideas of what a building should be. largely laughed at in hindsight this was very popular in the area of new office developments in the 90’s which stick out as cheap facile monsters in most citeis around the world. i would agree that most of shadows examples fall into this category.

    • #739358
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What?, can you direct me to more information on the difference between ‘post-modern’ and ‘postmodern’ architecture. It sounds interesting.

      Thanks

      Phil

    • #739359
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      i think i read it in a piece by charles jenks. he’s written a lot of books on the subject as it relates to architecture. there are also other meanings for the word in other contexts like, literature and art.

    • #739360
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for that what?. I have some stuff by Jencks so I will look through that again.

    • #739361
      GrahamH
      Participant

      what? – your ? throws me every time!

    • #739362
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      what?

    • #739363
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Is this the only ‘real’ example of postmodernism in Dublin, if not Ireland, in terms of sheer scale and conformity with international trends of the time? A monumental pile of an office building (influences of Webb’s Govt Buildings in there!) on Herbert Street, just opposite the Pepper Cannister:

      Certainly been here for a few years as I’ve passed it for a while now, but still looks scarily recent…
      Any other examples?

    • #739364
      notjim
      Participant

      I guess another example is that building on Tara Street which is now next door to that bow fronted modernist building the Times is moving to.

    • #739365
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Jervis Street Shopping Centre?

      Martin Ryan Institute for Marine Science, NUI Galway?

      ‘postmodernism was a movement in the 80’s and 90’s mainly in ireland which used references and motifs from ancient greece, rome etc. in a playful manner’

      Only references to ancient rome and greece?: surely it also includes any reference to local traditional styles – my understanding was that that was what made contemporary Galway the embodiment of postmodern pastiche (old pseudo-land)- the synthesis of new architectural materials and styles with references to traditional-local elements also.

    • #739366
      BTH
      Participant

      St Stephens Green Centre has to fall into the Postmodern category – It’s very “late Venturi” vith it’s massive clock inside and applied facade decoration… On one level it’s a bit of fun and I can remember being blown away by the place when it was new and I was only 10 or something! On every other level its a nightmare though…

      From the ridiculous to the simply banal – the Ulster Bank offices on George’s Quay are one of the worst examples of bog standard Postmodern – contrast with the building next door on Moss St/Townsend St. which is essentially exactly the same except without the applied decoration.

    • #739367
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Busker Browns pub, Galway

    • #739368
      lexington
      Participant

      The Marshes, Dundalk

      Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt

      and

      Watergold, Cork (yes, I know I know! πŸ˜€ )

    • #739369
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Galway irish Crystal Heritage Centre? Built in the 1990s, I think.

    • #739370
      BTH
      Participant

      Yeah, Galway Crystal is a great/awful example! Its probably soon to be demolished though – the site is up for sale with residential zoning… What a site for something fantastic to go up, right at the gateway to Galway city! What are the chances though….

    • #739371
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @BTH wrote:

      Yeah, Galway Crystal is a great/awful example! Its probably soon to be demolished though – the site is up for sale with residential zoning… What a site for something fantastic to go up, right at the gateway to Galway city! What are the chances though….

      Thats mad news. The western suburbs of Galway are really spreading out at a phenomenal rate. Classic case of the need for higher density development if ever there was one.

    • #739372
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      There’s an office block on Mount Street (Lower or Upper? The non-Peppercanister one) by Andrzej Wejchert that is undeniably Postmodern, a term I understand as being close to Mannerism (Italian 16th century version), in that it is playful and ironic and depends on a basic familiarity with the ‘rules’ of classicism. This building has columns flanking the main entrance that support no pediment or entablature, and a cutstone arch that is missing its keystone, to name two features. I actually quite like it though I’m not usually a fan of Postmodernism, but I know it’s not universally admired.
      It’s opposite one of those horrible pubs (Howl at the Moon?) near the Merrion Square end of the street.

      I’m not sure if I’d class the Galway Crystal place as pomo- I always thought it was trying to be the real deal of classicism and failing miserably rather than having any jokey classical allusions incorporated. Not so much tongue-in-cheek as tongue-hanging-out.

    • #739373
      GrahamH
      Participant

      πŸ™‚ You do get that impression alright. Yes the Lower Mount St building would be a good example – there’s surprisingly few ‘pure’ postmodern buildings about.
      Obviously it’s a broad church, which is why this thread was raised again – to try and root out blatent examples of postmodernism as distinct from the likes of the Ulster Bank as BTH says, or Beresford Court, Watergold and even the Treasury Building – all of which bear references to the style, but are essentially watered down versions, if even that – what are more often referred to here as ‘early 90s stuff’ than ‘postmodern’.

      The Herbert St building is a classic example of pomo as executed on an international level, as is the Tara St building, but we don’t seem to have much else about the country. It’s either architecture that just attempts a ‘classic look’, or the opposite end of the scale that goes all out reproduction.

    • #739374
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Postmodern, a term I understand as being close to Mannerism (Italian 16th century version), in that it is playful and ironic and depends on a basic familiarity with the ‘rules’ of classicism.

      The beauty of postmodernism is the difficulty in defining it – it is as slippery as an eel. I know in the world of literary, visual and musical arts, postmodernism does not necessarily involve any reference to classicism per se. Rather, it involves a rejection of master narratives (unlike modernism and victorianism) and a sense of frustration at the difficulty of ‘coming up’ with something new. To that end, it revels in re-hashing the past, in juxtaposing styles that may or may not sit comfortably together (consider, for example, the drawing together of different musical traditions and cultural images in Madonna’s new hit ‘Hung-up’). From my understanding of the issue, in architecture that can involve the sowing together of different architectural and cultural referents and artefacts, some of which can have an explicit connection with the architectural traditions of the local area but are not necessarily informed by any concept of classicism. :confused:

    • #739375
      GregF
      Participant

      A good thing about postmodernism was that it help spawn a renewed respect for old buildings. Up until then Modernism saw the destruction of many an old town and classical gem.

    • #739376
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      @PDLL wrote:

      The beauty of postmodernism is the difficulty in defining it – it is as slippery as an eel. I know in the world of literary, visual and musical arts, postmodernism does not necessarily involve any reference to classicism per se. Rather, it involves a rejection of master narratives (unlike modernism and victorianism) and a sense of frustration at the difficulty of ‘coming up’ with something new. To that end, it revels in re-hashing the past, in juxtaposing styles that may or may not sit comfortably together (consider, for example, the drawing together of different musical traditions and cultural images in Madonna’s new hit ‘Hung-up’). From my understanding of the issue, in architecture that can involve the sowing together of different architectural and cultural referents and artefacts, some of which can have an explicit connection with the architectural traditions of the local area but are not necessarily informed by any concept of classicism. :confused:

      Replace the word ‘classicism’ in my last post with the word ‘architecture’- it’s what I meant originally anyway (the classicism thing was with reference to Mannerism).
      I agree with you about the distinction being that between accident and design. Postmodernim relies on the knowing bending of rules or accretion of features of various periods, rather than on inadvertent juxtaposition and unintended deviation. That was why I disputed the Galway building’s credentials.
      I’d also agree with the ‘frustration’ argument, but not with the rejection of master narratives. Or rather, postmodernists may claim to be rejecting master narratives but even in such a claim they are partly embracing them. Or did you mean that they are rejecting the concept of a master narrative? which I think is fairly true.

      One other thing- I don’t see Madonna as postmodern. Desperate, yes]art[/I] in her appropriation. So I think the point you make is a good one, but the artist you use to illustrate it is a bit wide of the mark.

    • #739377
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      That was why I disputed the Galway building’s credentials..

      I accept your argument on the Galway building.

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      I’d also agree with the ‘frustration’ argument, but not with the rejection of master narratives. Or rather, postmodernists may claim to be rejecting master narratives but even in such a claim they are partly embracing them. Or did you mean that they are rejecting the concept of a master narrative? which I think is fairly true…

      Also agree – most of the major tenets of postmodernism that also be seen as metanarratives in their own right – the fragmented self, the collapse of the boundary between high and low culture etc. These concepts have, ironically, become metanarratives in their own right.

      On Madonna – need to look at her video again to study it more closely before I would comment in detail on this. Perhaps Talking Heads would be a better example – on a road to nowhere and all of that. You are a bit harsh on Madonna, though – I hope I am that agile in my late forties.

    • #739378
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      If you spent as much money on personal trainers and image consultants as she has I’ve no doubt you’d be in with a chance. πŸ™‚
      I’ll be happy if my mind is as agile as her body.

    • #739379
      Andrew Duffy
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      A monumental pile of an office building (influences of Webb’s Govt Buildings in there!) on Herbert Street, just opposite the Pepper Cannister

      I walked into the city along Upper Mount Street today, and was surpised to find a building from 1980s London had been airlifted onto Herbert Street. That kind of postmodern pile is so rare here I had to look it up. It’s a Treasury building (unsurprisingly) and it’s by Arthur Gibney (surprisingly). It was built in 1997, but approved in 1991, which explains the style I suppose.

      http://www.treasuryholdings.ie/investment/project_detail.asp?id=76&category=Office&cat=3
      http://www.agparchitects.ie/commercial_info.htm
      http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=0630/91

    • #739380
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      Isn’t there a fairly prominent (and ugly) postmodern office building on the corner site at the Custom House end of Abbey Street? Across the road from Irish Life?

    • #739381
      LOB
      Participant
    • #739382
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Truly truly hideous – even more depressing than Ulster Bank (4 storey) across the river.

      1997 is astonishingly late for that Herbert St building Andrew – very surprising.

      However Gibney being the architect wouldn’t surprise me at all – he seems to have made a u-turn not long after Fitzwilliam St. Much of his practice’s stuff in the 1990s has been in a vaguely Postmodern vein, and they’ve done conservation projects too I think.
      Also not surprisingly it is his practice that are architects for the Harcourt Street plant shop site in Dublin, if that offers any indication as to what’s going to be erected there…
      I tried to see the plans but they’ve been submitted and the application invalidated, and resubmitted and withdrawn thus far, so it’ll be interesting to see what they’ve come up with when it eventually comes to light…

      On a broader (very broad) vein, and picking up on the O’Donnell & Tuomey thread, generally speaking what is influencing architecture in Ireland today? Where are Irish architects getting their cues from? Is there a distinct lack of imagination in the average urban build in Irish towns and cities – is our, what is described up North as ‘straight line brigade’ merely playing about with grid formations and making use of standard conventions in glazing and ‘quality’ masonry and other materials, or is there something better going on?

      As Venturi was mentioned earlier, it seems we have moved strongly away from his thinking regarding the separation of structure and decoration, and are increasingly moving into the realm of a ‘false’ structuralism, where structure is suggested, but by means of applied decorative cladding rather than exposure of the elements themselves, which is largely a big no no in Ireland at least at the minute.

      Rambling off a bit, what would you describe this as – are we still in a post-modern (as oppposed to Postmodern) phase?

      Or the monstrous Lavitts Quay – is that barely out of the Postmodern closet but mainly in the post-modern category?


      Originally posted by Devin

      And what defines a ‘good’ building for people nowadays? It struck me that Scott’s assessment of things in that 1970s interview with Bowman shown recently are as relevant today as ever: “good proportion, quality materials and a user-friendly design”, a design that serves it purpose. But have perceptions of quality in proportion and materials changed, not to mention how a building should express itself?

      Sorry this is all over the place, and I don’t claim to know what I’m talking about, but just a few notions…

    • #739383
      GregF
      Participant

      Just looking at the photos nd thought didn’t Postmodernism throw up some really kitsch buildings….kinda Liberace sort of buildings.

    • #739384
      Andrew Duffy
      Participant

      The Alexander Hotel on Fenian Street (by Henry J Lyons, I think) is another fairly pure postmodern building, and very recent too – it opened in 1997.

      http://travel.yahoo.com/p-hotel-325012-action-pictures-the_mont_clare_hotel-i;_ylt=AmhUai3kX5J5unaYjqmZ2sziphQB

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