Monday, 30 April 2007

Put people first by design, says civic leader

ARCHITECTS must strive for higher standards and place people at the centre of their work, a leading civic figure said at the weekend.

John X Miller, the head of Cork’s Civic Trust, a non-profit voluntary organisation dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the city’s architectural heritage and environment, made the comments at the launch of his new book Emerging Cork on Friday night.

It captures in photographs the cutting-edge architecture which has changed the face of the city.

It highlights the impact of many of the newest buildings — some up to seven years old but others which have yet to be opened.

It features striking images from some of the city’s top professional photographers, including Janice O’Connell, Kevin Dwyer and Tony O’Connell, who also acted as photographic adviser.

It also includes artists’ impressions of projects under construction.

The images focus mainly on the outside of the buildings, highlighting their architectural impact. However, interior elements, which Mr Miller said were crucial in many ways to achieving work-life balance, have also been included.

He described the book as an extended snapshot and record of the swift pace of unprecedented development in the city in recent years

“It dawned on me that no one seemed to be keeping a visual record of how these changes were impacting on the city and its existing built heritage,” he said.

“Even as we speak, the city is still developing and changing, a fact which makes keeping a visual record of these changes all the more important.”

Mr Miller said the rising architectural standards must rise further.

“All involved in creating a vibrant living city need to aspire to the highest of standards, be it in planning, construction and aesthetics. Most of all, people and their needs must be placed at the very centre of this creative process,” he said.

The book, funded by the Civic Trust and Cork City Council, includes a foreword by Irish Examiner property editor, Tommy Barker. The book was launched by Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin.

It is on sale at Cork Vision Centre, North Main Street, and bookstores, at €25. A companion DVD is being made for pupil education.

Irish Examiner

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