Wednesday 16 May 2007

Architectural merit? You must be joking

MOTORISTS stuck on the M50 at 6pm could be forgiven for missing the fact that they are slowly inching their way through what could become an area of great architectural esteem.

The same goes for the landfill site at Dunsink in north county Dublin. Merely a dump? No, of course not, it is an area which screams future development and possibility.

Both the M50 and Dunsink will form part of the Irish entry to an international architecture festival in Lisbon about urban spaces and how they can be improved through appropriate buildings.

With a theme of 'Urban Void', Ireland is one of 11 countries which has been invited to exhibit at the inaugural Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

As part of the Irish entry to the exhibition, Grafton Architects will look at the Dunsink landfill and how the area might be grown, while Dermot Foley Landscape Architects are looking at the green areas along the M50 and how they could be made into parks.

The Irish section is being curated by Peter Cody, of Boyd Cody Architects, and Peter Carroll, of A2 Architects. It will focus on how the city works as a whole and the issue of space within the city.

The organisers are proud of what is a prestigious achievement in being invited to the exhibition, while other countries, such as the UK, have not been.

Other architectural areas which will be examined are the Digital Hub, the River Liffey and the Ballymun Regeneration Project.

"Our aim is to reawaken a new examination of the city in its broader context," said Mr Cody.

"We have found an almost unconscious city, there is very little knowledge of the scale of change going on out there. What are Dublin city's boundaries? Where does the city begin and end? "We have come to realise that the project of the city is continuous. Through the process of decay, rarefaction and urban rapture, the city is constantly being remade and reimagined from within."

And Mr Carroll, of A2 Architects, added: "This is the first time the majority of these projects will be seen in the public sphere." The exhibition will run in Lisbon from May 31 to July 31 and is being supported by the Royal Institute of Architects and Dublin City Council among others.

Shane Hickey
Irish Independent

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