Action (C4-15) – Fergus Martin
Looking with another person can help to fine-tune the eye. Fergus and I decided to meet up and look at some architecture.
Monday, 15th June, 2009
‘Hey Good Lookin’
On a perfectly sunny day along Rock Road we eventually convinced the Buildings Manager we were two architecture students on a mission. His condition, “No photographs!”, allowed us stroll through BucholzMcEvoy’s newly completed project undistracted by having to capture the views. The six main buildingss of the Elmpark complex are stepped back, one behind the other, from the main road. Their surprising lightness has been achieved by doing away with ground floors completely, allowing you to walk unimpeded beneath the eight-story structures, free to admire the engineering magic that keeps everything from falling on top of you.
Looking at buildings can be like looking at art, with the advantage of not having to ask what they mean. Devoid of function an office block is an arrangement of concrete, metal, and glass, a dream home, uninhabited, is simply the interplay of surface, volume, and light. Though buildings are more than sculptural objects – Gaston Bachelard wrote that, “Inhabited space transcends geometrical space” – it was an enjoyable trick to hold all that in suspension, and to view the buildings as pure abstractions.
Our adventure included a swim in the ‘forty-foot’ at Sandycove, where Michael Scott’s modernist home looms ship-like in the background, and a new open-air urinal allows uninterrupted views of the Irish Sea.