Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Concrete Beauty...

This post is a beginning of my new series of photographs dedicated to modernist architecture in Ireland. I will try to create a photo archive with the most interesting objects from that time.
The first choice was an obvious for me for a few reasons...
Berkeley Library - Paul Koralek’s winning entry for the international design competition (June 1961) for a new library building representing the 20th century. Scheme was developed with later Paul’s business partners Peter Ahrends and Richard Burton. "ABK Architects" - a trio of genuine designers devoted to idea of new human-centred modernism where architecture is about people and their lives, about making spaces that have relationship with the activity they contain.
I met Paul a few times when I was a part of ABK’s team here in Dublin (2004-2006). Truly remarkable time with very creative and talented people.
Berkeley is ABK’s one of the first significant built works (beside Chichester Theological College, UK).
This Concrete Beauty (1967) is quietly resting since over 40 years in the middle of town behind the trees and walls of "TCD’s" other buildings from 18th and 19th century.
Photographed from outside by many people including me (it seams to be my favorite model) remains a mystery as an interior space. I was there once with our office (ABK) tour. Now, after almost 5 years I decided to come back with camera. Here I would like to thank librarians from Berkeley Librarian’s Office and security staff for making it happen.
Over 2 hours of wandering through the heart of this amazing structure it was just enough to get the feeling back, the one I had when I saw this place for the first time. Breathtaking design. I tried to absorb every single square meter I stepped on however the amount of  details and  simultaneously flying time was a bit destructing. I started from the top floor - beautifully sculptured reading area. Then I went slowly down through the first floor reading area and ground floor entrance space to the basement, place where Berkeley is connected with Arts Building (by ABK) and Ussher Library (by McCullough Mulvin Architects and KMD Architecture). That was the last stop of my “journey”... but certainly not the last time visiting Berkeley with camera ;)
...now I have to get ready for a session with another model made of concrete this Saturday.

Link to ABK’s website:"HERE"


At the end some technicalities:  all photographs were taken with Calumet CC-400 4x5 large format camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 150mm 5.6 lens. Film Fomapan 100  4x5 was developed in Caffenol-c-m and negatives scanned with Epson V700 photo

Thank you!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Boland's Mill

View from roof terrace of adjoining apartment building (2011)/on Fomapan 100

"Boland's Flour Mill still stands today, an austere six storey cut-stone storehouse built to store grain and flour by the Boland's family in the 1830s. It boasts 250 wooden windows, with excellent views over MacMahon Bridge and the Grand Canal Dock. Many of the old wooden hoppers and milling machines are still present within the building. Towering above the storehouse and its ancillary kiln and mills, are three industrial Gotham-like silos of reinforced concrete, pitched in the 1940s." (info: www.turtlebunbury.com)
It's wonderful Building and Dublin’s significant landmark.

View from Grand Canal Dock Dart Station (2011)/on Fomapan 100
I think the important question i am asking whenever i am talking about old, precious buildings nowadays is their future. They're sadly disappearing...
Boland’s Mill is deserted since about 10 years . Very central location, easy public access, its size, character and nature makes it wonderful candidate for incredible cultural space similar to Tate Modern
 in London.
Available online visualizations however suggests that this future may look different. Not necessarily well. Please click HERE (quite nice project however not as a replacement for existing historical site)

View from Grand Canal Quay (2011)/on Fomapan 100
Building, owned by National Treasury Management Agency and of course the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA)...(as far as i know) is destined to be part of a hotel and office complex...again :(  The good part (which I found out just after seeing and reading about new ideas for this place) is that Boland’s Mill is listed as a protected structure (!) by Dublin City Councill  :)
What will happen then? Time will tell...

View from Barrow Street (2010) /on kodak Portra 400@800
I live almost beside which makes easier to have a closer look. Internal access is denied. Below however are links to one of a few galleries with photographs taken actually inside ...really worth to look at.
Please click HERE.