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!


  1. tak! teraz super! o to chodzi ;)

  2. great start to a promising series!

  3. thanks a lot!
    @ Monika - dzieki:) poprzednie skany byly fatalne. poza tym powoli odnajduje to cos na czym sie bede skupial ;)
    @ David - I was experimenting with films this morning in Liberty Hall. will see what will happen ;) cheers!