Sunday, 2 October 2011

What's left?

Saturday morning (week ago)... After a few minutes in the train i was in Tara Street with all my equipment. Then just a short walk over the Liffey, couple of minutes conversation with security at the entrance and I was in the lift going to the 15th floor of.... Liberty Hall, ready to shoot this important Dublin’s landmark.

A few basic facts - building was deigned by Desmond Rea O’Kelly (1923-2011). Construction of this modern and translucent building began in the early 1960s and was completed in 1965.  It was very Simple and solid structure with non-reflective glass that you could see through the corners, with beautiful mosaic under the glazing on each floor and viewing platform (open to public) on the top (16th) floor.  
It was the first high-rise building in Dublin.

stairs in-between 15th and 16th floor lever with wonderful mosaics 
 An incident in 1972 changed everything irreparably. UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) car bomb explosion led to dramatic changes in overall aesthetic of Liberty Hall and the way the building was operating. Original glazing, mostly destroyed in explosion, was replaced with reflective, silver coated windows. Viewing Platform was closed. Also water-resistant coating was applied over the mosaic on all elevations. Texture of mosaic is still visible if one come closer.
Nobody was looking after the building since many years which led into the way how it looks now - cracks in the windows,  dilapidated parts of facades...
Sadly it become one of the most unpopular structure in Dublin.

I mentioned this building about year ago in my “before they will vanish...” post (clikc HERE please to read it). You can find there (at the bottom of the post)  a link to wonderful documentary about “Liberty Hall” by Paddy Cahill. It says everything about this fantastic structure and its history. I really recommend to watch it!

It is still possible that building will disappear from Dublin’s panorama. That would be a shame. Its simple structure and versatile design makes it very easy to restore, bring back to its original stage and make it shine again.
Nobody knows however how the future of Liberty Hall looks like ...
We are loosing lots of precious buildings nowadays. It's a piece of history. One day we will just ask ourselves - what's left?

doors from staircase to corridor
view form the landing in-between 8th and 9th floor level
I want to thank to Liberty Hall Property Management for giving me permission to spend there quite a long time with my cameras where I could walk through communication area (narrow corridors and staircases) of the office part of the building. it was still very limited access but I am very happy that i was there.

Technicalities at the end...
this time 2 cameras: Calumet CC-400 and Craflex Crown Graphic, 2 lenses: Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 150mm 5.6 and Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon 90mm 8.0 and 2 films: Fomapan 100@64  4x5 and Kodak T-Max 100 4x5, both developed in Caffenol. I was trying to find out if Kodak T-Max will give me better results in creating images for this series and it didn’t happen. I must admit that Fomapan 100 4x5 souped in Caffenol is just superb.

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