Monday, 18 March 2013

Ubiquitous Concrete

It will be the first and probably the only Polish accent within 'Unfulfilled Dreams' series. 
1964, International Architectural Competition for Master Plan, for the New Campus & Arts, Administration and Aula Maxima Buildings for University College Dublin, Ireland.
The author of the winning scheme is very talented young architect from Poland, Andrzej Wejchert (1937-2009), graduated with honours from the Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology. 

I will focus here on the most important for me - Administration Building /Tierney Building/ completed in 1972, awarded Triennial Gold Medal 1971-1973 by The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.

Bridge in between  Newman and  Tierney buidings

I approached UCD Relations Office with request for permission to photograph Administration Building in early December 2012. Now in March 2013 finally
I was able to set my camera in there and record its internal beauty.

'This building has a centralising function relating to the entire campus. It is used by academic staff, students and outside visitors. The offices of the President, Registrar, Secretary and the Governing Body are located here, and it also serves as a distribution centre.The building features a dominent central space, containing the General Office Hall and Public Concourse. Cellular accomodation is simply and directly related to this space.'

Photographing UCD campus, oasis of modernist forms many times before I knew exactly that I will come back there one day to focus on just one, very special structure.
I am truly fascinated every single time I can admire such a genuine design. Concrete is so versatile and creative material to build with. Especially when used in the way Modernists did. 
Modernist's design is timeless itself... their  buildings however vanishing or quite often are changing irretrievably. I am pointing it almost every time I am photographing modernist architecture...
All UCD campus is changing as well which is obvious sign of time. It should be done however with a little bit more respect to the first and really good concept of all Belfield Campus.
Part of Tierney Building has been already 'covered' by new extension - UCD Research Building. It's a big loss as in my opinion the idea of the original design has been 'damaged'… You can still have a look at non existent elevation visible on old photographs. It is beautiful...Please click HERE

First floor waiting area
Interior space is mostly reorganized of course and its way of use has changed. However there are still  places which remains untouched or at least they looks like that ;)
I am talking about communication area.
Typically nice staircase, large windows giving beautiful natural light, bridge in between Tierney and John Henry Newman buildings /first photograph/...and ubiquitous fascinating concrete.


Coming back to the author ... After winning mentioned above competition Andrzej Wejchert co-founded in 1974 with Danuta Kornaus-Wejchert the practice later known as a  A&D Wejchert Architects, here in Dublin. While working initially in Ireland, A&D Wejchert Architects undertook also several commissions in Poland. 
Andrzej Wejchert passed away in May 2009.

I also took couple of photographs outside which I am going to present very soon.
 /within 'Unfulfilled Dreams' series on my website and on my FB website