Printworks, Dublin — Part 1
by Raymund Ryan
This is the first part of a four-part series on the Printworks in Dublin, which in summer 2001 won the Silver Medal for Housing from the The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI).
As disciplines, urban design and architecture often seem to be at cross purposes. Urban design tends to concern itself with the collective, architecture with isolated buildings. The Group 91 framework plan for Dublin's Temple Bar is an integrated proposal by architects for the creation of public urban spaces and for the insertion of new buildings into the historic fabric.
In particular, the Printworks by Derek Tynan is a didactic model: it suggests how people can beneficially live and work in a quickly evolving city and offers an urbanism of collage and potent reciprocity.
The cross-fertilization of High Art and Low Art has been one of the great themes of cultural discourse in the twentieth century. Whether at the dynamic level of metropolitan action and mass communication pursued by the Russian Constructivists or at the more intimate scale of Picasso's inclusion of text and pattern in his earliest collages, many artists and planners have concerned themselves with the recognition and amelioration of modern everyday life.
By crossing the boundaries of professional categorization and by integrating the ordinary and the mechanically produced, architecture too might shake off the burden of academic stagnation and become vital.