Printworks, Dublin — Part 2
by Raymund Ryan
This is the second 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).
When the Taoiseach Charles Haughey officially designated Temple Bar as one of his own "grands projets" (to be spurred on by tax incentives, by European cultural funding, and by profits from a warren of hostelries), he famously willed it to become established as the Left Bank of Dublin.
But while Haughey may have been nostalgic in that nomenclature for some personal memory of the 1950s, his intention — and that of many in the arts community — was to see it as the Irish Marais, as a dense urban condition of physical renovation and artistic fervor.
Modern planning was not going to destroy it. In 1925, Le Corbusier had of course proposed to eradicate much of the real Marais with his Plan Voisin for Paris.
In 1991, Group 91 predicted almost no physical destruction in the area of Temple Bar: distinct from the blanket Cartesian axiality of his planning, their loyalties, however, owed much to the architectural constructions of the same Le Corbusier.
The group's joint proposal was headed "Community for 3000 Inhabitants Living in the City." Its aims were to strengthen and re-present the traditional urban qualities of block and street; to mine the insides of these blocks and insert new structures unapologetically within the old; and to create — for the first time in more than a century — new inner-city squares for public use.
The shared, raised courtyard of the Printworks in Dublin. View toward the entrance stair with studio flats to the left and "style paquebot" pavilion to the right.
Photo: John Searle
First floor, Printworks.
Image: Derek Tynan Architects
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