Printworks, Dublin — Part 3
by Raymund Ryan
This is the third 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). Part One - Part Two
In the Cornell Journal of Architecture #1, 1981, Professor Colin Rowe contributed an essay entitled "The Present Urban Predicament."
Originally delivered as a lecture in London in 1979, the essay argues from a diagnosis of Modernist "physics envy, Zeitgeist worship, object fixation, and stradaphobia" to a constructive sensibility for the more humane planning of urban buildings.
Differentiating between Edwin Lutyens's Grey Walls, "a highly constructed field from which figure emerges," and Gerrit Rietveld's Schröder House, where "there is a complete absence of any supporting apparatus or enframing field," Rowe proceeds to an appreciation of New York's Rockefeller Center which "involves both an ideal of normative procedure and an ideal of empirical concession."
The discussion is of course one of "object versus context." With typical erudition, Rowe leads to a "cursory prognosis" which moves from Baroque Rome to the Marseilles Unité d_Habitation and from the Parisian hôtel particulier to Mondriaan's fecund "Victory Boogie Woogie."
Seen from above, the Printworks, Dublin, seems to be excavated from the dense urban fabric of Temple Bar.
Photo: Derek Tynan Architects
View of the east-facing duplexes from the courtyard above the Rocha design studio in the Printworks.
Photo: John Searle
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