Monday, 26 March 2012

Bending perspectives

The docklands area has changed radically over the last ten years. Looking at the new skyline, it's fun to imagine how the award-winning, seven storey Design Tower was once an imposing building in terms of its scale. Nowadays, it still stands proud amongst an eclectic mix of new buildings, including the Daniel Libeskind  Grand Canal Theatre and the 12 storey Alto Vetro apartment block, (scale creatively depicted above and below!)

The Bolands Mill buildings seen in the image below, ceased production in 2001. Both the concrete and brick built buildings have considerable historical significance. The site was sold for €42M in 2004 and was to be redeveloped for apartments and offices.

While looking for information on Boland's Mills, I came across an amazing (but never realised) proposal by Julien De Smedt Architects, in 2008, which sought to build a public baths within the dockland basin:

"The Dublin Docklands Open Air Bath seeks to create a new and open public space that will energize the newly developed surrounding area. A catalyst for growth of new social activity, this public bath also serves as a link across the Grand Canal, consolidating the Docklands Area and continuing an important passage through the city of Dublin. Consisting of a children’s pool, diving pool, semi-Olympic pool, changing facilities, and a cafĂ©, this addition to the Dublin Docklands maximizes the potential for social development and land development."

A project which did come to fruition is The Lir Dance theatre. We're delighted to have them as our new neighbours. As The Lir website states that "This state-of-the-art academy trains actors, designers, directors, playwrights, stage managers and theatre technicians to the highest International standards for careers in the theatre."

The Lir was developed by the partnership of the Cathal Ryan Trust and Trinity College Dublin and opened in September 2011. It is formally associated with the world renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

We, the designers of The Design Tower, are proud to be located in this exciting new creative hub. For more information about what we do, have a look at our website. Most businesses work to appointment but we welcome visitors to drop by and meet us in person.

Article and photos by Aisling Nelson

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