Louis Kahn’s Influence on Two Irish Architects                                 Written by Paul Govern
Acknowledgements:I would like to thank Noel Dowley first and foremostfor welcoming me into his home to interview him inFeb...
Table Of ContentsAcknowledgements                                               3.Introduction                            ...
Introduction:At first glance Ireland’s architecture appears to have been dictated by aseries of intermittent dialogues wit...
ronment.4 During this time concrete was used throughout Europe on vary-                                                   ...
graduation De Blacam was subsequently pointed in Kahn’s direction byDowley. These events like many of the seminal moments ...
Chapter One: Kahn’s Influence on Noel Dowley
The Influence of Louis Kahn on Noel DowleyIt is 10.25 am on March 17th 2012. It is a beautiful Spring morning, whichis unu...
and teaching methods, stem from his time at Penn.15 During his time there                                                 ...
nearest to god.”19                              There were 40 students in his class at Penn, andthere was an even split be...
Gallery [fig.6].22 During his time at Yale he would often commute by train with                                           ...
13.                                                         14.Plans, Workshop at New Dock, Noel Dowley, 1976-1977.       ...
asked him to help him and a group of thirty other families, who were living                                               ...
in his use of applied colour.30 During our conversation he pointed to theinfluence of Aldo Van Eyck and his ideas of the t...
Chapter Two: Kahn’s Influence on Shane De Blacam
Kahn’s Influence on Shane De BlacamIt is 3pm on a busy Wednesday afternoon in 4 St. Catherine’s Lane West. The Summer sunl...
in 1968, he approached Dowley for a reference. His aim was to study under                                                 ...
ceiling structure which echoes the ceiling of Kahn’s First Unitarian Churchin Rochester and the Exeter Library [fig 20-21]...
22.Plans, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt), De Blacam and Meagher Architects, 1979.
23.Interior/ Exterior Drawings, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt), De Blacam and Meagh...
orientated in landscape to express the horizontal nature of the project.                                                  ...
ConclusionKahn’s legacy to Irish architecture was largely not a stylistic one, as muchof his work was outside of such tren...
Bibliography:Becker, Annette et al. 20th Century Architecture Ireland, (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997).Campbell, Hugh. “Iri...
List of Illustrations:Title Page/ Inside Cover, Louis Kahn talking to Students at the School of Architecture Zurich. Febru...
House For a Guitar Maker Iveagh Gardens Dublin
Response to Brief:The Client is a talented Luthier who wishes to relocate his family and business interests to Dublin. He ...
NTS Roof Plan In Context InRoo                                                               1.1500 Roof 1.1500 Co        ...
C   C           D             D                                   A   A                                     A             ...
NTS West Elevation In Context  NTS Section B-B In Context
NTS North Elevation In Context   NTS Section C-C In Context
NTS South Elevation In Context   NTS Section D-D In Context
NTS Section A-ANTS Section A-A
Two Point Perspective Along Hatch StreetOne Point Perspective of Family Living Spaces          One Point Perspective of Wo...
Master Bedroom & Study         Playing Space
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A5 dissertation

  1. 1. Louis Kahn’s Influence on Two Irish Architects Written by Paul Govern
  2. 2. Acknowledgements:I would like to thank Noel Dowley first and foremostfor welcoming me into his home to interview him inFebruary 2012. It was an absolute pleasure to discusstopics such as Louis Kahn, Le Corbusier, amongstother things. At the end of this text is the fruition of thisshort dialogue, and with it numerous hours of researchand writing. I would also like to thank Saul Golden forhis help in Second Year Design Studio. He pushed mebeyond what I ever thought I was capable of, and wasthe first tutor who challenged me to discard technol-ogy in favour of the pencil. Finally I would like to thankDr. Tanja Poppelreuter for her help and advice in theproduction of this text. She always had time for thosethat needed help, and was a fantastic person to talkto about anything. When I reflect upon my time hereat University of Ulster many years from now, it will bethese two educators whom I can always recall as thefoundation of my success. For this and more I thankyou.
  3. 3. Table Of ContentsAcknowledgements 3.Introduction 5.Louis Kahn’s Influence on Noel Dowley 7.Louis Kahn’s Influence on Shane De Blacam 13.Conclusion 19.Bibliography 20.List of Illustrations 21. Louis Kahn’s Influence on Two Irish Architects Paul Govern
  4. 4. Introduction:At first glance Ireland’s architecture appears to have been dictated by aseries of intermittent dialogues with Britain and Europe. These narrativesinclude: Celtic, Christian, Classical and Modern architecture.1 Under closerinspection these influences appear to have been moulded to the Irish context.The relatively small size and isolated position of this island has meant thesestyles often become simpler than their source, taking on their own sense ofself. Which raises the question of what exactly is the essence of Irish Archi-tecture? In truth this question is something which is also relevant to all facetsof Irish society. Irish architecture like its heritage, language and linage of itspeople, is a succession of cultural layers, thus each new layer is informed bythe previous one. I believe that this is largely due to the to and fro of people 1. Aerial Photograph of Ardnacrusha Hydro Electric Powerfrom other cultures. Without such movements, the architecture, culture and Dam, Siemens Schuckert, 1925-9.the spoken word of the Irish people would probably be something different.2 Structure is reminiscent of Behren’s Industrial architecture, however it moulds The dawn of the twentieth century brought with it a itself to the Irish context in the manner in which is landscaped.yearning for a new Ireland, one which was free from its greatest oppressorand influence; Britain. In 1922 the Irish Free State was formed and over thelast century gave the Irish people a chance to find a new identity, a trait whichshould have assimilated into Irish architecture.3 While the new Governmentwas adamant about finding an Irishness in Irish society, it never seemed tomaterialise in Ireland’s architecture. Instead they promoted the InternationalStyle in its state funded projects, largely to show the world that it had brokenfree from its greatest influence and oppressor: Britain. An early example ofthis was the first major state funded project; the Hydro Electric Power Sta-tion at Ardnacrusha in Co. Clare [fig1]. While the government portrayed theIrishness of the stations design to the people with a propagandist fervour, itsorigins is often seen as anything but Irish. Designed and built by a Germanconstruction firm Siemens Schuckert, the project is obviously German in itsorigins (echoing the work of Peter Behrens Industrial architecture). Howeverit is the material which it is made from which perhaps moulds it into its envi-1 Sarah A. Lappin, Full Irish New Irish Architecture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2.2009),1-10.2 Seán O’Reilly, “Architecture in Ireland prior to 1900,” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed. Night’s Candles are Burnt, Séan Keating, 1928-29.Annette Becker et al. (Munich: Here the artist portrays the old Ireland drunken and tired on the left, the youth Prestel Verlag, 1997), 11-16. and the church building the future on the right, the American or European3 Séan Rothery, “Ireland and the New Architecture 1900-1940,” in 20th Century Architecture businessman who is essential to this transition, and finally the structure that willIreland, ed Annette Becker et al. make the future a reality. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997), 17-21.
  5. 5. ronment.4 During this time concrete was used throughout Europe on vary- ing scales but its use here is a celebration of Ireland’s limestone deposits, a material which is often cited as Ireland’s indigenous material. Even the manner in which the station was moulded into the river raises suggestions of a slight departure from Modernism.5 Perhaps a pure Irish style is non existent, and instead could be the manner in which Irish architects mould external influences to the Irish context? However one thing is for certain, it forms a juxtaposition between the old and new Ireland, with the essence of this transition beautifully portrayed by Sean Keating in his interpretation of the project [fig2]. Whilst traditionally the narratives here were often intensively singular and far between, nowadays there is a wealth of diver- sity as architects seem to be unable to agree on a single narrative.6 This rich diversity in contemporary Irish architecture has been driven by the im- port and export of young graduates over the course of the last century. The reason for this is largely due to successive periods of boom and bust in the Irish economy. There has been a long succession of famous Irish architects who escaped these recurring social and economic highs and lows in order to find their own distinct narratives. The ambition of this text is discuss one instance of this import/ export in the 20th century. While there are many others who have discussed the entirety of Louis Kahn’s life and work, I felt there was a story here that was largely untold. It is a story of two Irish architects and their time with Kahn, and subsequently the manner in which they moulded this influence to the Irish context. The two Irish architects concerned are Noel Dowley and Shane De Blacam, both of whom studied under Louis Kahn at University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s.7 Their educa- tion and early careers appear to have been intertwined, and just as Penn and Yale had been for Kahn, University College Dublin formed a mainstay for these two architects. Dowley was the first to study under Kahn, and later taught architecture at undergraduate level to De Blacam at UCD. Upon3. 4 Paul Lamour, Free State Architecture: Modern Movement Architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949Exterior Window of The Norman Fisher House, Pennsylvania, Louis (Cork: Gandon Editions, 2009), 1-25.Kahn, 1967. 5 Hugh Campbell, “Irish Identity and the Architecture of the New State,” in 20th Century Archi-Note how Kahn uses oak cladding and glazing to mould the building to the sites tecture Ireland, ed. Annette Becker etcontext. al. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997), 83-88. 6 Sarah A. Lappin, Full Irish New Irish Architecture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009),1-10. 7 Kester Rattenbury, Robert Bevan et al, Architects Today (London: Lawerence Publishing, 2004), 44-47.
  6. 6. graduation De Blacam was subsequently pointed in Kahn’s direction byDowley. These events like many of the seminal moments in Kahn’s careerwere largely the result of chance, and it is hard to imagine how either wouldhave developed in the manner in which they did, if not for such institutionsas UCD and Penn.8 Their journey to America to find Kahn reflected the lackof opportunity in not just architecture here in Ireland, but Irish society as awhole.9 When they returned to Ireland, they progressively began to unravelIreland’s fixation with Modern architecture. While Louis Kahn perhaps bestknown for the monumentality of such buildings as the Salk institute andthe Fisher House [fig.3], I believe it is his philosophies and elemental use ofmaterial which these two architects moulded to the Irish context.10 For a short period in 2010 I worked for Shane DeBlacam in his office in Dublin. During this time the practice was curatingIreland’s entry in the Venice Bennialle 2010. The theme of the pavilion wasa celebration of the hand drawing, and the craft of architecture. My maintask during my time here was to organise the firms catalogue of drawingsfrom the 1970s and edit some of their serene hand drawings for use in thepavilion. While the practice’s work has equally been influenced by JohnMeagher and his experiences studying in Scandinavia, the spirit of Kahnis the predominant force in their work [fig.4].11 It was here I first experiencedone of history’s greatest architects.8 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in SouthDublin, February 17, 2012. 4.9 Sarah A. Lappin, Full Irish New Irish Architecture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, Interior Window Seat of One Castle Street, Dublin, De Blacam &2009), 41-45. Meagher Architects.10 William J.R Curtis, “On Monuments and Monumentality: Louis Kahn,” in Modern Architecture Shane De Blacam utilises the facade details of many of Kahn’s houses, and in thisSince 1900, case moulds it to a vibrant city context. Note the tall fixed glazing and window panel, (London: Phaidon, 1982), 513-527. a detail which is similar to many of Kahn’s houses.11 Kenneth Frampton, editor Tom de Paor et.al. The Culture of materials in the work of DeBlacam and Meagher: An Appraisal, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall Editions 2010 ) 76.
  7. 7. Chapter One: Kahn’s Influence on Noel Dowley
  8. 8. The Influence of Louis Kahn on Noel DowleyIt is 10.25 am on March 17th 2012. It is a beautiful Spring morning, whichis unusual for this time of year in Ireland, and the people around me aretaking full advantage of the sunshine as I approach my destination. Aftera relatively straightforward journey by car through Dublin City, I arrive withtime to spare in Blackrock; a small town south of Dublin with stunning viewsover Dublin Bay. A retired architect named Noel Dowley opens his frontdoor and welcomes me into his lavish Georgian home. Over the next fewhours we discuss the influence of Kahn upon him and Shane De Blacam,amongst other things. The main course of the conversation is a discussionof Dowley’s key works, his time at UCD and the period in which he studied 5.under Louis Kahn at University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s. In response Project For an Elementary School, Anne Tyng, 1928-29.to the social context of Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, where people had Note the influence of Tyng’s lightweight Tetrahedral grid structure on the Yale Art Gallery.little appetite for architecture, he was adamant about finding his own wayoutside of the restrictions he felt in Ireland. A time he admits when therewas little or nothing for him or his peers, except emigration. His first experi-ence of Kahn’s work was in a magazine. The article showcased some ofKahn’s work and notes from one of his lectures, and it was in this momenthe knew he had to go to the source, and study under Kahn. Initially this hadto be put on hold as he was unsuccessful in his first application at under-graduate level. Instead he studied for three years at UCD between 1958and 1961, after which he was successful in his second attempt in 1963.12At the time he was also quite uneasy about how he was going to fund hisMasters studies. In order to realise his dream he would have to leave hisfamily behind, and financially it was a tough decision for him. As luck wouldhave it, one thing led to another and he was granted a Fullbrite Scholar-ship, which subsequently covered most of his costs while he was at Penn.13He was the first Irish student to receive this award to study architectureabroad. As he set off to study at Penn he had three objectives. He wishedto find an Irish architecture, his own way in the profession, and an architec-ture which engaged with the social problems of the time14. The main attitudes of his work, both in his architecture 6.12 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in SouthDublin, February 17, 2012. Interior Photograph, Yale Art Gallery, Louis Kahn. Note the influence of Tyng’s Tetrahedral grid, the essence of which is moulded to Kahn’s13 Annette Becker et al. 20th Century Architecture Ireland, (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997), 192. principals of served and servant spaces. In this case the services are hidden in structure to14 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in South enhance the space.Dublin, February 17, 2012.
  9. 9. and teaching methods, stem from his time at Penn.15 During his time there Kahn taught him Philosophy and tutored him for his final thesis. Kahn had unusual teaching methods, he was profusely liberal with the students early on in the projects, and encouraged them to generate their own ideas. At the start of a project he would often discuss the initial ideas of the students for a month prior to the commencement of any work. This enabled Dowley and his peers to hunt and capture the idea; the essence of their work. He recalls Kahn as particularly interested in the power of a single tangible idea, and the more the student simplified it the better. In studio he was the driving force behind much of the students work and the person that they wanted to impress in the reviews. His aim perhaps was to instill a confidence in the way his students approached and communicated their work. Perhaps this is due to Kahn’s own education at Penn, which was in the Beaux Arts7.Photograph, Kahn’s Students working in the Fuller Studio at Yale. Tradition.16 At the beginning of a project the student would be put intoKahn often used the enthusiasm of students at Yale and Penn to develop solitude to sketch the essence of the project. During the crit the studentmany of the details of his projects. was ultimately judged by the relationship between the esquisse and the final product; hence the essence of an idea.17 While Kahn knew the power of this method, he saw it as a personal form of expression. (This verbalising of the esquisse perhaps was a result of his childhood, as he was profusely talented in music. Despite his scars from an accident involving hot coals, he often performed for wealthy philanthropists who would fund his develop- ment. I believe this enabled a young and self conscious Kahn to overcome his fixation on his appearance, ultimately developing from the inside out).18 In these initial discussions the students learned from one another and be- gan to gain an ability to express themselves verbally and intellectually. He often challenged his students to question their work until their work reached the summit where all great architecture resides. It is best described by one of Dowley’s quotes from Albert Einstein: “You ask a question and you will find an answer, you ask another question and you will get another answer. You keep on doing so until you find the clearest answer that makes you 15 Noel Dowley, “Church of St. Mary, Cong Co. Mayo,” The Arts in Ireland (1980): 57-60.8. 16 Ralph Lieberman, Drawn From The Source; The Travel Sketches of Louis Kahn (Cambridge:Exterior Photograph, the Ballybrack Housing Co-operative, Noel MIT Press, 1996), 1-11.Dowley, 1968-1973. 17 Hyungmin Pai, Hyong-min Pae, The Portfolio and the Diagram: Architecture, Discourse andFirst in a series of similar projects. Each home has a split level section giv- Modernity in America (Cambridge:ing the occupant the full volume of enclosure. It utilizes low cost materials MIT Press, 2002), 61-64.such as: 200mm block walls, precast concrete floors, stock windows and 18 Sarah Williams Goldhagen, “Kahn and American Modernism: The Search for Community andstud/plaster walls internally. the Turn Towards Monumentality,” in Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism (London: Yale University Press, 2001), 11-40.
  10. 10. nearest to god.”19 There were 40 students in his class at Penn, andthere was an even split between American students, and those from therest of the world. This gave a broad cultural diversity to the studio and thework that was produced. Here he made many friendships which lasted alifetime, and maintained close friendship with many of the students there.Some were from places such as Turkey and France and some of thesealso ended up with prosperous careers in education. The students wouldoften discuss their philosophies, projects and imitate the man whom theyadmired. As a result they all knew the content of each other’s presenta-tions, so there were never any great surprises during reviews. While Kahnencouraged his students to verbally express themselves early in the designprocess, he also encouraged them to design in a flexible way. His preferredmedium for this was charcoal and trace, as it has an inherent memory 9.in every stroke. If one uses the charcoal to pursue a particular path and Exterior Photograph, Kilfrush Houses, Noel Dowley, 1970.wishes to change it, you can smudge it out and correct it. However the First exercise in low cost, flexible housing. User can open and close the lay-essence of the previous path is still evident, thus there is a continuity with out of the interior, thus adapting to the client. Built with low cost materials, the project and it’s window detail is not unlike that of Kahn’s Esherick House.this media. This poetic form of memory in the design process was quiteimportant to Kahn, as he felt it enabled the student to keep track of theprocess. In comparison to pencils and set squares, where the student im-mediately creates right angles, charcoal instead sets the hand free fromthese restrictions20. Kahn was not the only influence on Dowley at Penn.In his structures module he was taught by Robert Le Ricolais.21 Le Ricolaiswas a famous French structural engineer who was central to the crea-tion of the space frame. This structure was given occult like status on theEast Coast, as it was believed to be a way of departing from the traditionalforms of Modern architecture. Kahn during this period immersed himself inthe group of individuals who had been central to the rise of this new form,figures such as Buckminster Fuller and Anne Tyng, of which the latter alsoworked in his office. Tyng was Kahn’s partner in practice up until 1953, andup until that period much of his work reflected her version of the space-frame [fig.5]. It manifested itself most notably in the ceiling of the Yale Art 10.19 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in SouthDublin, February 17, 2012. Exterior Photograph, Woodroofe Houses, Noel Dowley, 1970-1971. Similar exercise to Kilfrush, house can be doubled in size by constructing a20 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in South roof over the adjoining court.Dublin, February 17, 2012.21 Ibid.
  11. 11. Gallery [fig.6].22 During his time at Yale he would often commute by train with Fuller, and they would often discuss their work. In 1951 he decided to use the essence of the space frame in the ceiling of the Yale Art Gallery, to cre- ate a space for services.23 What’s important about this period is the manner in which Kahn used his students to develop his version of the space-frame [fig.7]. Similar in essence to Tyng’s, his version however was created using concrete. This made it heavy like the ruins he had seen during his much publicized trip to Europe in 1950.24 Yale aside, he used the studio in Penn in a similar way as a springboard to develop his projects. Dowley describes the time when Kahn was contemplating the early design of the Yale Centre for British Art. He would often discuss the possibilities of the project with his students, and there was an air of expectation and excitement in the studio during this time. However he recalls the end result as slightly disap- pointing. This wasn’t because Kahn designed a bad building, it just failed11. to reflect the earlier promise of their discussions. This perhaps was due toExterior Photograph, Workshop at New Dock, Noel Dowley, 1976-1977. the conservative nature of the people they were building the library for; theNote the manner in which the inside and outside is clearly divided by the internal and British.25external color schemes. This is one of the traits of Kahn’s separation from Modern-ism, which can be seen in the Exeter Library. Dowley returned in 1964 to an Ireland where little had changed socially and economically, as Ireland was still largely seen as a third world country. He recalls a time when there was very little need for architecture. For him and his peers it made more sense to teach the subject rather than attempt to practice it full time. Within a year he began teaching at UCD. It was here that he introduced many of Ireland’s current architects to Kahn’s ethos, including a young Shane De Blacam.26 In 1965 Dowley began practicing in times of economic bust and the scale of the work pro- duced during this period reflected this. While he maintains he never know- ingly set out to portray Kahn’s influence, his philosophies and presence was still apparent in his work. One can see parallels between Kahn’s early career in social housing, and Dowley’s interest in an architecture of low means. In 1968 he was sitting in his office sketching, and a window cleaner 22 Thomas Leslie, “Yale University Gallery,” in Louis Kahn Building Art, Building Science (New York: George Braziller inc, 2005), 48-86. 23 Sarah Williams Goldhagen, “Techno- Organic Symbols of Community,” in Louis Kahn’s Situ- ated Modernism (London: Yale University Press, 2001), 65-87. 12. 24 Ralph Lieberman, Drawn From The Source: The Travel Sketches of Louis Kahn (Cambridge:Personal Sketch of Entrance Threshold, Workshop at New Dock, Noel MIT Press, 1996), 66-102.Dowley, 1976-1977. 25 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in South Dublin, February 17, 2012. 26 John Tuomey, “Import/ Export,” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed. Annette Becker et al. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997), 79-82.
  12. 12. 13. 14.Plans, Workshop at New Dock, Noel Dowley, 1976-1977. Interior Photograph, Workshop at New Dock, Noel Dowley 1976-1977.Note the simple connecting volumes and indented entrance.
  13. 13. asked him to help him and a group of thirty other families, who were living in squalid conditions. They wished to have their own homes yet had no means to do so. Subsequently he set up the Ballybrack Co-operative Hous- ing Society, which was one of the first co-operative schemes in the country. Like Kahn before him, Dowley too was interested in rhetorically questioning the world around him. Here he began engaging with an architecture of low means, and subsequently set out to disprove that architecture was only for the rich and privileged.27 This approach seemed suited to the Irish context as Ireland was a small country with modest means, an image which is quite far apart from the thriving society of the last two decades in Irish society. “I believe that the Architect’s main concern is with it’s people, and with endeavouring, through the art of architecture, to make a contribution to enrich the way of life across the whole range of human experience. It follows logically from this that the architect’s philoso- phy must, therefore be an optimistic, generous and poetic one, so that the works that are influenced by it have the potential of giving a more human and uplifting standard to the environment which they create, even in a very modest way.”28 With his housing projects at Ballyfrack, Woodroofe and Kilfrush he at- tempted to combine technology and space standards with a modest budget [fig.8-10]. At Ballyfrack for example each house cost 500 pounds. In doing so regardless of the scale or budget, the architect can find some poetic content in the building. Within reason, the programme can be reduced, the size and scale of the rooms altered, but it is the simple introduction of double height volumes, light and material which gives the client something which they would otherwise never have dreamt of. His Workshop at New Dock in Galway 1976-7 is another refreshingly simple project [fig.11-14]. It is quite small in scale and budget at 14 by 7 metres, with a total cost of £10,000. The simplicity in plan and his use of simple connecting volumes is reminiscent of Kahn, which subsequently rationalises the cost of materials and services. While relatively straightforward in design, there are subtle complexities which lift the building. The facade for example is given life by the manner in which the internal stairs are visibly extruded outward.29 He15. also evolves the Kahnian idea of separating inside and outside materiallyExterior Photograph,St. Mary’s Church, Cong, Noel Dowley, 1972-1973. 27 Noel Dowley, “Excuse me Mr. Dooley, are you an Archetek?” Building Material AAI (Winter 2005): 22-26. 28 Noel Dowley, “Profile,” Column Magazine (1981): 6-7. 29 Noel Dowley, “Excuse me Mr. Dooley, are you an Archetek?” Building Material AAI (Winter 2005): 22-26.
  14. 14. in his use of applied colour.30 During our conversation he pointed to theinfluence of Aldo Van Eyck and his ideas of the threshold. Dowley believedthat the threshold was sacred, that two inches is often all that separatesthe inside from the outside. Here at New Dock he creates a simple volumepushed inwards, in order to create a simple welcome.31 I feel a deep sense of sympathy towardsthe fate of his Church at Cong (1972-1973) [fig 15]. Needlessly demolishedin 2003, it perhaps was one of the first Irish buildings which openly engagewith place and setting. The new church was built around the old walls of anexisting 19th century church on the site. In doing so, the presence of newand old forms a juxtaposition which in a way respects context but doesnot yield to it either. His spatial ambition for the church is quite simple,he wished to keep a sense of closeness of a living room, thus the subtleplay with volumes. The church marked an evolution in his work as all theproblems of the brief were worked from the inside out. For example much ofthe church was designed around existing features such as a set of beautifulHarry Clarke windows, which subsequently were one of the features of the 16.built church [fig 16]. The manner in which he relates to the existing features of Interior Photograph,the site, is in fact a very Kahnian idea. Kahn would often ask himself: St. Mary’s Church, Cong, Noel Dowley, 1972-1973. Note how the architect retains the existing Harry Clarke windows in the existing wall, and thus how he creates the space around it.“What does the building want to be?”32Similar to Kahn, Dowley becomes a vessel for this building, thus mouldinga connection with the site, structure and the body. This church is perhapsone of the first examples of a place specific architecture, which has recentlybecome quite ordinary.3330 John Olley, “Workshop at New Dock Galway” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed. AnnetteBecker et al. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997), 147.31 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in SouthDublin, February 17, 2012.32 David Thomas VonderBrink, “Architectural Phenomenology: Towards A Design MethodologyOf Person And Place,” (Thesis, Miami University, 2007).33 Noel Dowley, “Church of St. Mary, Cong Co. Mayo,” The Arts in Ireland (1980): 57-60.
  15. 15. Chapter Two: Kahn’s Influence on Shane De Blacam
  16. 16. Kahn’s Influence on Shane De BlacamIt is 3pm on a busy Wednesday afternoon in 4 St. Catherine’s Lane West. The Summer sunlight is seepinginto the meeting room, and one can hardly catch a breath. I open the sliding door and a swoosh of air liftsthe pages violently that Shane has arranged. He is not to pleased but he refocuses on his work. He andChloe are in discussing one of the pages that I had been working on. The project is the Trinity Atrium andDining Hall Restoration, and he seems happy with the way it is laid out. Apparently it shows everything heknows about timber panelling, I breathe a sigh of relief.Shane De Blacam is one of Ireland’s most respected contemporary archi-tects. In 1976 he formed a partnership John Meagher. While it is beyondthe scope of this text to discuss Meagher’s early career in the same detailas De Blacam, it is however difficult to describe one without the other. Theirpersonalities, interests, experiences compliment each other. In terms of ar-chitecture they both share a passion for the truthful application of materialsand craft, and one will never find laminates, plastics or other trendy materi-als in their work34. Both architects have studied abroad and have soughtthroughout their careers to mould their experiences to the Irish context. DeBlacam studied for example studied architecture in UCD between 1963-68,and subsequently went on to study at Masters level under Louis Kahn atPenn 1979-72. During his time here he also worked in Kahn’s office andthis influence is quite apparent in his work. Meagher on the other handstudied in Dublin Institute of Technology between 1966-71, before studyingin Helsinki University of Technology between 1971-72. During his time herehe absorbed much of the influence of Asplund, Aalto and Lewerentz. Healso worked in Philadelphia for Venturi Scott brown, but rejected this influ-ence in favour of his earlier Scandinavian influence. When they returned toIreland in the 1970s they met up in the halls of UCD, and shortly after theyformed a partnership centred around creating an architecture of craft andsubstance.35 17. De Blacam’s time studying and working under Perspective Sketch, Yale Center For British Art, Philadelphia, Louis Kahn.Kahn in Philadelphia was, like most things in history one of chance. Before While Kahn was a profusely talented illustrator, De Blacam’s line work has a more literal, directness when compared to Kahn’s.he left for America to study under Kahn, he studied architecture in UCD. Itwas in the design studio of UCD where Dowley and De Blacam first met.During our conversation Dowley recalls De Blacam as a conscientiousstudent who had an admiration for Mies Van Der Rohe. When he graduated34 John Tuomey, “Import/ Export,” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, (Frankfurt: Prestel Verlag,1997), 79-82.35 Kenneth Frampton, ed. Tom de Paor et.al. The Culture of materials in the work of De Blacamand Meagher: An Appraisal, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall Editions 2010 ) 76.
  17. 17. in 1968, he approached Dowley for a reference. His aim was to study under Mies at Illinois Institute of Technology. Perhaps he felt a reference from Dowley would enhance his application to study under the man in which he admired. While discussing such matters, Dowley informed him that everybody over there was doing glass boxes. There was a whole genera- tion of students in America learning to do what Mies had done. Instead he pointed De Blacam in the direction of Louis Kahn, who was still teaching at University of Pennsylvania, advising him: “If you want to find your own way in architecture, you have to go to the source and discover Louis Kahn.”36 This reference proved to be quite valuable as it gained him employment in Kahn’s office during his time at Penn. Here he worked on projects such as the Yale Centre for British and the Exeter Library, and it is the details of these two buildings which predominately feature in his own work [fig18.]. Like De Blacam, Kahn in his early career was inspired by Mies and much of the modern movement, but departed from this Modernist influence when he took up residence in Rome in the 1950s. The nature of his work is a result18. of his time here travelling and sketching, after which Kahn realised thatPlan, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, Co. Dublin, De Blacam & Meagher,1976-8. architecture had become thinny. When he returned to America his architec-Note the manner in which the church is divided up into a twelve square grid. Off this ture began to show an elemental presence, where mass, light and the ma-grid all aspects of the project are ordered, included nature. The surrounding wallcreates a secret garden, thus transporting the pilgrim to a space where he/she can terial reigned supreme.37 By the time De Blacam and Dowley experiencedform a dialogue with god. Kahn in Philadelphia he was at the height of his architectural prowess. While one could discuss a multitude of De Blacam and Meagher’s buildings, it is perhaps more appropriate to focus on two of their early projects where Kahn’s influence is quite pure i.e. Firhouse Chapel and the Taoiseach’s House. Firhouse Chapel in County Dublin (1976-8) is one of the practices first major projects [fig 19 and 20]. It is quite an unusual church design, unlike most religious institutions which point towards the sky in epic splendour like an antenna to heaven, this interven- tion spreads itself across the land horizontally. This humble egalitarian gesture reduces God to a more human scale, ultimately creating a subtle monument for the community. Kahn’s influence is apparent in the applica-19. tion of simple connecting volumes, the appropriate use of materials and thePerspective, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, Co. Dublin, De Blacam & 36 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in SouthMeagher 1976-8. Dublin, February 17, 2012.Here we can see De Blacam’s intention create a man made space and order nature 37 Eugene Johnson, “The Drawings of 1928-29,” in Drawn from the Source: The Travel Sketcheswithin it. He omits the timber facades in order to convey a message for the project. of Louis KahnStructure, nature, enclosure and light all have a place in the spiritual experience. (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996), 1-11.
  18. 18. ceiling structure which echoes the ceiling of Kahn’s First Unitarian Churchin Rochester and the Exeter Library [fig 20-21]. In plan the chapel is dividedinto twelve cubic volumes. Six of these volumes unite to form a cruciformlayout, creating a centrepiece out of the altar. Five of the remaining sixvolumes form a series of courtyards which surround the internal spaces,while the remaining volume forms the transition between the suburb andthe chapel. The wall which surrounds the chapel is an aggressive stanceagainst the featureless context of Dublin’s suburban context. In doing so DeBlacam and Meagher create a series of spaces which disconnect it fromthe surrounding landscape. This creates an internalized environment bywhich curtain walling connects the interior and exterior in a distinctly Mie-san fashion. The surrounding wall is much more than a suburban gesture,it relates to a wider Kahnian vision of a community. Kahn believed that thereligious institution was an essential place within which the communitycould congregate. 20.“It is what the space wants to be: a place to assemble under a tree.” Interior Photograph, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, Co. Dublin, De Blacam & Meagher 1976-8. Note the X beam ceiling detail which he learnt from his time working onIn the context of this project, the walls of the chapel enclose the space like the Exeter Library with Louis Kahn.a shelter within an Irish Bawn (walled garden), thus denying a visual con-nection between the interior and the rest of the neighbourhood. In terms ofIrish architecture, this was one of the first projects which relates to its sur-rounding context, softening thus the Modernist narrative in Ireland, as Kahnhad done previously in America.38 In 1979 a competition was launched bythe Irish Government, seeking a design for the Taoiseach’s Residence [fig.22-23]. The site was set in the North West corner of the Phoenix Park in Dub-lin, along the long diagonal route of Chesterfield Avenue. De Blacam andMeagher came second in this competition, narrowly losing out to an entryby Evans and Shalev of London. The project is perhaps best rememberedfor the eye catching proposals of Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas [fig. 24-25],however it was the Dublin based firms entry which signalled the arrival ofa new localised Irish architecture.39 The proposal itself was quite simplearchitecturally and graphically. It was laid out on eight sheets of a3 trace,38 Simon Walker, ed. Tom de Paor et.al. “Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, DeBlacam & Meagher, 1979,” Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall Editions 2010 ) 76. 21.39 Raymund Ryan, ed. Tom de Paor et.al. The Taoiseach’s House Dublin 1979, Irlanda: of de Photograph of the Internal Atrium, Exeter Library, Louis Kahn.Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall In Exeter Kahn forms a material separation between the exterior and the interior. Editions 2010 ) 75.
  19. 19. 22.Plans, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt), De Blacam and Meagher Architects, 1979.
  20. 20. 23.Interior/ Exterior Drawings, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt), De Blacam and Meagher Archite cts, 1979.
  21. 21. orientated in landscape to express the horizontal nature of the project. Unlike the graphic communication of many of the other entrants, this entry relies on the simplicity of it’s lineweights and hatching, showcasing a mastery of the methods he learnt from his time with Kahn. While there was always an abstract realism in Kahn’s drawings, De Blacam here crafts the line with a greater accuracy, honouring it and conveying the essence of the material, light and shadow in a more fundamental way. In plan for example we not only see the furniture, but each paving slab in their apparent basket weave pattern. Across the entire presentation there is a level of detail which is rarely seen in contemporary competitions.40 If it had of been built it would have sat on the grassy swath of the Phoenix Park, with the glazing in the enclosure framing views of the city and the Wicklow Mountains. Both the plan and section reveal quite a simple building, comprising of a series of rectilinear and cubic volumes. This architecture of halls and volumes is akin to Kahn’s Esherick House (1961) and on larger scale the Yale Centre for24. British Art (1974). One can also see Kahn’s ordering of served and servedProposal Drawings, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix ParkDublin (unbuilt), Zaha Hadid, 1979. spaces, which push all the undesirable elements of the scheme to one side, thus enhancing the main spaces. There is also strong influence of the Irish vernacular here. The spirit of old houses such as Beaulieu house near Drogheda in Co. Louth exists, and is also another two storey house with double height volumes. The manner in which the light enters such chambers in these old houses, and the effect this has on the stone floors is apparent in their proposal. Their entry also specified Irish hand made furniture, art, colourful Ulster quilts and oak as one of the main materials, sourced from Abbeyleix in County Laois. The tall light filled volumes, the warm clean interior, and the honest use of materials, all of which wraps itself around the Kahnian influence. What is interesting about the project is its spatial and graphical ambitions, which the practice subsequently developed over the succeeding decades.41 Simply put they create simple buildings which are influenced but not dominated by the surrounding con- text, but instead stand firm and proud of the craft which has been instilled within them. In doing so they have always created buildings which embody an archaic sense of Irishness.42 40 Kenneth Frampton, ed. Tom de Paor et.al. The Culture of materials in the work of De Blacam and Meagher: An Appraisal, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall Editions 2010 ) 76.25. 41 Raymund Ryan, ed. Tom de Paor et.al. The Taoiseach’s House Dublin 1979, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: GallProposal Drawings, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Editions 2010 ) 75.Dublin (unbuilt), Rem Koolhass, 1979. 42 John Tuomey, “Import/ Export,” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, (Frankfurt: Prestel Verlag,
  22. 22. ConclusionKahn’s legacy to Irish architecture was largely not a stylistic one, as muchof his work was outside of such trends. Instead it had a deeper meaningthan much of the architecture of the 1960s and 70s. While there are otherpoints of reference during the 20th century, he provided these two Irisharchitects with the means in which they could find their own identity. Per-haps too his legacy is an architecture of substance and meaning? Duringmy interview with Dowley, has was keen to point out the magazine culturewhich surrounds the student nowadays. A culture which by and large formsthe students apprehension of architecture.43 Kahn never believed in suchpretences, he always believed in finding the essence of that which heinvestigated.44 In doing so he found what the answer meant to him, whichin a way is another form of identity [fig. 26], a trait which I believe is apparentin these two architects and their work. In the 1980s recession there was abrief investigation into the local vernacular in order to find a distinct Irishnarrative. This was largely in response to the 1980s recession, where manyof Dowley’s students from UCD travelled abroad to find employment aftergraduation. When they returned they began to ask similar questions of thelocal vernacular which Dowley and De Blacam had done previously.45 How-ever these examinations were of a far greater scale and as a result theirinterventions often became yielded to a localised context. The economicboom of the last two decades, coined as the Celtic Tiger disrupted much ofthis soul-searching. During this time there was a shift in attitudes away fromtraditional values towards consumerism. In many ways the Irish peoplelost their identity, something which I feel is reflected in contemporary IrishArchitecture. Traditionally Ireland is known for its famous literary scholars,language and intricate handcrafts, yet contemporary architects rarely referto these sources. Perhaps now is the time to reconnect these values in ourwork, in order to revitalise this troubled industry. The past century in Irisharchitecture shows us too, the importance of the student within the profes-sion. Wherever they go en masse in this recession will, I have no doubt aninfluence on Irish Architecture in the 21st century. 26.1997), 79-82. Self Portrait of Louis Kahn, Louis Kahn, 1949.43 Noel Dowley. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in South In 1950 he took up residency in Rome, subsequently discovering his own narrative studyingDublin, February 17, 2012. the ruins of Europe. This drawing was drawn a year prior to this, and artisically the scattered44 Eugene Johnson, “The Drawings of 1928-29,” in Drawn from the Source: The Travel Sketches line strokes suggests a man troubled with his own identity, appearance and self. The continu-of Louis Kahn, 34-110. ity in his work perhaps reflects this, and a trait which the work of these two Irish architects45 Niall McCullough, Lost Tradition: The Nature of Architecture in Ireland (Cork: Gandon Editions, processes.1989), 1-12.
  23. 23. Bibliography:Becker, Annette et al. 20th Century Architecture Ireland, (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997).Campbell, Hugh. “Irish Identity and the Architecture of the New State,” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed. Annette Becker et al. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997.J.R Curtis, William. “On Monuments and Monumentality: Louis Kahn,” in Modern Architecture Since 1900, London: Phaidon, 1982.Dowley, Noel. “Church of St. Mary, Cong Co. Mayo,” The Arts in Ireland, 1980.Dowley, Noel.“Excuse me Mr. Dooley, are you an Archetek?” Building Material AAI Winter 2005.Dowley, Noel. Interview by Paul Govern. Digital Recording. Interview at his home in South Dublin, February 17, 2012.Dowley, Noel. “Profile.” Column Magazine, 1981.Frampton, Kenneth. ed. de Paor, Tom et.al. The Culture of materials in the work of De Blacam and Meagher: An Appraisal, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher. Dublin: Gall Editions 2010.Goldhagen, Sarah Williams. “Techno- Organic Symbols of Community,” in Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism. London: Yale University Press, 2001.Goldhagen, Sarah Williams. “Kahn and American Modernism: The Search for Community and the Turn Towards Monumentality,” in Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism. London: Yale University Press, 2001.Lamour, Paul. Free State Architecture: Modern Movement Architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949. Cork: Gandon Editions, 2009.Johnson, Eugene. Drawn From The Source; The Travel Sketches of Louis Kahn. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.A. Lappin, Sarah. Full Irish New Irish Architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009.Leslie, Thomas. “Yale University Gallery,” in Louis Kahn Building Art, Building Science. New York: George Braziller inc, 2005.McCullough, Niall. Lost Tradition: The Nature of Architecture in Ireland. Cork: Gandon Editions, 1989.Olley, John. “Workshop at New Dock Galway” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed. Annette Becker et al. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997.O’Reilly, John. “Architecture in Ireland prior to 1900,” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed. Annette Becker et al. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997.Pai, Hyungmin. The Portfolio and the Diagram: Architecture, Discourse and Modernity in America. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002.Rattenbury, Kester. Robert Bevan et al, Architects Today. London: Lawerence Publishing, 2004.Ryan, Raymund ed. de Paor, Tom et.al. “The Taoiseach’s House Dublin 1979,” Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher. Dublin: Gall Editions 2010.Tuomey, John. “Import/ Export,” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed. Annette Becker et al. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997.Thomas VonderBrink, David. “Architectural Phenomenology: Towards A Design Methodology Of Person And Place.” Thesis, Miami University, 2007.Walker, Simon ed. de Paor, Tom et.al. “Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, De Blacam & Meagher, 1979,” Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher. Dublin: Gall Editions 2010.
  24. 24. List of Illustrations:Title Page/ Inside Cover, Louis Kahn talking to Students at the School of Architecture Zurich. February 12 1969, B&W Photograph, 25 x 10cm. From: Heinz Ronner, Sharad Jhaveri, Louis I. Kahn Complete Works 1935- 1974, page 6.Chapter One Illustration, “Why Kahn Should Be Celebrated As Our Architect,” SFGate, Digital Image. Available from: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/08/DDGKGEJCIG1.DTL (accessed April 20, 2012.)Chapter Two Illustration, De Blacam, Shane. “Sketch of Cork Institute of Technology,”1. Schuckert, Siemens. Ardnacrusha Hydro Electric Power Dam, Co. Clare. 1925-9, Aerial Photograph, 13 x 8.5cm. From: Paul Lamour, Free State Architecture: Modern Movement Architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Cork: Gandon Editions, 2009). Plate 12.2. Keating, Seán. Night’s Candles are Burnt. 1928-29, Oil on Canvas, 10.5 x 8.5cm. From: Hugh Campbell, Irish Identity and the Architecture of the New State” in 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed Annette Becker et al. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997). Plate 1.3. Kahn, Louis. Exterior Window of The Norman Fisher House. 1960-69, B&W Photograph, 10 x 5cm. From: Pierson William Booher, “Louis I. Kahn’s Fisher House: A Case Study On The Architectural Detail And Design Intent” (Thesis, University of Pennslyvania, 2009), Plate 13.4. De Blacam & Meagher Architects. Interior Window Seat of One Castle Street, Dublin. 1997-99, B&W Photograph, 12 x 5cm. From: Nicole Dearey, Irish Architectural Review Vol.2 2000 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2000), 20.5. Dowley, Noel. Exterior Photograph of Ballybrack Housing Co-operative. 1968-1973, B&W Photograph, 4.5 x 3.5cm. From: Noel Dowley, “Excuse me Mr. Dooley, are you an Archetek?” Building Material AAI (Winter 2005), Plate 1.6. Dowley, Noel. Exterior Photograph, Kilfrush Houses. 1970, B&W Photograph, 4.5 x 3.5cm. From: Noel Dowley, “Excuse me Mr. Dooley, are you an Archetek?” Building Material AAI (Winter 2005), Plate 2.7. Dowley, Noel. Exterior Photograph of Woodroofe Houses. 1970-1971. B&W Photograph, 4.5 x 3.5cm. From: Noel Dowley, “Excuse me Mr. Dooley, are you an Archetek?” Building Material AAI (Winter 2005), Plate 3.8. Tyng, Anne. Project For an Elementary School, Anne Tyng, 1928-29. B&W Photograph, 13x 6.5cm. From: Thomas Leslie, “Yale University Gallery,” in Louis Kahn Building Art, Building Science (New York: George Braziller inc, 2005), Plate 6, 61.9. Kahn’s Slide Of The Fuller Studio At Yale, 1952. Digital Image. From: Sarah Williams Ksiazek, “Critiques of Liberal Individualism: Louis Kahn’s Civic Projects, 1947-57,” Thesis, Harvard University, 1996. Jstor.10. Interior Photograph, Yale Art Gallery, Louis Kahn, Pennslyvania 2009, Digital Image. From: McGraw Hill, http://construction.com/community/publicphoto.aspx?plckPhotoID=7688b86e-17d7-4edc-bd6e-836ed40a1d14&plckGalleryID=47766f8a-9f91-4eb0-a4e6-5c8d3580dd99 (accessed April 20, 2012).11. Exterior Photograph, Workshop at New Dock. 1976-1977, Color Photograph, 10 x 6cm. From: 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed Annette Becker et al. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997). Plate 1, 147.12. Personal Sketch. 2012, Ink on Trace, 10 x 6cm.13. Dowley, Noel. Plans, Workshop at New Dock, Noel Dowley. 1976-1977, Color Photograph, 12 x 10cm. From: 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed Annette Becker et al. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997). Plate 3, 147.14. Dowley, Noel. Interior Photograph, Workshop at New Dock, Interior.1976-1977, Color Photograph, 6 x 10cm. From: 20th Century Architecture Ireland, ed Annette Becker et al. (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1997). Plate 2, 147.15. Dowley, Noel. Exterior Photograph, Church of St. Mary, Cong Co. Mayo. 1972-73, B&W Photograph, 9 x 9cm. From: The Arts in Ireland, “Church of St. Mary, Cong Co. Mayo,” Noel Dowley. 1973. Plate 5, 57-60.16. Dowley, Noel. Interior Photograph, Church of St. Mary, Cong Co. Mayo. 1972-73, B&W Photograph, 19 x 15cm. From: The Arts in Ireland, “Church of St. Mary, Cong Co. Mayo,” 1973. Plate 5, 57-60.17. Kahn, Louis. Perspective Sketch, Yale Center For British Art, Philadelphia. 1969-72, Pencil on Trace, 30 x 30cm. From: Heinz Ronner, Louis Kahn Complete Works 1935-74. Plate 8, 379.18. De Blacam, Shane. Plan, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, Co. Dublin, De Blacam & Meagher Architects. 1976-8, Pencil on Trace, 42 x 29.7cm. From: Drawings, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall Editions 2010), Plate 5.19. De Blacam, Shane. Perspective, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, Co. Dublin, De Blacam & Meagher Architects. 1976-8, Digital Image. From: De Blacam and Meagher Architects,http://www.deblacamandmeagher.com/project-firhouse-church-11-11.html (accessed April 20, 2012).20. De Blacam, Shane. Interior Photograph, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse, Co. Dublin, De Blacam & Meagher Architects. 1976-8, Digital Image. From: De Blacam and Meagher Architects, http://www.deblacamandmeagher.com/project-firhouse-church-11-6.html (accessed April 20, 2012).21. Photograph of the Internal Atrium, Exeter Library, Louis Kahn. 1965-71, Digital Image. From: Annoymous_Architecture, http://anonymousarchitecture.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/philip-exeter-library/ (accessed April 20, 2012).22. De Blacam, Shane. Plans, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt), De Blacam and Meagher Architects, 1979. Pencil on Trace, 42 x 29.7cm. From: Drawings, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall Editions 2010), Plate 8.23. De Blacam, Shane. Interior/ Exterior Drawings, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt), De Blacam and Meagher Architects, 1979. Pencil on Trace, 42 x 29.7cm. From: Drawings, Irlanda: of de Blacam and Meagher (Dublin: Gall Editions 2010), Plate 8.24. Hadid, Zaha. Proposal Drawings, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt). 1979. Zaha Hadid Architects, From: http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/irish-prime-ministers-residence/ (accessed April 23, 2012).25. Koolhaas, Rem. Proposal Drawings, Proposal for the Taoiseach’s Residence, Phoenix Park Dublin (unbuilt)1979. Rem Koolhaas, From: OMA, http://oma.eu/projects/1979/irish-prime-minister-s-residence (accessed April 23, 2012).26. Self Portrait of Louis Kahn, Louis Kahn. 1949, Pencil on Trace, 6.5 x 9cm. From: Sarah Williams Goldhagen, in Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism. London: Yale University Press, 2001 Plate 13, 54.
  25. 25. House For a Guitar Maker Iveagh Gardens Dublin
  26. 26. Response to Brief:The Client is a talented Luthier who wishes to relocate his family and business interests to Dublin. He requires a new workshop for himself and one other Luthier, a selling point where he can exhibit his craft to others, a place where two guests can live simul-taneously for up to two weeks, and accommodation for his wife and four children. In many ways the design reflects the personality of Mr. McIllroy, and in turn the architectural context of the city. My dissertation topic was quite influential on this project, titled:“Louis Kahn’s influence on Two Irish Architects.” One project by Shane De Blacam (a former student and employee of Kahn) sums up this interest of mine. In 1979 De Blacam and Meagher created a proposal for the Taoiseach’s House in the Phoenix Park.The project itself encapsulates the essence of many of the old Irish country houses, in its application of simple volumes and light. Like the Taoiseach’s House, the key to my proposal is the appropriateness of the building to its context, subtle use of materials,and its ability to relate to both the city of Dublin and the Iveagh Gardens; of which it is situated at the south east corner of.
  27. 27. NTS Roof Plan In Context InRoo 1.1500 Roof 1.1500 Co Plan NTS Roof Plan In Urban Context NTS Ground Floor Plan In Context1.2500 Roof 1.2500 Roof Plan In Urban Context Plan In Urban Context 1.500 Ground Floor Plan InFloo 1.500 Ground Co
  28. 28. C C D D A A A B B B C C D Second Floor D First Floor Ground FloorNTS Ground Floor Plan In Context NTS Basement Workshop
  29. 29. NTS West Elevation In Context NTS Section B-B In Context
  30. 30. NTS North Elevation In Context NTS Section C-C In Context
  31. 31. NTS South Elevation In Context NTS Section D-D In Context
  32. 32. NTS Section A-ANTS Section A-A
  33. 33. Two Point Perspective Along Hatch StreetOne Point Perspective of Family Living Spaces One Point Perspective of Workshop One Point Perspective of Atrium
  34. 34. Master Bedroom & Study Playing Space
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