1. Georges St Arcade (South City Markets), 1881.
From Dame Court I once witnessed a worker on the roof of this 140yr old turreted, terracotta red brick block operatically sing Nessun Dorma! to amazed applause. But the vital quality of this building is what urges passers-by to a ‘look-up’ for ever-telling visual treats from shifting light, weather & time.
2. Liberty Hall, 1965.
17 daylight floating floors that disappeared in darkness was Desmond R.O’Kelly’s inspired realisation for the original non-reflective glass envelope & white mosaic’d fascias. Delicate rising translucent strength; not a bad aspiration for any union HQ! 1972’s replacement of these integral elements irrevocably altered any public pleasure of the Liffeys’ first striking sentry.
3. The Gas Building, 1927.
I’ve liked the fine façade long before I even knew why or went inside. A medley of architectural influences from Art Deco entrance into Egyptian columned interior & out a Neo Tudor exit, reading like a story with a beginning, middle & end in plan, section & elevation.
4. The Spire, 2003.
The 120m tapering top-lit cone doesn’t inspire general positive appreciation but I’ve always liked its classic column abstraction. I see it as a sleek contemporary slim- profile Wellington Monument & from above it displays a diverse Dublin, as does the iconic Eiffel Tower or the Washington Monument when their capital cities are shown off.
5. Meeting House Square (Rain Screen), 2012.
Ireland manufactures Ray Bans but not brollys! This existing screened city courtyard gained 4 x 21m high asymmetric tilted umbrellas which are as graceful open as reverse closed, standing to steel spoke’d attention. This canopy imparts new light-dapple and rain sound to the now sheltered but still open-air space.