An inspiring regeneration of apartments and the construction of new houses is undertaken in the state’s largest social housing complex. Part new and part refurbishment, Stefan Lowe, Senior Architect from Dublin City Council talks about how the active community was an essential agent in this significant and urgent development by Dublin City Council of a 1957 social housing complex in Dolphins Barn. It is Dublin’s largest remaining public housing flat complex. The result repositions the homes to address both site, as it opens up to the canal and the needs of its inhabitants.

Site Specific is a special commission of ten short documentaries by the Irish Architecture Foundation for Open House Dublin 2020. Dyehouse Films reveal the personalities, processes, complexity, creativity and transformative impact that surround the act of designed space. The protagonists: the site, the architect, the historian, the user, speak directly to the camera, they speak directly to us. Site Specific crosses the city, scales and building types from play parks, social housing, places of worship to a building not yet built. Taken individually, each 5-minute video has something of the condensed power of a short story. As with the best short stories, it is through the intense focus on the particular qualities of a particular space at a particular time, that much larger social and cultural themes are illuminated. Site Specific makes evident architecture’s great central responsibility – the shaping of the spaces that in turn shape society.

Director Bonnie Dempsey, Cinematography Tom Comerford, Drone Paul Magee, Sound Recordist Susan Downey, Rerecording Mixer Nikki Moss, Producer Aimie Gavin, Editor Mike Foot. Special thanks to Stefan Lowe Senior Executive Architect Dublin City Council, Dublin City Architects, Irish Architectural Archive, Hines Real Estate Ireland Limited, United Metals, Dr Ellen Rowley, Debbie Mulhall, Residents of Dolphin House, Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin 8.

Produced by Dyehouse Films 2020 ©

Opinions expressed are the contributors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Irish Architecture Foundation or Dyehouse Films.

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