Demolition of An Bord Fáilte HQ Building

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The Bord Fáilte Headquarters Building at Baggot Street Bridge in Dublin, designed by Robin Walker of Michael Scott & Partners and completed in 1962, is now under threat of demolition. The building is a seminal work of Irish modernist architecture of the 1960’s, despite its small scale and understated expression – an exemplar of concrete frame structure, but equally interesting for its response to the Georgian city. Now 55 years old, its beautifully detailed concrete remains in perfect condition.

Robin Walker was one of the most celebrated Irish architects of the mid-C20th period, whose work has been widely acclaimed. He won scholarships to work with le Corbusier and to study under Mies van der Rohe – Bord Fáilte was his first major commission on his return from Chicago in 1958. Robin Walker was an intellectual leader of the practice that went on to bear his name, along with that of Michael Scott and Ronald Tallon – Scott Tallon Walker. Having come to prominence with Busáras in the 1950’s, the practice became the leading exponent of modernist architecture in Ireland. That period from 1960 to 1975 is symbolically book-ended on Baggot Street by the Bord Fáilte building at its start and the Bank of Ireland Headquarters by Ronnie Tallon at its end.

Now Bord Fáilte is threatened with demolition and replacement by a perimeter office block – mostly because its small scale and the openness of the site do not meet the commercial requirements for maximum floor space. But we must not simply allow our architectural heritage to be erased in the name of commercial development. If you want to see this beautiful building preserved and the site restored, please click on the Letter of Observation below and return before Monday January 2nd 2017 to either docomomoireland@gmail.com or info@walkerarchitects.ie – thank you!

 

DoCoMoMo letter of observation for Bord Fáilte

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