Central Bank Competition Exhibition and Launch

DOCOMOMO Ireland wishes to invite you to the opening of the Central Bank in the 21st Century competition awards and exhibition at the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 on Thursday 4th April 2013 at 6.30pm

The competition – an open design competition to develop ideas for what the building might become – attracted more than 60 entries and presents many thought-provoking ideas for what this building may become after it is vacated by its current occupants.

The exhibition of all entries will be officially opened on Thursday 4th April at 6.30pm by Dublin City Architect, Ali Grehan. The exhibition will run at the Irish Architectural Archive until Friday 26th April (Tues-Fri 10am-5pm). Ali Grehan will announce the winners and present the prizes.

What is the purpose of the competition?
The Headquarters of the Central Bank of Ireland on Dame Street in Dublin, (Stephenson & Gibney Associates, 1979) will soon be vacated by its current occupants. The question is: what will become of this iconic building?

In recent years, the Central Bank HQ has become emblematic of the struggle between democratic and corporate interests. During its 32-year history it has evoked many passions – ranging from revulsion to admiration – but it is ultimately a symbol of modern Ireland, constructed with an air of defiance during a cruel recession. In our current straitened circumstances the DOCOMOMO competition sought to encourage once more a certain disregard for convention, a quest for adventure and an exploration of possibilities.

The purpose of the competition is to create a body of ideas about how the Central Bank building might approach its next phase of life. The principal aim is to re-imagine the building and its immediate surrounding environment in an innovative and exciting way. The building is in four distinct parts and ideas are invited for all: the tower building, the rebuilt Commercial Buildings, the two storey basement carpark with plaza above and the three story annex.

Who entered the competition?
The competition was open to all individuals and groups with an interest in presenting creative ideas for the future use of this landmark building. It is a conceptual architectural competition.
What are the prizes?
There is a prize fund of €1500. The winner in the main category will receive €1000, the winner of the student entry will receive €300 and the winner of the prize for best presentation will receive €200. The prize for best presentation is sponsored by Inspirational Arts.

All entries will be exhibited at the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, from Thursday 4th April to Friday 26th April (Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm). Selected entries will feature on the DOCOMOMO Ireland website www.docomomo.ie.

Who were the competition judges?
The competition assessors were drawn from strategic planning, architecture, culture, architectural history and current affairs backgrounds and are:

Ali Grehan who devised and coordinated PIVOT; Dublin’s bid for World Design Capital 2014, was appointed Dublin City Architect in January 2008. Her career has spanned private practice in Dublin and London, as well as the Public Service. She was recently elected to the Council of the RIAI where she continues to advocate for the value of better design by way of interdisciplinary collaboration.

David Healy is a founding member of Respublica, a collaborative group of designers and architects. In the summer of 2012, Respublica exhibited a large scale model of Central Bank in various locations across Dublin to spark a debate about the building and encourage speculations on its future. David is currently working in practice and teaching in UCD School of Architecture.

Kathleen James-Chakraborty is Professor of Art History at University College Dublin and Chair of the Irish Architecture Foundation.  She is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy. James-Chakraborty is an architectural historian whose research focuses upon modern German and American architecture.  Her most recent book Architecture since 1400: A Global Survey is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. 

Paul Larmour is an architectural historian and Reader in Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast. Among his many books and articles is ‘Free State Architecture: Modern Movement Architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949’ (Gandon Editions, Kinsale, 2009). At various times he has been a member of DOCOMOMO UK and DOCOMOMO INTERNATIONAL. 

Joe Mulholland is Director of the MacGill Summer School. He has held several senior positions in RTE including Editor of Current Affairs, Director of News and Managing Director of Television. He was Chairman of the News Section of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) 1993-7 and Chairman of Radio Television Kosovo (RTK) 2001-2. He was Chairman of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) 2006-2012. He was named Donegal Person of the Year in 2009.

DOCOMOMO Ireland is the Irish chapter of the international organisation DOCOMOMO. DOCOMOMO Ireland succeeds and replaces the Irish DOCOMOMO Working Party, established in 1991. DOCOMOMO is an international organization, founded at Eindhoven in The Netherlands in 1990, committed to the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement.

Comments are closed.