Special DoCoMoMo session at the RIAI Annual Conference

Special DoCoMoMo session at the RIAI Annual Conference to be held in the Clyde Room at the RDS at 12.00pm noon on Monday 13th of October with Guest Speaker; Gillian Darley


Image from http://www.gilliandarley.com, accessed 10 October 2014 & cover of ‘Words in Place’

In her spare time, between life as an architectural critic at the Observer, in the early 1990s, and regular contributor to the Architecture Review, the Financial Times and radio presenter, Gillian Darley is actively involved with The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB). But it is in role as President of The 20th Century Society and as author of numerous books on architecture and architectural lives that we have invited her to address this special session for DoCoMoMo Ireland at the RIAI Annual Conference.

Gillian’s recent research has been into the life and work of the rambunctious, editor and journalist of the Architecture Review, Ian Nairn.  His establishment of an Outrage Bureau at the Architectural Press in the post-war period was the envy of many so it is fitting tribute that the edited book, ‘Word in Place’ edited with David McKie, should itself be regarded as ‘unruly brilliance’. It includes contributions by a contrarian cast of architectural characters such as Andrew Saint, Jonathan Glancey, Owen Hatherley, Gavin Stamp and Jonathan Mead.

Her three previous biographies were on the architect, John Soane, the landscape architect, John Evelyn and the multifaceted life of Octavia Hill, housing reformer, open space activist and founder of The Landmark Trust.

Before and between these she has written about Utopian settlements in ‘Villages of Vision’ and extended this work into the architecture of industry by her publication ‘Factory’ in 2010 and in between such marvels as ‘Chronicles of London’ and ‘Vesuvius: the most famous volcano in the world!’

Gillian’s great-grandparents were from Dublin and were stonemasons, builders and eventually architects for almost two hundred years, so it is a special homecoming for her to visit Dublin for her talk entitled; ‘Words in Architecture, A mid 20th Century Angel.’

DoCoMoMo Digital Case-work Committee

At Monday’s special DoCoMoMo session, we are inviting practicing architects and colleagues to sign-up to being part of a digital casework committee. This is a request to DoCoMoMo supporters to identify their expertise as it relates to 20th century heritage so that we, the Committee, might draw upon their local or specialist knowledge to inform the public or support our case when our 20th century legacy is under threat.


DoCoMoMo Special Award for Dissertation, 2014

In January 2014, DoCoMoMo Ireland set up a prize for a dissertation or essay to encourage research into the legacy of the Modern Movement in Ireland.

Because DoCoMoMo’s Ireland’s work is voluntary, the Committee wondered how to expand scholarship and material on our 20th Century legacy, not least to support our work when a buildings or structures were under threat of demolition. Committee Member, Miriam Fitzpatrick, suggested that we tap into the resource of educational institutions, where great research work was being generated every semester and that there might be a mutual benefit to catalogue this work by encouraging students to study 20th Century heritage.

We therefore agreed as a Committee to set up an annual dissertation prize, open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students registered on the island of Ireland in the field of architecture, art history and design.

Judges 2014

This years judges were Shane O’Toole, Gul Kacmaz and Miriam Fitzpatrick.


Citations for Shortlisted Dissertations

Submissions were received for a broad range of school and the shortlisted essays for prizes include:

Modernism in Dublin 1960-1979; The Infill Building. A comparative case study of the ESB Headquarters, Fitzwilliam Street and Stephen Court, St Stephen’s Green by Cormac Murray of DIT.

Fourth year architecture student, Cormac Murray’s essay was a mature, well informed and lyrical account of two great mid-century Irish architectural icons; the Stephenson Gibney’ Fitzwilliam Street ESB Building and Andy Devane’s Stephen Court. The narrative was distinctive and made great use of the broader 20th century cultural context. The essay, which was thoroughly researched, paid special attention to the specifics of the urban setting and façade details which, through comparative analysis, reached insightful, relevant conclusions for today.

His supervisor was Stephen Best, DIT.

R & H Hall’s Flour Mills and the Hennebique System in Waterford by Matthew Keating, Anthony Hogan and Keith Cleere of WIT.

This essay was, unusually, a joint technical and material study of a multi-story granary warehouse, the R & H Hall’s Flour Mills and the Hennebique System in Waterford by three fourth year students at WIT, Matthew Keating, Anthony Hogan and Keith Cleere.  It makes a valuable summary of the technical contribution of the Hennebique system of construction to Ireland. The building, currently under threat of demolition, is the first reinforced concrete building in this system in the Republic of Ireland, and the first to be constructed completely of concrete in all of Ireland and this short study traces the technical lineage of ferro-concrete development and the historical evolution of its setting on Waterford North Quays.

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