Its only in the last 15yrs Dublin has had any contemporary architecture. In the ‘Celtic Tiger’period Dublin’s inner city landscape changed dramatically. Around 2007 the city was awash with building sites with a skyline of cranes, hundreds of white hard hats with florescent lime green hi-vis vests. Many of the unaffordable apartments, hotels,shopping centres and businesses left uncompleted and unoccupied for several years once the boom crashed.
Santiago Calatrava’s James Joyce Bridge for Dublin at Ushers Island brought the city its first high visibility, big name international design, but his harp-like Samuel Beckett Bridge (2007) at Spencer dock is more distinctive and heighten by its neighbours. On the River Liffey there’s the convention centre at Spencer dock by Kevin Roche, renowned for designing the Ford foundation in NY and the knights of Columbanus HQ in New Havan.
Irish architecture tends to differ from other cities with their iconic or novelty buildings often self branding popular with developers and commissioning authorities because they tend to be a tourist draw. Image 1 is of the Bord Gais Energy Theatre with the Marker Hotel on the left in the Grand Canal Square just on the south side of the Liffey in Dublin’s docklands. Images 3 -13 to follow gradually.