Hey Archy, what are you opinions (if any) on Irish architecture?
Ireland conjures up images of rolling greens and castle ruins, and most recently Jedi, but Irish architecture is much more than that. Old castles and classical buildings are incredible, if you don’t think the Trinity College Library is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, you are wrong. Contemporary Irish architecture is grounded on context and vernacular materials, this contributes to the strongest characteristic of recent Irish architecture: how it creates a sense of place, not isolated structures begging for attention, but of structures that belong together to create places and cities. Notwithstanding some starchitects recent projects that are clearly vanity projects, and in my opinion, feel desperately out of place.
Here are some of my favorite examples of Irish architecture:
Reginald’s Tower, Waterford city, Ireland. This impressive late 12th century tower was an integral part of Waterford city’s defences. It was built on the site of an earlier wooden fortification and it is probably named after Ragnar (Reginald), a former Hiberno-Norse king of the city. This would make it the only surviving Irish building that retains its original Viking name. During its long and rich history the tower has had many uses including as a mint, a prison and a military store. It now houses a small but excellent museum.
“Right, last semester we focused on the Viking voyages and pillaging of Britain, this semester we are going to focus on their travels further west again to the smaller and somewhat formidable island of Ireland. We will again focus on their settlements there, taking note of areas that still retain their Viking names such as the city of Waterford, originally Waterfjord, the influences that their culture had on the native people, and the way that it remains somewhat embedded in the country still today.