abgc architecture
architecture & design

Ballymun


Ballymun

Occasionally we go off road. The thought started out as the idea that an typical Architectural plan drawing is a total abstraction of the finished building – to anyone without experience of reading drawings it give little idea of the nature of the finished space. The building existing as a drawing is therefore a transient thing. Afterwards the drawing serves as a record, but not really a representation.

That’s where I’d gotten on the Friday.

As Ballymun Towers were temporary buildings, designed and built with a shelf life far less than then they actually existed, for the next few months we took these pictures, which instead of being a transient record of something real, were a real record of something transient. God, I loved college.

The photographs were taken over a series of Sunday evenings in 2003 (gearóid has no idea what possessed us to be taking these pictures in this location), before any redevelopment had taken place and when all 7 towers were still in situ. It was a dramatic landscape at ground level from where we were standing slightly nervously beside our camera tripod. Isolated blocks of grey, flaking apartments, arranged in 2 symmetrical segments placed back to back, with a national primary running through the middle, surrounded by 1000’s of meters of undulating green fields only interrupted by the occasional soccer post or burnt out car, and the distant hum of a scrambler bike or the M50. We also witnessed the largest game of tag ever, about a hundred kids wheeling around the grass like a flock of starlings at dusk. It’s all gone now except the scariest shopping centre in Dublin. But we, we have photos.

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