03 Jun 2007 |
1,093 unique views
My branch of Bank of Ireland is located in the bank's headquarters building, on Lower Baggot Street. I was formerly in a small branch (Pembroke) at Baggot Street Bridge, but that went the way of all too many of the smaller branches in Ireland. I won't get into the poor standard of customer service and the inexorable closing-down of local branch after local branch chill out, Jimbo, and take a calm-down pill! because that will only upset me. Suffice to say that I visit this building reasonably regularly, mostly to make lodgements or to organise starter packs of foreign currency. The building itself was built in the '60s, designed by Michael Scott & Partners, with Robin Walker (my professor when I studied architecture) the partner in charge. Robin had previously worked with Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, and was most heavily influenced by Mies. The Bank of Ireland HQ reflects this influence to the extent that it might well have been designed by the great man himself.
This building was an icon of modern Ireland when it was built, and was an absolute mecca for architectural students like myself during construction. Sadly, it hasn't really stood the test of time, as can be seen from the cladding in this photo. I heard recently that the blame for this lies with the client, who refused to spend the extra money requested by the architects for top-notch, long-lasting materials. Whatever the reason, it all looks a bit sad these days. But that certainly cannot be said of the dramatic, large-scale sculptures which grace the public plazas. This one is called Reflections, is by sculptor Michael Bulfin, and dates from 1975. I see it regularly when I visit my bank branch, but it's only since becoming a Shutterchancer that I've looked at it anew. It's an extraordinarily dramatic piece of work.
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