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Site Specific Series
The series reveals the personalities, processes, complexity, creativity and transformative impact that surround the act of designed space. The protagonists: the site, the architect, the historian, the user, speak directly to the camera – they speak directly to us.
Site Specific season 1 crosses the city, scales and building types, from a play park to a hidden bar on a university campus, from social housing and a place of worship to a much-loved icon of Dublin city. Taken individually, each video has something of the condensed power of a short story.
Site Specific season 2 crosses scale, time, type, and use. From a family home to a national power station, from a place for health to a place for legislation. Each of the six buildings represents an exchange between architecture and humanity, highlighting the simple fact that buildings support life and life supports buildings. In other words, we are responsible for their degeneration, preservation, and regeneration. This series is interested in time and the coexistence of old with new. We hope the documentaries encourage us to learn from the past and care about the future. They send a message of hope that Dublin will be built with respect for its inhabitants, natural and historic environment and a desire to provide for future generations.
The Site Specific Series was made with the generous support of the partners, sponsors and supporters of Open House Dublin 2020 and 2021.
Love them or loathe them – a discussion on the iconic chimneys that dominate the Dublin skyline.
Architect Niall McLaughlin describes his design of an oak-lined Prayer Room for St. Theresa’s Priory, Clarendon Street.
An inspiring regeneration of apartments undertaken in the state’s largest social housing complex, originally built in 1957.
Hidden away in Trinity College, we explore a replica of a legendary Viennese watering hole.
A BMX park to beat all BMX parks, born of an innovative collaboration and a People First Design Process.
Dr Myles Campbell reveals the history of the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle’s gothic revival masterpiece.
Frank McDonald shares his personal relationship with a quarter of the city famed for its history, culture and controversy.
A unique insight into the design philosophy behind the social housing development at Rosemount Court.
An ambitious project to create a new Dublin City Library by Pritzker Prize Laureates Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell.
Architect Niall McCullough talks us through the maze of geometric shapes and lines that make up the fabric of Dublin city.
A bonus addition to the Site Specific series, this film powerfully illustrates the values of the Irish Architecture Foundation as we advocate for a better-built world.
Here, the lives and stories of generations have been preserved in a contemporary structure. This is a new family home adjoining the ruins of the former home. Rather than a renovation project, the ruins have been left intact. Old and new co-exist, revealing a new reading of site, heritage, and family.
This film offers a unique insight into the design philosophy of a healthcare facility built to deal with many epidemics that have ravaged Dublin city in the last 200 years. Learning from the past and advocating for access to our historic built fabric is heightened by current and urgent discussions on health, architecture, and public space.
A marriage of architecture and art with an underlining social comment about the role of women in society, this is a contemporary look at the College of Domestic Economy designed by Robinson and Keefe in 1939. Established to further the education of women, this college was located on Cathal Brugha Street. The building features wonderfully preserved art deco architecture and a thought-provoking figurative sculpture.
The Iveagh Market was designed and built by Frederick G. Hicks in 1906 and was in active use for most of the 20th century. In this rare insight into the Liberties iconic indoor market, we see the unsettling scenes of a dilapidated interior allowed to decay for twenty years and hear the call to action by the community to bring the building, once the social and commercial heart of the Liberties, back to its former glory.
Opened in 1902 and decommissioned in 1976, the vast ruin of the former Pigeon House Power Station is the largest protected structure in Ireland and one of the most striking industrial architecture complexes in the city. The building was designed by engineers and constantly modified to keep up with increasing electricity demand. It now holds a different kind of power, one of great cultural and social potential.
An epic ‘short documentary’ offering a unique and insightful account of the conservation and restoration work on Dublin’s iconic Four Courts dome. The Four Courts building was begun by Thomas Cooley in 1776 and then taken over by James Gandon following Cooley’s death. The documentary speaks about the building as a ‘survivor and witness’ to the social and political upheaval of our capital city over 200 years