Wednesday, 12 February 2014


Dublin is home to some of the world's ugliest architecture.

Dublin is home to some of the world's most beautiful architecture.

Both of these statements are true; though some would favour the former over the latter and vice versa.
Most people would agree though that Dublin certainly is not a living gallery of architectural beauty, such as the likes of Manhattan, Amsterdam, Bruges or Rothenburg ob der Tauber to name a few.

In Dublin at a street level, navigating amongst the hordes of shoppers and commuters it can be hard to make out any real beauty or see any standout buildings outside of the obvious tourist attractions like the Customs House, Trinity College or The National Gallery for example...

Sometimes you need to stop and take a moment to look up and see your surroundings and it is then that you can really begin to get a sense of the beauty that's hidden in plain sight - buildings that people take for granted going about their day to day business but that are there nonetheless, towering over us but somehow invisible.

The George's Street Arcade building takes up an entire city block but the best views are the facades along South Great George's Street itself.  An intricate masterpiece in redbrick - there is so much superfluous and unnecessary detail here that one quick glance up just isn't enough.

 Number 29 Dame Street, built in 1870, has a stunning facade with hand carved elements that are completely wasted as they sit twenty feet above eye level.

 The former Burton's Store, situated on the corner of Dame Street and South Great George's Street was custom built for the Burton's chain, with the Dublin City branch being completed in 1930.  As with the previous buildings, intricate and superfluous details are what make this building stand out.

At odds with the modern credo of function over form, the buildings overall design could nevertheless be repeated for eighty stories as it forms the perfect lines for a decorative skyscraper, in this authors humble opinion.

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