Aidan McCarthy 112524287
Architecture has been inseparably connected with the development of cities since people first banded together to live in settlements and ‘civilisation’ – the term implies an urban existence- was born. (Powell, K. 2000)
Urban architecture has been critically analysed throughout the past century, with many geographers comparing and contrasting their views. In this blog entry, the city of Cork will be examined with regards its urban architecture, in particular the contrasting architecture that exists within the University College of Cork Campus.
When one views the UCC Campus it can be interpreted of incorporating all five themes which can be seen when approaching urban architecture; Machines, Power, Play, Globalization and Nostalgia. (Kraftl, 2009). Throughout time UCC has continued to adapt to new cultural and modern trends, this can be seen through its architecture.
Looking at the main quadrangle, it is evident that this space was formed to act as a public space, a place of leisure and an area to outlay reflection for people. Normally “play” architecture focuses “almost exclusively on the shopping mall as the key site at which postmodern spaces of consumption” exist, but with regards UCC it can be viewed that this Quadrangle incorporates a play aspect in its architecture, as it was formed to create a public space and act as a focal point within the college campus.
Moving on from this, what is most interesting with regards UCC campus is the contrast that exists within its architecture. Comparing the Boole Library and Main Gate entrance to the Western Gateway Building is a show sign of Gothic architecture contrasting with modern architecture.
Critical analysis of the Western Gateway Building in terms of urban architecture, it would appear that this building would be “representative of a technological future” (Kraftl, 2009) and falls into the theme of “Machines”. Whereas the Boole library and the main entrance to the college have a historic 19th Century architecture which incorporates themes of both power and nostalgia as they have represented both throughout time. These old architectural structures symbolize and represent “the interests of those with the power to build (very often the dominant or ruling class in a given society)” (Kraftl, 2009)
– Kraftl, P. (2009) Urban Architecture. University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. Elsevier Ltd.
– Powell, K. (2000) City Transformed: Urban Architecture at the beginning of the 21st Century. Laurence King Publishing. London, UK. Calmann & King Ltd.
– Walker, S. (2009) University College Cork Western Gateway Building. [Electronic Source]http://www.stwarchitects.com/project-information.php?p=09993&t=g Accessed 20 November 2014