WHEN YOU’RE WALKING around Dublin, do you ever look up and spot an unexpectedly decorative panel or an old shop sign, writing faded but still giving a hint to a building’s former use?
Architecture graduate Lisa Cassidy has made it her business to notice the hidden architectural gems in the capital city or as she puts it on her site, BuiltDublin.com, “the things that are beautiful, interesting important or strange in Dublin’s built environment”. Cassidy photographs her discoveries and posts them on the site for everyone to enjoy and share.
Cassidy told TheJournal.ie that she started the site because she loves writing and researching about architecture. “It’s a chance to talk about the city and its architecture. Architecture need not be any more mysterious to people than any other element of a city.”
Cassidy grew up in Dundrum but spent a lot of time in Rathmines with her grandparents as a child where they would point out little quirks and Victorian touches on the red-brick buildings that typify the Dublin 6 enclave.
Of the city’s many quirky and striking buildings, Cassidy said she always been “amazed” by the Central Bank and loves utilitarian buildings that are beautifully designed even though their use is a practical one. “The bathing shelters at Clontarf, for example,” she says, “They are quite simple but really beautiful when they don’t need to be.”
Dublin is an easy city to walk around because of its size, says Cassidy, “and it is very safe and heavily used”. She was at a talk recently where someone mentioned that there should be a way to reclaim areas that are beautifully designed and executed, like the Liffey Boardwalk, but the way it is then used after completion is not what had been envisaged. The speaker said that “it is our responsibility to start using it” and reclaim it bit-by-bit from anti-social behaviour.
“Since I heard that, I have been using the boardwalk a lot more – and I love it there,” says Cassidy.
Here are some of the buildings and architectural details that Cassidy features on her site. Go to BuiltDublin.com to see and read more.
(All images and words in the slideshow are kindly supplied by Lisa Cassidy).