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The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking


The Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin

The Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin

The Inquisition was not set up to mock or denigrate. The idea behind this publication is the promotion of knowledge relating to cultures of any kind both historical and current. However, sometimes that you find out something that can portray an entity in an altogether different light.

When a new project is commissioned in any sphere of human endeavour with the pomp, splendour and general effusion that accompanied Dublin’s new Calatrava bridge certain standards are expected. This is further reinforced with the man himself’s pronouncement of being “honoured when the Dublin City Council asked me to create two signature bridges over the River Liffey. Although both bridges would span the same river, I wanted each structure to have its own distinct identity”. So honoured that these bridges don’t even make it onto his own website.

It is more than a bit disappointing to find that something you like and admire is little more than a knock-off or reproduction. Worse still is when you invest money in a bespoke product only to find others with similar.

Katehaki Bridge, Athens

According to Calatrava “The Bridge was inspired by ancient greece and by the glorious athenian vessels.”

Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay

Presumably its a bridge that casts a shadow. Perhaps it tells the time or perhaps not. If so it is impressive to use a structure so huge to do this, but then again a stick in the soil on a bright day could tell you the time.

Samuel Beckett Bridge

A harp apparently. Not a sundial. Nor is it a glorious grecian vessel.

Here are the bridges mentioned above. Now, the question is; which one is which?


Its the justification that really galls. How is one bridge a boat, when and almost identical one is a musical instrument? Ditch the second rate semiotics and schoolchild representation gimics. Just say ‘it’s an elegant means of conveying traffic across a body of water, similar to others I often do. They are really nice. What colour do you want?”

Arsplus on the Samuel Beckett Bridge
Spanish Blog covers the same
The Guardian in London is not so keen on it
The Calatrava site


This article was posted by on Monday, January 18th, 2010 at 04:03.
It is archived in Architecture, Dublin and tagged , , , .

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