U2 / Landmark Tower (competition)
A landmark building was required for U2 on a prominent dockland site in Dublin. In this project, an understanding of the surrounding context and proposed uses provides the basis for such a landmark. An unusual, remarkable building in the form of a giant "U(2)" is subsequently proposed as a major new contribution to the Dublin city and skyline.
The proposed tower provides not only a landmark, but defines and describes the gateway or threshold at the cusp between the River Liffey and the docklands beyond. This gateway condition suggested more than a simple vertical tower, but a "portal" as an essential new component of the Dublin skyline. The form of the proposed tower describes this gateway condition.
The docklands and its maritime context abounds with buildings, machines, seagoing and land-based craft that are instantly identified by their conspicuous shapes, mass, juxtaposition of large and small elements, colour and graphics as part of a "docklands" context. The arrangement of these objects in relation to one another is equally distinctive - individual objects related only through associations of use, eschewing ideas of "urban character" or "streetscape".
The Landmark Tower takes on the uncanny quality that results from the juxtaposition of activities, objects and machines within the docklands.