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archaeology of the air. o'donnell + tuomey, architecture / architecture

essay by kester rattenbury / english / 96 pages / softcover / 21 x 17 cm / extensively illustrated / 22,00 /2004 / isbn 88-9014570-6

o'donnell + tuomey's buildings themselves could be said to operate as individuals-as the sorts of individuals one knows and engages with personally. individuals with surprising capacities, unexpected charms, powerful affections, and strengths of personality which are not immediately apparent. the whole body of the work, though, adds up to form something else: a broader culture, which is not confined to architecture. i'm not surprised that they find heaney and auden as relevant to their work as stirling or rossi. in a way, - and without having to cross disciplines or produce anything but architecture-their work ignores the fabricated boundaries of what architecture is thought to be, engaging in a wider world-of the vernacular and the high canon, of weather, and views, and people, and work and ideas, and materials, and old buildings, and new developments, of tourism and journeys and reading by lamplight, of places that people recognise and imagine and use. kester rattenbury
sheila o'donnell and john tuomey established their partnership in 1988. the practice has developed an international reputation for cultural and educational buildings including the irish film centre, ranelagh multi denominational school and the furniture college, letterfrack. they have been involved in urban design projects including the temple bar regeneration in dublin and the zuid poort masterplan in delft. both partners are studio lecturers in university college dublin and have taught at a number of schools of architecture in uk and usa including aa, cambridge, princeton, harvard and syracuse. the work of the partnership has been widely published and exhibited and has received many national and international awards. current projects include the design of university buildings, schools, houses and mixed use buildings in ireland and the netherlands. o'donnell + tuomey were selected to represent ireland at the venice architecture biennale in 2004.

kester rattenbury was trained as an architect at oxford polytechnic, she did a phd on the way that architecture is covered in the press. she went on to become an architectural journalist, writing extensively for uk and international magazines and newspapers. she won arts council funding for her book this is not architecture, which explores the relationship between architecture and the way it is represented in different media. other books and publications include architects today (with robert bevan and kieran long), the tourist guide to the london eye: the essential eye, essays in architecture and film and cedric price: opera. she teaches at the university of westminster in london where she co-ordinates and helped set up the new centre for experimental practice exp.