Saturday, April 4, 2009

Facade

This apartment block is just off Herbert Park, Ballsbridge. It's not the best or worst block but I would say that its age and shape suggest that the rooms inside are larger than are built these days. Henri Lefebvre would say that this is housing - not a residence. Residence, he says, has a poetic resonance and is based on the luxurious interiors of the aristocracy. Yet he would note that the apartment block parodies the aristocratic mansion, where the interior was the most important consideration. The exterior is about function, rather than visual pleasure. In the modern city though, it's a structure within which space has been extended and divided. Boxes for living in are jammed beside each other and increasingly piled on top of one another. Space is increasingly important in modern times. Outside in the park, there is a pleasurable environment to view from the windows of the apartments - but it too is broken up into units - the bowling green, the tennis court, the football pitch. Runners jog through the greenery during the lunch hour hours. Everything seems dissected, apportioned and controlled.