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Student shows 2013: University of Limerick, School of Architecture

Stephen Best reviews the University of Limerick’s end of year show

SAUL is full of contrasts. The school’s vision projects beyond its provincial or national boundaries. It attracts some of the leading academics and practitioners from around the world; top names to have visited recently hail from Washington, London and Vienna. Yet at the same time, the school’s feet are absolutely and explicitly planted in its location, where it leverages the tacit skill and expertise of students and staff to the advantage of Limerick City and its environs. As evidence of this, the final year show is displayed not on campus but in a magnificent baroque church. It is a success; the show was a throng, not only of proud parents, but also of ordinary people who just dropped in, many of who left with a new sense of their urban environment.

Standout unit The school is strong throughout, but skills of investigation, interpretation, presentation and aesthetic judgement coalesce in the most coherent way in the thesis year.

Standout students Colin Dorgan’s ‘Dispute Chamber’ highlights the power of an architecture school to generate ideas and question the status quo, while David Williams proposes temporary uses for a vast unfinished shopping centre, a tragic reminder to the people of Limerick that their optimism was dashed against the rocks of financial mismanagement.

In a word Relevant

Stephen Best, senior lecturer, Dublin Institute of Technology

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