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Dublin scraps Geoffrey Reid's 'image of Ireland'building

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Geoffrey Reid Associates' design for a new £30 million home for the Irish ministry of culture in Dublin looks set to be scrapped.

The scheme is at the centre of a row between Irish finance minister Charlie McCreevy and culture minister Sile Devalera over its cost. The building was due to bring together the departments of arts, heritage, gaeltacht (Irish speaking culture) on a site in Phoenix Park, but its cost and plans to decentralise government means that it now almost certain to be abandoned.

'It's mortally disappointing, ' said architect Matthew Bedward of Geoffrey Reid Associates.'It would have been fantastic if it had been built, but it needs the political will.

This has got nothing to do with the architecture, it's all about a personality clash.' The competition-winning scheme included public arts facilities as well as offices (AJ 13.4.00).

The U-turn on the scheme will cast into doubt the Irish government's commitment to procuring high-quality new buildings. The competition brief called for a building which 'reflects the self image of a modern outward-looking Ireland which, though proclaiming pride in its culture and artistic heritage, also asserts itself internationally'.

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