Our public realm is temporarily limited to 2000 metres. This restriction offers the possibility of a new relationship with our local built environment and a changing perspective on our immediate surroundings. This is an opportunity to discover, rediscover and uncover the often overlooked and previously unnoticed. How well do we really know our local area? Initiated by the Irish Architecture Foundation, ‘Within 2000m’ is gathering responses to this situation and sharing them here on its website over the coming weeks. Here are just a few of the responses. For more, visit www.architecturefoundation.ie

Helen Dillon Garden, Monkstown, by Kathleen James-Chakraborty
“From my ground-floor flat in Monkstown Valley sandwiched between two relatively well-landscaped parking lots, I head out most days down Seafield Avenue for a walk along Dublin Bay. On the left is the exterior edge of Helen Dillon’s garden. The tulips came up last week, red-edged with yellow, and now the forget me nots are crowding out them with their insistent blue. I increasingly appreciate the way in which the small streets opening off the north side of Monkstown Road frame the view of the water.”
Kathleen James-Chakraborty is a Professor of Art History at University College Dublin and a Friend of the IAF

Collooney, Sligo, by Vanya Lambrecht Ward
“This lady sits modestly on the wall surrounding the grounds of the Church of the Assumption in Collooney, Co. Sligo. She has been there since 1843/47. She is not new to me but has appeared back into my peripheral vision from my office window. She was said to be modelled on a girl that once occupied the small terraces that are no longer sit between our house and the church. Her lovely simple featured getting weathered by the harsh north wind sweeping through the ox mountain gap. And like so many things around the house and within the small radius we inhabit currently, wonderful details are coming back into focus.”
Vanya Lambrecht Ward is an architectural graduate, artist and educator

Fairview, by Gareth Brennan
“Fairview curves as it follows the arc of the original northern shoreline of Dublin Bay. In the 1700’s wealthy Dubliners took pleasure rides along the route, availing of its southerly aspect across the Bay. In the 1840’s the view of the Bay was obstructed by the newly-constructed embankment which carried the Dublin and Drogheda Railway. In the 1920’s, after being used for land-fill, the enclosed area was developed as a park. Until Friday March 20th 2020, the Park had been separated from the residents of Fairview and Marino by six lanes of commuting traffic, compromising access, connection and community.
Now . . . ?”
Gareth Brennan is a director of Brennan Furlong Architects, with a soft spot for the underdog

Grangegorman, Dublin, by Mollie Kate Flynn
“My name is Mollie Kate Flynn and I am 6. I am not able to go to school right now so I am going to be an architect now. I went to the park at Grangegorman yesterday to do some drawings. This is beside where I live. It was very sunny. The playground is not allowed right now which makes me sad but there is lots to see and we can go for walks. I can see the old clock tower from my house. I drew the animal heads on the old buildings, one is a cat! In Grangegorman there are lots of old buildings and also new buildings being made with builders and cranes. I like the one where the new building is built around the huge beautiful old tree because the new students will see nature from their windows.”

Curved staircase in Mitte, Berlin, by Jonathan Janssens
“The only routine that seems to be working for me these days is my morning run. My routes of late have brought me down along the river Spree, now magically still and reflective without any river traffic to disturb the water. When I reach Spreeufer (just east of the Museum Island), a certain unassuming curved concrete staircase comes into view. Tucked away in a sunny corner, its cantilevering concrete steps are held by a single concrete element and extend in a sweeping curve, lifting you from the quiet river bank to the (normally) busy streets 5 metres above.”
Jonathan Janssens is an Irish architect working and living in Berlin. He is co-founder of plattenbaustudio

Lad Lane, Dublin, by James Pike
“When walking out into the city from home I have always tried to use the quietest streets and lanes. This is a view of 28 Lad Lane where I came to live when I first arrived in Dublin in January 1964. I had been invited over by Eoin MacVeigh, close friend at college in London, to do the competition for the new UCD campus at Belfield. We weren’t successful but decided to set up a practice as work was beginning to surge in Ireland. We were joined by Eoin’s cousin Paddy Delany. This photo also shows the top floors and cranes on the site of the new ESB headquarters, on which we are now working with Grafton Architects. This therefore celebrates the 56 years of the practice.”
James Pike, Director, O’Mahony Pike Architects and Corporate Circle Member of the IAF

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Plan Magazine

Email: denise@mcdmedia.ie