Monday, September 27, 2010

RTE Campus

September 26.  After leaving Bru na Boinne, I needed to return the rental back to the airport.  I made a point to drive to see the RTE Campus before I did, as its location was well beyond walking distance from the city center.  It was an interesting route to get there, as it involved going through the tunnel and by the port.  RTE is the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation of Ireland.  Ireland's BBC if you will.  The Campus was designed in 1973 by the Irish architectural firm Scott Tallon Walker and represented a "new level of aspiration for the Irish state's rhetoric of modernization."  Miesian, by definition.  Of course, for the uninvited tourist, the campus proved to be more secure than Fort Knox.  I drove up to the security checkpoint in the "visitors" lane.  The guard said that no visitors were allowed.  I responded by saying "I understand, thank you sir" and backed out whereupon I parked on a nearby side street and scoped out the campus from the street. 
I found an unguarded pedestrian entrance and walked down the path and was able to take a few pictures.  As I approached the right flank of the guard shack, the guard came out and said "I told you, no visitors" and an unarmed guard approached me hurriedly on my right flank.  He accosted me and said, "Do you have permission to take pictures?"  And I said "No".  He said "What do you need pictures for?"  I then explained that I was studying the architecture of Ireland, and that this building was considered iconic.  Fortunately, he seemed to accept this explanation and let me go.  He suggested that I contact corporate affairs to arrange for a tour of the facility.  Of course, I didn't want to go through all that, as interesting as it might have been.  I am learning that you don't want to tango with any Irish officials, Gardai or not. 

I found this whole diversion to be well worth it, as even in the limited viewpoints, I found the architecture to be unique in its layout and scope.  Many buildings all connected by bridges and walkways.  

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