When deciding what we would like to (re)construct, myself and my project partner, PhD candidate Fionn Colton, had a few things to consider. From the outset, we had to decide what type of context we wanted to present our project in, and also what type of historical relevance we wanted to focus on for our project. We also had to take the availability of sources into consideration, as the accuracy of the model would greatly depend on the data at our disposal.
With these factors in mind, and after a search through Archiseek, we developed a keen appreciation for the 1865 Dublin International Exhibition, a symbol of British imperial power located in the space that now houses the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The site was an excellent example of the splendor of British architecture in the 19th century, and was the endeavour of architect Alfred G. Jones. The images available online, coupled with Jones’ own account of the basic dimensions of the exhibition palace, gave myself and Fionn a very detailed and almost accurate account of the floorplan for the building. In the interest of our time constraints, we decided to focus our attention on the reconstruction of the Winter Garden section of the building, which comprises of one long hallway spanning two levels. Seeing the detail in the hallway and the exhibits present, we thought it best that we focus on one single area of the exhibition in great detail.
The readily available data comprises of Jones’ account of the structure, as well as a number of chronolithographs and engravings, but we will also be contacting the National Library of Ireland and the National Photographic Archives, both of which hold records which will hopefully be useful for us in our efforts to conceptualise and reconstruct the exhibition floor. As there is still plenty more to do in our project, from collecting data, conceptualising the site, learning to use 3dsMax, which is our design platform of choice, and (re)constructing the site, so please check back here and on Fionn’s blog for regular updates of our progress.