Posted on 18th July 2017
The 3D textbook was officially launched May 2017 by Minister Denis Naughten TD. The building has been extensively refitted for its new occupation, with the defining idea of retaining as much of its original structure – and history – as possible. This ethos extends to the artwork in the building, most obviously to the enormous metal sculpture that hangs, seemingly unsupported, above visitors’ heads as soon as they enter the lobby. This is Seasca (‘Sixty’) by Shane Holland Design.
Seasca consists of sixty steel pipes arranged into a fan shape spanning 2.5m in diameter. The pipes, weighing 300 kilograms in total, were salvaged from the boiler house in 2016 and bear the signs of their previous use as connective conduits between the building’s four boilers, and from the boiler house to the outside world.
The Ballymun boiler house was completed in 1966 to provide drinking water, hot water and heating to a newly built complex of 36 flat blocks. It was the largest civic heating scheme in Ireland or Britain and served a peak population of 17,000 people. By the standards of the time it was both innovative and energy efficient. It drew water from an onsite 200,000-litre reservoir, which allowed water and heat to be distributed to the flat complex without the need for booster pumps or storage tanks.
Seasca exists as both a physical and cultural reminder of this scheme, and as a tribute to yesterday’s innovations in industrial design and efficiency.