Alto What?

Alto What?

Walking through the Dublin docklands area the conversation turns naturally from the new theatre and hotel to the eyesore building that is Alto Vectra. A 16 story glass apartment block, filled with cookie cutter pigeon holes all with identical furniture and layouts, and sporting sporadically placed glass balconies it sticks out like a set of dog’s balls to coin a quaint Australian expression.

Sure, it may look all wow in this picture, but the reality is that nothing near it is as tall, none of the surrounding residences are as fishbowl and nothing about it looks at all inviting or homely. And that, at the end of the day is what a residential development should be about – homes.

I was stunned a few months ago to hear that this monstrosity that occasionally sports advertising and rarely sports anything even remotely approaching 50% occupancy has managed to win a few architectural awards. One has to wonder how shit the competing submissions were for this to win anything at all, but no – this thing has managed to bring home to it’s architectural parents the R.I.B.A. International Award 2009 (obviously RIBA stands for Really Incredibly Bad Architecture), The Chicago Athenaeum – International Architecture Award 2009 (clearly voted on according to what could be seen from Chicago), the Opus Building of The Year Award (no excuses) and the AAI
Awards Special Mention (special mention perhaps that this one wasn’t worth a full prize?)

Don’t believe me? Neither did I, but apparently it’s all true.