Exile On Bane Street

I did a project recently in the location depicted in the attached photographs. It looks like a typical suburban housing estate ‘streetscape’, just like the thousands more of its ilk elsewhere in south Dublin and dotted across the country. Typical, standard, cookie cutter stuff.

The development contains multiple dwelling types – terraced houses, apartments, semi detached and fully detached.  There are a lot of units and, consequently, a lot of people.

The first word that might come to mind when you look at the attached photos is not ‘people’, it is more than likely ‘car’ or ‘tarmac’ or even maybe a combination of words such as ‘for heaven’s sake how could a person be happy living in such an environment?’

I have written repeatedly about how our suburban streetscape cannot but contribute to unhappiness, ennui and anti-social behaviour.


That’s the amazon link to ‘Reimaginining Your Neighborhood’ published in the US in September 2015 and to which I contributed the closing chapter



This setting is a case in point demonstrating perfectly, as it does, a systematic, explicit attempt to relegate the person to the base of the design hierarchy in favour of the automobile. The automobile rules.

Designers and builders seem to be hell bent on facilitating the car to the detriment of all else. Look how close those cars are to the front doors of those houses. If they could devise a way to allow the driver to step straight from the driver’s seat onto the couch, they would do it.

Drive thru’ houses? Closer than you think folks.

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