Street Photography By William Murphy

THE SPIRE IN O’CONNELL STREET

LOADING

The Spire was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, who sought an "Elegant and dynamic simplicity bridging art and technology". The contract was awarded to SIAC-Radley JV and it was manufactured by Radley Engineering of Dungarvan, County Waterford, and erected by SIAC Construction Ltd. The first section was installed on 18 December 2002. Five additional 20 m (66 ft) sections were added with the last one installed on 21 January 2003. The spire is an elongated cone of diameter 3 m (9.8 ft) at the base, narrowing to 15 cm (5.9 in) at the top. Construction of the world's tallest sculpture was delayed because of difficulty in obtaining planning permission and environmental regulations. It is constructed from eight hollow tubes of stainless steel and features a tuned mass damper, designed by engineers Arup, to counteract sway. The steel underwent shot peening in order to subtly reflect the light falling on it.

The pattern around the base of the Spire is based on a core sample of earth and rock formation taken from the ground where the spire stands. The pattern was applied by bead blasting the steel through rubber stencil masks whose patterns were created by water jet cutting based on core sample drawings supplied by the contractor.

During the day it maintains its steel look, but at dusk the monument appears to merge into the sky. The base of the monument is lit and the top 12 m (39 ft) is illuminated to provide a beacon in the night sky across the city.