Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Donnelly Mirrors

Donnelly Mirrors, a subsidiary of US car parts supplier Magna International opened its factory in Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland in 1968. Here the company manufactured mirrors and windows for automobiles all over the world. Due to fierce competition, high costs and falling sales the company closed in 2007 with the loss of 525 jobs when it moved much of its production to North America and Spain. As it stands currently in August 2008, the factory is a space in-between, a room half-stripped of its furniture, its properties disintegrating as time passes on. No longer the thriving employer in the locality, but neither a fully blank space either. It becomes a difficult arena to absorb and comprehend. What happens to such a space when its people, in this case its employees, are no longer needed there? What “qualities” does that in-between space that cross -over place of abandoned factory floors and the industrial landscape, take on? Does the process of the abandonment of industrial architecture also erase the memories, or are they possibly intimately wedded to the space that is being left behind? And can a deeper understanding of the “cavity”, (i.e. the space left behind) rather than the “solid”, also inform our understanding of the creation of architecture, or, in this case, the creation of anti-architecture?

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