The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) opened in September 2010 and has quickly established itself as one of the most iconic buildings in Ireland’s capital city. Positioned in the revitalised Dublin Docklands on Spencer Dock, it overlooks the River Liffey. The building is iconic for a number of architectural innovations, particularly the glass frontage and numerous curved walls, and it is the first carbon-neutral convention centre in the world. The CCD won silver in ‘Best Overseas Conference Centre’ in the M&IT Industry Awards 2011, and can hold up to 8,000 people in 22 meeting rooms, which includes a 2,000-seat auditorium and a 4,500 square metre exhibition and banqueting space.
So given all of that, when their Events Operations Director contacted me in April 2014 to enquire if I would be interested in providing artwork I jumped at the chance. I met with Allan and the Chairman at the CCD and we toured the building, to help me get a feel for the facility. During that initial discussion we explored their general needs including type of images, size, locations, etc. We agreed upon an initial 8 images from my existing Ireland Landscape Portfolio, 4 for their boardroom, and 4 for a short section of the Level 2 Corridor. One aspect we spent time discussing was how best to present the artwork, at upwards of 1.5 meters and given the commercial high-traffic nature of the locations a traditional framed/glazed option was not particularly suitable. I outlined three options during that initial discussion, namely Acrylic Prints, Dibond Prints in Floating Frames, and Birch Plywood Block Mounts. The Chairman indicated he was most interested in the Acrylic Print option having seen it in other locations but asked for a sample of each finish.
I met shortly afterwards with my Fine Art Printer Steve Crozier, owner of 360 DPI, and discussed how best to approach the project. I chose three images and he produced a small sized sample of each of the three options. I arranged another meeting on site to share the samples. They were immediately taken with the Acrylic Print, however they also liked the Dibond/Floating Frame finish. They decided upon 4 full-sized Acrylic Prints for the corridor and 4 of the Floating Frames for their Boardroom.
The next step was image selection, and given this was the starting point for a larger project I suggested they consider ordering 1 of Landscape, Portrait, Panoramic and Square aspect ratio for the corridor. This would help us get a feel for how they worked and better equip us when it came to designing the layout for the much longer corridor. I created custom galleries on my website to make their selection process easier, which was by committee. Once they made the final selection of 8 photographs I began working with my printer to complete some “strip tests” of the full-sized prints to ensure everything worked as expected. After some minor tweaks we were ready to print and mount all 8 images. I made arrangements with the CCD facilities staff and once on site provided guidance on placement and hanging the finished pieces.
Overwhelmingly the feedback was positive and the CCD team wanted me to move forward with the next phase of the project, providing 10 images for the longer section of the 2nd floor corridor. There was however one significant change in scope, Allan and the team wanted images solely from Dublin, and to be more specific the iconic locations of Dublin city centre. Given the location of the property and its international clientele that request made complete sense. With this new scope in mind we set about brainstorming locations we would like to include; and came up with 40 locations; way more than needed so we prioritised the ‘top’ ones and I set about photographing them. In parallel I also completed a number of layout mock-ups of the corridor with various image presentation layouts. After completing a group of locations I would publish them to private galleries for the CCD Team to review and make selections.
Phase II was installed on March 2015 with a combination of 2 Panoramic, 4 Portrait and 4 Landscape orientated images. I once again attended site and assisted the facilities staff in placement and hanging arrangements. These acrylics were a little different to those we installed in Phase I, as the team decided they wanted larger prints, 40% larger in fact. We also mounted a ridgid aluminium frame as we discovered that the buildings intelligently managed yet constantly changing temperatures were causing the Phase I Acrylics to warp slightly.
Once again the feedback was very positive and I was asked to move directly on to Phase III, to provide 14 images for the Level 1 Corridor. The brief was identical to Phase II, to provide images of iconic Dublin locations, and as we still had plenty identified from the original brainstorming session I set about shooting immediately. After the photographing, processing, publishing and selection process was completed I once again worked with Steve at 360-DPI to complete some initial strip tests, followed by some minor image tweaks and then printing and mounting the full size photographs on acrylic, and making arrangements for delivery. At this stage, the entire end-to-end process was running very smoothly. The last phase was installed in August 2015 and brought a close to what was a very enjoyable and educational commission.
John Dunne is an extremely talented photographer and we are proud to display his work at The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD). By capturing the character of some of Dublin’s best known landmarks, as well as the essence of the Irish landscape, his photographs will help showcase Ireland to delegates visiting The CCD from all across the world.
At the completion of all three phases there are now 32 pieces of my artwork on display in The Convention Centre Dublin, many of which are available to purchase from my Manmade Gallery, and I could not be happier. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Allan and the entire CCD team, especially the excellant facilities staff; their inputs, guidance and assistance are a large part of what made this commision such a success. I also wanted to thank Steve over at 360-DPI who’s expertise (and patience) was critical to the completion of this project.
This is just one of many photographic commisions I have undertaken, and you can read about some of them on my Customer Stories page. If you have similar needs please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to outline my Corporate Photography services.