“The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise / Were all at prayers inside the oratory / A ship appeared above them in the air. / The anchor dragged along behind so deep / It hooked itself into the altar rails.”
These words by Irish poet Seamus Heaney have had a profound impact on the work of architects Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, who cited the poem as one of their inspirations for the Glucksman Gallery – an exhibition space commissioned by the University of Cork in the early millennium. Named for its patron Lewis Glucksman (a Wall Street trader and philanthropist), the Glucksman Gallery was completed in 2005 and nominated for the Stirling Prize that same year. Thanks to its outstanding site-specific design, the building has since become one of the most celebrated works of contemporary Irish architecture.