Housing, Architecture and the Edge Condition: Dublin is Building, 1935-1975

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Routledge, 2019 - Architecture and society - 294 pages

This book presents an architectural overview of Dublin's mass-housing building boom from the 1930s to the 1970s. During this period, Dublin Corporation built tens of thousands of two-storey houses, developing whole communities from virgin sites and green fields at the city's edge, while tentatively building four-storey flat blocks in the city centre. Author Ellen Rowley examines how and why this endeavour occurred. Asking questions around architectural and urban obsolescence, she draws on national political and social histories, as well as looking at international architectural histories and the influence of post-war reconstruction programmes in Britain or the symbolisation of the modern dwelling within the formation of the modern nation.

Critically, the book tackles this housing history as an architectural and design narrative. It explores the role of the architectural community in this frenzied provision of housing for the populace. Richly illustrated with architectural drawings and photographs from contemporary journals and the private archives of Dublin-based architectural practices, this book will appeal to academics and researchers interested in the conditions surrounding Dublin's housing history.

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Anyone fortunate enough to attend one of Dr Rowley's lectures on this subject (and others) will know what an important asset to the city she has become. This nutritious, enlightening and thought-provoking book represents an important contribution to the history of modern Dublin.

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if we want to make sure that our housing future does not rhyme with our housing past this is a must-read. the sense of optimistic idealism in the photos is particularly poignant.

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About the author (2019)

Ellen Rowley is an architectural and cultural historian who has written extensively on twentieth-century architecture in Ireland. She is editor and principal author of More Than Concrete Blocks: Dublin City┐s Twentieth-Century Buildings and Their Stories ┐ an ongoing research and educational project into Dublin┐s built environment between 1900 and 2000, commissioned by Dublin City Council and co-funded by the Heritage Council of Ireland. Volume I, 1900┐1940 was published in 2016 and Volume II, 1940┐1972 will be published in 2018. Ellen co-edited Irish Architecture 16002000, Volume IV of Art and Architecture of Ireland. She is a research associate at the School of Architecture (APEP), University College Dublin, Ireland, and she has been the consulting curator of Dublin┐s tenement history at 14 Henrietta Street, a new museum of Irish urban life and housing. Along with housing and the meaning of ordinary architecture, Ellen is deeply interested in the influence of the Catholic Church upon Ireland┐s built environment and is working on a research project, The Architecture of Catholic Ireland, 1940┐1980.

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