The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby CiaraMarie » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:59 pm

Dear all
I would be really grateful for any direction or opinions you may offer on the topic “The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia”in the context of Ireland.
I am a fourth year architectural student studying in the UK, originally from Ireland and have chosen to study this topic as my dissertation/ research project in order to understand the development and position of Ireland on “non traditional” housing in today’s climate.
Having followed the wrath of Jack Fitzsimons’ infamous book “Bungalow Bliss”, Ireland’s affinity with the Bungalow, Suburban to Superural publications of alternative proposals for future housing in Ireland, I am interested in unearthing a possible case study of a key modern house in the suburbs of Ireland, built maybe 50/60years ago. I am keen to analyse the attitudes of the Irish people, locals, media and planners on such a project in contrast to the ubiquitous housing built at the same time and make a comparison to a contemporary house in Ireland today in order to interpret whether we have moved forward and whether tides have changes over the last number of years to the present day.
Any opinions or advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby KerryBog2 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:15 pm

CiaraMarie wrote:Dear all
........., I am interested in unearthing a possible case study of a key modern house in the suburbs of Ireland, built maybe 50/60years ago. .


Difficult. Anyone wealthy enough to build a one-off at that time is probably dead and same for any local planners and "objectors."
When I looked at building a house in the 70's I bought a book on the modern house published by House & Garden c1970 which gave photos of about 100 key 1960s houses but most were in the UK - there were a few in Ireland, one of which was in a lane in Dalkey. Flokati rugs, Castigleone lamps and all! I would guess that most one-off new builds 1950-60 were in old orchards, walled gardens, mews sites,etc. and not in a truly "suburban" environment. Early houses of Scott Tallon Walker or Sam Stephenson would be worth checking out.

The Irish Times archive would have lots on a "modern" housing development on Vico Road Dalkey c 1930s which was stopped by locals at that time. Innocuous in design, they were blocked because of development, not style.
Rs
K.
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby CiaraMarie » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:11 pm

Thanks for replying..thats a good start anyway..ive also got the book 20th century architecture in Ireland which features a few houses from Robin Walker and Micheal Scott although they are typically not suituated in very "suburban" contexts, which i might try look at.

I'm interested in understanding these houses as both an architectural study and as a sociological analysis of domestic space in Irish suburbs.
I have come across a Proffessor of sociology at The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Proffessor Mary Corcoran, who delivered the opening lecture Making sense of place in Irish suburbs, Des/IRE- Designing houses for contemporary Ireland, and would be grateful if anyone knows if there have been any publications released as a result of this conference, as this would appear a great databank of knowledge an debate to feed off.

I am currently reading Home a short History of an Idea- Witold Rybczynski and would be interested in hearing from anyone who has a particular view point on living in an Irish Suburbian Home/House- be those good or bad.
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby NevilleNeville » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:50 am

CiaraMarie wrote:Thanks for replying..thats a good start anyway..ive also got the book 20th century architecture in Ireland which features a few houses from Robin Walker and Micheal Scott although they are typically not suituated in very "suburban" contexts, which i might try look at.

I'm interested in understanding these houses as both an architectural study and as a sociological analysis of domestic space in Irish suburbs.
I have come across a Proffessor of sociology at The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Proffessor Mary Corcoran, who delivered the opening lecture Making sense of place in Irish suburbs, Des/IRE- Designing houses for contemporary Ireland, and would be grateful if anyone knows if there have been any publications released as a result of this conference, as this would appear a great databank of knowledge an debate to feed off.

I am currently reading Home a short History of an Idea- Witold Rybczynski and would be interested in hearing from anyone who has a particular view point on living in an Irish Suburbian Home/House- be those good or bad.



I think the topic of your dissertation is very worthy particularly in light of the extent of poor suburban development in Ireland over the last 15 years. I attended the DESIRE Conference and as far as I know they published a book about a year after the event. The event was hosted by the National Sculpture Factory so you might contact them. A book that touches the the suburban topic which I have just read is Blubberland by Elizabeth Farrelly and Australian architect/critic and is well worth reading.

I wish you the best with your dissertation.
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:33 pm

Image

I don't know how suburban the context here is, probably not very.

Still you could put it on you list of maybes.

Page taken from 'The Architecture of Ireland in Drawings & Paintings', NGI, 1975
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby CiaraMarie » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:52 pm

Thanks guys for your replies, all are appreciated. I have just been having another look online for possible case studies for my research, and have came across this link which suggests a few examples of historical "non-traditional" suburban housing.

Featured in the link are International style and Art deco houses- (1) Kincora Road, (2) Seafront at Dollymount, Clontarf by Robinson and Keefe Architects, (3) Mount Merrion Moderne, Stillorgan by Rupert Jones, (4) Wendon (Balnagowan) Glasnevin, Dublin, (5) Geragh by Michael Scott, (6) Electra, Clonskeagh

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Salon/6941/housirah.htm

I am planning a trip to Dublin to get more background on some of these houses and if anyone has suggestions as to which archives would be best for this type of search i would be grateful!

Alongside these interwar/International/art deco housing examples i would also like to look at a case study of a contemprary suburban house. If anyone has a suggestion for this i would be great.

Regards
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby CiaraMarie » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:16 pm

The latest "Global Report on Human Settlements" says that over half the world's people now live in cities. A recently announcement highlighted this historic change and increased urbanisation of our world. The report came out this week from U.N. Habitat, a United Nations agency.

Unlike most of our European counterparts, however Irish families still seem to prefer their version of the Garden City ideal; the desire to live in low density housing, one/two-storey houses with front and back gardens.

My dissertation, which begun last year as a study on the ubiquity of contemporary housing in Ireland, has since evolved to be more focused on the issue of Irelands rural contemporary housing.

Travelling throughout Ireland and witnessing the homes of flab and ostentation, it is clear we have lost our way. Irelands homes have become closed temples to worldliness, rather than places of intimacy and privacy.

Having researched many issues surrounding this complex topic; The History of our Nation, Irelands complex relationship to the land, Politics, corruption and our Planning Authorities, i am now trying to understand a question which was first risen by Walter Gropius back in 1919 and can be raised again today in the context of housing in Ireland....

Why so ugly? ...Is there any architecture today? Are there any architects? ...Are not we, who are at the mercy of all-devouring society..that knows no architecture, wants no architecture and therefore needs no architects!
(49) Bauhaus Founder Walter Gropius (1919)

With only 10 to 12 percent of housing in Ireland being designed by architects..what is the reason for the public’s rejection of our profession in creating one of the most valuable assets to any household?:confused:
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby missarchi » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:42 pm

You make dangerous assumptions when you think only an architect can design architecture...
There are better and worst architects just like clients.
Architect is just a title that is directed by clients...

You would be better of focusing on tax breaks/planning refunds for good architecture or fines for bad architecture...

or the past roles of architects...

You also miss the point that this underlying pattern language relates to most of the world not just Ireland. There are larger forces at play.
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby CiaraMarie » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:50 pm

Thanks for your comments missarchi,

I do realize that architecture and in Ireland particularly, there has been a long heritage and a successful past of building homes in the countryside without the help of architects, and i have tried to incorporated this into my dissertation.

However a following on point from this is the apparent rejection of the use of an architect in favor of the ubiquitous pattern book housing or individual when it comes to designing a home....
..is this simply a case of cost, time or tradition?

Your comments on "tax breaks/planning refunds for good architecture or fines for bad architecture"is an interesting one, i am wondering if there are precedents from other countries that may use this system to encourage good design?

I would be grateful for anymore suggestions as to further development or possible areas which maybe relevant to my research.

Regards and thanks for the help so far.
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thanks-907

Postby exactman » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:34 am

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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby jesus_o_murchu » Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:21 pm

CiaraMarie wrote:The latest "Global Report on Human Settlements" says that over half the world's people now live in cities. A recently announcement highlighted this historic change and increased urbanisation of our world. The report came out this week from U.N. Habitat, a United Nations agency.

Unlike most of our European counterparts, however Irish families still seem to prefer their version of the Garden City ideal; the desire to live in low density housing, one/two-storey houses with front and back gardens:


1. Im quite sure that suburbia counts as urban in the UN report, ie anywhere that is not rural.

2. Its worth noting that there has never been much of an urban tradition in ireland. remember - the natives of this island have never founded any cities, only foreign invaders.

As soon as theres an upturn in the economy we will see the return of the ubiquitous one-off house (urban generated) in the 'countryside'. The question is had the crash not happened would we be soon looking at a situation like flanders in belgium, where there is no longer any countryside left, only suburbia.
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Re: The unique amongst the ubiquitous- The modern house in suburbia

Postby teak » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:21 pm

A key modern house in the suburbs, 50-60 years ago.....

Honestly, I'm not clear as to whether you are looking for a really original house or simply for examples of a house which had key new elements of suburban house design.
For the original houses -- which as far as I can see had no bearing on the sort of house that was built in suburban Ireland from the late '50s on -- you have plenty of examples in the homes Irish architects built for themselves or their favourite clients.
For the other thing, you must get on your bike and travel along the new post-de Valera suburbs of Dublin and other towns. One thinks of the more well-to-do southern suburbs of Dublin in this context. Take a cycle around there.
The rural towns generally had more modest advances.
Things like the tall narrow frosted glass lightwell for the stairs on the front of the house.
That was the sort of thing up and coming middle class men (e.g. shop manager) were going for then.
Most of the architects of the late '50s/early '60s are now retired/semi-retired.
They might have some time to talk now. They'll surely recall the objections and planning trouble.
You might drop in in to some of these when on your cycle.
Good luck with the dissertation.
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