True Irish Architecture

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    • #707371

      I am writing a thesis about the influences of Irish Architecture from past cultures, and how the Irish have either absorbed it into their own culture or they have done everything to go against it.

      I need help, either with bits of information, or with sources that would be good.

      My main goal is to try to determine what the Irish want and feel is their architectural style.

      Thank-you for your help!

    • #746852

      Kelly, from what discipline are you approaching this work? This will probably influence the way you are taking this.

    • #746853

      Originally posted by Kelly
      Irish Architecture from past cultures, and how the Irish have either absorbed it into their own culture

      In a word, through parody!!

      This is from an article entitled ‘Protecting our Heritage’ by Ian Lumley which appeared in the April 2002 magazine of An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland. Hpoefully it will be of some help. Good luck with your thesis Kelly:

      “One of the strangest features of Ireland’s recent economic boom is the extent of our new buildings constructed in mock-18th and 19th century styles, while so much genuine heritage of the same period continues to be destroyed.

      Irish public buildings now match those of anywhere in Europe in design quality, reflecting the work of a talented range of architects. Publications, such as those by the Irish Architectural Association, and the award scheme run by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, show the high quality of design work currently going into public buildings, schools and some public and social housing projects. In contrast, the prevailing architectural style of choice for most house designers is a range of mock-Georgian, mock-Victorian and mock-Edwardian styles. The first fifty years of the Irish State were marked by an effective policy of obliterating the land divisions and the architectural legacy of the Ascendancy, through the combination of the Land Commision and penal rates levels on country houses. The odd paradox is that now, almost everybody building in the countryside wants a minature Georgian country house. For houses in villages, towns and suburban estates, Tudor revival-style is widely prevalent. Also significant is English Home Counties neo-Edwardian, which is particularly popular in more “up market” developments.

      This design nostalgia is accompanied by a lack of concern for environmental sustainability evidenced by the large-scale use of uPVC. This stiffened plastic material is the predominant one for doors, windows, fascias and soffits in Ireland. Its attraction is the result of a combination of aggressive marketing on the false premise of being maintenance free, competitive price and low skill required for fitting and installation. An Taisce is in liason with other environmental organisations at European level seeking the ban of uPVC as a building material because of its environmental unsustainability, its greenhouse gas-producing manufacturing process, its short performance life, its vulnerability to degradation through climatic conditions and ultra violet radiation and its lack of adaptability to repair and recyclability after end use performance which is projected at 15-20 years.

      The symbol of triumph of mock-over-genuine in Ireland is the fake 19th century pub. Having been a McDonalds-type design package exported to cities all over Eurpoe in the 1990s, it has now rebounded across the country itself. While authentic 19th century pub and shop fronts continue to be destroyed, new fake creations full of the paraphernalia of nostalgia – farm implements and avery scales – proliferate around the country. This reflects both an overall lack of appreciation of the original and the failure to adopt a confident modern design idiom to match the economic boom. “

    • #746854

      This thesis is for humanities.

      The article was great but, do you think there is any evidence of the Irish trying to get away from a particular architecture because another culture brought it upon them? For example, do the Irish dislike Dublin because it was created by the Vikings, and then taken over by the English? Or do the Irish not like the Palladian style mansions because it is primarily an English style? Thank you for your help.

    • #746855

      At the moment with an abundance of appalling taste and new money people seem to be revelling in tacky mock versions of past english styles with some bizarre perception that it’s upmarket and refined! The old war of independence days of burning down the ascendency country manors seems lost on the new money crowd. (not that i’m old money or anything!)

    • #746856
      Paul Clerkin

      i don’t think they burned down the acendency’s country houses on grounds of architectural taste….

    • #746857

      And i thought they they were Bauhaus hardliners!! True i suppose. But just thinking of the usual post-colonial-tear-down-all-the-old-stuff and now they’re throwing it back up again with abysmal taste. kinda goes against what happens in most post colonial cultures.

    • #746858
      Paul Clerkin

      I always thought that was just an excuse for politicians to allow their brother-in-law the developer to pull down buildings ….

    • #746859

      We treasure all our past architecture of all diferent styles and periods, especially in the towns, once something is built in Ireland it won’t get torn down.

      We are essentially a part the British Isles and you can see that everywhere in the architecture, anything up until the 1920’s that is, then the trend turned towards modernism like most of Europe at the time.

      The round-tower is a real Irish architectural symbol if you’re talking about Vikings in Dublin etc….

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