Described as the ‘most modern block of flats in Dublin’ and the biggest such scheme in Ireland at its completion, the architecture of the Mespil apartments enjoys a complex history of social innovation and domestic mechanisation. Set within a sylvan landscape inherited from an eighteenth-century mansion on a prominent canal-side side at the edges of Dublin’s central city, it was developed in its entirety by Irish Estates – a branch of the Irish Life assurance company – and realised in two distinct phases by two different architects: W. J. Convery and later Tyndall Hogan Associates. The Mespil was designed to accommodate a new urban white-collar workforce of mobile singletons and couples mainly in one-bedroom apartments and bedsits with temporary tenures. This chapter investigates how, in the socially conservative and religious Ireland of the 1950s, the Mespil represented a radical break from cultural and architectural norms.
|Title of host publication||Irish Housing Design 1950-1980|
|Subtitle of host publication||Out of the Ordinary|
|Editors||Gary Boyd, Brian Ward, Michael Pike|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Dec 2019|
- architectural design
- housing design
Boyd, G. (2019). 'As easy as plugging in a fire' Modernity, Morality and the Mespil. In G. Boyd, B. Ward, & M. Pike (Eds.), Irish Housing Design 1950-1980: Out of the Ordinary (pp. 37-62). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.