Housing Mid-Century Irish Publics: Some Paradigms

Gary A. Boyd, Brian Ward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Using a series of case studies, this chapter explores some of the alternative housing models which emerged between the 1950s and 1980s in Ireland. Located in both urban and rural sites and embodying a range of ideologies, from a belief in an untrammelled free market to examples of independent, small-scale, bottom-up advocacy, these challenged aspects of an existing ‘normal,’ a conservative and largely homogeneous domestic landscape underpinned by State subsidy. Combining an examination of their physical qualities with their more ephemeral cultural and political contexts, it explores some of the paradoxes and contradictions which often emerged in and from these new positions: the tendency for bottom-up systems to revert to conservativism in terms of house typologies, for example, or the production of market-driven units designed for specific population demographics who never arrived. But despite their subsequent neglect as prototypes for wider application, the innovations they contained (not only in their forms but also in the mechanisms through which they were realised and maintained) marks them—in a time of urgent need to develop new innovations in housing typologies—as potential models for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHousing and the City
EditorsKatharina Borsi, Didem Ekici, Jonathan Hale, Nick Haynes
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9781032156583
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022


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