Art Deco Dublin: Archer's Garage
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This cache is one in a series highlighting some of Dublin's finest examples of Art Deco architecture. The design movement, which was popular roughly between the two world wars, never had an enormous impact in Ireland. Nevertheless many beautiful buildings were constructed along Art Deco lines, and while many have been demolished, there are still several fine examples to be seen in modern Dublin. This series of caches will bring you to several examples, but is not intended to be a comprehensive list.
The structure of Art Deco is based on mathematical geometric shapes. It was widely considered to be an eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism, being influenced by a variety of sources. Among them were the so-called "primitive" arts of Africa, Ancient Egypt, and Aztec Mexico, as well as machine-age or streamline technology such as modern aviation, electric lighting, the radio, the ocean liner and the skyscraper.
Art Deco design influences were expressed in fractionated, crystalline, faceted forms of decorative Cubism and Futurism. Other popular themes in Art Deco were trapezoidal, zigzagged, geometric, and jumbled shapes, which can be seen in many early pieces. These were the buildings of the future: sleek, geometric, dramatic. With their cubic forms and zigzag designs, art deco buildings embraced the machine age.
Archer's garage is quite distinctive in its surrounding environs, due to its column and tower. It also has a rather depressing recent history... It was originally built in 1949 for Dick Archer, who was the first agent in Ireland for Ford motor cars, and owned several other garages The architect for Archer's Garage was Billy Baird of Kaye Parry Ross Hendy . The builders of Archer's Garage were Messrs A Panton Watkinson, better known, apparently, as specialist shopfitters and painting contractors. The engineers were Thomas Pearson and Co , a leading firm in the history of early reinforced concrete design in Ireland.
The building survived intact until June 1999. Despite being a grade 1 listed building, the garage was illegally demolished by contractors working for the O'Callaghan hotel group. Public outcry followed, and developer Noel O'Callaghan was ordered by Dublin City Council, on threat of a €1,000,000 fine and/or imprisonment, to reconstuct the building. While the reconstruction may not be 100% accurate to the original, it is nonetheless a fine example of art deco architecture.
This cache is a nano. Stealth is required in this urban location, and please be aware of the many people who pass by this busy location.
Art Deco Ireland
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