Art Deco Dublin: Burton's Store
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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.
The former Burton's Store on the corner of Dame and South Great George's Streets is one of the most expressive and exciting facades in the city. Built between 1928 and 1930, it is a good example of a restrained art deco building designed by Harry Wilson from Leeds.
Clad in faience tiles and with a wonderfully coloured roof, the building was in the tradition of Dublin 'corner-turning' buildings with its similar facades along both streetscapes. Every detail has been designed to promote Burtons: from the elaborate signage near the roof to the meticuously detailed air vents (with their Burton's logo) underneath the main shop windows. The facade is incredibly detailed with moulded ornamental capitals, window surrounds and decorative cornice.
The upper stories are used as office accomodation and bereft of much of their original detail bar some glass blocks on the staircases and around doorways. Unfortunately I've had to move the cache just around the corner from the building itself but please take the few seconds to wander on to Dame Street to appreciate the architecure.
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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