ABSTRACT

Designed by Noel Dowley for the Ballybrack Cooperative Housing Society, the 30 houses that comprise Ralahine, were designed to take advantage of the local government funding available to those normally precluded from the housing market of late 1960s suburban Dublin. As the council that was facilitating their construction insisted they be semi-detached, the houses take the form that typifies the residential landscape accruing around Irish cities at the time. However, both architect and client body were keen to maximise the use of the internal volume of the type and also to take advantage of new and inexpensive materials. Examining the initial scheme that emerged from a unique design process, this chapter also tracks the changes that occurred to the houses as they moved from planning to construction. It posits Ralahine as being emblematic of both the period’s optimism, and also its increasingly tight interweaving of State and non-State regimes of control.