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Simms and his team’s meticulous work are proof positive that well-built social housing can add immensely to the tone and style of a city. His work remains a touchstone and an inspiration.

Dublin’s teeming slums, long regarded as the worst in Europe, were teetering on the brink of structural and sanitary public catastrophe during the early twentieth century. To tackle the crisis, Herbert Simms was appointed the city’s first housing architect. During a sixteen-year period, from 1932 until 1948, Simms and his team planned, commissioned and built an astounding 17,000 homes –some as inner-city flat complexes, others as family houses in newly-created suburbs such as Crumlin and Cabra.

Like the city’s acclaimed Georgian squares, the Simms-designed Corporation flats in particular have stood the test of time, injecting a touch of art deco and modernist glamour to neglected neighbourhoods. This comprehensive guide to the Simms buildings also highlights the many struggles with politicians and bureaucrats Simms and his staff experienced as they did their best to build well-designed, affordable housing for the people of Dublin.

Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: 6 November 2023
Pages: 264

Herbert Simms : An Architect for the People


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