The roots of modern architecture are quite traceable to the Chicago World’s Fair in the year 1893. At the time, Daniel Burnham, as head architect, recruited several prominent assistant architects to work to design buildings for the Fair. Young European architects were enraptured by abstract forms stripped of ornament, and modern architecture took root, globally.
Irish modern architecture includes Norman and Anglo-Irish castles, small whitewashed cottages and Georgian urban buildings. In the late 20th century, emerging economic climates resulted in a renaissance of Irish culture and design, placing Ireland’s cities at the cutting edge of modern architecture.
Irish architecture had, for long, followed international trends of modern, sleek and radical building styles, particularly after independence. Buildings were erected and designed to maximise style, space, light and energy efficiency. In 1928, the first all concrete Art Deco church in Turners Cross, Cork was erected, and was designed by Chicago architect Barry Byrne.
In 1987, the government embarked on a project known as the IFSC, one of the country’s most famous 20th-century buildings. The complex houses over 14,000 office workers. This became a highly symbolic structure of modern Irish architecture is the Spire of Dublin, completed in January 2003, and nominated in 2004 for the prestigious Stirling Prize.