You are on page 1of 6

NaTioNal College oF arT & DeSigN

DeparTmeNT oF FaSHioN aND TexTileS

FaCulTy oF DeSigN

luxuriouS liViNg THrougH iNNoVaTiVe DeSigN

‘WeNDoN’ aS a Family Home iN T WeNTieTH CeNTury irelaND

Brendan madden

Submitted to the Faculty of Visual Culture in Candidacy

for the Degree of

Bachelor of Design (Honours) Textile Design (Weave)

NaTioNal College oF arT aND DeSigN

Faculty of Visual Culture

i declare that this thesis is all my own work and that all sources

have been fully acknowledged.



This work has been significantly improved by the contribution of

The interviewees:
aidan Doyle
amanda linzell
Brian Doyle
muriel Quinn
paddy Quinn
Vonnie mcloughlin

i am most grateful for the assistance provided to me by

the staff of Dublin City archive

the staff of the registry of Deeds
Deborah Duke of Building magazine
Duffy mitchell o’Donnell architects
the staff of the general register office
mallon architects and project managers
the staff at the irish architectural archive
the staff of uCD architecture library, richview
the architects who responded to my questionnaire
the staff of Dublin City Council planning department
the staff of the library at the National College of art and Design
the staff at the library of the royal institute of British architects
luxuriouS liViNg THrougH iNNoVaTiVe DeSigN
‘WeNDoN’ aS a Family Home iN T WeNTieTH CeNTury irelaND

Table of Contents
Table of Contents... 4

list of illustrations... 5

introduction... 21

Chapter 1... “Wendon, a different sense of Beauty”.... 26

• Saint mobhi Boithrin - an architectural inventory
• Balnagowan - the house as it stands extant
• Wendon as built and lived in: 1931-1971
• glasnevin and Delville - Wendon’s vanished backdrop

Chapter 2... “Wendon, e living machine and its masters”... 43

• looking past the cobwebs, ‘Wendon’ as a family home.
• linzell’s Showcase of taste and style
• e Doyles, pettys and Quinns and ‘Balnagowan,’
their private family residence.

Chapter 3... “Wendon’ - a blueprint for the future”... 56

• ‘Wendon’ against the backdrop of ‘e New architecture’
• ‘e New architecture’ - Definition by example
• ‘Wendon’s relationship with the architecture of today

Conclusion... 67

• 1. interviews: Brian Doyle; aidan Doyle; Vonnie mcloughlin 71
• 2. linzell’s glasnevin - a catalogue of his speculative homes 83
• 3. other speculative homes of 1930s Dublin 99
• 4. maps of Balnagowan/Wendon: 1908-2007 103
• 5. interviews with architects evaluating ‘Wendon’. 113
• 6. excerpt from memoirs of Countess of Fingall. 122

Bibliography... 123

List of illustrations
Chapter One
Image 1.1 - Image 1.2 -
Balnagowan House, Balnagowan House,
Mobhi Boithrin, Mobhi Boithrin,
Glasnevin, Dublin 9 Glasnevin, Dublin 9
(Photo Source: (Photo Source:
Madden, 03.01.10) Madden, 10.08.09)

page 26 page 27

Image 1.3 - Image 1.4 - Bon Secours

Front Gates, Hospital., Glasnevin,
Balnagowan, (Photo http://www.
(Photo Source:
Madden, 03.01.10) healthcare04.html,
retrieved 14.12.09)

page 27 page 27

Image 1.5 - Image 1.6 -

Balnagowan front en- Balnagowan rear ele-
trance, 1987, (Photo: vation, 1987, (Photo:
O’ Reilly, Sean, Irish O’ Reilly, Sean, Irish
Architectural Archive) Architectural Archive)

page 28 page 28

Image 1.7 - Image 1.8 -

a - before develop- Mobhi Mews,
ment, view from Glasnevin, Dublin 9
North East (Photo Source:
b - from North West Madden, 19.01.08)
(Madden, 01.08.00)

page 29 page 30

I've been extremely disappointed that people have had to subscribe to Scribd in order to
read this work, which took a year of my life. More than 4,000 people have read this piece,
and it's been an important resource. Scribd are profiting from my work without sharing any
revenue with me or other authors who have shared content and research.

I thought long and hard about this, and was deciding between giving it away for free on my
website (, or finding a way for you to read it in a way that supports my
continued work. I've added this as a post to Patreon, and you can gain access to it by
signing up as a supporter for EUR3.81 per month. You can cancel any time. I truly
appreciate your support.

You can access this at

Here is the thesis:

Luxurious Living through Innovative Design –

Wendon as a family home in Twentieth Century Ireland.

Exploring the structural and social history of Ireland's first truly modern home, this thesis
introduces us to the families who lived here, how they lived and how they viewed their

Since publishing for free in 2011, the house which was in excellent repair has been sold by
the state fisheries agency and is now derelict and boarded up. This thesis sought to record
and preserve the intact living memory of the home which represents a lost portion of Irish
identity which emerged at the turn of the 20th century and was one of many visions for a
new Ireland, which was all to play for as the state was established but which was decisively
rejected by 20th Century Irish Society, and only now with the rediscovery and restoration
of Eileen Grey's E.1027 are we looking for evidence of that part of our history.

Interestingly, in my first ever essay at NCAD I wrote about E.1027 and in my final thesis I
chose to document what remained whilst it was still present.

If you have any enquiries, have already downloaded the thesis,

or need to contact me for anything, you can reach me directly at: and +353 86 384 1722.

You might also like