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Dr. Ellen RowleyDr. Ellen Rowley

Clare & Tony White Post Doctoral Research Fellow

I am an architectural and cultural historian, and recipient of a Provost's Teaching Award for excellence in third level teaching. My research focuses on Irish architecture from 1940 to 1980 and I am one of the editors of Architecture 1600 - 2000 Volume IV, Art and Architecture of Ireland (Yale University Press, 2014); principal author of twentieth-material therein. As White Post-Doctoral Fellow at TRIARC, I have been writing an architectural account of public housing in Dublin, and my approach places suburban houses and flat blocks as routes into Irish culture and society of the mid-C20th. I am presently leading the first inventory and in-depth research project of Dublin's twentieth-century buildings for Dublin City Council and the Heritage Council of Ireland (2011 -). This project received a Government Policy on Architecture award (2015) to begin dissemination through three volumes, beginning with volume I, More than concrete blocks, 1900 - 1939

Other research projects include:

  • The architecture of Catholic Ireland 1940 - 80
  • Concrete + Conflict: post-1916 reconstruction projects in urban Ireland
  • The Civics Institute and the architectures of childhood in C20th Ireland
  • Writing architecture in Britain and Ireland 1930 - 60

Recent Publications

2016: BOOK, in preparation, More than Concrete Blocks: Dublin's buildings and their stories
Volume I, 1900 - 1939 (2016)
Funding award from Government Policy on Architecture 2015

2016, BOOK CHAPTER, in preparation, "Housing, 1740 - 2010" in Part II, E Biagini and M Daly (eds), Social History of Ireland (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

2017, BOOK CHAPTER, in preparation, "Chapels and Churches of Andrew Devane 1960 - 75" in K James Chakraborty and L Godson (eds.), Modern Sacred Architecture in Germany and Ireland

2015/early 2016: MONOGRAPH, FORTHCOMING, Housing Dublin 1930 - 1970: an architectural account (Ashgate, 2016)

2015: ARTICLE, "The Architect, the Planner and the Bishop: the shapers of ordinary Dublin 1940 - 70" in Footprint international architecture journal, Delft School of Architecture

2015: BOOK CHAPTER "In Search of an Irish Paimio: Irish hospital architecture, 1940 - 60" in G A Boyd (ed.), InfraEireann: Architecture, Infrastructure and Making Ireland Modern (Ashgate, 2015)

2015: ARTICLE "Surrealist Structures: the Culture of Architecture in 1940s and 50s Ireland" in C Graham (ed.) Irish Review, Architecture Issue with guest editors, M Donaghy + W Dimond

2014: ARCHITECTURE 1600-2000 Editor and principal author of twentieth-century material for Volume IV, Art and Architecture of Ireland (Yale University Press, Royal Irish Academy, 2014). Dr Rowley's writing includes:

C20 RC Church architecture,
Ballymun case study,
Dublin's flat blocks (with E Conroy),
Growth of Suburban Housing Estates,
Factory architecture,
Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland,
C20 Hospital architecture,
C20 Theatres,
C20 C of I Church architecture,
Trinity College Dublin C20 architecture,
Dublin Slum Clearance case study,
Office architecture,
Architectural Association of Ireland,
Office of Public Works,
C20 School architecture,
Modernism (with H Campbell/R Ryan),
Cinemas (with J O'Halloran)

2013: BOOK CHAPTER "Ireland's Uncertain Industrial Modernism" for G Murphy, On Seeing Only Totally New Things (Dublin: Arts Council of Ireland, RHA, 2012)

2012: BOOK editor i.e. Patterns of Thought (with Architecture Republic), collection of critical writings on Irish architecture including essays by Fintan O'Toole, Seamus Heaney, Robin Walker, Maurice Craig, Roger Stalley and Catherine Marshall. My essay - "Crisis-culture and memory-making across two generations of Dublin architecture"

2011: ARTICLE "Las Vegas on the Liffey: Kevin Roche architect", analysis and review of Roche in Dublin, Roche exhibition and Yale book, Irish Arts Review (November 2011)

2011: ESSAY "An Introduction to the History of the Dublin Corporation Flat Block" in C Duggan/C O Riordain (eds.), Dublin Flats: Photographs of Dublin Social Housing by Willem Heeffer (Irish Architectural Archive, Dublin City Council, 2011)

2011: CHAPTER "The Conditions of Twentieth Century Irish Architecture" in C Kennedy (ed.), The Moderns: The Arts in Ireland from the 1900s to the 1970s (Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2011)

2011: CHAPTER "From Dublin to Chicago and Back Again: The Influence of Americanised Modernism on Dublin Architecture 1960 - 1980" in L King and E Sisson (eds.), Ireland, Design and Visual Culture: Negotiating Modernity 1922-1992 (Cork University Press, 2010)

2010: ARTICLE "A Glimpse at the Endless House. Frederick Kiesler's Vision of an Ideal Dwelling" in S Williams Goldhagen, C Wagenaar, E Mumford (editors), Positions. Journal on Modern Architecture and Urbanism (Issue 2, Summer 2010)

2009: CHAPTER "Transitional Modernism: Post-war Dublin Churches and the Example of the Clonskeagh Church Competition, 1954" in C Taffe, E Keown (editors), Irish Modernism: Origins, Contexts, Publics (London: Peter Lang, Imagining Ireland Series, 2009)

2009: ARTICLE "From Mitchelstown to Michigan: Kevin Roche's Formative Years" in Irish Journal of American Studies (ed., Philip Coleman, Summer 2009)

2008: ARTICLE "Researching a History of the Architectural Association of Ireland: Part II - Built/Critical/Absent Reactions to the AAI Lectures, 1940 - present" in Building Material, ed. Orla Murphy (Dublin: AAI Journal, Winter 2008)

2008: ESSAY "Hotel Ballymun: Site for Reflection in the Heady Days of Regeneration" in Aisling Prior (ed.), Hotel Ballymun. Seamus Nolan (Dublin: Breaking Ground, Ballymun Regeneration Ltd., 2008)
(2007: "Hotel Ballymun: Site for Reflection in the Heady Days of Regeneration" in Architecture Ireland (Dublin: RIAI Journal, June 2007))

Book Reviews & Outreach

I am interested in situating buildings in terms of the discourse of architecture arising out of the evolving scenes of architectural education, of the architectural profession, and of national social, cultural and economic conditions. This way of thinking through architecture has brought about collaborations with architects, artists, film makers and galleries, and professionals of built heritage and architectural conservation. I regularly contribute to documentaries, radio programmes and other media.
See this cycling video made with Paddy Cahill in late 2012:

2015: Irish Times building studies - 100 objects in 100 years, Ardnacrusha, Dublin Airport, Busaras, Cork County Hall, St Fintan's Church, Birr community school, N3 pavilion
2015: REVIEW of R Proctor, Building the Modern Church (Ashgate, 2014) for Journal of Ecclesiastic History
2015: REVIEW of J Brady, Dublin 1930 - 50. The Emergence of the Modern City for Irish Arts Review (Summer 2015)
2013: REVIEW of E Hanna, Modern Dublin. Urban Change and the Irish Past, 1957 - 1973 (Oxford University Press, 2013), for Irish Arts Review (November 2013)
2013: REVIEW of G O'Brien/ F O'Kane (eds), Portraits of the City. Dublin and the Wider World (Four Courts Press, 2012), for Studies (October 2013)
2013: BUILDING STUDY "Liberty Hall, 1960s Eyesore or Modernist Icon" for 1913 centenary issue, History Ireland (July/Aug, 2013)
2012: REVIEW of Domestic Life in Ireland (Dublin: RIA Proceedings, 2011) for History Ireland (Nov/Dec, 2012)
2009: REVIEW exhibition review of "Le Corbusier - the art of architecture" at the Barbican Centre, London in Journal of Architectural Education (Vol. 61, September 2009)
2009: REVIEW "Admitting the Light", book review of North by Northwest, Liam McCormick in The Furrow (Vol. 60, No.9, September 2009)


I have been associated with the History of Art/Architecture Department as Broad Curriculum Lecturer 2003-2008; Research Associate of TRIARC 2008 - ongoing; and White Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at TRIARC 2013-2015.

Whether teaching at undergraduate or MPhil levels, or guest-lecturing in public realms, I bring energy, empathy and enthusiasm. In acknowledgement of my "pursuit of teaching excellence" in Trinity College, I was awarded the Provost Teaching Award in 2005/2006.

My approach to teaching architectural history is underpinned by the reciprocity between architecture and cultural theory, and I have evolved a series of essay-like lectures coming out of this relationship, 'Approaches to Architectural History'. I have since developed this module for MPhil teaching at TRIARC, 'Critical Histories' and I also lead the mixed MPhil module 'Curating Art in Theory + Practice'. My primary undergraduate course, open to non-art history students was 'Art + Society' which unpacked visual culture into a series of lively lectures and walking tours touching on themes from technology to identity.

Contact Details


Last updated 2 June 2015