Art Deco Bathing Shelters

My thanks to Dublin City Council’s Heritage Officer, Charles Duggan, for this history of the Art Deco Bathing Shelters found along the sea-front promenade at Clontarf and on the Bull Wall.

“There are 17 structures along the Bull Wall and Promenade in Clontarf, forming bathing shelters, kiosks, wind shelters and miniature lighthouses which date from the 1930s.

The bathing shelters and Kiosk on the Bull Wall were designed by Herbert Simms, (Housing architect to Dublin Corporation from 1932 until 1948), in 1934 and are highly significant structures within the context of the architectural heritage of the 20th century.

Less architecturally worked but no less important are the Wind Shelters, Tea Rooms and public baths along the Promenade. The Wind Shelters may also be attributed to Herbert Simms.

The lighthouse “bollards” which flank openings in the plinth wall leading to paths laid out perpendicular to the wind shelters on the Promenade are also an interesting and quirky feature, and clearly part of a formal landscaping around the shelters. Unfortunately some of the lighthouse “bollards” have already been lost.

The design and construction of these coastal public structures arose from a concern for the welfare of the working class and facilitated a rise in communal outdoor living and recreation before the advent of affordable holidays in hotter climates.

The architectural language of the structures is typical of International Modernism, the chief exponent of which in Ireland was Michael Scott and Desmond Fitzgerald.”

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