Architect of the Week: Raymond McGrath
ARCHITECT OR DESIGNER OF THE WEEK
Raymond McGrath (1903-77) was an Australian-born architect and interior designer best known for his two-decade stint as Principal Architect for the Office of Public Works in Ireland. Having read architecture at Sydney University until 1926, McGrath relocated to England to assume a fellowship at Clare College, Cambridge.
In 1930 McGrath set up a practice in London. His first commission was to design the interiors for Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London; a project for which he enlisted the help of his Modernist contemporaries Wells Coates and Serge Chermayeff. During the 1930s McGrath also published two popular texts – the seminal ‘Twentieth Century Houses’ in 1934, and ‘Glass in Architecture and Decoration’ three years later.
In 1936 McGrath undertook a major residential commission for St Ann’s Court in Chertsey, Surrey. The iconic round house was originally built for the renowned landscape artist Christopher Tunnard. Having completed St Ann’s Court, McGrath moved to Dublin in 1940 where he was appointed Senior Architect at the Office of Public works, and, a few years later, Principal Architect. Over the course of two decades McGrath coordinated the decor and architecture of many of Ireland’s major public buildings, including Dublin Castle and the Royal Hibernian Academy.
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