Fitzgerald, Desmond (1911–1987) By O’Brien, Sorcha
Desmond Fitzgerald was an architect descended from a well-known Irish political family. He worked for Patrick Abercrombie on Mendesohn and Chermayeff’s 1936 De La Warr Pavilion. After his return to Ireland he led a team of young Irish architects to design the “International Style” Dublin Airport for the Office of Public Works from 1937 to 1940. Influenced by Dutch models, the airport was designed to follow the circulation patterns of passengers, with a curved plan funnelling them out onto the airfield (see Figure 1). A good example of the glamorous associations of inter-war air travel, the concrete and steel terminal referenced ocean liners with curved ends and stepped balconies, and the airport was awarded the RIAI Gold Medal for 1938–40. After World War II, Fitzgerald taught architecture at University College Dublin and designed several other public buildings, as well as large office buildings in a monumental style.