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Life on the level at humble bungalow’s second coming

John Daly


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That old advertising slogan – ‘you’ve come a long way, baby’ – is a decent signpost to Irish house design down the decades. From rural thatched cottages to gated communities and sky-high penthouses, our humble four walls have charted the unsteady progress of a nation.

Dominating midfield in this habitation premiership is the humble bungalow – an object of construction ridicule that refuses to fade away. Indeed, in a country presently peppered with a fast ageing population, this oft pilloried property could be the answer to a range of gathering domicile dilemmas.

Fifty years ago this month, shop counters everywhere from rural post offices to urban supermarkets marked the arrival of a manual that would literally change the face of Ireland, a handbook of self-sufficiency destined to rival the family bible.


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