Appreciation: Fred Browne

Architect at the forefront of Ireland’s national industrial and social infrastructure

Leading Irish architect Fred Browne died on February 9th, at the age of 90, in Dublin. His career spanned the second half of the 20th century, during which time, embedded in the firm of Robinson, Keefe and Devane Architects (RKD), he was at the forefront of national industrial and social infrastructure.

Browne was inherently hard-working and modest, so that his contribution to national life was never trumpeted or broadcast. In reality though, through his work for the new An Foras Tionscal, later the Industrial Development Agency (IDA), he pioneered the practice of “project management” for large fast-track architectural projects. And together with a team of technocratic young civil servants and talented construction professionals, Browne provided the spatial contexts for major multinational companies such as Polaroid and Amdahl in a modernising Ireland from the 1950s to 1970s.

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