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Established in 2005, the IAF is an independent organisation dedicated to the promotion of architecture as culture. We encourage people to engage with their built environment, to inspire new ways of thinking about architecture.

We truly believe architecture has the power to improve the way we live and how we think about our built environment. By bringing people together from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, we can create a more inclusive conversation that will inspire a better-built environment for everyone.

Our Mission

The Irish Architecture Foundation is a vibrant and passionate organisation that seeks to champion the power of architecture to transform lives and improve the places where we live, learn, work and play. Through a dynamic programme of activity, we inspire people to understand and shape their world.

Our Vision

We see a future where architecture is a civic right, fundamental to the fabric of life, culture and history, and a confident expression of who we are and who we might become.

Our Values

Openness: We are open to ideas, inclusive of all people and generous in creating opportunities for everyone to engage with and be inspired by architecture.

Excellence: We promote best practice in all that we do and are committed to sharing the exceptional work of others.

Courage: We have the confidence to ask questions, to challenge norms and to try things out. We embolden others to do so too.

Our Achievements

In a few short years, we have situated architecture firmly within the cultural context, popularized it through Open House Dublin, inspired young minds through our schools programme, encouraged people to think differently about their cities and towns, and enhanced the practice of architecture through mutually beneficial exchanges between architects and the public.

We have an established network and track record in delivering major projects, primarily aimed at developing audiences for architecture in Ireland, while also raising the profile of Irish architecture abroad. Our programme of exhibitions, talks, film screenings, symposia, competitions, publications, school and community workshops, is intended to generate dialogue as well as critically engage a diverse public.

Building on our previous work in 2016, when we launched a project to build a Play and Skate Park in Ballyfermot, through an innovative and collaborative People First Design Process and international design competition, in 2019 we launched ‘Reimagine’ which furthers our links with community led design initiatives across the country.

We continue to develop our strong educational programme, the national Architects in School initiative, which reaches 41 schools across the country and culminates in an annual exhibition each year. As part of this initiative there is an accompanying blog and school resource pack for teachers, students and architects called ‘My Architecture Design Journal’ which is a shared resource for participants.

In terms of raising the profile of Irish Architecture, we have increased awareness about the work architects do through over 31,000 visits in Open House Dublin 2018 and sustained a high level of engagement during the blended onsite and online Open House Dublin 2021. We continue our architectural talks series called NewNowNext, established in 2013, in partnership with Arup, which creates a public platform for internationally renowned architects and Irish architects. Our website and social media platforms communicate to the largest number of people interested in architecture in Ireland and our exhibitions and events have been featured in national and international media platforms.

In 2019 we brought home Close Encounter: Meetings with Remarkable Buildings, a legacy project from the Irish curated, 2018 Venice Architectural Biennale, complimented by the Curating Architecture Conference which addressed the question of the potential of staging architecture in an exhibition context.  We have had the honour on three previous occasions of commissioning the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

We have established a dialogue between the public and organisations, individuals and thinkers in every facet of architecture, public space, urban and rural design from future planning, protection and heritage; ownership and community led design as well as education and the future of architecture. We provide for everyone from the emerging architect to the policy makers; the curious individual to the cultural aficionado as we endeavour to constantly expand and reinvigorate the public’s engagement with their surroundings.

Our Funders

We could not deliver our range of programming without the support of our funders and Friends – thank you for helping us make architecture accessible to all!

Head to Support Us to find out more about becoming a corporate friend, sponsor or partner.

Venue Hire

Looking for a space to host your next meeting, training session, or exclusive film screening? We offer a number of spaces that could suit your needs. View our venue hire page for more information.

Our Team

Emmett Scanlon is an architect, writer, broadcaster and curator. In 2023 he became the Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, Ireland’s independent organisation for the advancement of culture and discourse in architecture. In 2022 he founded Story, Building, an independent publisher of criticism in architecture, working in print, online and via podcast. In 2023, he was the Artistic and Editorial Organiser of the ground-breaking 18th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, working with Curator Lesley Lokko, leading her international design and curatorial team. In 2023 Emmett was elected as a member of the International Committee of Architecture Critics, only the second Irish critic elected to this group. Prior to setting up independent practice in 2006, Emmett was Project Director with Grafton Architects for nine years. Emmett is an award-winning and innovative teacher and has taught and examined in schools of architecture in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Europe, and the United States.

Events Officer


4 years experience in the hospitality and tourism industry and 2 years of experience in the cultural sector.

Organisational History

House-Museum Amatller and Sitges Museum (Cau Ferrat and Maricel Museum, The Stämpfli Foundation and Maricel Palace) in Barcelona, Spain.

Areas of Expertise

Arts Administration and Hospitality Management. Research on youth engagement with museums and heritage sites.

Finance Manager


Experience in Finance and Operations across small and large organisations, including public companies, private companies and not for profits. Range has been large multinational entities and cross-border reporting to start ups and social enterprises. Knowledge and experience of social enterprise, not for profits and cooperatives.

Organisational History

Irish Distillers / Pernod Ricard for 23 years, followed by working as a Finance Consultant and in companies including Gate Gourmet, Bunzl, TNS Distribution, Chocolate Factory, and House of Pine.

Areas of Expertise

Finance, administration, and management, covering all aspects of finance, managing and running organisations. Key areas are management reporting, budgeting, strategy, and board reporting, with additional expertise in operations, including facility management and health and safety.

Exhibitions and Publications Manager


Before taking up this role, Felix was working and researching at the University of Edinburgh. Here, he completed a PhD in Cultural Studies from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape architecture. His research focused on immersive technologies, immersive environments and related design practices. He taught modules in Architectural Theory (MA) and Design Informatics (MA). Prior to that, he worked in theatre design and production. 

Organisational History

The University of Edinburgh, The Famous Spiegeltent, La Clique – Show, The Arbonauts – Immersive Theatre Company

Areas of Expertise

Creative and context-sensitive project management. Research interests: immersive technologies and design ethics in the built environment. 

Communications Officer


10 years as an academic researcher in English literature (UK and Ireland) and 2 years working in Irish research communications and higher education administration prior to joining the IAF.

Organisational History

Research: Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, University of Glasgow (PhD), and NUI Galway (Postdoctoral Fellow). Communications and administration: Claire Harrison Writing and Editing, Irish Research Council, Royal Irish Academy, and Higher Education Authority.

Areas of Expertise

Archival research (medieval through seventeenth century), writing, and editing; teaching and public speaking; and public communications.

Reimagine Manager


16 years of experience in the arts and cultural sector and 4 years of experience in hospitality administration.

Organisational History

MIS (Museum of Image and Sound) and Praça Victor Civita (Museum of Sustainability) in São Paulo, Brazil.

Areas of Expertise

Project and event management, facility management, audiovisual, arts education, hospitality management, and business administration.

Curator of Learning


25 years working in the Irish cultural and education sector
delivering architecture, art and education projects.

Organisational History

Freelance practitioner in art, architecture and education working with various organisations including: Arts Council of Ireland (Creative Schools programme and Extending Architecture Training programme), Irish Architecture Foundation (Architects in Schools programme and Open House Jr. workshop facilitation), Create (Collaborative Praxis in Art and Architecture), National Print Museum, Age and Opportunity. Also, part-time arts educator with the National Learning Network and studio tutor at Queen’s University.

Areas of Expertise
Education and learning, curating, public engagement, project development and delivery.
Development Manager


10 years experience working within the arts and NGO sector, both private and public, in Paris and Brussels.

Organisational History

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre (Paris), Centre Culturel Irlandais (Paris), Quaternaire International Booking Agency (Paris), European Movement International (Brussels), as well as international arts and curatorial projects.

Areas of Expertise

Fundraising and development, event production, project management, strategic development.

Open House Dublin Manager


15 years experience working in arts administration, fundraising and project management.

Organisational History

Development Officer for the Abbey Theatre, Traditional Arts Officer and Arts Audiences Administrator for the Arts Council of Ireland.

Areas of Expertise

Arts administration, fundraising and development, project and event management, strategic development.

Administrative Officer

Development Officer

Our Board

Brian Moran is responsible for developing Hines’ Ireland projects. He established the Hines platform in Ireland which currently has more than €2.3 billion of retail, office and residential assets under management, in addition to a major development pipeline which includes an additional €500 million of retail development and over 4,000 residential units. He re-joined the firm in 2011 having previously worked with Hines in Russia in the 1990’s.  In between, he ran his own successful development management and investment advisory firm based in Dublin which focused on large urban regeneration, university campus developments and housing PPP projects. Brian is a graduate of Architecture from the Dublin Institute of Technology and obtained an MBA at the University of Chicago. He is a trustee of ULI Europe, a National Council Member for Ireland and chairs the Irish Architecture Foundation.

Brian joined the IAF Board in 2019.


Gary Gardiner is a Chartered Accountant (ACA) & Chartered Tax Consultant (CTC), currently holding a position as Financial Director with McCrossan O’Rourke Manning Architects. He completed his training in a mid-sized practice before making the move to industry and has gained significant exposure into all aspects of company finance, operations, commercial and strategic activities throughout his career. As a Board member, he is keen to expand his professional development, add value and satisfy his interest in architecture.

Gary joined the IAF Board in 2022.

Michael Goan is a registered architect and a director of GOKU. A graduate of DIT, he has also received an MSc in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies from the University of East London / CAT. As a member and former chair of the RIAI’s sustainability task force as well as a sectoral nominee to Dublin City Council SPC for Climate Action, Environment and Energy, he is an advocate for the mainstreaming of sustainability as an overarching consideration in all aspects of architectural teaching & practice. Michael has received recognition at the RIAI annual awards for his work as well as being shortlisted for the Mies Van Der Rohe European architecture prize.
Michael joined the IAF Board in 2019.

Claire Healy is an award-winning spatial designer specialising in the creation of  narrative environments, i.e. spaces that tell stories. Alongside her design practice, she teaches on MA Narrative Environments in the Spatial Practices Programme at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Claire holds a BA in Architecture and an MA in Narrative Environments from Central Saint Martins. She is also the Head of Cultural Strategy for Kennedy Wilson working on a development in the North Docks.

Claire joined the IAF Board in 2022.

Aoife Hurley is the Head of Operations with the National Museum of Ireland, where she is also leading on the delivery of major capital projects at NMI Natural History and NMI Archaeology. Prior to this, she worked as a conservation architect in the OPW for 15 years, where she was involved with a range of projects from the Four Courts to Kilkenny Castle. She has been involved in numerous arts and cultural projects across Ireland and has a passion for cultural heritage.

Aoife joined the IAF Board in 2022.

Jamie Menton has over 10 years experience working in finance and is currently the Head of the Corporate Banking team for the Bank of China (Europe) S.A. Dublin branch, where he manages and sets strategic goals, targets, budgets, and business plans for the team. As a Board member, Jamie is keen to learn from other leaders, share his experience, add value and support the arts.

Jamie joined the IAF Board in 2022.

Michael Pike is a Director of GKMP Architects and is the Head of Architecture in University College Dublin. The work of GKMP Architects is primarily concerned with the design of housing and public space. The practice has received a significant number of architectural awards and has been exhibited and published internationally, including the Venice Biennale 2018 and the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015.

Michael joined the IAF Board in 2022.

Sophie El Nimr is an architect and urban practitioner. She is an Associate on the Autumn 2023 cohort of Public Practice, working as an Urban Design Officer at the London Borough of Havering. Her role involves providing design advice on strategic planning applications, developing policy guidance, and inputting into council-led development projects. She is MRIAI and ARB qualified having completed her architectural studies at the Dublin Institute of Technology and the University of Westminster. In 2024, Sophie was awarded a distinction for her research on the MA Cities course at Central Saint Martins. Her thesis work proposed a new citymaking role that critically challenges the conventions of urban design practices in Dublin.

Sophie joined the IAF Board in 2024.

Scott is a co-founder of brand and digital agency aad.works, strategy and innovation consultancy wove.co, and design community 100Archive.com. As strategic director at wove he works as a partner to those making positive change a reality.

His 20 years experience in research, strategy, brand, UX and service design provides a unique perspective to understanding how things work and how they can work better.

He’s lead complex strategic projects for clients including – Abbey Theatre, Artsadmin, DCU, RTÉ, Journal Media and Science Gallery International. Helping them see things in new ways, explore new models, define impactful ways forward and implement new strategies, systems and vehicles that drive change.

Scott also lectures in IADT and LSAD on topics including design research, strategy, speculative design and design thinking.

Scott joined the IAF Board in 2024.

Francesca Ferguson, CEO of Make_Shift gGmbH is a journalist, curator and process designer for urban change management. She is Founding director of Make-Shift, and founder of www.makecity.berlin – the biggest international trans-sectoral festival on architecture and urban alternatives in Germany. Her expertise is process management – designing cultural and adaptive re-use projects for heritage listed buildings, and developing mixed use concepts in cooperation with municipalities. Formerly director of the Swiss Architecture Museum – S_AM – she is also an honorary member of the Association of German Architects and Trustee of DIViA – Diversity in Architecture. She manages multiple stakeholders: architects, planners, the civic initiatives and city administrators to rethink and solve the urgent issues of empty real estate and to reactivate urban quarters.

Francesca joined the IAF Board in 2024.

Laura Murray is Head of Planning at Lioncor in Dublin since 2022, working on the development of
the 37-acre mixed-use Irish Glass Bottle site in Dublin 4, amongst other projects. Before that she worked in the UK, with Argent, now Related Argent, a Property Developer responsible for the regeneration of the 67-acre mixed use King’s Cross development site in central London. Here she spent over 8 years as Planning Manager, working closely with Camden Council in the realisation of the vision for the site, now well known for its architectural diversity, a mix of historic industrial buildings and contemporary architecture, public realm, and art and culture-led placemaking.

Laura joined the IAF Board in 2024.

Our Company Members

The IAF is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity.

Our company members are Tim Bouchier Hayes, Jacqui Donnelly, Terre Duffy, Miriam Dunn, Michelle Fagan, Helen Finlay, John Graby, Ali Grehan, Andrew Griffin, Donal Hickey, Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Paul Keogh, Simon Lincoln, Laura Magahy, Helen McCormack, Declan McGonagle, Shelley McNamara, Gary Mongey, Colm Moore, Aidan O’Connor, Ciaran O’Connor, Ciarán Ó Gaora, Antoinette O’Neill, Louise O’Reilly, Colm O’Riordan, James Pike, Carole Pollard, Michael Stack, Victoria Thornton, and Klaus Unger.

Policies and Compliance

The IAF commissioned a review of Governance procedures and practices in March 2017. Following extensive consultation and collaboration the Review was presented and approved by the Board in September 2017.

The Review made four key recommendations:

  1. Embed the new corporate governance practices in the organisation.
  2. Reinstate the Stakeholder committee.
  3. Updated practices for nominating and selecting director candidates.
  4. Appoint a deputy chairperson.

These key recommendations have been actioned by the IAF Board.

The Irish Architecture Foundation is fully committed to achieving the standards contained within the The Governance Code developed by www.governancecode.ie.

This Governance Code is for board members, managers, staff and volunteers of community, voluntary and charitable organisations and will be an invaluable tool to help your organisation perform to the highest standards possible and give confidence to you and all of your stakeholders.

Good governance means that policies and procedures are in place to ensure an organisation is run well. But good governance is not about rules. It is an attitude of mind. It is about the ethical culture of the organisation and the behaviour of the people on the governing body.

The Governance Code aims to make sure that organisations are run responsibly and that they are rewarded for compliance with elevated reputations and greater efficiency and effectiveness.

The Governance Code clearly outlines the roles, duties and responsibilities of all those who sit on the boards and management committees of community, voluntary or charitable organisations – from the smallest organisation to large domestic and international charities, from all-volunteer groups to organisations with hundreds of staff.

Intended to help organisations do their good work better, the Code is based on principles, not rules, and compliance with it is voluntary.

The Governance Code is based on these five main principles:

  1. Leading the organisation
  2. Exercising control over the organisation
  3. Being transparent and accountable
  4. Working effectively
  5. Behaving with integrity

More information on the IAF’s Board Members Understanding and Principles here.

The Irish Architecture Foundation is fully committed to achieving the standards contained within the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising developed by the Charities Institute Ireland.

The Statement exists to:

  • Improve fundraising practice
  • Promote high levels of accountability and transparency by organisations fundraising from the public
  • Provide clarity and assurances to donors and prospective donors about the organizations they support.

We, the Irish Architecture Foundation, have considered the Statement and believe we meet the standards it sets out. We are currently comply with the Statement, which includes protecting donor rights, providing information about our fundraising activities when necessary, and providing contacts and a format for feedback and complaints. From 2014 we complete the process by including information on our compliance in our Annual Report.

The Irish Architecture Foundation’s report on our fundraising activities is available in our next Annual Report.

We welcome your feedback on our performance via any of the contact points provided.

For more information about the Charities Institute Ireland and the Statement, please visit www.charitiesinstituteireland.ie.

To actively demonstrate openness, transparency and integrity to our beneficiaries and donors, the IAF is operating to the Charities Institute Ireland’s Triple Lock Standard – transparent reporting, good fundraising and governance. Compliance is achieved by having the following in place:


Ethical Fundraising
​The IAF board has formally adopted the Guidelines for Charitable Organisations on Fundraising from the Public.​ The IAF staff, volunteers and anyone else fundraising on our behalf are fully trained on the requirements and have implemented controls to ensure that all fundraising practices are fully in line with these  Guidelines and any related Codes of Practice.  ​The IAF review​s​ and report​s​ annually on ​its ​compliance.

Annual & Financial Reporting
​The IAF prepares a​n annual report and financial statements in full compliance with the Charity SORP (Standard of Reporting Practice under FRS102) and makes them easily available to the public on our website.​ See here​.

​The IAF board has formally adopted and is publicly signed up to the Governance Code for the Community and Voluntary Sector​ and​ has adopted the recommended practices under each of the five principles of good governance as appropriate to the size and scale of our organisation and have a plan in place for ongoing review and self-evaluation.

The Irish Architecture Foundation prepares a trustees annual report and financial statements in full compliance with the Charity SORP (Standard of Reporting Practice under FRS102).

Download the 2023 Annual Report and Financial Statements.

The Irish Architecture Foundation is committed to ensuring that all our communications and dealings with the general public and our supporters are of the highest possible standard. We listen and respond to the views of the public and our supporters so that we can continue to improve.

The Irish Architecture Foundation welcomes both positive and negative feedback.

Therefore we aim to ensure that:

  • It is as easy as possible to make a complaint;
  • We treat as a complaint any clear expression of dissatisfaction with our operations which calls for a response;
  • We treat it seriously whether it is made by telephone, letter, fax, email or in person;
  • We deal with it quickly and politely;
  • We respond accordingly – for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, and information on any action taken etc;
  • We learn from complaints, use them to improve, and monitor them at our Board

We welcome your feedback on our performance via any of the contact points provided. See our Feedback and Complaints Procedure here.

The IAF is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment for all employers, workers and job applicants.

Equal opportunities arise where there is no discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of an individual’s race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, marital status, family status, gender, sexuality, religion, religious belief, disability or age.

Although we work together in pursuit of a common purpose, it is the contribution which we make as individuals which creates our success. It is for this reason that the IAF sets out its equal opportunities policy clearly and adheres to it. Everyone should be respected, everyone should be given equal opportunity to develop his or her full potential, and everyone should be recognised for his or her ability, efforts and contribution. It is only by creating an environment where there is equality of opportunity and which is free from discrimination, victimisation or harassment that the IAF will be able to succeed.

Employment decisions will be based on, among other objective criteria, an individual’s experience and qualifications as they relate to the requirements of the position under consideration, together with the individual’s full competency, availability and capability to undertake the duties attached to the position having regard to the conditions under which those duties are or may be required to be performed.

The IAF will accommodate the needs of a person with a disability by making the reasonable adjustments necessary to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that the individual is not disadvantaged in comparison with other employees, workers or applicants for positions in the IAF.

All employees and workers are requested and required to uphold the equal opportunities policy and must be aware that any discrimination or breach of the policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.   In some circumstances, any individual who breaches this policy may also be personally liable at law for discriminatory action.

Making the Policy effective

The IAF will take the following steps:

  • Every individual will receive a copy of this policy and will be encouraged to apply it throughout their working practices.
  • All those concerned with recruitment and management of employees, and their selection, training and development, will receive training in order to enable them to implement the policy effectively.
  • Every employee who is subjected to, or witnesses any evidence of discrimination contrary to this policy, is encouraged to and should bring a grievance in accordance with the IAF’s grievance procedure as quickly as possible or report the matter to the Director.

The Irish Architecture Foundation endeavours to process data in line with the Data Protection Act (2009) and the General Data Protection Regulation, introduced by the European Union in May 2018. For more information, read our Data Protection Policy.

Download the IAF Data Protection Policy.

The Irish Architecture Foundation commissions architects and facilitators to deliver workshops and activities for children and young people through:

  • Our annual schools-based Architects in Schools national programme.
  • The Open House Junior strand of our Open House Dublin annual festival. OHJ is run in partnership with other arts organisations and cultural institutions in Dublin.
  • Other IAF public engagement programmes with facilitated activities for children and young people at various venues nationally.

The Irish Architecture Foundation is committed to a child-centred approach in our work with children and young people. It is central to the philosophy of the Irish Architecture Foundation that children and young people are unconditionally respected and kept safe from harm while using our services.

Download the IAF Child Safeguarding Statement.

In 2018 we decided to ask our audience and stakeholders about our impact and to help us strategise for the future. We hosted five workshops in Dublin, Limerick and Cork, with a combination of invited funding and programme stakeholders, followed by an open public survey online. We gathered the data, thoughts and comments; they were honest, critical, creative, generous and
enlightening. This Strategy 2019-2023 is a direct outcome of that process.

The next five years will present us with significant opportunities to communicate the vital issues and topics that engross the overall ethos and unique personality of IAF. We will work with architects, communities, policymakers and built environment professionals on initiatives that rigorously investigate the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges of the built environment. We will use this strategy to guide our programme choices, to ensure that we continue to reach more diverse audiences and to communicate ‘who we are’ with clarity, courage and pride.

Download the IAF Five Year Strategy.

In 2021, we began a process of more deeply evaluating the audience and accessibility of our programming, with a special emphasis on Open House Dublin, as the first step towards identifying and implementing ways to support a more diverse and inclusive audience. We want everyone in Ireland to be able to engage meaningfully with architecture and the built environment, as art and as a civic right.

The IAF Audience Development Strategy, published in July 2022, lays out our initial findings and our aspirations to reach and serve in particular those who have been excluded.

Download the Audience Development Strategy.

We are continuing to work with relevant groups and to roll out practical measures such as ISL interpretation, live closed captioning, and making our digital communications more accessible. This is only the beginning – we know there’s a long way to go.

Most importantly, it’s not about us – it’s about you. Please let us know how we can help you to access and enjoy the programmes and content we offer. Email info@architecturefoundation.ie. Thank you for coming on this journey with us!