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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!

Irish Architecture Foundation core funders: Arts Council of Ireland; Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage; and Office of Public Works.

Irish Architecture Foundation and Open House Dublin partners and supporters: ARdMackel Architects; Arthur Cox; Arts Council of Ireland; ARUP; Avestus Capital Partners; BAM Ireland; BNP Paribas Real Estate; Brennan Furlong Architects & Urban Planners; Castlethorn and Chartered Land Group; City Architects; CMI Cement Manufacturers Ireland; Conack Construction; Creative Ireland; DCON Safety Consultants; Department of Education; Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage; Dublin City Council; Dublin Port Company; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; EQUITONE; Glen Dimplex Ireland; Glenveagh Homes; Hammerson; Henry J Lyons; Hibernia REIT Plc; Hines Ireland; IRES REIT Plc; JV Tierney; Kilsaran; Mason Hayes & Curran; Matheson; McCann FitzGerald; McCullough Mulvin Architects; O’Mahony Pike Architects; Oakmount; P.J. Hegarty & Sons; Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI); Ronan Group Real Estate; Virtus PM; William Fry.

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

Venue Hire

We endeavour to facilitate you in bringing your message to the public. We offer a number of spaces that would suit your needs. View our venue page for more information.

Our Team

25 years working in the international cultural sector delivering high profile art and architecture projects and programmes. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for her contribution to architecture by the RIBA in 2017. She left the IAF on a part-time sabbatical to become the Assistant to the Curators of FREESPACE by Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell for the La Biennale di Venezia in 2018.

Organisational History
Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation (UK), Director of the Butler Gallery.

Areas of Expertise
Strategic planning, policy development, organisational growth, curation, enabling organisations to reach full potential both in terms of creative output and greater reach and impact on its audience, maintaining creative networks and partnerships with artists, architects, curators and other cultural organisations globally.


General Manager


15 years experience, working in the international cultural sector in arts administration, operations management and project and events management across visual and performing arts.

Organisational History

Dance Ireland, O’Reilly Theatre, Australian Centre for Moving Image, Sculptures by the Sea Festival.

Areas of Expertise

Operations management, accounts and financial planning, event and project management, audience engagement, 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.

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.
Communications Officer


10 years as a doctoral and postdoctoral researcher in English literature (UK and Ireland) and 2 years working in Irish research communications and higher education administration.

Organisational History

Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (Exhibitions Researcher); University of Glasgow (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellow and tutor); NUI Galway (Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, postdoctoral researcher on European Research Council-funded project RECIRC, and occasional lecturer); Irish Research Council (Communications Officer); Royal Irish Academy (Project Assistant, Research for Public Policy initiative); and Higher Education Authority (Executive Officer).

Areas of Expertise

Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and social history, Latin and English manuscripts pre-1800, communications, event management, and grant writing.

Engagement Officer (Re-Imagine)


14 years working in the arts, local government and charity sectors in the areas of cultural project management and curation, social inclusion, community outreach, group facilitation and disaster response.

Organisational History

Meitheal Mara, Narrative 4, EVA International, All Hands Disaster Response, Galway County Council, as well as independent Irish and International arts and curatorial projects.

Areas of Expertise

Social inclusion and social change, participation, community and group facilitation, cultural project management, place-making.

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.

Events Officer (Open House Dublin)

Our Board

Pauline is an Urban Planner, and Partner at Brady Shipman Martin. She has worked in Ireland and China, leading urban development and master planning projects. Additionally, she has worked and lived throughout Europe including France, Spain, Germany, UK, and The Netherlands, working in both marketing and urban planning sectors.

In urban development projects, Pauline has sought to achieve an excellence in the built environment through the implementation of sound planning principles, the integration of quality urban design initiatives and sustainable development values, at both the micro and macro level.


Fiona Kearney is a curator, academic and writer. She is the founding Director of the Glucksman, an award-winning building, and cultural and educational institution at University College Cork. In this role, she has curated numerous exhibitions of Irish and international art including Folly: Art after Architecture.

Design historian lecturing at the National College of Art and Design, graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Art (MA, PhD). Publications include Making 1916: material and visual culture of the Easter Rising (2015) and the forthcoming Modern Sacred Architecture (co-edited with Kathleen James-Chakraborty). The feature documentary Build Something Modern was based on her research into Irish architects in Africa; current projects include the Irish Research Council-funded Making Memory on material, visual and architectural cultures of commemoration.

Terre has worked in public sector cultural development and management for over almost three decades both in Ireland and abroad.

She leads a team to develop Grand Canal Dock, Spencer Dock and the Dublin Canals for Waterways Ireland and was a former Chairperson of Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry.

Muiris is Chief Executive of the National Milk Agency, a member of the Property Services Regulatory Authority, the secretary of the Irish Museums Association and was a Director/Secretary of an Taisce from 2017-2019. Muiris has recently been appointed as a Director of the Discovery Programme by the Heritage Council.

With extensive experience practising law, Muiris also holds a Doctorate in Governance from Queens University Belfast.

Ciarán is the founder of Zero-G, a Dublin based brand strategy and design studio. His experience covers design and strategic communications across a wide range of sectors and is recognised for his expertise in destination and place branding. He is a former director of Fáilte Ireland.

Louise specialises in developing and delivering strategic projects at the nexus of culture and innovation. Currently a core team member of the Human Insights Lab for Accenture’s global innovation centre in The Dock, Louise has recently led on establishment of Dublin City Council Culture Company,  the international development of IFI Player and IFI Irish Film Archive, and on the strategic development of new Science Gallery locations in London, Melbourne, Bangalore, and Venice.

Louise has also worked as a lobbyist and coordinator for the National Campaign for the Arts and preceding these roles, has over a decade of multi-disciplinary arts and culture experience.  She is an alumna of the international Clore Leadership and Common Purpose Meridian Programmes. She sits on the Board of Directors for Irish Architecture Foundation, CREATE, the National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts in Social and Community Contexts, and the Advisory Board of THISISPOPBABY.

Louise is studying law at the King’s Inns for her sins.

Michael 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.

Dominic is a registered architect and a director of JFOC Architects. He has won numerous architectural awards and his work has been exhibited and published internationally, notably in the Guggenheim Museum, New York, at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and in the  Phaidon Atlas of World Architecture. He is a member of ARENA, the European Architecture Research Network and in this capacity he is active in organising conferences, and in the publication of research. Dominic was a member of the Steering Committee for Government Policy on Architecture. He lectures in the School of Architecture in DIT. Publications include RURAL (2007) and Domestic (1998).

Brian 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.


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 2020 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 delivers workshops and activities for young people (age 14+) through our Architects in Schools programme, our IAF Collective programme of activities held in Dublin city and occasionally in partnership with other arts and architecture organisations.

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