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This IAF open call for new Reimagine placemaking projects invites community groups to apply in partnership with an architect who has a connection to their town or village.
The IAF is calling on community groups and their local architects to partner together to develop and submit projects for regenerating their local town or village centres, as part of a new initiative called Hometown Architect, announced on 1 November under the IAF’s Reimagine placemaking programme.
The open call is inviting community groups to create and submit a project proposal in partnership with an architect who has a connection to their town or village. The architect can either be currently living in the town or village, have grown up there, or have family in the locality.
Five successful submissions will be awarded €10,000 each, to put towards developing their proposal further. Submissions will be assessed by a panel of experts, including architects, IAF staff and Town Centre First Policy experts.
Project proposals should focus on town centre regeneration and can involve encouraging increased residential occupancy in rural towns and villages, addressing the issue of vacant properties, and highlighting the economic, social, and cultural importance of Irish towns and villages. Projects can also examine how changing patterns of work can transform the way people live, to reverse the trends of suburban sprawl, commuter belts and hollowed-out town centres.
Submissions should also align with the Town Centre First Policy published by the Government of Ireland earlier this year. This policy aims to promote the regeneration of town and village centres across Ireland and to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit.
Commenting on the launch of the Hometown Architect open call, Nathalie Weadick, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said: “We are very excited to launch this open call. We are hopeful that community groups from across Ireland, in conjunction with an architect who is local to them, will submit projects that have the power to change our town and village centres.
“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the advent of widespread working from home, many people have left cities to return to their hometowns or other towns and villages across the country. These people bring new energy and useful skills to their local area, and they can work alongside the existing community to revitalise their home.”
Hometown Architect is part of the IAF’s nationwide Reimagine placemaking programme, which works with communities across Ireland to co-create and co-design solutions to problems or opportunities they have identified in their locality.
In addition, an in-person Reimagine Café will take place on Tuesday 6 December, 1-2pm in the Science Gallery Dublin, TCD. This café will focus on Town Centre First policies, projects and initiatives, including the IAF’s Hometown Architect programme.
Hometown Architect is funded by the Arts Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development, with additional support to the Irish Architecture Foundation from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
For full information, including the brief and application form, visit the Hometown Architect Open Call page on the Reimagine website.