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2022 Programme 2023 Programme Curatorial Events Exhibition Tours

Housing Unlocked exhibition showcases eight architect-led proposals to unlock Ireland’s housing potential


How do we build affordable homes and resilient communities? How fast can we deliver low carbon homes? How can we use untapped potential to solve housing problems in our towns? Can towns and cities find extra housing in iconic buildings, church sites and vacant shops? How might we optimise quality of life in a compact urban block?

The Housing Unlocked exhibition proposes creative and practical answers to these and related questions about housing in Ireland today.


The Science Gallery Dublin, Naughton Institute, TCD, Pearse Street

14 October 2022 – 21 January 2023

Tuesday-Friday 12-5pm, Saturday 2-5pm (closed 18 December – 2 January)

Free, drop-in gallery tours Tuesday and Thursday 1pm, Saturday 3pm

Repurposing vacant banks across Ireland, converting churches to homes in Dublin city, modular construction, and regenerating towns and urban areas such as Mountrath in Co. Laois are just some of the ideas on display at the exhibition, which is the first of its kind in Ireland. Each installation has been developed by a team of architects and their collaborators. Proposals were selected by a Jury of national and international experts through an Open Call process that went out to architects to team up with professionals from a variety of disciplines and members of the public to submit ideas to solve housing issues in Ireland’s cities, towns and villages. The eight selected entries received €7,500 in funding to develop their proposal into an exhibition piece. 

Visitors to the Housing Unlocked exhibition can view physical models of each proposal, along with photographs, maps, drawings and artists’ impressions of what the projects would look like if they were completed. There are free, drop-in guided tours of the exhibition on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm and on Saturdays at 3pm. A vibrant programme of public workshops, seminars and talks is running throughout the exhibition period.

Housing Unlocked is a partnership between the Irish Architecture Foundation and The Housing Agency, sponsored by The Housing Agency with additional support from The Arts Council, The Land Development Agency, the New European Bauhaus, and venue partner Trinity College Dublin. The exhibition and public programme are curated by the Irish Architecture Foundation.

Speaking at the launch of the Housing Unlocked exhibition in the Science Gallery Dublin, Nathalie Weadick, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said: “Housing Unlocked reveals how architects are working to enhance the way we live together. The exhibiting teams have challenged us to question existing conditions and have put forward alternative design solutions, innovative methods of construction, and ways to deliver not just homes but thriving communities. Housing Unlocked is charged with a sense of urgency, optimism and innovation, as people and ideas are coming together to improve the Irish housing sector.” 

Also speaking at the launch, Bob Jordan, CEO of The Housing Agency, said: “This exhibition showcases innovative and practical solutions by people working in the housing sector in Ireland, who come from a wide variety of disciplines, areas and backgrounds. At The Housing Agency, we believe collaboration is key to delivering housing in sustainable communities. We are excited by the projects on display, and we are hopeful that they will inspire local communities, housing professionals, and policymakers.” 

Highlights of the programme of events include the House it all work? series of 8 lunchtime talks with the exhibiting teams, Fridays 1-2pm; the 3-talk series Housing: A Timeless Challenge on 24 November, 1 and 8 December at 6:30pm; Estate: Reimagine Session on 26 November, 2-5pm, an afternoon of talks and workshops focusing on the role and future of housing estates; the Simms’ City symposium on 1 December 2022, which will explore the work of Herbert Simms, Dublin City’s housing architect from 1932 to 1948, who built 17,000 homes; and the Housing in Common workshop on 18 January 2023, which will bring together a group of people, representative of wider society, to deliberate on housing issues.

All events are free and take place in the Science Gallery Dublin.

Visit the Housing Unlocked website to read more about the exhibition and programme of events and to book your free tickets.


Workers’ Villages exhibition and launch

A very special component of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s programming at the Science Gallery Dublin is the Workers’ Villages exhibition, a celebration of architect Frank Gibney and communities in the Bord na Móna villages he designed in the 1950s and which are now at the heart of Ireland’s Just Transition. Workers’ Villages officially launches on Wednesday 9 November with a colloquium at 3-5pm and reception at 5:30pm. Read more about the Workers’ Villages exhibition and book for the opening events through the IAF Reimagine website.

Housing Unlocked and Workers’ Villages and their associated events are taking place at the Science Gallery Dublin, Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin from 14 October until 21 January 2023. Admission is free. 


Photo: Join the Dots installation by McCullough Mulvin Architects. Photo by Ste Murray.