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Now We Are Ten


Bring us our party hats and pass us the parcel, we are ten! It’s a year of celebration at Irish Architecture Foundation. We have our tenth Open House Dublin, our third series of New Now Next, the return of Pecha Kucha, we’re going international with our programme and we have some big news to reveal, we are moving house again into a bigger and better building. We were selected to move into one of Dublin City Arts Office’s Vacant Spaces on the quays in what used to be home to City Arts. It’s taken ten years of hard work to get here, so we’re feeling all misty eyed and nostalgic. We’ve had many high points over the past ten years, here’s a whistle-stop tour of just some of them.

Our first Open House Dublin was in 2005 and since then it has been an annual event. The concept is simple, we open the doors to buildings of architectural quality around Dublin and let people have a gander. Open House Dublin is Ireland’s biggest architecture festival and people love it with 30,000 of you enjoying it every year. This year Open House Dublin runs from 16 to 18 October, mark it in your diary!

SubUrban to SuperRural, Ireland’s entry to the 2006 Architecture Biennale in Venice was commissioned by Shane O’Toole, Acting Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation (2005 to 2007). Irish Architecture Foundation ran a competition to curate Ireland’s entry to the biennale and FKL Architects won. The exhibits from FKL, Heneghan Peng, Henchion+Reuter Architects, Dominic Stevens, MacGabhann Architects, Bucholz McEvoy, Boyd Cody Architects, DePaor Architects and ODOS Architects offered alternative visions for the Ireland of 2030. The exhibition returned home in 2007 and toured to Belfast, Cork, Naas and Dublin.

2007 saw the appointment of our first Director, Nathalie Weadick. Nathalie continues to direct IAF today. Before joining IAF she was Director of the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny and Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation in London. While at the Architecture Foundation in London she worked on many projects including the very successful Debate London, a series of debates held in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. While Director of the Butler Gallery she expanded its programme to include performance, photography, video and installation and ensured the organisation’s position on the international art scene.

In 2008 we went to Venice again. Ireland at Venice The Lives of Spaces, pictured above, was curated by Nathalie and Hugh Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at UCD. The participants were Hassett-Ducatez, Simon Walker and Patrick Lynch, McCullough-Mulvin, Gerry Cahill Architects, Grafton Architects, dePaor architects, TAKA, O’Donnell + Tuomey and Dara McGrath. The Lives of Spaces toured to Farmleigh Gallery in Dublin, Kilkenny Castle, Limerick School of Art and Design, Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast and the RIBA Gallery in London during 2009 and 2010.

In 2009 the government approved the Policy on Architecture 2009 – 2015. The purpose of which is to provide an appropriate framework for the development of the built environment. The policy was informed by a Steering Committee including Irish Architecture Foundation. Irish Architecture Foundation organised public workshops during May and June of 2007 to hear people’s views, concerns and ideas which were included in reports to the government. IAF continues to sit on the Advisory Panel for the Government Policy on Architecture.

The Irish Architecture Foundation kicked off its new education programme in late 2009 with A Space for Learning, a design competition to challenge current thinking on school design, where architects collaborate with the end-users of educational spaces – the students. A Space for Learning featured more than 1,500 students in 90 schools, working with 120 architects around the country to design a creative response to the concept ‘a space for learning’.

We went back to Venice again in 2010. of de Blacam and Meagher was Ireland’s participation at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. It was commissioned by the Irish Architecture Foundation and curated by Tom dePaor, Peter Maybury, Alice Casey and Cian Deegan. The exhibition presented de Blacam and Meagher Architects’ built and unbuilt portfolio of the previous 33 years in the form of a book unbound, containing volumes of drawing and photographic reproductions from the archives, contemporary photography and readings of the work with commentaries. The immediate visual impact created by imposing paper stacks, scaled to physically and theatrically occupy the space was accompanied by the content from the archive. Watch a short video about the installation on IAF TV

Two groups of Irish architects travelled to six US venues during the Autumn of 2011 for Irish Architecture Now. They participated in symposia, presenting key aspects of their work and engaging in discussion on critical issues facing Irish Architecture Now. Bucholz McEvoy Architects, Shih Fu Peng of Heneghan Peng Architects and Niall McCullough of McCullough Mulvin Architects visited the East Coast in September where they spoke at The Cooper Union, New York, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. In November, Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, Sheila O’Donnell of O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects and Tom dePaor of dePaor architects travelled to the West and Mid-West of the US to participate in symposia at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the University of Berkeley and at the Art Institute of Chicago. See Irish Architecture Now on IAF TV

Irish Architecture Foundation and The Small Print presented 6 Pecha Kucha Nights in Dublin in 2009 and 2010 in the very packed Sugar Club. Speakers ranged from creatives like artivist Will St Leger, designers Conor and David and artist Alan Phelan to Dublin City Architect Ali Grehan and the guys behind Movember Charity Innovators. Pecha Kucha Night, devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers and artist to meet, network, and show their work in public. But as we all know, give a mic to a designer (especially an architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented system for avoiding this. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. Watch past Pecha Kucha Night presentations over on IAF TV. Join us in the Dublin home of Pecha Kucha, The Sugar Club, 22 July for our second Pecha Kucha this year.

In 2012 Irish Architecture Foundation launched a design competition in partnership with NCAD, sponsored by Plus Print. Teams from art, architecture, graphic design and curating were invited to develop a prototype archizine. The purpose of the competition was to activate architectural discourse. The winner of the Archizines competition was SET a zine by the Set Collective that looks at the relationship between architecture and cinema. Edited by Jamie Young, Graduate of UCD School of Architecture and designed by Paul Guinan, the first edition “The Shining’s Maze of Indeterminacy” was written by Emma Dwyer. SET was included in Archizine and exhibition of archizines touring internationally, which showed in Dublin from 16 November 2012 to 11 January 2013 at NCAD Gallery.

In 2013 we started an architectural talks series called NEWNOWNEXT in partnership with Arup, which creates a public platform for internationally renowned architects and Irish architects. We had presentations from Jeanne Gang, Tatiana Bilbao, Rune Boserup from COBE, Minsuk Cho, Samuli Woolston – ALA Architects, A New Generation Laurence Lord (Architecture Practice+Experimentation), Lucy Jones (Lucy Jones Architects) and Steve Larkin (Steve Larkin Architects). This year we bring Andy Groarke of Carmody Groarke (pictured by Ste Murray above), Ole Scheeren and Kunlé Adeyemi to Dublin. The NEWNOWNEXT series is also going international in 2015 with four Irish architecture practices, TAKA, Clancy Moore, Hall McKnight and Steve Larkin speaking at the Design Museum London as part of Irish Design 2015 and London Festival of Architecture.

During 2014 we completed a three month long residency in the Irish Museum of Modern Art. IMMA invited us to take over a gallery space during the Eileen Gray exhibition. We put together a group show and a series of talks, screenings, tours, happenings, symposia and workshops curated by Nathalie Weadick, Director of IAF to reveal how much of our experience of the designed or informal built environment is immersed in the everyday.

Over the past ten years we have had amazing die hard fans, volunteers, members and supporters. Our story so far wouldn’t have been possible without this love and support. A massive thanks to all of you. Why not join the IAF family? Become a member to support our future activities. Alongside great merchandise, priority booking and discounts, you can come on our monthly member only tours. Past tours have included Green Street Court House, Family Tour of Merrion Square, Hugh Lane Walking Tour, Tour of The Chocolate Factory, Pigeon House Precinct Walking Tour, Irish Architectural Archive, Marsh’s Library with Keeper Dr. Jason Mc Elligott, Casino Marino’s ‘Paradise Lost’ Exhibition and a tour of the Docklands by renowned architect James Pike. Become a member HERE