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2018 marks the 13th OPEN HOUSE DUBLIN, Ireland’s largest architecture festival, taking place from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 October 2018. For the first time, Open House Dublin 2018 will feature a building for every decade from 1700 up to present day.
Open House Dublin is Ireland’s largest architecture festival. It follows a simple but powerful idea: showcasing outstanding architecture for everyone to experience. Buildings that aren’t usually accessible to the public open their doors, with tours provided by expert guides. In 2017, Open House Dublin hosted more than 33,000 visits during the three-day event.
The theme for Open House Dublin 2018 is Tomorrow’s Past: Discover our future heritage. Heritage is our traditions, preoccupations and values made real. Just as the buildings, streets, squares and parks of our city tell us about the people who came before us, what will the buildings of today tell future citizens about life in 21st century Dublin?
Although the Open House Dublin site and full list won’t be launched until early September, IAF is announcing that for the first time, Open House Dublin 2018 will feature a building for every decade from 1700 up to present day. This living timeline will provide a very special opportunity to follow and experience the city’s architectural development as it evolved in response to more than 300 years of social, cultural, political, and economic influence.
Celebrating the European Year of Cultural Heritage, this year’s Open House Dublin will also explore the influence of our European neighbours on Dublin’s built heritage, from Dutch Billies and Italian neoclassicism, to Bauhaus-inspired modernism. The programme will also reflect on the increasing influence Irish architects have on Europe and beyond, by featuring Irish architects who are winning significant projects in Europe and Asia.
Open House Dublin 2018 will offer more than 100 buildings to visit, alongside a rich programme of events. Some new and exciting additions to this year’s programme include:
Kevin Street Library: Kevin Street Library first opened in 1904 as a flagship branch of Dublin City’s library network. In 2018, the library reopens following an extensive refurbishment project conducted by Dublin City Architects Division for Dublin City Public Libraries. It will be a cornerstone for the neighbourhoods it serves, connecting people to each other and to their community.
George’s Place: George’s Place is an exemplary social housing development of 12 new high-quality energy-efficient family homes, designed by DLR Architects with A2 Architects as enabling architects. Located on a former council depot site in a sensitive conservation setting, the project was built using rapid delivery construction methods in response to the pressing need for social housing.
14 Henrietta Street: Built in the 1740s as a townhouse for the elite of Dublin, 14 Henrietta Street was split into tenements in the 1880s and by 1911 was home to some 100 people. It remained a tenement house until the 1970s. The house is the primary artefact of a new museum showcasing the many stories of its former residents, restored and conserved by Shaffrey Architects.
RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland): Completed in late 2017 by Henry J Lyons, 26 York Street is a state-of-the-art building that puts Ireland at the forefront of pioneering developments in the delivery of healthcare education. It was the subject of the RTE documentary, The Big Build, and won the public choice award at the RIAI Awards this year.
Government Buildings, South Block: Home to the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the South Block was designed by Sir Aston Webb in the early twentieth century. Renovated and restored to its former glory in 2016 by the Office of Public Works, visitors will have a rare chance to see its magnificent original features.
Courtyard House: Designed by Tom dePaor in 2016 and listed on Airbnb, this contemporary home features a series of interconnecting internal and external spaces, hidden behind a 1930s terrace in Harold’s Cross.
This year, Open House Dublin, in collaboration with Waterways Ireland, will offer a variety of ways to explore the city from the water. Featuring boat tours, kayaking and paddle boarding, visitors will be given the opportunity to engage with their city from a new angle, looking up!
These tours will form part of Open House Plus, a programme of exhibitions, tours and other events that offer citizens a variety of ways to engage with and learn more about the city’s architecture. The ever-popular Open House Junior also returns this year, offering architecture-themed events developed for younger citizens aged 7 to 17, including design and build workshops and family-friendly “architreks”.
“Open House Dublin is a force for good”, said IAF Director Nathalie Weadick, “It does more than engage people in architecture, planning and the construction of their city. It peels away layers of history, connecting past with present. It shines a spotlight on the essential issues of the day. It introduces the idea that architecture can impact on our lives and it encourages us to imagine a future and our place in it.”
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