Open House Dublin invites you to explore the city and county with 150+ free events

Free architecture tours and events for everyone at this year’s Open House Dublin festival, October 14th-16th
Open House Dublin invites you to explore the city and county with 150+ free events

The launch of Open House Dublin 2022 at the EXO Building, Dublin Docklands. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

If buildings could talk, what would they say? Have you ever walked down Dublin’s streets and wondered what’s behind closed doors? Are you interested in seeing places and spaces rarely open to the public, and hearing the history and stories of our best architecture? Are you invested in the future development of Dublin?

Open House Dublin, the flagship festival of the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF), takes place over the weekend of 14th to 16th October. It offers a unique insight and up-close perspective on many aspects of Dublin’s built environment.

Over the weekend, Open House Dublin will host free events in more than 100 sites across the city and county, opening the doors to our most remarkable buildings. We invite you to join us and discover the places, people and projects that define Dublin and make our city unique.

There are historical and contemporary tours of iconic buildings, private homes, exemplary social housing projects, public spaces and parks, all led by expert guides. You can drop in to film screenings and exhibitions, and join cycling, boat and walking tours. With special events and activities for young people and families, there really is something for everyone this October.

Uncover the past with a tour of 9/9A Aungier Street, believed to be the oldest home in Dublin city at 350 years old.

Fireplace at 9/9A Aungier Street. Photograph: Tom McGimsey.
Fireplace at 9/9A Aungier Street. Photograph: Tom McGimsey.

Visit “Nellie’s Flat” in The Iveagh Trust scheme, social housing developed by the Guinness brewing family, where the Molloy family resided throughout the 1900′s. When Nellie, the last tenant, died in 2002, her belongings were memorialised, so modern Dubliners can get a glimpse of life in the last century.

‘Nellie’s Flat’, 3B, The Iveagh Trust, Patrick Street, Dublin 8.
‘Nellie’s Flat’, 3B, The Iveagh Trust, Patrick Street, Dublin 8.

Why not take a peek at a private home in beautiful Vavasour Square, exploring architect Declan Scullion’s renovation of an existing Victorian terraced house.

25 Vavasour Square, Sandymount. Photograph: Declan Scullion
25 Vavasour Square, Sandymount. Photograph: Declan Scullion

Discover a truly unique workspace by touring the Irish Aviation Authority’s new Air Traffic Control Tower, designed by architects Scott Tallon Walker. It is a new addition to Dublin’s skyline, standing at 87.7m high, making it Ireland’s tallest occupied structure. You can also visit One Microsoft Place in south Dublin, the new campus headquarters of tech giant Microsoft, with tours led by architects RKD.

IAA Dublin Air Traffic Control Tower
IAA Dublin Air Traffic Control Tower

Why not join a walking tour led by local residents around the Fairbrother’s Fields housing estate, now popularly known as the Tenters in Dublin 8, which was the first tenant purchase housing scheme undertaken by the newly formed Irish Free State government. You can also enjoy the music of An Góilín Traditional Singers as they take us on an architectural and cultural tour of the north inner-city area of Wolfe Tone Square, Parnell Square, Dominick Street and Henrietta Street.

The Tenters. Photograh: Kieran Doyle O'Brien
The Tenters. Photograh: Kieran Doyle O'Brien

For those interested in Dublin’s maritime history and the future of Dublin Port, you can take a boat tour led by Port Heritage Director Lar Joye, and Darmody Architecture is hosting a tour of its exemplary work at Port Centre. The Grangegorman Development Agency is showcasing its state-of-the-art TU Dublin campus, with tours of the Central Quad and a special behind-the-scenes tour of the new Grafton Architect’s Educate Together School.

TU Dublin Central Quad. Photograph: Conor Mulhern.
TU Dublin Central Quad. Photograph: Conor Mulhern.

During the pandemic, the IAF and Open House Dublin commissioned 17 films about the architecture of Dublin. These films will screen at Meeting House Square, Temple Bar each evening of the festival, and all are welcome to drop in and watch the city come to life on film. The films feature Iveagh Markets, Poolbeg Chimneys, Le Fanu Skate and Play Park in Ballyfermot, the Four Courts and so much more.

Are you interested in what the future holds for Dublin’s built environment? Do you want to know more about housing, dereliction, the loss of our intangible cultural heritage, and how we can make the city more open, accessible and equitable? Join the conversation at the Open House Big Debate, taking place on the 14th October at The Science Gallery, Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin. The debate will be hosted by architect FRIAI & VAI Róisín Murphy, featuring architect Valerie Mulvin, Francis Doherty of Peter McVerry Trust, poet Hazel Hogan, documentary producer Geoff Power and journalist Laoise Neylon from the Dublin Inquirer.

One Microsoft Place. Photograph: Jim Byrne Photography.
One Microsoft Place. Photograph: Jim Byrne Photography.

At the same venue, you can see a highlight of this year’s festival, the IAF’s Housing Unlocked exhibition, run jointly with the Housing Agency. Eight ground-breaking ideas will be put on display, developed by forward-thinking teams who are keen to solve the housing crisis. Could repurposing empty churches, vacant shop units and closed banks be the answer?

Open House Dublin also offers young people and families the chance to get up close with architecture through workshops and activities at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum and the Chester Beatty Library. Families can also embark on self-guided Architreks tours designed by architects. Pick up a printed Architrek at the Open House Dublin info hub at 15 Bachelor’s Walk, at the Housing Unlocked exhibition on Pearse Street, or download one from the OpenHouseDublin.com website.

The full programme for Open House Dublin 2022 is now live at www.openhousedublin.com. 

Booking for ticketed events opens September 21st. Stay up to date on Instagram and Twitter and find out more about the Irish Architecture Foundation at www.architecturefoundation.ie.

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