From the Dublin Fringe Festival in September to the Bram Stoker Festival at the end of October, autumn in Dublin has established itself as peak season on the cultural calendar. The onset of longer evenings marks an end to the outdoor festivities of food and music events in the capital, and in a very emblematic way, Open House Dublin unlocks access to private homes, offices and public buildings welcoming thousands of visitors each year.
Perhaps recognising its timely position between the Fringe Festival and Dublin Theatre Festival spanning from the 28th of September until the 15th of October, this year the Open House Dublin programme will draw inspiration from the idea that the city acts as a stage for its citizens. In a similar way to how a set designer carefully designs the backdrop to a play, architects and city planners have carefully designed the backdrop to our private and public lives.
Open House Dublin offers us a chance to reflect on this idea by hosting events such as the “Alphabet Streets: Graphic Design in the City” walking tour, led by 100 Archive, which looks at how graphic design on shopfronts, cafés and restaurants can help shape our ideas of the public realm. Comparatively newly designed spaces such as the Rediscovery Centre by Robert Davys, ABK Architects or the Tara Building are beginning to influence new ways of working.
Open House Dublin offers a lot more than just a thoughtful new perspective in which to view architecture in the capital. The annual event provides the citizens of Dublin with an increased sense of ownership of their city, by enabling access to places which they pass on a daily basis. It offers visitors to Dublin a chance to learn about the city’s cultural, economic and political heritage conveyed through the work of some of our most talented designers and creators. It offers students of all ages an opportunity to explore brilliant buildings both historical, contemporary and furthermore, it gives emerging architects an opportunity to showcase new work and new ideas.
Architects who are introducing newly developed buildings this year include LiD Architecture whose Container House delves into the potential of creating low-cost housing in an increasingly expensive market and Architectural Farm, architects of Diagonal Addition. Of course, Above the Fold will also be placing the architect at centre stage at our newly announced Coffee|Culture series, which will launch at Meet Me in the Morning. Coffee|Culture will present the founder of Design Urbanism Architecture (DUA), Darragh Breathnach, who will be speaking about his design practice, processes and his impact on our capital city.
Open House Dublin is presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation, running from Friday 13th – Sunday 15th of October. All events are completely free however some are already booked out (including our event Coffee|Culture event!) There are still plenty of complimentary tours and buildings to see over the weekend so make sure to check out the programme at Open House Dublin.
Words by Laura Woulfe.