Karen Lee Walpole, Manager of Open House Dublin, provides a sneak peek at this year's festival programme, which opens up Dublin architecture to the general public.
Open House Dublin turns 17 this October. Dublin’s festival of architecture has grown exponentially since it first began in 2006, and we continue to seek new ways to open up the capital city’s architecture — historic and contemporary — for the public to explore, enjoy and even debate. The festival is one of several programmes run by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) in our mission to educate, engage and empower people through the built environment we all share.
Open House Dublin 2022 will take place over the weekend of 14-16 October with more than 150 free events. There will be talks, exhibitions, film screenings and special events for young people, and a rich programme of building and outdoor tours, including cycling, boat, and walking tours for everyone to enjoy.
In-person tours are back, and we’ve pulled out all the stops to secure standout new additions for this year’s line-up, including Dunsink Observatory, the Exo Building, The Sorting Office, Dún Laoghaire Baths, Swords Castle, Trinity College Printing House Square and TU Dublin’s new state-of-the-art campus in Grangegorman.
Home & Housing
A strong thread running through this year’s programme is home and housing. There will be guided tours of private homes designed by eminent architects such as Metropolitan Workshop, McCullough Mulvin, and Steve Larkin. We will also be offering tours of innovative social housing projects in the city, including Dominick Street Regeneration and Croke Park Redevelopment.
Site Specific Film Series
During the pandemic, we had the opportunity to work with Dyehouse Films on 17 short films about Dublin. They include films about a BMX playpark in Ballyfermot, the history and future of the Iveagh markets, a hidden bar in Trinity College Dublin, and the iconic Poolbeg Chimneys. These films reveal the personalities, processes, complexity, creativity and transformative impact that surround the act of designed space, and they take us on a journey through the city.
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We invite everyone to come out on Open House weekend and watch these films in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, on the Friday and Saturday night during the festival.
Housing Unlocked Exhibition
A centrepiece of this year's programme will be the opening of the Housing Unlocked exhibition during Open House Dublin. With the Housing Agency, the IAF put out a call for teams of architects, professionals from related fields and members of the public to propose ideas with the potential to unlock housing issues in Ireland’s cities, towns and villages. The group exhibition, curated by the IAF, will demonstrate the impact of implementing the top eight ideas.
The Big Debate
Every year on the eve of Open House we host the Big Debate and invite everyone to join us in facing some of the city’s most pressing issues. This year, hosted by architect and presenter Roisin Murphy, we talk about the city as a home. We will bring people together to discuss and debate how we can make Dublin a better place for us all. We want people to come with ideas, opinions and experiences. Dereliction, vacancy, housing, the loss of our cultural and social spaces are some of the challenges we face, and we want to start a conversation about how we can shape and influence the development of the city for us all.
We want Open House Dublin to open up spaces and experiences for everyone to enjoy. This year, there will be tours and events designed to improve access, including Irish Sign Language interpreted tours and live captioned events. We’re grateful to have the support of visual interpreting service Aira, which provides access to visual information for blind and low vision people. Every location in this year’s festival will be supported by Aira on Open House Dublin weekend. We are also working with the National Gallery to offer accessibility awareness training to all our amazing volunteers who join us each year for the festival.
We can’t wait to bring as many people as possible up close with Dublin’s architecture this October.