Presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation, Open House Dublin is a free festival of architecture taking place across Dublin city and county each October. Extended this year to South Dublin for the first time, with a special focus on Tallaght, guided tours of Rathcoole Courthouse and Castletymon Library, as well as a family-friendly walking trail through Tallaght are just some highlights of the events taking place in the South Dublin County Council area as part of this year’s Open House Dublin.
The programme also includes a local walking tour of Tallaght led by expert guides exploring some of the best public buildings and initiatives in the area. This multi-stop tour takes in the County Library and Library Square, the Innovation Centre and HeatNet Energy Centre, Tallaght Stadium and Rua Red Arts Centre.
Tours are also taking place of Rathcoole Courthouse, an Edwardian arts and crafts building, on which South Dublin County Council completed a sensitive architectural conservation and adaptive reuse project within an Architectural Conservation Area, promoting sustainable development and community engagement. This year, for the first time, the festival will start with a dedicated weekend for children and families on the 7th and 8th of October, with a wider programme of tours and events taking place from 13th to 15th October.
The festival’s opening Junior weekend highlights in South Dublin include an architect-guided and self-guided IAF ‘Architrek’ walking trail in Tallaght for families and children. Guided ‘Architrek’ tours can be booked at OpenHouseDublin.com where activity packs can also be downloaded. IAF-curated workshops are taking place over the Junior weekend in Think Big Space in Tallaght, a space provided by Amazon Web Services in partnership with South Dublin County Council to provide young people from local communities a place beyond the classroom to explore and cultivate an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.
Emmett Scanlon, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said: “This is the first year that South Dublin County Council is taking part in Open House Dublin and it’s exciting to see the area’s buildings and public spaces being spotlighted. Architecture festivals are extraordinary moments of focus and delight, where shared lived experiences told through stories bind people and place. The flagship festival of the Irish Architecture Foundation, Open House Dublin is dedicated to telling the stories of over 1.5 million lives lived in the company of buildings and the built environment. This festival is a way to get to the heart of Dublin, the heart of what matters. We have much architecture to celebrate and many people to champion across Dublin, but the very words ‘open’ and ‘house’, generous and fundamental, are, this year, a call to confront and admit the Dublin we have and to imagine and describe the Dublin we need. I hope more people than ever participate in Open House Dublin, because a beautiful, sustainable and inclusive city invites us all to be in it together.”
Cian Harte, County Architect for South Dublin County Council, said: “Architecture is about more than just buildings alone. It is also about providing buildings and creating spaces that improve and uplift people’s lives and communities. Open House Dublin is a wonderful opportunity for people to hear the stories behind, and go inside and explore the buildings, public spaces and civic amenities in South Dublin. Tours of Tallaght Stadium, County Hall and HeatNet in Tallaght among others, will give the background to and set the scene for the continuing development of South Dublin’s urban core, and beyond.
“To add to this programme, the importance of adaptively reusing our historic structures is key to developing and strengthening sustainable communities, and one of our conservation projects, Rathcoole Courthouse, is included in this year’s tour programme. “With special events and activities for families and children as part of Open House Junior, there really is something for everyone. We’re especially excited about the self-guided ‘Architrek’ walking tour of Tallaght and the other expertly guided walking tours of the area that are part of the programme. This is the first year that South Dublin County Council will take part in the Open House event, and we are really looking forward to showing people much more in the coming years.”
All Open House Dublin events are free, but pre-booking is required for some. Full details of the programme, including drop-in tours and events, can be found on the website OpenHouseDublin.com.