Open House Dublin, presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation, gives a unique opportunity to explore the rich architecture of Dublin. With over 100 tours, events and workshops there is plenty to see during the three days. The events are completely free, with most available on a first-come basis.
The theme of this year’s Open House is This Place We Call Home and focuses on how and where we live. With over 23,000 people living in The Liberties, the home is key to life here. With this in mind we thought we’d make a top 5 list of Open House events in The Liberties to help you choose where to go.
Saturday 11am – 4:30pm | St Patrick’s Close
Marsh’s Library, commissioned by Narcissus Marsh, as Archbishop of Dublin, houses important collections of European books and manuscripts from the 15th to 18th centuries. When it opened in 1707 it was the first public library in Ireland. The interior of Marsh’s Library has remained largely unchanged over the past 300 years, and visitors come from all over the world to admire the architecture and soak up the atmosphere. This perfectly preserved library of the early Enlightenment, with its original oak bookcases, houses more than 25,000 rare and fascinating books.
Saturday 11am – 4:30pm | Corner of New Street South and Dean Street
From the early 1990s to the first decade of this millennium, Housing Associations and Cooperatives initiated many innovative city housing projects. Built with government support, they provide positive examples of a variety of homes – both independent and supported – for a wide range of people. This walking tour will thread its way through the South Inner City to experience a range of responses to the making of home in an urban setting. The tour will give an opportunity to experience the inner life of these schemes and to understand how carefully-considered infill housing enhances the quality of life in city communities. Tour includes visits to housing schemes at New Street and Allingham Street by Gerry Cahill Architects.
Saturday 11am – 3pm | 41 Francis Street
In this project a city centre shop and residence underwent a process of conservation, adaptation and extension to accommodate a design studio at street level with a family home above. The existing house-over-shop was much run-down but retained a courtyard garden overlooked by the nearby parish church and with no connection to the house. The addition of a single-storey studio space to the back of the office provided the opportunity for an east-facing deck off the first floor living spaces which could connect to the garden with a short flight of steps. This also accommodated some utility space and a covered area at the back door below. This small extension was made by wrapping the old brick of the garden wall around the back of the building.
Saturday | 140 James’s Street
Sundial House is situated at the small square where Thomas Street divides into James’s Street and Bow Lane. The site provided by Dublin City Council to BIH Housing Association is close to the Sundial built in 1790 by the Duke of Rutland. Construction works necessitated by the Luas left a derelict merchant’s house one of the few surviving protected 18th century buildings on this street. The brief of city centre accommodation for people who have experienced an extended period of homelessness and have entrenched alcohol use issues was complicated by tight site constraints and the importance of reinstating a street corner. The existing structure was retained and enhanced by a new infill building, remaking the street façade to James’s Street. New volumes wrap around the original building to form a courtyard within the urban block. This new void provides natural light and ventilation to the surrounding circulation spaces and shared areas.
Saturday 2pm – 4pm | Cornmarket facing MRCB Paints
Walking across Dublin’s ancient Liberties, with Stephen Coyne from The Liberties, rediscover and reappraise some of the city’s best industrial heritage, innovative housing solutions of the past, and the new contemporary uses and influences that are transforming the area at present.