Waterford uses crafty ideas to celebrate its architectural past

WATERFORD will celebrate its architectural Viking and crystal-making history this weekend when up to 3,000 visitors are expected to attend a festival based on craftsmanship.

The Waterford Festival of Architecture will include 25 special events, including a demonstration of the building of a Viking longboat, as well as a public talk about plans for the Viking Triangle in the city.

“Architecture and Craftsmanship” is the theme for the festival to mark the important role played by traditional and contemporary craft in Irish architecture. It also coincides with 2011 as the Year of Craft and the 40th anniversary of the Crafts Council of Ireland’s foundation.

A number of events are being held across Ireland this year to celebrate craft and craftsmanship.

Organisers of the Waterford festival held a schools’ programme promoting the theme.

Pupils from the Holy Cross National School, Tramore, participated in workshops which looked at buildings through the ages and the role of craft in those buildings.

Several of the country’s most esteemed and critically-acclaimed architects will gather today in the auditorium of Waterford Institute of Technology to speak about their work.

This will be followed by a rare opportunity to hear an interview with local artist and architect Jack O’Hare in the WIT auditorium about his collaborations with the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, from 1948 and 1949.

The festival was inspired by locally-born architect John Roberts — after whom Waterford’s city centre square is named. The latter is the venue for an “architecture detective trail” tomorrow when selected projects from WIT and Waterford County Council will also be on show.

Sunday is family day in John Roberts’ Square with free Crafts Council-sponsored events all afternoon for all ages.

Free tours of the House of Waterford Crystal factory can also be booked as well as tickets to a film on one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster.


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