Newsview: Open House Dublin to showcase style and architecture

Rose Martin reports on the upcoming Open House Dublin — an event which will showcase the capital’s style and architecture
Newsview: Open House Dublin to showcase style and architecture

THIS year’s Open House Dublin will be the biggest yet, according to organisers, the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF), when it opens on Friday, October 13, (and runs to Sunday, October 15.)

Like similar Open House events throughout the free world, Open House Dublin is an annual celebration of the best of the city’s architecture — and while admission to the events are free, any donations will be gratefully recived on behalf of the Peter McVerry Trust, but more of that later.

These events draw the crowds in major cities across the world and in Dublin, there’s something for everyone — from the Grand Design-aholic to the aesthete with a penchant for fine architecture to the history buff with a sense of heritage and place.

Buildings of all types and periods will open their doors to allow the common man explore and the range this year follows the working title ‘The City as a Stage’. As the IAF says: “Dublin and its architecture has been the backdrop to the daily dramas of everyday life for centuries, and this year’s programme explores how its citizens have made their mark on the city and investigates the architects, artisans and thinkers that influenced its design, construction and development, past and present.”

More tours and more events are planned than ever before and highlights include the Irish Life Centre on Middle Abbey Street, designed by Andy Duane. It was the first major mixed-use development in Dublin , and has been the HQ of Irish Life since the building’s completion in 1980.

The award-winning Central Bank of Ireland building in Dublin’s Docklands, fresh from winning the ‘Universal Design’ category at the 2017 Royal Institute of Architect’s Irish Architecture Awards for Henry J Lyons Architects, is another major building opening its doors to the public.

And in the domestic sphere, Vaulted House by GKMP, Architects, in Sandymount will showcase the power of concrete in design, while Container House will demonstrate how 11 shipping containers were wielded and welded to form a fine, Ringsend home, by LiD Architecture.

Another feature will be the dlr RED JETTY, a temporary and moveable park bench designed by A2 Architects in collaboration with Alan Meredith Studio and for the truly curious, the opportunity to see inside a grand canal barge is not to be missed. Three boat owners in the canal basin will open up their small, but perfectly formed floating homes for the public’s delectation.

Pushy parents can get on board for Open House Junior, (only joking), a programme of architecture-themed events developed for young ’uns including design and build workshops and family-friendly “archi-treks”.

According to IAF director, Nathalie Wedlick: “We are all actors on ‘The City as a Stage’ — the architects who design the buildings, the clients who commission them, and the participants who use them.

“When you engage in architecture you actively connect to your life and to your city. It is a truly creative collaboration. Open House Dublin 2017 is an unmissable performance.”

Open House Dublin from mid September and most tours are on a first come, first-served basis, however, a small number of building tours will be available to book on a lottery basis.

For the latest information follow the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) on Facebook and Twitter (@IAFarchitecture #OpenHouseDublin / #IAFlove)

Open House Dublin 2017 is again collaborating with Peter McVerry Trust by offering all proceeds of the Open House “Text to Donate” button to their cause. To donate, text OHD to 50300. Text costs €4. Peter McVerry Trust will receive a minimum of €3.25. (100% of text cost goes to Peter McVerry Trust across most networks. Some providers apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 goes to the charity).

David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and more are going to be the highpoints of this year’s Irish

Antique Dealers Fair at the RDS on September 22-24. And why?

“We will be displaying a collection of signed David Bowie lithographs — including his own charcoal drawing for an album press launch — alongside rare finds from Rihanna, Noel Gallagher and Lady Gaga,” said Laurence Carpenter of Irish-based Pop Icons, which deals mostly in London, New York and Los Angeles. Over 15,000 people are expected to visit the annual fair that manages to combine contemporary design history with the best of Irish antiques.

And this year, attendees will also get a glimpse at the outrageous couture and kit of the rock and pop world thanks to Carpenter. “We will have a mixture of contemporary artists’ costumes such as the headpiece Beyonce wore in the video for ‘Lemonade’, Lady Gaga’s graffiti corset, (below), as well as signed guitars from some of the music world’s top icons such as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Music memorabilia can fetch up to six figures and we will be delighted to value any items that attendees feel have real value and provenance.”

Weldon’s will be displaying an important emerald-cut diamond solitaire ring, worth an estimated €150,000 and the 1950s French ring is 6.79 carats, with I colour and VS clarity, for those with an interest in baubles.

The 52nd fair also offers a full programme of lectures including one by expert on art theft, Julian Radcliffe.

Admission €10 is available at the door.

  • Don’t forget to get to the Vermeer Exhibition before it close on September 17 — tickets cost €15 per individual or €30 for a family.

The Freud exhibition at IMMA, Kilmainham, however, continues until mid-October and is also a must-see, not least because the more salacious details of the artist’s life have not been lost on the red-tops and broadsheets alike. And let’s be fair, who wouldn’t want to see the work by the now, equally-famous grandson of Sigmund Freud.

His passion for women, children horses and dogs is on display, (the order of preference is moot), in this collection, part of a significant loan of 50 of his works, which will be showcased over the next five years, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Tickets are reasonable too, in comparison to the Vermeer — starting at €8 for a single from Wednesday to Sunday, with concessions for OAPs, (free train up anyone?) and free for students and under 18’s. Tuesdays are free for everyone — now that’s making art accessible.

  • Love the colour, love the name — Goat in a Boat is a Skerries shop with some funky interior choices for those who want a little more than vanilla. Check out this marmalade-toned chair, (above), in velvet with rose gold frame for that true, ’70s vibe.

  • Founded in Strandhill, Co Sligo, Voya cosmetics has some great candles and diffusers and is now launching sleepy time bath oils and spruceful shower gels. The candles and diffusers are sleek and lovely things, so the oils might be worth a go. The new range launches this September with bath and shower oil retailing at around €37 for 50ml.

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