Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Best of all the Rest

When I last posted about Open House Dublin, it was a calm Sunday night, and there were almost fifty events sitting on the OHD website, ready to be booked by thousands of eager visitors the following day. Cut to Monday morning, and the website got so many hits in such a short space of time, it crashed for a few minutes. Needless to say, all the prebook tours (which equals over 3000 bookings) were gone in no time. If you missed out, because you arrived to the frenzy more than fifteen minutes after everyone else, don't worry! Over 100 events don't require booking at all - just rock up to a building/event at the time specified on the website - and here's the I Like Local* guide to the best of all the rest this weekend:

Church of St George & St Thomas
This Palladian-style church (pictured above by Alice Clancy) won the first ever RIAI Gold Medal back in the 1920s, and its clever conversion by Clancy Moore Architects then went on to win an RIAI award last year. Saturday 9 October, 10am - 5pm.

Henrietta Street Walking Tour
Henrietta Street, Dublin 1, is one of Dublin's earliest Georgian streets, with construction beginning there in the 1720s. The buildings that are maintained on the street are maintained beautifully, but much of the street fell into disrepair when the buildings were used as tenements. Since then, Dublin City Council have put a conservation plan into action, and this tour, led by the City Heritage Officer, Charles Duggan and writer Dr. John Montague, discusses the past, present and plan for the future of the street. Saturday 9 October, 1pm.

The Irish Film Institute is one of my favourite places in Dublin. Full stop. They show movies, and movies are fun to watch, and the café's great, and the chairs in the café are very attractive. Many boxes ticked. Architects of the conversion from Quaker meeting house to cinema in the 90s, O'Donnell + Tuomey returned recently to convert an upstairs space into a third cinema, and they lead tours of the space on Saturday 9 October, 10am - 1pm. Also, while you're there, go for a screening of archive footage of the construction of a number of buildings in Dublin including Abbey Theatre and Liberty Hall.

Lucky Lane Mews Housing
Peter Carroll of A2 Architects has turned wanting a house of his own into a collaborative effort with his neighbours to create a series of mews houses on a lane they all named themselves. Go along for a charming story, and some really tasty interiors. Saturday 9 October, 10am - 5pm.

Docklands Open Spaces
The Dublin Docklands must be one of the most interesting places in town. It's as if the city stopped at Custom House, and then in no time at all, a whole new quarter sprang up. This walk with Susan Cogan, architect with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, will definitely be interesting and insightful. Sunday 10 October, 2, 3 and 4pm.

Liberty Hall: A Documentary
Last year I made it up to the roof terrace of one of Dublin's most prominent love/hate buildings. This year I hope to watch Paddy Cahill's documentary on the building in City Arts on Friday 8 October, 6.30pm.

Iveagh Trust Museum Flat
The Iveagh Trust buildings consist of social and affordable housing built by the Guinness family at the beginning of the 20th century. Most units within the buildings are still used for housing, but the Museum Flat is one unit preserved in the style of it's last tenant, Nellie Molloy, whose family lived there since the 1920s. Saturday 9 October, 10am - 1pm.

Clontarf Pumphouse
dePaor architects' Pumphouse in Clontarf (pictured above by Anna Hofheinz) is way more sculpture than sewage, no?! Sunday 10 October, 12 - 5pm. And right nearby...

Red Stables Artists' Studios
Yet another stamp left on the city by the Guinness family, the stables in St. Anne's Park, Raheny, have been cleverly restored as artists' studios run by Dublin City Council. Go along for ain interesting tour, a tasty coffee in the café and a walk around the park. Sunday 10 October, 12 - 5pm.

Henry J. Lyons Architects Studios
Henry J. Lyons Architects are possibly best known for their recent award-winning job on the Criminal Courts of Justice (also open, Saturday afternoon), but they've designed themselves some tasty studio space in a converted building on Pearse Street too. Well worth a look. Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 October, 10am - 1pm.

Designed by O'Donnell + Tuomey, Timberyard is a striking-looking housing scheme on Cork Street, but perhaps more notably, it's one of seven Irish buildings nominated by the World Architecture Festival, where Grafton Architects won Building of the Year in 2008. Visit it on Saturday 9 October, 2 - 5pm.

Summer Row Community Garden
Summer Row is one of the many inspiring urban gardens opening up for OHD this year. This one's just off North Circular Road (the Croker end), go along for a warm fuzzy feeling :) Sunday 10 October, 12 - 5pm.

Stoney Road Press
Open House Dublin tends to strike a pretty good balance between buildings whose architectural value reigns supreme, and buildings whose day-to-day activities deserve more attention. Stoney Road Press, for me, fits into the latter category. A fine art publishing and editioning house, the Press produces work for many Irish artists, including Brian O'Doherty, Louis le Brocquy and Patrick Scott. Go along for artsy chats and demonstrations (with rollers! Image below by Aine Kierans). Sunday 10 October, 12 - 5pm.