Open House Dublin 2020 to showcase the “Extraordinary Ordinary” in Irish design and architecture


– A series of films on Dublin’s architecture to be screened at Meeting House Square for Open House Dublin 2020 –

In keeping with this extraordinary year, the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Open House Dublin 2020 programme will celebrate the resilience, potential and talent in architecture and urban design within our city. A series of short films celebrating and showcasing the architecture of Dublin city will premiere online as part of the annual Festival which takes place between the 8th and 11th October.

Open House Dublin was launched today by Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, alongside Brian Moran, Chair of the Irish Architecture Foundation, at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar which will host open air events as part of this year’s programme.

Trinity College Dublin’s replica of Vienna’s famous Loos Bar; Pritzker Prize winners Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara’s vision for the new Parnell Square City Library; and young BMXers from Ballyfermot’s Playpark are just some of the film shorts’ topics which will be premiered online Friday, 9th October and screened for the public between 6pm and 10pm on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th October in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin. 

Celebrating its 15th year, Open House Dublin 2020 will be “Online and Onsite”, with programme highlights including:

  • The Big Debate, titled “Dublin’s Fair City”, with speakers including Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, Sinead Burke, writer and activist, Liam Herrick, Executive Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect. The debate will kick off the weekend’s events and will be live-streamed on Thursday, 8th October;
  • A programme of events for children, including Minecraft challenges, and online workshops hosted by the Chester Beatty Library, Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Fighting Words, among others;
  • Tours of some of Dublin’s best-known buildings including Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Castle, and Busáras, as well as tours of a number of Dublin City Council’s housing developments;
  • ‘On-Site’ Architect film series – online tours of residential projects by a selection of Dublin’s architects.

“Open House Dublin is an opportunity for us to experience and engage with the unique and diverse architecture and urban landscape of our capital city, while raising awareness of and acknowledging the strength and value of contemporary Irish architecture and design. This year is an extraordinary one for many reasons, but one positive is that it as has made people more aware of their local surroundings and this weekend is an excellent opportunity for people to learn more about their local built environment”, said Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, speaking at the launch of Open House Dublin in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, today (17.09.2020).

Also commenting at the launch, Minister Noonan said: “I would like to congratulate Open House Dublin for adapting so creatively to the challenges presented by Covid-19. The programme offers something of interest to people of all ages; while it celebrates the city’s built heritage, it highlights that architecture is not just about our grand, historic buildings but equally about the spaces we all live and work in today. I am delighted that this year’s Open House will include a debate about how to make the city more liveable for everyone in our society.”

Marking the significance of this year’s Open House Dublin, Brian Moran, Chair of the IAF, said: “2020 is a special year for the IAF and Open House Dublin, marking our 15th anniversary. While this year’s Open House Dublin is taking place in a much different environment to what we could have imagined at the outset of the year, we have worked hard to put together a programme of events that celebrates Dublin’s architecture and reflects the values of Open House Dublin.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed so much for all of us. Many of us have rediscovered our communities and neighbourhoods and uncovered the extraordinary in the everyday. This extraordinary year, Open House Dublin will celebrate the resilience, exceptional potential and talent in architecture and urban design within our city and nation. 

“Every event this year is free to attend, accessible to everyone with internet access across the world, as well as featuring a number of physical events adhering to public health guidelines. The outbreak of Covid-19 forced us to think outside the box as to how we normally run Open House Dublin, and our film shorts capture the diverse architectural landscape of the city and offer a fresh perspective to some of our well-known buildings, while highlighting some lesser-known architectural wonders such as the Loos Bar in Trinity College Dublin.

“This year’s ‘Big Debate’ will ask the question as to whether Dublin is a fair city – questioning both the beauty of the capital as well as focusing on societal inequalities and the role of architecture in helping to address these.

“We are excited and proud of our programme of events and look forward to bringing Open House Dublin to a bigger audience than ever before.”

The full programme of events for Open House Dublin is available here:


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