OHD 2018: Faces and Places – Concrete Collar

Posted 8 months ago in More

Bello Bar
Taphouse spring-19 banner

Ahead of this year’s Open House Dublin (OHD) we’ve teamed up with our pals the Irish Architecture Foundation. who have invited some of Dublin’s creative souls to select their top five buildings or events using the ‘my list’ option on the Open House website.

To date we’ve seen selections including the five picks of Emma Clarke of Dublin Ghost Signs, Oisín Jacob of alt-rock band Heroes in Hiding, illustrator and muralist and signpainter Holly Pereira  and furniture designer and maker Simon Doyle. Next up, Concrete Collar present their five highlights from the Open House Dublin 2018 programme.

From desirable digs to a university staff speakeasy, Concrete Collar’s Open House Dublin shortlist is a chance to peer into the private spaces of Dubliners and educators alike.


Our route begins on the Northside at David Leech’s widely lauded ‘Conservatory Room’. The crosshatch timber ceilingscape in pink and green cleverly connects inside to out. Its palette is bound to pique the interest of Wes Anderson fans. Under foot, marble tiles are embedded in the concrete floor like diamonds in the rough.


Nearby, the ironically-titled ‘Normal House’ is our next stop. Inspired by his London visit to the social housing of Neave Brown, we admire architect Thomas O Brien’s humble description of the house as ‘straightforward’.

The fireplace, plywood surfaces and sculptural façade act as understated interventions in this domestic project.

Closer to the city, conservationists Shaffrey Architects have been forensic in their telling of 14 Henrietta Street’s colourful and in parts harrowing, history. In its 278 years, the townhouse has been home to Lords and Ladies, tenement dwellers and at one point, even a horse. Each room respectfully unveils a different phase in the building’s life.



Next at Trinity College, bask in the board-marked concrete surrounds of Berkeley Library. Inside, this cavernous example of brutalism has an unexpected serenity. Its built-in concrete desks were the envy of many UCD architecture students.


You’ll be thirsty by now so cross the university’s Front Square to de Blacam and Meagher’s 1980s replica of the famous American Bar by Adolf Loos. The award winning design is tucked away in a quiet corner of Trinity’s senior common room.

Words: Concrete Collar

Concrete Collar is an award-winning online, soon-to-be-relaunched destination exploring fashion and architecture.

Open House Dublin Weekend takes place 12 – 14 October 2018.  For full details check out openhousedublin.com The weekend is organised by Irish Architecture Foundation.



The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.