5 Things to see at Open House 2014

Posted October 15, 2014 in More

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Open House Dublin is a unique event, presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation and we at Totally Dublin are thrilled to once again be part of this year’s event. From 17th to 19th October, over a hundred tours, events and workshops will invite you to explore the rich architecture, history and historical architecture of the fine city we call home. As always the events are completely free, with most available on a first-come basis. The list below is but a smattering of the array of events on offer as part of Open House 2014 so be sure to check their website for full listing or the handy pullout centrefold in our current issue, on the streets right now!




Casino at Marino

Friday 17 October, 11.00am – 5.00pm,

Saturday 18 October, 11.00am – 5.00pm, 

Sunday 19 October, 12.00pm – 5.00pm

The Casino at Marino is the first 18th century Neo Classical building to be privately commissioned in Ireland and one of the finest examples of the style at this scale in the city if not the whole of Europe. The Casino, meaning small house, was designed as a pleasure house for the Earl of Charlemont and surprisingly, considering it’s appearance from the exterior, contains 16 finely decorated rooms, rich in subtlety and design. A tour of the Casino offers a particular and rare insight into the luxurious lifestyle Dublin’s upper-crust in times gone by. The Casino was also featured in our Nice Gaff series, with a tribute written by Andy Griffin of Urban Agency.




Greek Orthodox Church

Saturday 18 October, 11.00am – 5.00pm

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation became a church in 1994 when the Greek Orthodox Community in Ireland bought the building. Following its consecration it became their place of worship. Open House isn’t all about exploring architecture of our own distant past but seizing on the opportunity to fully appreciate buildings with fascinating stories to tell that you might have otherwise simply walked by. This invitation to get a taste of one of Dublin’s lesser-seen religious circles is an opportunity not to be missed and is thoroughly in keeping with the ‘Learning from Buildings’ theme of the festival. Although it is difficult to replicate Greek Orthodox Church architecture in an existing building, the church interior has been arranged to resemble the byzantine architectural rhythm of ‘vasilica with a dome’, which first appeared around 600 A.D. Its interior is modelled on the 14th century Byzantine Basilica of the Dormition in Thessaly, Greece.




Pearse House Flats

Saturday 18 October, 11.00am – 5.00pm

Sunday 19 October, 12.00pm – 5.00pm

The largest municipal housing structure in the State and a fine example of Herbert Simms’ output as Housing Architect, with 76 flats in the original contract and six further blocks added a year later, Pearse House is a monumental artifact of a crucial time in our Capital’s history. Pearse House presents a relatively closed and planar facade to the surrounding streets, opening up on the block’s interior where residents access their homes along open-air decks. On view is Flat 3b which has been brought back in time to the 1930s by photographer Jeanette Lowe, whose grandmother Bridget Ashmore was one of the complex’s first residents. The promise of being taken back and getting a sense of what these great edifices we now take for granted were like in their early days promises to be a treat. Also, one of our boys in the trenches, Daniel Gray, recently penned a charming piece touching on the history of Pearse House and the late, great Mr. Simms that is certainly worthy of you attention: http://weareheremagazine.com/features/the-life-and-death-of-herbert-simms/




Number 31, Leeson Close

Sunday 19 October, 12.00pm – 5.00pm

Now a luxury guesthouse, Number 31 was a Georgian mews owned and converted by notoriously prickly architect Sam Stephenson as his residence. Victim of no shortage of derision over the decades as it would occasionally feature in dark corners of the national media, of late, Number 31’s modernist style has been afforded the re-evaluation it has so long deserved. In sharp contrast to 1970s excess Number 31 was been accused of, the space it’s self is far from ostentatious, in fact, one of the most striking characteristics of the residence is the remarkable economy of space displayed by Stephenson in his design. The twin notions of hierarchy and order characterize the mews from floor to ceiling. The conversation pit that makes up the living area’s centerpiece, an inclusion that probably suffered the most sniping over the life of the building, is perhaps the detail that is now most worthy of praise. In an age where so much time spent ‘in conversation’ is actually spent staring silently at our phones in the company of mates, a primary living space designed specifically for dialogue as opposed to the consumption of audio/visual stimuli is a genuine a refreshing eye-opener. Another building that has been featured in our Nice Gaff series, with a tribute from architect Hugo Lamont.




No.9/9A Aungier St.

Saturday 18 October, 11.00am – 2.00pm

Sunday 19 October, 12.00pm – 3.00pm

No.9/9a is emblematic of a wider school of thought that drives Open House as an endeavor. Concealed behind the entirely unassuming 20th century façade of the building hides an insight into a crucial and fascinating point of our city’s history. The Aungier Estate was the first planned suburb planned outside the confines of the City walls and within 9/9A there stands a house that dates back to 1664. Aungier Street was in it’s early days one of the city’s most stylish and distinguished district, the locale of choice for the high-ranking military personnel, aristocrats and the nobility. To mark the 350th anniversary of the building 9/9A has been added to the Open House calendar. These will be some of the first public tours of the space ever offered and promises to offer a truly unique glimpse into a vital and oft-forgotten part of Dublin’s urban legacy.


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