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Open House Dublin 2010

October 19, 2010

Been quite busy as of late. Open House Dublin 2010 was a great success, with the tours that require booking selling out within a few hours. This was the first year I volunteered for the event, and was part of the Open House Junior team involved in the Scéal in the City workshop situated at the National Leprechaun Museum.

The workshop involved a guided family tour of Capel Street, which dates from the last quarter of the 17th century and was once one of Dublin’s premier commercial streets and was located only a brief walk away from the museum where children and adults were told of the history that saturated the area. Along the tour, children drew upon architectural drawings of the elevations/facades of the street that dated from the over a century ago and then to note the changes that had made to the buildings that were evident today.  Upon returning to the museum, the children were asked to imagine what Capel Street could be like in the future and to draw their ideas once again upon the architectural drawings.

I always find such workshops where children are asked to give their ideas what the future urban fabric could be like, and in the case of this workshop, the results had similarities with the Cardboard City workshop.  Streets void of concrete paving and tarmacadum roads, but instead planes of lush grass lined with colourful shrubbery and trees. The roofscape was also found to an area of the most imagination and play. Some drawings were not too dissimilar to the Park in the Sky project designed by the Dublin Central Architects partnership.

I was also fortunate enough to receive a free tour of the museum led by the tour guide Seamus (great enthusiastic guy and fantastic tour guide). Although I am interested by Irish folklore and thankfully the museum does not solely focus on the mythology surrounding leprechauns but gives a broader and more enriched look at the history of Irish folklore, I was more taken by Tom O’ Rahilly’s design and the architecture he created in the museum. The entrance tunnel, pictured below by Ros Kavanagh, was a particular highlight. Optical illusion meets architecture is right up my street. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to go on his guided tour of the museum, but it was still interesting to see how he transformed what was previously a FAS building into a magical tourist haven.

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