Open Space is a special programme of walking, boat and cycling tours, devised by Alan Mee and David O’Connor of Urban Design Ireland. Open Space focuses on the essential spaces ‘in between’ – from our parks and our squares to our rivers and streets. Alongside last year’s highly popular walking tours of Temple Bar and Smithfield, UDI has devised an extended programme of both historic and contemporary interest. Highlights include a “Back to the Street” walk with architect Gerry Cahill based on his seminal book on the Liberties; a guided tour around the historic Blessington Canal Basin; a walk around Dublin’s new Italian Quarter (Ormond Quay to Upper Abbey Street) by architect George Morris; an exploration of Grand Canal Square and the Campshires; and a one-hour cycling tour of Dublin’s Phoenix Park, led by Hugh Boner of the OPW.
Up to 10,000 people took to Dublin’s streets last year to visit a diverse range of over buildings – from architect-designed modern houses and apartments schemes to historic properties and landmark public buildings. This year’s event will have a particular focus on living architecture – buildings that make up a living city – from our workplaces to our homes; from our administrative centres to our parks and public squares.
At the heart of the Open House event – which was established in London 15 years ago and is now run annually in cities across the world – is the concept that citizens explore their city’s architecture through building visits and walking tours. In many places, architects and students of architecture will be on hand to give an insight into the buildings and to help visitors experience our city and its architecture in a new and unique way.