The doors of some of Limerick’s most intriguing and historic buildings will open to the public for free during OpenHouse Limerick 2014.
“OpenHouse Limerick 2014 is the 3rd year hosting this annual architectural festival weekend, which is all about showcasing architectural excellence for the public to experience, completely free of charge,” explained Margaret McEvoy, Chairperson of the Limerick OpenHouse Committee. “In this year of Limerick City of Culture, the people of Limerick have another opportunity to explore and engage with buildings of the city and county. A wide and diverse range of Limerick buildings both old and new, with more homes this year, will be open to the public.”
Open House was first established in London in 1992 to show first-rate architecture to the general public, stirring an interest for urban built heritage. Limerick is a member organisation of the Open House Worldwide Family which also includes London, New York, Helsinki, Melbourne, Slovenia, Barcelona and Dublin.
As well as featuring tours of more than 30 buildings of all types and periods, OpenHouse Limerick 2014 will also include a bus tour, lectures, exhibitions, walking tours and children’s workshops. Architecture + Culture are the themes of OpenHouse Limerick 2014, tying in with Limerick City of Culture 2014.
OpenHouse Limerick 2014 will be launched on Friday 3rd October at 5.30pm at the Dance Limerick Space in John’s Square with a performance by art collective Gothicise, a collaboration between Limerick School of Art & Design, LIT, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in UL and independent artists. ‘Waking St. Munchin’ will bring the curse of St. Munchin to rest through cathartic rites of song music and performance. Open House Limerick is supported by the RIAI.
The 19th century railway station house at Patrickswell, the new Mortuary Extension at University Hospital Limerick, Ardnacrusha Power Station, Limerick Circuit Courthouse, the Quaker Meeting House at Punches Cross and Sarsfield Barracks are amongst more than 30 buildings scheduled to be opened to the public, some for the first time, during the third annual initiative from 3rd-5th October.
The medieval Castlegarde building in Cappamore, the new academic block at Glenstal Abbey School, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Munster Council GAA Headquarters at Castletroy will also be opening to the public as part of this year’s initiative, which is hosted by the OpenHouse Limerick Committee.
51 O’Connell Street will be the venue for ‘Mortuary Mosaic’, a portrait of the 19th century chapel by Feeney McMahon Architects and Aglet Architects. The exhibition focuses on the interior spaces and internal decoration of the chapel which has been lost from public view for 30 years. Supported by Limerick City of Culture 2014, the exhibition will be open during each day of OpenHouse Limerick with a presentation by the organisers at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday to Sunday, 69 O’Connell Street will host Beta-Block, an architectural exhibition featuring work in progress by various Limerick architects and asking the question of whether 21st century life can flourish in 18th century houses. The exhibition takes the form of a large architectural model of one Georgian city block, within which complementary visions for future city development are explored. This exhibition is supported by Limerick City of Culture and features a discussion at 3pm on the Saturday and Sunday hosted by architects.
OpenHouse Limerick 2014 will also feature an architectural bus tour with Emma Gilleece, allowing members of the public to hop on and off at buildings designed by Modernist architect Andy Devane (1917–2000) from the 1940s to the 1970s. The two-hour tour, which takes place Saturday 4th October from 11am, covers St. Mary’s Girls School, St. Munchin’s Boys School CBS, St. Munchin’s Girls NS, St. Lelia’s Church, Scoil Mháthair Dé, Dormitory building and the dining hall in Mary Immaculate College.
Tour Guide David Lee will host a walk focusing on the work and achievements of Limerick-based 19th century architect, James Pain. Known for his country homes and churches, he also designed a wide range of other building types. David Lee is an authority Pain and is the author of ‘James Pain Architect’, the first book devoted to the architect’s work. The 75-minute walk commences from Jack Monday’s Coffee House on Thomond Bridge Saturday 4th October at 2pm.
The full programme is available on OpenHouse Limerick 2014: www.openhouselimerick.ie or contact 061-407188 / info@OpenHouseLimerick.ie.