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Ste Murray/Open House
behind the door

Five amazing properties to get a peek into during Open House Dublin

Homes, beautiful homes.

THERE ARE SOME incredible buildings around the capital, and unfortunately you aren’t allowed to get a look into all of them. Well, you could try, but we’re not about encouraging law breaking around these parts.

Thankfully you won’t have to undertake anything illegal to get a look into the likes of the American Embassy, Dublin City Archive, Georgian Townhouse or Government Buildings next weekend.

During Open House (17 – 19 October) some of Dublin’s most intriguing, incredible and eye-catching buildings will be free to visit.

We’ve picked some of our favourites, but you’ll find the whole list over at OpenHouse’s official website – be warned that you need to book a visit to some of them.

Changing face of Dublin

Open House coordinator Phoebe Brady is a long-time attendee of the festival, so for her first year in the role she relished looking at it from the other side. Some small things have been changed – like the brochure being a large map, and the website being updated.

The theme this year is ‘learning from buildings’, explained Brady.

“It’s a broad theme – you can learn from buildings in a number of different ways.” There are educational buildings, the new DLR Lexicon library in Dun Laoghaire, old historic structures on Aungier St.

They also look at what’s new and what’s just been built. “We try best as we can to get an even spread across northside and southside,” added Brady.

A further element is that residential homes are also featured. “We would approach the architect,” explains Brady of how these are planned. “They would suggest a project, it might be based on the relationship they have with the client.”

Some of the residential homes feature stunning sympathetic extensions onto older buildings, while others are thoroughly modern affairs.

“There seems to be more of a collaborative process in modern architecture,” said Brady. “A conversation between client and architect.”

She also notes that some new structures, like at the Merrion Cricket Club, play with materials, while large projects like the DLR Lexicon and Blackrock Institute aim to get a lot of light into large communal spaces.

Highlights of Open House

AirBnB Headquarters

Photographer Credit : Ed Reeve Ed Reeve Ed Reeve

Let’s face it – not many of us will get to work in an office this unusual, so a visit here is a must. Heneghen Peng have designed a workspace crammed with office pods, a ‘pub’ in the entrance area, and all manner of quirk.

No 9/9a Aungier St

03_Aungier Street 9-9A _MESH Architects_Photo Tom McGimpsey

This incredible building survives from 1664, and was part of the Aungier Estate, the fist planned suburb outside the old walls of Dublin city. Its facade dates to the 1940s, so you have to go inside (no children allowed due to the building’s condition) to see what gems lie beyond. History nerds unite.

DLR Lexicon

07_dlr LexIcon_photo Carr Cotter Naessens_Photo Carr Cotter Naessens

It’s the new library in Dun Laoghaire, and it’s pretty incredible inside. Its creation wasn’t without controversy (see our trip to it here before it opened) so the curious will love to have a nose around.

The Nest House

The Nest House_photo by Urban Agency 09

Just imagine if this was your family home. If you love clean lines, Scandinavian mid-century furniture and the thrill of walking up steps with no railing, you’ll adore this house.

10 Seafield Avenue

House in Clontarf Ste Murray Ste Murray

This two-storey extension transforms a typical 1930s semi-d into something a lot more thrilling. (Entry by email lottery)

All pics courtesy of Open House.

VIDEO: What the American Embassy has in common with an Aran jumper>

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