Facebook’s headquarters, designed by Daniel Libeskind with interiors by Frank Gehry, is among the tech offices opening its doors for the first time as part of Dublin Open House, an annual celebration of the city’s living architecture.
Facebook will be joined by Google’s Gordon House headquarters and Airbnb Warehouse at Hanover Quay, that together have earned the former docks its nickname - Silicon Docks, in recognition of the number of tech companies flooding to the area.
Over the last 11 years, Open House Dublin has become a bustling city-wide celebration of architecture enjoyed by an audience of 33,000 says Nathalie Weadick, director of the Irish Architecture Foundation.
The Foundation set up in 2004, launched Open House Dublin the following year, the third city to do so after London and Tel Aviv. It was quickly followed by New York and Barcelona, and the events now run in 32 cities worldwide.
“In the early days most visitors to Open House were built environment professionals and then in 2008 we turned a corner and began attracting the public”, says Weadick.
“That’s when we knew it was working, and we were targeting the right people—teachers, newsagents, taxi drivers—the people who can feel disassociated from how things happen in the built environment. Open House is very good for telling people about that, and empowering them to get more involved in a confident way in their city,” she says.
Weadick, who has just been made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in recognition of “the enormous contribution she has made to architecture,” has been at the heart of developing Open House Dublin.
One of the big shifts she has noticed is the popularity of different types of architecture from Georgian Dublin into curiosity about more contemporary design “indicating that knowledge has been passed on” she says.There are 90 buildings open during the weekend, from the historic to the modern, offices to domestic homes, and a programme of 50 talks in the Open House Plus programme.
“There’s a great buzz around the city for that weekend,” she says.
Buildings are open on October 15 from 11am to 4pm, and on October 16, from 12pm or 2pm, until 4pm. All building tours and talks are free but some require pre-booking and tickets are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.