What is the IAF?

The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) is an independent non-profit arts organisation that communicates architecture as a cultural force. We also advocate for a built environment shaped through discussion and engagement with all citizens. Our programme of exhibitions, talks, film screenings, symposia, competitions, publications, school and community workshops, is intended to generate dialogue as well as critically engage a diverse public. Founded in 2005, we will launch our 2019—2023 strategy early next year, charting a course for our local, national and international activities in the future.

We present Open House Dublin each year as part of a rich and unique offering. Key projects of the Irish Architecture Foundation, in addition to Open House Dublin, are:


Our annual talks programme sponsored by Arup, NEWNOWNEXT reveals the current, new and next generation ideas and architects from across the globe. Previous speakers include Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects (IE), Karolina Keyzer (SE), Jeanne Gang (US), Tatiana Bilbao (MX), Kunle Adeyemi (NG), Winy Maas, MVRDV (NL) and most recently Bjarke Ingels, BIG (DK). NEWNOWNEXT comes to Cork’s Crawford Gallery on 18 October with a talk by Mexican architect Rozana Montiel.

National Architects in Schools Initiative

Delivered nationally by the IAF since 2013, NASI places architects and architectural graduates in Transition Year classrooms in 30 schools all over Ireland to introduce young people to architecture, design, problem solving and debate about our places and spaces. Working in close collaboration with teachers, architects guide students through a hands-on design process through which they reimagine their schools, social spaces and local environments. The results of the project are exhibited annually, with the 2018 exhibition taking place at Waterford Festival of Architecture earlier this year. To see updates from schools around the country, visit

Beyond Participation

A bi-annual international conference in Dublin, Beyond Participation happened in 2016 in the Light House Cinema and in 2018 in Project Arts Centre and presented and discussed ideas of architecture, community, democracy, responsibility and the meaning of the things we design. The conference has been curated by Tara Kennedy and the IAF and has featured presentations from Irish architect of Calais Builds Gráinne Hassett, Irena Bauman of Bauman Lyons Architects, Alex de Rijke of dRMM and Stefan Laxness of Turner Prize-nominated practice Forensic Architecture.

The Play Park

Breaking ground in early 2019, The Play Park is a play, skate and BMX park which will be sited in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10. The design brief for the park was written by the Ballyfermot community, facilitated through an innovative and collaborative People First Design Process led by the IAF and funded by the Matheson Foundation. An international competition to design the park was won by London practice Relational Urbanism and the park’s construction is funded by Dublin City Council. Keep up to date with all things Play Park on the Facebook page

IAF Membership: Open House all year round!

Keep the doors of Dublin open to you regardless of the time of year: become a member of the IAF and enjoy exclusive access to buildings and tours across Dublin all year round, such as the National Gallery of Ireland, Royal Hibernian Academy, the Law Society of Ireland, walking tours of Dublin neighbourhoods and even visits to beautiful contemporary private homes. Access special monthly member-only events, IAF merchandise, limited edition prints, discounts — the list goes on and on! But most importantly of all, IAF members give vital support, ensuring that Open House Dublin, our schools and learning programme, our talks and exhibitions and more can happen each year.

Sign up today and become a supporter of our work to make great architecture accessible to all:

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People like you make Open House Dublin possible!

Open House Dublin is presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF): a non-profit arts organisation that communicates the value of architecture.

The IAF presents Open House Dublin each year as just one part of a rich and unique offering. Our year-round programme includes exhibitions, talks, film screenings, symposia, competitions, publications, school and community workshops. You can help to secure our future by becoming an IAF member, or simply by donating directly.

Become a Member     Donate

Members enjoy perks which include: beating the OHD queues, private tours, partner discounts; and limited-edition IAF publications and prints. Architects can also claim structured CPD at all IAF events.