The RIAI Retired Architects Forum

Margaret Coyle, Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI).

The Forum for Retired Members and Fellows of the RIAI was recently set up with the intention of providing a social and cultural focus for some 300 retired architects.

Architects have a life-long interest in architecture, cities, public spaces and civic society, as well as the knowledge and experience to contribute to the conversation and culture around our shared environment. We are planning a programme of visits and talks on buildings and places of interest, both newly completed and particularly from the past 50 years or so. We would like to hear the stories of those 20th century buildings from the architects who designed them.

The Forum offered to contribute to Open House 2021 and we are delighted to be facilitating a number of tours for the IAF, with the emphasis this year on walking and cycling. The architects leading the tours will be combining their knowledge as local residents with expert insights, which should provide a unique and enjoyable experience.

Susan Roundtree will lead a walk around Mountpleasant Square in Ranelagh. This late Georgian Square was constructed in the early 19th century as the city expanded towards the developing village of Ranelagh. The quality of the square lies in its unique layout (curved terraces) and the survival of the architectural character of the buildings for almost 200 years. Susan will be looking at how the square was developed, its context in relation to the city, and its particular architecture in terms of house types and details.

Mountpleasant Square. Image from Susan Roundtree.

Bryan O’Rourke will lead a cycle tour along the wooded River Liffey valley via the Irish National War Memorial Gardens to Chapelizod. He will talk about the special character of this historic village, its public space and its landmark and vernacular buildings. The tour will allow participants to experience the integration of Chapelizod’s riverside amenities with well-designed walking and cycling routes.

Chapelizod. Image from Bryan O’Rourke.

Angela Rolfe will lead a walk along Inchicore Road to Kilmainham. This historic route (Slighe Mor) lies on the ridge between the Liffey and Camac Rivers. Angela will talk about the strategic importance of the road and its landmark buildings and places, including the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham Courthouse and Gaol, the Kilmainham and Hibernian Mills, the Congregational churches and the Irish National War Memorial Gardens which together form a remarkable repository of social and cultural history.

Civic Space, Kilmainham. Image from Angela Rolfe.

Angela Rolfe will also lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the Clock Tower Building at Dublin Castle and share the background context of its restoration and extension for the Chester Beatty.

Margaret Coyle, RIAI

Image right: supplied by Angela Rolfe.



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