Bringing the conversation on architecture into the public domain

The inaugural Architecture at the Edge festival opens next Friday 29th September with a half day public symposium entitled ‘Placemaking’, to be held at the O’Donoghue Centre NUI, Galway.  The event will provide an opportunity for architects, planners, designers, creatives and local communities to talk about the shape of our built environment.   What makes a great place to live? Who is involved in the making of places in which we live, work and play? How can we make more of our public places? 

These are just some of the questions to be explored at the symposium. 

On Sunday 01st October, Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural & Community Development will officially launch Buildings of Mayo Photographic Exhibition which is curated and presented as a joint venture between the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltachtin association with Mayo County Council.   Visitors to the exhibition can also enjoy a guided tour of North Mayo Heritage Centre and Enniscoe House.

“We are thrilled to have so many events taking place in Mayo in our first festival”, stated Frank Monahan, Festival Director.  “In addition to this exhibition, a number of public and private buildings will open to the public with special architecturally led tours of the participating properties.  Highlights in County Mayo include free tours of Turlough Park House, Castlebar, Westport House and The Knock Basilica, which has recently benefited from a major upgrade.

“On Saturday 30th September, Simon Wall MRIAI, Westport Town Architect will give an illustrated talk on Westport’s holistic community approach to Town Planning and Heritage over the past two decades.  The talk will be hosted in the town’s newly completed Town Hall Theatre overlooking the Octagon and will be popular with communities and professionals who are interested in the successful urban regeneration of rural Irish towns”, he added.

On Sunday 01st October, Averil Staunton will present her research into the stained-glass windows by Harry Clarke at St. Mary's RC Church, Ballinrobe, County Mayo.  Commenced in 1849 and completed in 1859 St. Mary's RC Church is renowned for the fine artistic importance of the windows supplied by Harry Clarke Stained Glass Studios of Dublin to a design that was originally intended for Saint Peter's Catholic Church in Phibsboro, Dublin.

Day-long tours on offer during the festival include the Lough Corrib tour on Saturday 30th September, which will feature a guided visit of Ross Errilly Friary, a private tour of Ashford Castle, a visit to the new Fishers of Men installation in Cong Woods and guided tour of the ancient church ruins on Inchagoill Island on Lough Corrib.    On Sunday 01st October, a guided tour of Connemara will invite audiences to explore Leagaun House in Moycullen, Kylemore Abbey, GMIT Letterfrack and the Marconi Station at Derrigimlagh.  

“Most events are free, but spaces are limited, so we would urge people to book their tickets at the festival website    In addition to the tours, walks and open buildings, the Edible Architecture competition will take place in Galway City Museum between 12 and 1pm on Sunday October 01.  Budding architectural chefs are invited to display their creations with three prize categories open to primary school and secondary school students as well as adults – it promises to be an intriguing event” concluded Frank Monahan.

Architecture at the Edge is kindly supported by Mayo County Council, Clár Éire Ildánach / Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022, Galway County Council, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht - Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015, Galway City Council, NUI, Galway and The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland