Architecture is Visionary

‘Architecture is Visionary’ is the title for this years festival, with a fantastic programme of events that will inspire, enthuse, provoke and entertain. The concept will not only demonstrate Limerick’s architectural talent but also allow people to have a say in how architects and communities can work together to address visionary change at a time when Limerick is embracing an open-minded approach to design, urban planning and construction techniques strengthening its attractiveness and diversity.

‘Visionary’ is fundamental to how people experience their environment, and Limerick is no different holding a rich repository of visionary interventions old and new. This year’s festival will celebrate those interventions through talks, discussions, short films, public exhibitions, walking tours, family workshops and building tours based around 5 key themes:

Global Visionaries:

Showcasing Limerick as a global crossroads where visionary people and places resonate. Highlights include:

Keynote talk on Friday 18th October at 6pm in St Mary’s Cathedral by global urbanism guru Riccardo Marini, Former Director with Gehl architects, Copenhagen; Founding Marini Urbanismo in 2017, Riccardo will discuss ‘place-making’, sharing insights reflecting how people must be central to the process and in endeavours to rethink our existing space.

Modernism at the Movies, showing on Thursday 17th October on Belltable Arts Centre, will explore modernist architecture in Limerick through a film screening event of ‘Generate The State’. This film documents the visionary building and construction techniques of Ardnacrusha, the largest building project in the world at the time in 1929, (collaboration Belltable). Tours of Ardnacrusha Power Station will take place on Sunday 20th October. 

Following a 2-month voyage to Greenland, the Ilen Project will give a presentation of Salmon’s Wake; A North Atlantic Cultural and Educational Voyage in St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday 19th October at 5pm, followed by The Ilen’s formal registration. The Ilen described as one of Ireland’s last timber-built ocean-going sailing ships, was designed by Limerick man Conor O’Brien and built in Baltimore in 1926, she was delivered by Munster men to the Falkland Islands where she served valiantly for seventy years.

Shared Visionaries:

How architecture shapes collective visionaries. Highlights include:

OpenHouse Junior with Escape Out of the Box, Saturday 19th October at 11am – 1pm in The Hunt Museum . Suitable for 7-10 years.

Limerick Treasure Hunt: Exploring architectural heritage in Limerick city, running between 12pm – 5pm from Belltable on Saturday 19th October. Suited for children 4-12 years. In association with Bualadh Bos children's festival.

Sketch in the City a new, all-ages and abilities-inclusive sketching and photography event taking place in Cleeves Factory on Saturday 19th October from 12pm – 3pm.

Historical Visionaries:

Stories of well-known Limerick landmarks and hidden corners. Highlights include:

A curated exhibition at Shannon Rowing Club on Sunday 20th October between 12pm – 2pm about the work of  William Clifford Smith 1882-1954, in collaboration with NMA Architects and a separate curated building tour featuring Limerick landmark projects.

The Other Georgian Limerick, an Historical Walking Tour led by archaeologist John Elliott on Sunday 20th October at 2pm, will follow the history of Nicholas Street, 

Peter Tail Trail, taking in Peter Tait’s first shirt factory on Bedford Row (Sharon Slater at 2pm on Saturday 19th October at Bedford Hotel) and his first residence at Tait House, Southill (3.30pm on Saturday 19th October). Bus transport will be provided.

A Tea Tour at M.Cahill’s Tobacco and Snuff Factory, 47 Wickham Street, 2pm on Saturday 19th October, will include a history of the building and one of Limerick’s oldest shops since it was established in 1870.

Visionary Homes:

Celebrating Limerick’s rich housing and the visions embedded within it. Highlights include:

Tours of residential projects including Kilkerrin, Clancy’s Strand (Saturday 19th October from 1–3pm), Fortmary Park by James Corbett Architects (Saturday 19th October from 2pm-5pm), Keeper House and Lodge by Scott Tallon Walker (Sunday 20th October at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm), and 2 Moyola Terrace, Ennis Road (Sunday 20th October from 2.30pm – 4pm). 

Civic Visionaries:

How visionary architecture addresses environmental, social and economic sustainability and how it can optimise the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Highlights include:

RIAI Public Choice Awards 2019 winner Scoil Chríost Rí, Boys National School by Drake Hourigan Architects (Saturday 19th October from 11am-1pm); RIAI New Build Workplace Award 2019 winner Gardens International Office by Carr Cotter Naessans (Saturday 19th October 12pm and 1pm), The Courthouse on Mulgrave Street designed by Wilson Architecture (Saturday 19th October 2-4pm), New Glucksman Library at UL by RKD Architects (12pm, 1pm-3pm Sunday 20th October), and Glenstal Library by Leyden Hassett and Associates (Sunday 20th October 12pm and 1pm).