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Curator Sought for Dublin Culture Night at the RIAI – Friday 22 September ‘Architecture Inside Out’

Published: Monday, July 10, 2017

Following on from our successful participation in Dublin Culture Night 2015 when over 1500 people visited the RIAI and experienced UNEARTH, a sculpture rising from the RIAI basement by NósWorkshop, the RIAI will participate again in 2017.

We are currently looking for a Curator to develop and implement a project at the RIAI that will engage the public with Architecture. We are particularly interested to hear from graduates and emerging architects and emerging architectural technologists.

The RIAI’s Architecture and Public Affairs Committee has set the working theme of ‘Architecture Inside Out’ – the idea being that the RIAI will be ‘communicating’ out to the street, the square and the public on the evening of Culture Night, which runs from 5pm-11pm on Friday 22 September.  An outline budget of ca €3,000 will be available to the project and the RIAI will actively seek sponsorship.

We are looking for a Curator and ideas that

• Respond to the theme of ‘Architecture Inside Out’ and public engagement
• Utilise the RIAI’s premises (ground floor and possibly basement) in an imaginative and engaging way
• Address practical issues  - i.e. the project has to facilitate the movement of a high volume of visitors on the night; including all aspects of health and safety
• Consider easy installation and removal of any works
• Work to a budget

Deadline: Please submit your ideas – as a PDF of no more than 2 A4 pages – by 21 July. We hope to have a Curator appointed by early August. 

Please send your PDF to Sandra O’Connell, Architecture and Communications Director at the RIAI, soconnell@riai.ie


About the Building - Georgian Townhouse at No 8 Merrion Square

The Georgian townhouse at No 8 Merrion Square was built between 1763 and 1765 by the carpenter Robert Price and the bricklayer John Wilson on lands leased from the Viscount Fitzwilliam on a 99-year lease. The house is a typical Georgian three-bay, four-storey over basement brick building with entrance and staircase halls to one side and a three-bay reception room to the front of the first floor. Robert Price sublet the house in 1767 to the MP for County Leitrim, the Honourable Theophilus Jones, Privy Councillor. At the time, a house on Merrion Square was highly fashionable and considered essential for social success.

However with the Act of Union in 1800 and the abolition of the Irish Parliament, the square lost many of its residents. Throughout the 19th century, No. 8 had a varied residency and many have left their mark on the building. This Georgian townhouse is therefore a collection of changing fashions from different historic periods. Several changes, including the adding of a two-storey return to accommodate a kitchen and storage, were made for example after Colonel St. John Blacker took over the lease in 1831.  More building improvements took place in the early 20th century when the Cryan family took up residence. Mrs Mary Cryan sold the leasehold in 1924 to the RIAI which has been based in the building ever since. The cost, including stamp duty and repairs, came to £3,123 14s 2d at the time. The RIAI’s Council Minutes of 1926 stated: “The acquisition of No. 8 Merrion Square has proved during the first full session working in it to have been a move in the right direction.”

This event is kindly supported by ARUP 

Categories: Competitions


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