• 08 Oct 2021

Ireland features in new European Report - Towards a Shared Culture of Architecture

The award-winning Clonakilty 400 project by Cork County Council Architects and the RIAI’s Design Reviews process feature as case studies in the report, which was compiled by a European expert group – the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). The Report was published on 6 October in Graz and is available from the RIAI website. Irish architects Nicki Matthews and Giulia Vallone also presented at the conference.

About the Report

The report Towards a shared culture of architecture - Investing in a high-quality living environment for everyone suggests ways to operationalise quality criteria for architecture and built environment. The report is based on a collection of case studies that were gathered from multiple governance levels across Europe and that the 39 experts of the OMC group examined between 2020 and 2021.

The work of the OMC group on ‘High-quality architecture and built environment for everyone’ was established under the priority ‘Cohesion and well-being’ of the Council of the European Union’s 2019-2022 Work Plan for Culture. Members of the OMC Group were nominated by 23 EU Member States, plus Norway and Switzerland. The European Commission coordinated the process.

Drawing from the Davos Baukultur Quality System (2011), the objective of this report is also to demonstrate that criteria for quality living space and design should not be only functional, ecological or economic but also fulfil social, cultural and psychological needs as well as a general sense of belonging.

This report is closely related to the values of the New European Bauhaus and to a wider extent, the Green Deal. Indeed, this report defends a culture-centred approach to the living environment. The New European Bauhaus will therefore play a significant role in the implementation of quality principles set out in this report.

The recommendations target different scales, such as EU policies, national frameworks and the local level, in addition to private-sector stakeholders and the professional realm.

One of the recommendations is that quality architecture and spatial design should become part of the multidisciplinary response to social and policy demands. The report also emphasises that relevant EU funding programmes (in particular the cohesion policy funds), as well as regional and local investment plans in the field of construction and urban planning should integrate the Davos quality criteria.

Awareness raising from an early age, capacity-building and co-creation are also strongly recommended to create a shared culture of (quality) architecture in Europe.