THE OPEN HOUSE FESTIVAL 2016

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

PRIVATE SPACES

It takes a great courage of the owner of the house to open its door to the public. To strangers, really. Then let them walk through the most private parts of their personal space. It is an odd feeling to know so much, yet so little about the people, families who live in those houses. Seeing the books they read, the family photographs or cups they like their tea in. Imagining what its like to sit in their well-used chairs in front of which they watch the mainstream news.  It is one of the reasons why it is the most interesting festival in Dublin … in mine opinion. Wish a similar initiative was organised in most of the cities and towns. Anywhere and everywhere.

GARDEN

The house below is located somewhere in the South of Dublin. The architect who was working on the extension to the back garden was the one who guided the group. The biggest challenge faced was the unusual size of the frame for the back door going to the garden. It was hard to find the solution that would work. Luckily there were some Polish builders working on the project that came up with the ideal answer. The architect while telling the story and explaining the problem sighed with an admiration and used the exact words: “The Polish people … are multiskilled!” How great it felt!

The charm happens in between the back garden and the large kitchen window.  During warm summer evenings the cosy, sheltered garden is brightened up with the kitchen light while the calming sound of cascading water runs down in the background of the slowly approaching night. During the daytime, the wall covered with ivy creates natural and fresh wallpaper for those looking out the kitchen window.

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin
The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

The Open House Festival 2016, DublinThe Open House Festival 2016, DublinThe Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

KITCHEN & LIVING ROOM

It is not going to be very professional … unfortunately, I do not remember many details or challenges during the completion of this project. The focus is the extension of the house into the back garden and the parallel glass division running through the wall and the ceiling.

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin
The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

The Open House Festival 2016

The Open House Festival 2016

The Open House Festival 2016

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

The Open House Festival 2016

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

The Open House Festival 2016

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin
The Open House Festival 2016, Dublin

 

ANTIQUE STORE

If you planning to visit St. Patrick Cathedral (best to attend a service as it is free of charge and the choir is angelic) not far from it on Francis Street there are plenty antique shops, galleries and coffee shops. Another cool place to see in the area is The Marsh Library located just beside the St. Patrick Cathedral. You will travel in time in both of those places. Into the mysterious, dark, spiritual gothic period.

Antique store in Dublin
Antique store somewhere on Francis Street in Dublin

BEDROOM

This is one of the smallest houses I have seen so far during the festival. It is a cottage house with two floors and a terrace garden. Despite the fact it was tiny it felt spacious, airy and bright. The sun travels generously through the house pushing gently through each window. The owner and the designer is a young Irish architect who just moved in with his girlfriend into their newly renovated house.

Bedroom, The Open House Festival 2016
Bedroom, The Open House Festival 2016

Bedroom, The Open House Festival 2016Bedroom, The Open House Festival 2016Bedroom, The Open House Festival 2016

Author: Aleksandra Walkowska

SQUARESPACE HEADQUARTER IN DUBLIN

Squarespace Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

‘Think of Squarespace as your very own IT department, with free, unlimited hosting, top-of-the-line security, an enterprise-grade infrastructure, and around-the-clock support.’

Squarespace was one of the platforms I considered before building my website with WordPress. Decided to stick to WordPress and the theme I have chosen with the large images and the parallel effect it has.

Squarespace headquarter is located not far from St. Patrick Cathedral on a long, narrow Ship Street Great. We were guided by an enthusiastic architect a young Irish girl who was in charge of the project. I was trying to research her name or the architectural practice but unfortunately, The Open House Festival does not archive previous festivals on their website.

The interior is dominated with mat black colour mixed with warm wood and lush green plants which are contrasting perfectly with the dark background. The meeting rooms are dark and mysterious yet the warm light makes them very cosy. I would compare it to a hollow but in a positive sense. Place where we would like to hibernate during the winter time with plenty of honey, good friends and good storytelling.

The square detail is noticeable on the kitchen tiles, sofas, chairs and it is nicely broken with round tables and the oval shape of the kitchen bar. So much black in combination with golden glow looks very sophisticated in the Squarespace headquarters. Plus the minimalism must help the employees to concentrate and focus while working.

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland
Squarespace Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland
Squarespace Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland
Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland
View from the roof of The Square Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Author: Aleksandra Walkowska

THE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF THE COSTA BRAVA

Marimurtra Botanical Garden

THE MARIMURTRA BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Marimurtra Botanical Garden is located on the coast of the Mediterranean, perched on top of rocky cliffs in Blanes, in Catalonia, Spain. It is a creation of a German botanist Carl Faust who founded the garden in 1920’s.

It is a four hectares land dominated by a Mediterranean forest which is divided into three zones; subtropical, temperate and Mediterranean. There is also a pond with good few koi fishes 😀

A friend of mine visited the garden last winter, some of those images are from that visit. You can probably notice the different light, the plants or some of them look different too as they were in a state of vegetation. We went to visit the garden again at the end of April this year. To get the proper feeling of the place, it is probably the best to see the garden during different seasons of the year. There is a lot to take in during the first visit with 3,000 exotic species and plenty of other visitors around who are trying to find their own privacy within the place.

Poems wall in Marimurtra Botanical Garden

Marimurtra Botanic Garden
Poems wall

Mignon’s Longing
By J.W. Goethe

You know that land where lemon orchards bloom,
Its golden oranges aglow in a gloom,
That land of soft wind blowing from the blue sky,
Where myrtle hushes and the laurel’s high?
You know that land?
That way! That way
I’d go with you, my love, and go today. (…)

The Original: Mignons Sehnsucht, translated by A.Z. Foreman

Personally, I found the garden very mythological … inspired by Greek gods and goddesses. Venus, Poseidon, Aphrodite or Zeus they all live there 😉 in a peaceful, calm atmosphere. Marimurtra garden is one of those places where you can travel back in time spiritually … as the time does not exist while you there 🙂

 

ZOOM

 

Curious koi fishes are not used to the camera!

Author: Walkowska Aleksandra

   


Post created in collaboration with Sparky Magazine, all images&videos were produced by Sparky Magazine.

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DUBLIN WINDOWS SPRING 2017

Hermes silk scarf in Brown Thomas window

ANOTHER EARLY SUNDAY STROLL AND SHORT VISUAL REPORTAGE OF WINDOW DISPLAY IN SOUTH DUBLIN

The town is not very big, so I tend to stay in one area with the most attractive visual merchandising. Wish it was a bigger town I could take longer walks and admire the creative work.

My most favourite one is Dunnes Stores on George Street, the spring is there with the colours and texture, all looking very playful and fresh.

Always enjoy Massimo Dutti windows for the perfect composition. The negative space creates an impression the characters played by mannequins are bit dreamy and distanced, they are in the world of their own.

Brown Thomas windows look quite urban with the squared props and minimalistic use of the walls. The colours are selling in the spring season. Even though it is still rather cold outside!

Featured image – Hermès silk scarf in Brown Thomas window, Dublin

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

TEXTIFOOD THE FUTURE OF TEXTILES

stinging nettle

THE TEXTIFOOD EXHIBITION

The exhibition originated from the project Futurotextiles and was dedicated to innovative fabrics. It is a French contribution to the Expo Milan 2015 a global event which was themed Feed the Planet, Energy for Life.

Textifood exhibition offers the opportunity to discover the world of textiles and its future with its incredible diversity, sustainability, and potentials. Orange, lemon, pineapple, banana, coconut, nettle, coffee, rice, soy, corn, beet, flax, lotus, algae, mushrooms, wines, beers, shellfish … all at the service of fashion!

      

Could it mean that in the future there will be no synthetic fabrics? such as polyester, acrylic, nylon, acetate, spandex, lastex all massively sold by high street stores. The sources of toxins which affect our health and the health of the planet – all produced with chemicals. I do hope we keep making general progress by taking care of ourselves and nature.

Bananas have already been used in Japan in 13th-century to make a fabric similar to cotton. In 2014 banana silk fibre came to the general public with a dress made entirely of dried banana leaves creation of Ditta Sandico.

banana leaf
banana leaf

Nettle has been used by the Germans to produced their uniforms during The WWII as the textile trade at the time was mainly run in England. Nettle is one of the most sustainable material as it does not need fertilizer and it needs very little amount of water.

nettle
nettle
nettle fibre
nettle slippers

Citrus fibre is the first fibre made of citrus fruit, silky in appearance and biodegradable.

citruses
citruses
orange fiber
citrus fibre

Fermented alcohol. There is also a new fabric created from the fermentation of alcoholic beverages. The fabric is red for the red wine, translucent to white and amber colour for beer.

beer
Beer
beer-dress
fermented beer-dress

Coffee is used by S.Café® company which does not only recycles coffee grounds for fabric but also extracts a high concentration of essential coffee oil which is re-used in textiles and also can be used in cosmetics. The brand claims that one day there will be no waste made out of coffee.

coffee dress
coffee dress at Textifood in Milano

STRAWBERRY LACE

strawberry lace
strawberry lace

Fashion designers have been experimenting with other organic sources to produce clothing.  Suzanne Lee was inspired to design from bacteria which grows on Kombucha a healthy drink, a mixture of bacteria and yeast, originated in China in 220 BC. In 90s Kombucha started to sold commercially in Europe and the US. I do remember buying it in Dunnes Stores and Tesco here in Ireland, but unfortunately, due to low demands, the product did not last more than a few years on the shelves.

biocouture clothing
bio culture clothing designed by Suzanne Lee

 

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

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