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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The interior of Yelp headquarters is a splash of primary colours. The positive, welcoming yellow at the entry in combination with black is followed by a geometrically shaped desk and wavy hall. Contrasting colours and shapes. As we go along more colours are introduced. The playroom is inspired by the 1970ties style. The colours are muted, relaxed, natural. The working space area and the canteen are brightened up with red. In the same colour are chairs, the counter and other decorative elements. No need for a coffee among those vivid colours!
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.
Dublin is the place where many world companies have their headquarters in Europe. Over the years I had a chance to visit a few of them either through The Open House Festival or through friends who invited me for a lunch. FriendsLunch Invitation is one of the benefits offered to the employees of those companies. Inside there is always very good interior design which follows the company branding and the philosophy of the business. Canteens and dining rooms are usually the most attractive. Not to mention the food which is absolutely de-li-cious, served with a lot of love and care.
In Twitter dominates wooden texture, black, blue and white colour. I was wondering why the wood is an important element of the interior design? I think I found the answer – birds twit while resting on the trees! That must be the connection to the wood.
Wooden floor in the dining room
I was lucky to visit Airbnb through The Open House Festival and get a little tour of the place. Airbnb brings the idea of travelling also into their working space. Every day a team of employees will choose to work in a different area and at a different desk. Therefore one does not get attached to their own working space. Keep on moving! Keep on travelling! That’s the idea behind it. There is always a space provided for small personal belongings, but it is kept minimalistic. The main meeting place is built like an old Greek amphitheatre where the sound travels perfectly and the screen presentation is visible to everybody.
The location of Airbnb in Dublin is an attractive one too. Located at The Grand Canal Dock just beside The Marker Hotel and many different coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. It is a spot where the cold Irish Sea meets the apartment blocks providing an interesting space to relax.
More on a few Dublin’s headquarters in my next post.
Chapelizod is one of many places described by James Joyce in his book Ulysses. After reading chosen fragments referring to the place I designed a series of images following the same creative style and technique. Each image carries a vibrant colour against the monochromatic background. I wanted to create an abstract, dream-like feel to the series.
I do not know much about the village other than it is a rather old place located just beside The Phoenix Park in Dublin. You get the feeling once it was a pleasant place to live in where all the neighbours knew each other. Today, it is a place with no personality, no life or character. Used only as a passing place to other destinations.
Picking up on that mood I have chosen the most significant landmarks. Places that once had something to offer. At present they seem outdated, forgotten and isolated.
Ireland sober is Ireland stiff – James Joyce
Eircom phone box, once upon a time offered the use of modern technology and communication. At present covered in a spider web, contrasting with an old building wrapped in ivy.
A nation is the same people living in the same place – James Joyce
Will this boat be ever used again? … Probably not. Because what would it be used for? Fishing? Recreation? The owner may have left the village and has forgotten all about it. You can sens the physical presence of a person. The no more existing owner of the boat.
No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination – James Joyce
Not a living soul. The town is empty. Walls of those buildings are as fragile as an eggshell. Unrealistic birds flying through the town. On their way to a warmer more hopeful places.
Marsh Library is located just beside St. Patrick Cathedral in Dublin. It is a truly magical and mysterious place. As a visitor, you can sense the three hundred years old history hidden in books, walls and dark oak wood that was used to build the library. The atmosphere resembles the mood of the place described by Umberto Eco in his book called The Name of the Rose.
After visiting the library I was given a project to design a poster for the Dublin Science Conference in 2012.
The Universe is floating in space, inviting viewers to an exhibition in Marsh Library. The whole poster was designed and manipulated in Photoshop where I tried different colour combinations.