It has been some time since I saw it … four years ago. How do I remember it today? I remember it as a place I would like to stay in for the entire winter and read plenty of good books there. The kind of books I promised myself that one day I will read them. Books that require deep concentration. I imagine I would sit and read them around the fireplace on the leather sofa or inside of one of the warm rooms with the minimalistic interior design.
Guest House Nr 31 felt exclusive, yet simple and familiar. Apparently, Mick Jagger stayed there few times, so told the owner of the place during the tour he was giving. At the time there was no signage at the front door suggesting it is a guest house. People who need to know about it will find out through the word of mouth. The clientele is exclusive. At the back is a small secret garden, cleverly designed providing plenty of room for privacy to anyone who wants to visit it.
Nr 31 is a place you never want to leave but when you finally do, you will not have any regrets that life passed you by while you stayed there. The perfect retrieve house where the time does not exist. Inspiration will find you here.
It takes 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 it is 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 my 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 a 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 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!
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 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 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.
Open House Dublin (OHD) is Ireland’s largest architecture festival, inviting all citizens to explore their city. It works through a simple but powerful idea: showcasing outstanding architecture for everyone to experience. Buildings that aren’t usually accessible to the public and buildings of architectural merit open their doors for one weekend, with architectural tours provided by expert guides (source click here).
In my opinion, it is the best festival/event taking place in Dublin. I have been looking forward to it with great enthusiasm every year and been attending the festival regularly. It is well organised, always with helpful volunteers offering catalogues for sale at every door, which are decorated with white balloons that help to spot the place easily. The viewers are broken into small groups and are guided by either an owner of the place, an architect involved in the project or a manager who runs the business or an institution. During the tour, the public can find out valuable information about the history of the place, the inspiration for the design, compromises and problems, which accrued during the creation process.
The houses inside are often a great surprise, featuring a clever architectural solution, original concept and skilled innovations. All followed by tasteful interior design often spiced up with recognizable pieces of furniture from the Bauhaus period or classic Scandinavian design.
THE BRASS & MARBLE KITCHEN
This is a house I have seen during The Open House Festival in 2016. It is a three floors Victorian house located in South Dublin. The group I was in was guided by the Landlady of the house, who also mentioned that one floor was available for rent as Airbnb.
The pearl of the house is the brass kitchen which reflects the light and bounces off the golden glow. Marks on the surface work very well with the walls which reveal layers of different paints that previously decorated the space. The Landlady mentioned they did have an idea to paint the walls in a particular colour but after cleaning the walls they decided to leave it as it is. It adds a lot of character to the place while giving it a slightly rough, an unfished look which works very well with patterned white marble and very present brass featured around the house. All combined with the collection of odd chairs.
Even if at first the renovation process of the house appears unfished every single object in this house is very well thought through, creating balanced styling entirety. Huge applause to the Lady of the house!
The images were taken with my HTC mobile phone, the resolution could be better but surprisingly it worked pretty well.
Thedetails are not the details. They make the design.
Charles Eames~Architect&Furniture Designer
WHAT WILL BE REMEMBERED?
Recently I had to move out of a place where I spent a good few years of my life. The time has come and the change was needed. Time to make space for something new. Humans will get used to anything. We often find comfort in strange places and situations. Adaptation is the survival skill. The rescue and the trap.
What makes a place? What’s remembered? Smell, air, texture, light, sometimes sounds. The small details. The Edwardian house I had to move out from in Dublin had some hidden characteristics, original, historical details. Brass door handle, letterbox frame, door press that has not been working for a hundred years! The front door resembles an old tree where history reveals itself. Here it is a symbol of transformation. Passing from one place to another. From familiar to unknown. Physical and mental transformation. I was experimenting with angles in my short photo documentary. The stains on the brass door resemble blood and sweat dripping from a human body after hard work. The Victorian door knocker looks like a crucifix …