Architecture at the Edge festival Programme announced

Posted in Connect on October 2, 2019.

Architecture at the Edge returns on October 12 & 13 throughout Mayo & Galway

Architecture at the Edge festival, has launched its programme for 2019. The festival, which takes place on 12th & 13th October in County Mayo & County Galway includes expert-led guided tours, talks, workshops and exhibitions and will offer audiences a unique opportunity to explore homes, buildings and spaces.

The theme for this year’s Architecture at the Edge is ‘Adaptive Reuse’.

‘Adaptive reuse is the process of repurposing buildings or spaces that have outlived their original purposes for different uses or functions.’

‘Sometimes nothing changes but the function of that space and an increasing number of examples can be found in the west of Ireland’

Frank Monahan, Festival Director Architecture at the Edge

Talks and tours will explore projects in Mayo & Galway including the conversion of a dilapidated workshop into a creative studio, a former Christian Brother school now housing artists’ studios, the refurbishment of a Church into a university teaching space and the conservation of an abandoned railway goods shed to create a vibrant cultural center in Swinford.

‘Renovations like this are both old and new, historic and forward-looking, generative and sustainable. The adaptive reuse of abandoned structures can help rejuvenate places and communities which in turn promotes further development. We hope that potential is evident across our programme which showcases sustainable approaches to adaptive reuse in many aspects of our lives.

“In showcasing best practice we hope to highlight potential strategies for spaces and places. We need a comprehensive approach, and we need to leverage existing historic assets.” says Monahan.

The series of adaptive reuse talks aim to gather professionals and the wider community to learn from best practice, address challenges and implement initiatives of adaptive reuse in the local context.

The talks will take place on Saturday 12th at the Human Biology Building, NUI, Galway.

“Participants can choose to attend the talks individually or join us for a day-long event”, added Frank Monahan.

Other festival highlights include a number of architect-guided tours in both Mayo and Galway.

The festival will see over 30 public and private buildings open to the public with many tours of the properties led by the architects who designed the buildings. Highlights include Kylemore Abbey and GMIT / Connemara West Furniture College, Letterfrack.

Highlights in County Mayo include free tours of Enniscoe House, a ceramics workshop at Heffernans Butchers, Tolan Street, Ballina, an architect-led tour of Mayo Medical Academy and the Benchmark Prelude Exhibition at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. A family art workshop at Swinford Cultural Centre will take place on Sunday 13 October with Shaza O’Hara where children can explore the adaptive reuse of this former railway structure through various mediums including printing and collage. Swinford Cultural Centre will also host the Buildings of Mayo exhibition.

“We have a bumper programme and people who are interested in participating in the festival can book tickets at the festival website All our events are FREE, but spaces are limited, so we would urge people to log on at and book to ensure they are not disappointed”, he concluded.

This is not just an invitation to explore our built environment but one which we hope will challenge the way in which we think about architecture and the role of the architect in society.

Architecture at the Edge is supported by Mayo County Council, Galway County Council, Galway City Council and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.

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