Waterford Festival of Architecture 2018

Waterford Festival of Architecture 2018

May 16th to 20th 2018

All events free

The Waterford Festival of Architecture (WFA) is a festival which supports architects and works towards enhancing the understanding and appreciation of architecture among the wider community, including creative practitioners of other artistic disciplines. It produces a high quality programme of events that maximise its unique status in Ireland as the only festival of architecture outside of the capital.

With an exciting five-day programme of events to engage local and regional public and specialist audiences, the festival promotes the importance of architecture as an artistic practice.  All events are free but collections will be made for the Simon Community, a charity that provides shelter for the homeless.  The festival will also, through events and talks, encourage property owners to consider transforming empty spaces over shops into much needed living accommodation.

Through a schools programme, specialist lectures and talks, workshops and exhibitions, the Waterford Festival of Architecture continues to grow its profile and audiences by delivering a programme that aims to engage the public with the built environment.

Awareness of architecture as an art form is central to the festival.  Through these creative collaborations, the festival can demonstrate the necessity for and contributions of, architecture in our daily lives.

Waterford Festival of Architecture

Programme 2018:

Our very successful outreach programme, Architects in Schools, begins in Waterpark College Primary School and Gaelscoil Tramore, supported by Waterford County Council, Arts Office.  This will continue throughout the festival culminating in an awards presentation for the students.

A pub quiz in aid of the Simon Community will take place at Revolution Bar on Wednesday 16th May at 8.00pm.

The popular ‘Behind Closed Doors’ series of tours in association with Waterford City and County Council will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with Waterford City and County Council Conservation Officer Rosemary Ryall.  Thursday will feature the Waterford Distillery guided tour. On Friday there will be a visit to the new Waterford City Fire station with Niall Curtin, Chief Fire Officer.  On Saturday there are a number of site visits which include;

A talk by Fintan Duffy, DHB architects, about the architecture of O’ Connell Street and the project carried out by the WIT architecture students. There will be a visit to 3/ 4 Georges Street (known as the Old Presbytery) and the Old Waterford Savings Bank.

Also included is 18 Lady Lane and its fine mid-18th century Rococo ceilings. Orla Scully, archaeologist will talk about the 15th century timber framed walls at 4/5 Cathedral Square.

A very popular tour of the Masonic Lodge will run again this year. We also get a behind the scenes look at an architect’s office thanks to DHB Architects.

Des Griffin, of the Waterford Civic Trust, will guide you through the history of Waterford’s Anglo Norman walls.

Also part of the ‘Behind Closed Doors’ experience is a ‘Family Architectural Trail’ that will be an all-day fun experience, beginning and ending at the Bishops Palace.


The Waterford Festival of Architecture will be officially launched at a wine reception at the Granary by award-winning architectural critic Shane O’Toole.  A graduate in architecture from UCD and no longer practicing as an architect, Shane’s passion for the sector has transferred to the written word and he has published hundreds of articles, mostly on 20th century and contemporary architecture.  He was shortlisted twice in the 2014 CICA (The International Committee of Architectural Critics) Book and Journal Awards for contributions to Architecture Ireland and the RIAI Annual Review – Irish Architecture. The ceremony also features the WIT school of architecture handing over their end of year project to Waterford City and County Council.

The National Architects in Schools programme will feature an event in Waterford’s Apple Market on Friday with the line of the programme being ‘Architecture Transforms Lives’.  30 schools from around the country will exhibit their work in the Apple Market throughout the weekend which includes ‘clean graffiti’ using a power washer to wash away the ground dirt leaving behind clean spaces in the shape of words and build and install a series of 3D ply boxes, all in different sizes and heights that will spell the word ‘Lives’ reflected in the mirror when you look up at the mirror of the canopy.

James Pike will deliver a Saturday lunchtime lecture entitled ’Living over the Shop’, outlining the case for town living as a contribution to sustainable development.  He highlights the fact that a significant contribution could be made to the re-inhabitation of towns if planning authorities provided a ‘one-stop shop’ to resolve these issues promptly and pro-actively.  It is hoped that this event will encourage property owners to consider transforming these empty spaces over shops into much need living accommodation.

This event will take place ‘over a business’ in Waterford City, the location being the KASBAR on John Street Waterford.  James Pike has played a major role over more than 40 years in urban planning and housing in Ireland, but has also been involved in major educational, office, retail, hotel and industrial projects, and in projects in the UK and North Africa.  He has played a continuing role in the RIAI since the 1960’s culminating in the presidency for 2006 – 2007.  He is currently Chairman of the Irish Architecture Foundation and a founding member of the Urban Forum.  He has played a major role in several publications including “Dublin City in Crisis”, “New Housing” and “New Housing in Context” which is due to be published in early 2009 by the R.I.A.I.  He wrote the pamphlet “Living over the Shop” for Comhar, the Forum for Sustainable Development, has presented papers at many conferences, written articles for the press and is frequently interviewed for the broadcast media.

OFFSKETCH is a free sketching tour of Waterford City taking place on Saturday on National Drawing Day in association with Garter Lane Arts Centre and Bealtaine Festival.  You receive a free OFFSKETCH pack with drawing pad, pencil and sketching route map. Participants are welcome to bring additional drawing materials. All ages and drawing abilities welcome- children must be accompanied by an adult.
Sunday will feature the annual wreath laying ceremony at John Roberts Grave in Greyfriars, followed by a choir recital in association with both Christ Church and the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, both of course designed by John Roberts.

You can find out more about all the Waterford Festival of Architecture events on our Facebook page @WFOArchitecture or by picking up a copy of our Waterford Festival of Architecture programme.

Booking is required for some ‘Behind Closed Doors’ events as places are limited. You can book by emailing Rose Ryall, Waterford City and County Council Conservation Officer, with preferred event and time at rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie.

Don’t forget to like Waterford In Your Pocket on Facebook and  “Follow” us on  Twitter

Waterford In Your Pocket

For more events check out the events page here on our website or on our events page on Facebook