OpenHouse 2018: The hidden rooms of Limerick city

Tour guide Peter Carroll and listeners inside the Gaff Former Quaker House. Photo: Monica Wu, Limerick Voice

More than 40 people took part in a two-and-a-half hour walking tour of Limerick on Saturday, October 20, as part of OpenHouse Limerick 2018.

The tour was designed to explore the multitude of hidden public rooms within the city’s Medieval, Georgian, Victorian and contemporary buildings.

According to the tour guide Peter Carroll, senior lecturer at University of Limerick and Director of A2 Architects: “The tour is trying to find special things within the Georgian fabric of the city. People might pass everyday, but won’t know there is such interesting rooms inside the buildings.”

The tour guide Peter Carroll and listeners inside 11 Mallow Street. Photo: Monica Wu, Limerick Voice

The walking tour started at General Post Office (GPO) on Cecil Street, followed by St Michael Snooker Hall, Central Buildings, the Gaff Former Quaker House, Stella Bingo Hall, Former City Theatre, Mortuary chapel at St. John’s hospital, and Shannon Rowing Club before ending at 11 Mallow Street.

The history, inside structure of these rooms, the design intention, the style of the architects, and the social use that changes over time were all discussed during the tour.

“Sometimes when you try to understand the city you have to look to a room. To go from the room to the city is as interesting as going from the city back to the room,” Peter said when asked the relationship between the city and the room.

“He was not just talking about the architecture. He was talking about the architects and their social relationship to Limerick which was interesting,” tour participant Liz Browne said.

Tour guide Peter Carroll and listeners in front of the Gaff Former Quaker House. Photo: Monica Wu, Limerick Voice

OpenHouse Limerick

OpenHouse is an international initiative to promote a better understanding of architecture outside of the profession.

It is a voluntary festival where building owners, architects, guides and stewards generously give their time for free.

The OpenHouseLimerick 2018 is the seventh annual festival programme of architecture in Limerick City and County with the theme of “Architecture is Community”.

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