NEW FESTIVAL TO SHOWCASE KERRY’S ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE

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Kerry’s architectural heritage will be the focus of the inaugural Architecture Kerry festival which takes place later this month. The event, which will showcase and celebrate the best of the county’s architectural heritage, will take place from 28 to 30 September, and will feature talks, free guided tours, exhibitions, workshops and family events.

The aim of the new festival, which is part of the Creative Ireland Programme, is to highlight the wide diversity of the architectural landscape in Kerry and to make some of the best-known sites of architectural significance in the county accessible to all ages. Several public and private buildings across the county will open their doors for free guided tours, Kerry County Museum and Kerry libraries will host exhibitions and workshops, and a wide-ranging symposium, ‘New Life in Old Spaces’ will be hosted in the chapel of the former Balloonagh Convent in Tralee.

The weekend will also see Tralee Library hosting an exhibition of the winners of the 2018 Irish Architecture Awards and highlight the contribution that Irish architects make to society for everyone’s benefit. The showcase will be opened by the President of the RIAI, David Browne. Kerry architects will also showcase their work throughout the festival.

Kerry County Council’s Architectural Conservation Officer, Victoria McCarthy, said the programme of events has something for everyone, even those with a passing interest in architecture: ‘This is an effort to promote and highlight some of our unique and attractive architectural heritage in the county.

‘At a symposium on Friday 28, we will be looking at how we can revitalise our buildings and spaces with a panel of experts and professionals. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, over a dozen buildings around the county will be opening their doors for free guided tours which are suitable for all ages. Bookings should be made with each venue,’ she said.

Among the buildings opening up to the public will be Kerry Group in Tralee, Killarney’s Flesk Castle, Derrynane House and homes in Killorglin, Tarbert, Waterville and Portmagee. The full programme of events is now available on the Kerry County Council website or via www.kerrycoco.ie/AK2018 and will be available in council offices and libraries around the county.

Architecture Kerry is supported by Kerry County Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with the OPW, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, the Irish Architecture Foundation and the Heritage Council. The event forms part of the Creative Ireland Programme in Kerry.

‘Creative Ireland is an all-of-government national strategy (2017-2022) which places creativity at the centre of public policy. Architecture as a artform is central to the strategy, relevant to the design principles and creativity required within the heritage and
contemporary built environment. This festival, the first of its kind in the county, promises to be a very engaging and information weekend,’ said Kate Kennelly, Creative Ireland Coordinator in Kerry.

Pictured at the launch in Ballonagh Convent Chapel are from left Barbara Carey, Carey Architects, Victoria McCarthy, Architectural Conservation Officer, Kerry County Council and Cormac Kane, Kane Williams Architects. Pic: Pauline Dennigan