The Irish Architecture Foundation’s new ‘Hometown Architect’ initiative is calling on community groups and local architects in Co Clare to team up and submit projects
The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) is calling on community groups and their local architects in Co Clare to partner together to develop and submit projects for regenerating their local town or village centres, under a new initiative called ‘Hometown Architect’ that’s part of the IAF’s Reimagine placemaking programme.
The open call is inviting community groups across Ireland, including in Co Clare, to create and submit a project in partnership with an architect who has a connection to their town or village. The architect can either be currently living in the Co Clare town or village, have grown up there, or have family in the locality. The call focuses particularly on smaller towns and villages where accessing funding and resources can often be a challenge.
Five successful projects will be selected out of the total number submitted from across Ireland and will be awarded €10,000 each, to bring their proposals to life. Submissions will be assessed by a panel of experts, including architects, IAF staff and Town Centre First Policy experts.
Full details about the ‘Hometown Architect’ open call, including the project brief and application form, are available from the website www.ReimaginePlace.ie/open-call.
Projects should focus on town centre regeneration and can involve encouraging increased residential occupancy in rural towns and villages, addressing the issue of vacant properties, and highlighting the economic, social, and cultural importance of Irish towns and villages. Projects can also examine how changing patterns of work can transform the way people live, to reverse the trends of suburban sprawl, commuter belts and hollowed-out town centres.
Submissions should also align with the Town Centre First Policy published by the Irish Government earlier this year. This policy aims to promote the regeneration of town and village centres across Ireland, and to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit.
Commenting on the launch of the open call, Nathalie Weadick, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said: “We are very excited to launch this open call. We are hopeful that community groups in Co Clare, in conjunction with an architect who is local to them, will submit projects that have the power to change our town and village centres.
“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the advent of widespread working from home, many people have left cities to return to their hometowns or other towns and villages across the country, including in Co Clare. These people bring new energy and useful skills to their local area, and they can work alongside the existing community to revitalise their home.”
‘Hometown Architect’ is part of the Reimagine nationwide placemaking programme by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF). The IAF works with communities across Ireland to co-create and co-design solutions to problems or opportunities they have identified in their locality.
Two online information sessions about the ‘Hometown Architect’ initiative for interested communities will take place from 12.00-1.00pm on Wednesday, 23rd November and from 12.00pm-1.00pm on Tuesday, 13th December. To register, please visit the Reimagine ‘Hometown Architect’ website at www.ReimaginePlace.ie/open-call.
An in-person Reimagine Café event will take place from 1.00-2.00pm on Tuesday, 6th of December in the Science Gallery Dublin, Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin, where those involved in placemaking and reimagining their built environment can meet and discuss their ideas for the ‘Hometown Architect’ initiative. Booking for this free event is open at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/reimagine-cafe-town-centre-first-tickets-465752657737
The deadline for submissions is the 16th of January 2023. The five successful overall projects will be announced in early February 2023.
‘Hometown Architect’ is funded by the Arts Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development, with additional support to the Irish Architecture Foundation from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
For more information, visit the official website at www.ReimaginePlace.ie/open-call.