Ciarán Ferrie presented The Abhaile Project scheme to his fellow Architects at the Joint RIAI and Housing Agency CPD held in The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), Merrion Square. The CPD was focused on current research into housing for older people and went through a number of working projects and examples. Roslyn Molloy presented some of her research carried out for the housing agency. She presented some really interesting facts and figures including: “89% of 55+ want to stay in their current homes, in their communities, in their neighbourhoods as they grow older.” This is in line with the Abhaile Project’ understanding and experience of older homeowners.
Neil Murphy from the Centre of Excellence in Universal Design presented some very simple and easily incorporated design measures that make buildings and environments suitable for everyone. By incorporating and considering everybody at design stage it improves the flexibility of our buildings without great extra cost. The Universal Design Guidelines for Homes in Ireland, which was launched by the Centre of Excellence in Universal Design has been an invaluable document to us, in informing our own design.
Margharita Solon, Vice Chairperson of McAuley Place gave a powerful talk about the significance of McAuley Place and the pride it gives to its community. It looks like a truly inspired place for both older people and the people of Naas. Simon Adeyinka of ASI Architects presented the Ballygall Road East Housing Project which was an upgrade and retro-fit of existing social housing stock, again improving an area and building a community that adds to the surrounding environment. Eibhlin O’Connor from Cluid Housing also presented some of Cluid Housing’ sheltered housing schemes including Broome Lodge, Cabra. Again, some excellent ideas and design solutions suited for older people and suited for all.
It was overall a very interesting morning and great to see the supports and different types of housing solutions that are in place and the new ideas emerging.