Review of House and Design

On a recent a trip to the west of Ireland I picked up copy of a new magazine. The first issue of a House and Design published by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI).

The magazine impressed me very much.

Target Audience.

The magazine’s audience is the general public, with an interest in building or extending their own homes. With the quality of the content the magazine has positioned itself between professional journals and Lay journals. Between the RIBA-J and say Grand Designs or Self Build.

This could be copied by the profession in this country. Such a journal would provide a platform especially for small regional practices. Such a journal could focus on by the skills, knowledge and experience that architects can add to this type of project. However, the magazine is also a good read for the professional. There was plenty of interest; with a range of articles on buildings, crafts and products.

Case studies.

The majority of the magazine is case studies of houses. These included new builds, extensions, renovations and landscapes. Each case study includes input from the client, there is always at least a bullet point summary of the Brief – the clients Must Haves. This is useful when looking at the completed buildings. The architects also add their own Top Tips with a brief focus on some aspect of the design, or a problem overcome by the design.

Often the text usually includes commentary from both the client and the architect. I like this very much and this also broadens the interest for lay people and professionals alike.

The building studies contain excellent photography and building plans/sections.

I particularly liked a section on understanding architects drawings. I have had client’s that have not been able to read drawings, and this plain English explanation is useful.

Internet ready.

The layout of the magazine is cleary internet ready being reminiscent of a reactive wordress blog rather than a static website. I imagine this is part of a strategy to place the publication online as well as on the news-stand.

This first edition is a very successful trial. I spoke with the editors and they plan a second issue this summer to be followed quarterly.

This magazine shows that the profession in Ireland is varied and vibrant. Well done RIAI.

See riai.ie and architectureireland.ie