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Airfield Farm, Dublin

Architect Solearth Ecological Architects, Dublin, Ireland
Lighting designer Studio SP, Edinburgh, Scotland
Photographer Dirk Vogel, Dortmund
Place Dublin, Ireland

Airfield Farm is set Victorian style on more than 38 acres of land, nestled in sprawling, romantic gardens. Now a charitable organisation established in 1974 by the Overend family, who has owned the estate in Dublin for many generations, it serves educational and recreational purposes offering visitors the opportunity to experience life on a farm in harmony with nature through seminars, workshops and a farmers’ market. Today, the former family home is surrounded by large gardens, a farm, a café and a shop. The stately home was turned into a charming museum that transports visitors to a bygone age and brings to life the world of this Victorian family in the context of its era.

The museum focuses on two strong women whose extraordinary biographies are detailed in the family archive: sisters Letitia and Naomi Overend, who lived on the estate around the 1900s. Both must have been very independent women: Aside from being actively involved in the farm, they also engaged in many charitable pursuits. In times of crisis, for instance, they did not hesitate to share the yields of their land with the poor and attended to children suffering from malnutrition and poor housing. But the sisters also new how to enjoy themselves: Travelling extensively, they continually expanded their horizons; and they shared a love of fast cars with their father.

Accommodated in the former family home, the lovingly arranged museum tells the story of the Overend sisters and their family using contemporary documents such as letters, plush interior, old magazines, original clothing, historic photos and digital projection. Visitors to the museum find themselves stepping right into a lavishly decorated home. Exhibits are accentuated in elegantly unobtrusive fashion, yet stand out crystal clear, illuminated only by precise accent lighting which directs the attention onto the historic objects and guides visitors through the rooms.

The lighting concept devised by Studio SP is based on the warm white light of ERCO Pollux spotlights 6W, which also create a cosy ambience in the museum café. The adjacent shop is illuminated using ERCO Optec spotlights 12W. Airfield Farm presents itself as a multi-faceted destination for families and individuals curious to know more about natural phenomena of the isle and a remarkable piece of regional history.