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The Reason of Towns
with the Irish Architecture Foundation 

An exciting and insightful day-long programme of events for The Reason of Towns exhibition stop in Birr this August

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The Reason of Towns is a new, engaging and ambitious touring exhibition of the work of one of Ireland’s most renowned architects, Valerie Mulvin.


Curated, commissioned and produced by the Irish Architecture Foundation and hosted in partnership with local arts and cultural organisations and venues, this exhibition is a public occasion for the telling and retelling of true stories, lost traditions and possible futures for Irish towns and the people who live in them.

​The Reason of Towns is funded by the Arts Council / an Comhairle Ealaíon and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Talks of the Town is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The exhibition tour is additionally funded by  the Arts Council / an Comhairle Ealaíon.


John's Hall, John's Place

Beginning a national tour in Birr, The Reason of Towns celebrates the work of one of Ireland’s most-renowned architects Valerie Mulvin (McCullough Mulvin). Visitors will enjoy three newly-commissioned films, experience material fragments, archival material and architectural models and drawings. This exhibition is a celebration of the tradition of town-making and living in Ireland, prompting audiences to take new notice of the potential and beauty of the towns around them. It will seduce and excite, prompt local appreciation, action and debate, engender civic pride, now and for the future.


It will be officially opened on Thursday 1 August, 7pm.

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The Space is the Thing 2024. Copyright Irish Architecture Foundation

Talks of the Town, Birr
with the Irish Architecture Foundation 
Saturday 10 August

Talks of the Town is a one-day programme of tours, workshops and conversations taking place in Birr as part of the touring exhibition, The Reason of Towns, by the Irish Architecture Foundation and Valerie Mulvin in partnership with Birr Theatre & Arts Centre. Explore Birr in a new way as we share stories, histories and discuss Birr as a sustainable town of the future.


All events are free but booking is recommended.


John's Hall / 11am - 2.30pm

Join an in-person tour of The Reason of Towns exhibition and find out more about the role of architects, town planners and local communities in shaping Irish towns, past, present and future.Followed by a conversational walk through Birr

with Valerie and local experts and historians.

FREE. Booking is essential.

1. [walking tour] Valerie Mulvin in Templemore, photo by Irish Architecture Foundation.jpg


Birr Theatre & Arts Centre 


In this relaxed and conversational participatory workshop, participants will share stories, discuss town life and be part of an informed and productive discussion toward a sustainable future for Birr.

FREE. Booking is essential.

2. [workshop] Cloontuskert Walk & Talk 2022, photo by Irish Architecture Foundation.jpeg


Birr and the Irish Town

Birr Theatre & Arts Centre 


The day concludes with some film, live-readings and great conversation. In this evening roundtable panel discussion, the town of Birr, at the centre of Ireland, will be placed in a national context.

FREE. Booking is essential.

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