Some other strategies:
Tours: The best-value thing you can do with a few hours is to take one of the tours – on foot, by bike, or by boat – because you’ll see a whole series of buildings as well as getting a longer, wider story about Dublin’s built environment from your guide.
Super-tourism: Some of the buildings that are usually open to visitors will have architecture-specific tours, so it’s a particularly good weekend to go. You might consider Dun Laoghaire’s National Maritime Museum (Sunday 12-4.30); the recent, curved Glasnevin Museum (Sunday 11-4.30); a restoration-oriented tour of the James Joyce Centre (Sunday 12-4.30); the neat Neoclassical 18th century pleasure house, the Casino at Marino (Saturday 10-4.30, Sunday 13-4.30); and a look at the adaption and preservation of the beautiful rooms in currently use by the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the National Concert Hall (Saturday 10-4.30).
Head north or south along the DART to visit a string of locations. A fairly relaxed northbound Saturday afternoon would allow you to see De Paor Architects’ 2003 utility building (2-4.30) at Clontarf, which packs a whole lot of function into an angular, sculptural copper object, as well as St. Fintan’s, Sutton (four tours: 12, 1, 2, 3), a landmark church on the seafront with a slim, split bell-tower and fan-shaped plan designed in 1973 by Andy Devane. Keep an eye out for the rope-marked concrete.
Sticking to your own neighbourhood you can avoid running around like a headless chicken, and seeing a few projects in an area you already know allows for them to be considered in context. Inchicore, say, has two recent healthcare projects that might be interesting to see the same day – Hollybrook Lodge Community Nursing Unit (Saturday 2-4.30), by Cullen Payne Architects, and RKD’s Inchicore Primary Care and Mental Health Centre (2-4.30) – and it’s a short cycle to Rialto for Metropolitan Workshop/Anthony Reddy Associates’ F2 Community Centre (2-4.30). Or if you’re near Rathfarnham, Box Architecture’s Ballyroan Ruah Pastoral Centre (Sunday 12-4.30) would be worth a visit before heading to more central venues.
For the most up-to-date programme, addresses, and information on accessibility, see the Open House website.