M.CO worked with Fáilte Ireland and the Merrion Square Innovation Network in 2012 to re-position Merrion Square in Dublin as a leading cultural tourism destination.
We created a new brand identity for the area and worked with stakeholders to encourage collaboration and to develop and promote a bespoke programme of cultural events designed to open access to the buildings and histories of the square, while drawing on the authentic cultural themes in the area, achieved through a programme of animation, information and marketing.
At the heart of Georgian Dublin, Merrion Square has an abundance of strengths from its strong Georgian heritage, cultural institutions, leisure facilities, and its political, social and scientific history.
Mapped out 250 years ago in 1762, it has fine Georgian Houses on three sides and the garden of Leinster House and The National Gallery and Natural History Museum on the fourth. Today many of the houses are predominantly used as office space but there is a wealth of history attached. Oscar Wilde lived as a child at 1 Merrion Square, where Bram Stoker also spent a lot of time attending Lady Wilde's salons, while W. B. Yeats lived at No. 82, and Daniel O'Connell at No. 58.
The Square is well known for its Sunday Open Art Gallery and is home to diverse organisations such the National Maternity Hospital, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, the Irish Architectural Archive, the Irish Georgian Society, the Society of Antiquities, the College of Anaesthetists and the Irish Red Cross.
September in The Square was a month of activities curated by M.CO that included walking tours, mid-week lunchtime music performances and talks in key buildings as well as special events on Culture Night. The programme gave people the opportunity to see inside key buildings on the square, and experience events in some of Dublin's most beautiful rooms.
The 2012 Initiative continued through to December, with the Queens of Neon hosting a pop-up supper club at No. 63 Merrion Square in November and the Irish Design Shop curating a pop-up Christmas market at No. 45 on the 1st of December. The initiative worked on enhancing existing networks within the Square as well as further connecting the cultural institutions in and around the Square with cultural partners around the city.
We were delighted to see the Merrion Square Innovation Network continue to build on those relationship with the continuation of the initiative in 2013 with the return of Christmas on the Square in December 2013.