The Green Door Festival!


Hear all about The Green Door Festival from Jo Lewis!

“Since 2001 myself and my partner Mike worked to renovate and extend a 100 year old traditional three-roomed stone cottage. Our aims were to self-build a family home in the most sustainable way possible.

As non-builders we were starting from scratch in terms of what to build and how. We gathered information from books, magazines and friends. However at times, we still felt that we were working in a void. Information on such things such as which source of heating to choose, how does lime work on earth floors, although used by others before us, was not easily available to us. The choices were many and the information we were looking for often needed to be based on local knowledge and we didn’t know who to ask.

Over the next seven years, we continued to live in a mobile home while the work carried on. Some things worked out well such as finding the right architect and making the straw-bale walls while others, such as crumbling chimneys, were problematic; and of course it all took a lot, lot longer than anticipated! In 2009, we moved into our almost complete home, which we are now really very happy with although, work still needs to be done.

During this time I heard of and came across many beautiful new, extended and restored homes hidden away in the Leitrim landscape and realised that there is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there that deserves to be shared. Nothing can beat first-hand honest information, experience, and advice.

At the same time, during the economic boom there was a huge amount of building, much of which was insensitive to the environment. As we all now know, many of these houses have been left standing, unsold and empty. As a reaction to this and to new economic and environmental factors, more people are now looking for different ways of building and living; ways which are more sensitive to the Irish vernacular as well as to the environment.

By making available examples of homes and work by builders and architects who have worked hard over the years to experiment with alternative ways of building, living and designing, Inspirational Homes Leitrim hopes to respond to the need for more information, dialogue and on-the-ground advice about building for the future. We are placing emphasis on the importance of local networking of information, resources, skills and technologies.

Through the easy to search website we hope to showcase what building designs and techniques have been used in Co Leitrim with the aim of offering support and encouragement to home-builders/architects and designers, from very basic shelter making to more elaborate and substantial structures.

The Green-Door weekend is the annual highlight of IHL and offers a weekend of sharing and networking with the aim of celebrating what has been achieved, highlighting design for the future of rural living, and allowing people the opportunity to share and network.”


We are hosting a series of events at The Glens Centre:

Workshops with Peter Cowman

Sunday 1st October


A Brief History of Shelter: A Sheltermaker Theatre preformance art piece describing the evolution of shelter as an essential component of human life on Earth.

The piece aims to weave life and shelter into a tapestry that can be ‘read’ by anyone with a desire to achieve a ‘sustainable’ way of life. The format is being developed as a means of by-passing the psychological resistance usually encountered as people consider the ‘how’ of moving towards a ‘sustainable’ way of life. It is envisaged that the presentation will have an interactive element and will utilise simple components, models and images to support the ‘history’.


Film Night at the Glens

Saturday 30th Sept


Unwind after a hectic day of home-visiting with an evening of films and a chance to meet, chat and reflect on the day.



The film was conceived as part of the exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts, London, Sensing Spaces: Architecture re-imagined in 2014. it focuses on the human experience of architecture through the lens of seven architects including Alvaro Siza, eduardo Souto de Moura, Kengo Kuma, Francis Kéré and Pezo von ellrichshausen interviewed in their home countries showing key built works. Director Candida Richardson



The island of Budelli, Sardinia, is an earthly paradise. Mauro Morandi, guardian of the island, has been living for more than 25 years as a Robinson Crusoe of the 21st century. Using what the storms and tides spill onto the beaches, he creates objects, sculptures and furniture. La maddalena Chair is one of his creations, made of wood reclaimed from the sea and pieces of Murano glass from the facade of the former Arsenal. Director Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine.



Microtopia presents dreams of life in small, mobile or temporary spaces. Several successful architects, builders and artists from different parts of the world propose a radical solution to living space in which all unnecessary things are removed and seemingly old and worn-out items are utilised. How much space and stuff do we really need? microtopia shows the effort in finding ways to form new communities without environmental consequences. Director Jesper Wachtmeister


All bookings are done through The Green Door Festival.

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