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Monday 23 Sep 2013

International Architects Home Exchange offers free membership for limited time period

If you’re planning to join us in New York in two weeks time for the World Architecture Day celebrations and associated conference but are yet to book a hotel room, cast an eye over the exquisite offerings from the Architects House Exchange. The initiative is a members-only home exchange programme for architects around the world and is currently offering a free year’s membership worth €75 for architects who sign up before 28 October.

For those who travel worldwide but miss the cosy comforts of home the Architects Home Exchange offers a welcome opportunity. The website showcases almost 100 homes from Turin to Copenhagen and Istria to Seville can be browsed free of charge.

The organisation enables you to connect with other homeowners and switch houses for whatever period of time suits both parties, with the option of exchanging cars for ease of transportation. Each profile contains a description of the owners’ home, destinations they would be interested in visiting and photographs of the property.

The properties currently listed on the Architects House Exchange range in size and style from secluded cottages in West Ireland to city centre apartments in Madrid, catering for both short stays such as business trips and city breaks or full getaways lasting several weeks.

Architects House Exchange was started by Dublin architect Eva Byrne of Byrne Wall Architects. Her website explains: "Architects’ homes come in all shapes and sizes, but the scale, type and style of your home is not important. The only important thing is your desire to travel. Our site offers you the opportunity to connect with likeminded people who will be attracted to the unique qualities of your home and who are available to exchange at a mutually convenient time."

Eva handpicked a selection of homes listed in the exchange programme that may be suitable for WAD attendees. For those looking for a central location there is a stunning apartment in Manhattan where most of our events and celebrations will be taking place. If you’d prefer something a little more reserved, perhaps a 4 bed, 3 bath house in Brooklyn would be better. Built in 1903, Eva’s second selection is a brick and stone row house near Prospect Park. The property was renovated in 2010 and features a landscaped garden complete with bamboo wall.

Also handpicked by Eva is a selection of homes whose owners are looking for exchanges within the US or specifically in New York. The first is a Haussmanian apartment in Paris just a five minute walk from the creative district of Montmartre. The light-rich home is stacked with books and original 19th century features and includes a small balcony with views onto the Parisian streets below.

Second on the list is a traditional Irish cottage on the Ring of Kerry with a ½ acre garden offering views to a beautiful mountain range at the front and Valentia Island to the rear. This classic farmhouse can sleep 6 people in 3 bedrooms and is perfect for outdoor activities as it includes a shed for storing mountain bikes, body boards, BBQs etc, and a woodburning stove for warming up afterwards.

Also interested in swapping with a US-based architect are the owners of a contemporary house in Geel, Belgium. This two adult/two child family are looking for a house and car swap and are offering up their crisp white home complete with balcony, bikes, fireplace, generous garden, home cinema and terrace to the right partner.

Last but by no means least is a serene getaway in Guerneville, CA. The 950 sq ft home sleeps 8 and is nestled in a dense redwood forest near the Russian River. Built in 1966 using local prefabricated redwood panels, this welcoming home was updated recently with new roof and floor insulation which increased the property’s thermal performance by 224%. The home enjoys underfloor heating, external decking using sustainably harvested wood from the Philippines, large windows for natural light and stunning views, and a well-equipped kitchen with marble countertops and floor tiles.

For more information on the full range of homes involved in the Architects House Exchange programme and details of how to get involved, please visit the official website.

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