Newsview: The top designs from the Irish Architecture Awards

16/06/2018 - 12:00

Rose Martin takes a look at the innovative and imaginative designs among the winners of this year’s Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Architecture Awards.

Clancy Quay Phase II, by O’Mahony Pike Architects, topped the Housing Category at the RIAI Awards last weekend. Image: Fionn McCann

THE 2018 Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Architecture Awards were announced last Saturday in Dublin’s Mansion House out of a shortlist of 32 projects over 12 counties, and work by Irish architects abroad.

The jury chose 20 overall winners and gave awards to 12 Highly Commended and eight Commended entries in a year which saw more firms submit than before the recession. And because the standard was so high, the jury decided a further 63 projects should be exhibited at the RIAI offices and online later this year.

But there’s always an outright winner and this year the list is long, thanks to sponsorship and a wide variety of briefs. Topping the Housing category is Clancy Quay, Phase 2 by O’Mahony Pike Architects, while the prize for Best Public and Culture award went to the well-deserved, National Gallery of Ireland, Refurbishment of Historic Wings project by Heneghan Peng architects, with Blackwood Associates Architects.

Newry Leisure Centre in Co Down won the Best Universal Design category and Meath County Council HQ, by Bucholz EcEvoy Architects, took the top spot in the Fit-Out category.

Meath County Council HQ by Bucholz McEvoy Architects, which shared the Best Fit Out Category of the RIAI Awards.

The Tenement Museum/ 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin, designed by Shaffrey Architects was named Best Conservation/Restoration Building, while the award for Best Education Building went to a Westport primary school designed by SJK Architects, and the new medical education building on the Royal College of Surgeons, (right ) which was designed by Henry J Lyons.

And the part where the average person on the street gets a say — the Public Choice award, saw the majority of it’s more that 10,000 votes going to No 26 York Street— the Royal College of Surgeons building again.

26 York Street — the new wing of the Royal College of Surgeons, shared the Best Medical Building Award and won the Public Choice Award.

This project, by Henry J Lyons was also shown on TV over winter by Dermot Bannon, in a dedicated one-hour programme filmed over the previous two years, in ‘Dermot Bannon & The Big Build’. It included input from the project’s lead architect, Peter McGovern and Contruction manager, Carole Smillie.

Another significant winner was 14 Henrietta Street, (it’s neighbour, no 12 was used as a shoot location by the internationally-renowned photographer, Barbara Corsciso,) which has been transformed into The Tenement Museum by Shaffrey Architects, who won a Special Jury Award for its restoration.

No 14 Henrietta Street which won a Special Jury Award and Best Restoration and Conservation award.

Speaking at the announcement of the awards last weekend, David Browne, President, RIAI, said: “It’s very welcome that we had a record number of entries submitted this year as it demonstrates the range of great work being carried out by Irish architects both at home and abroad.

“The contribution that registered architects make to the built environment in which we live, work and relax, cannot be underestimated and that shines through when you look at the range of design work that touches our lives — whether in housing, education, healthcare, public spaces and workplaces.”

- Finally — by the time you read this the Charles and Camilla roadshow will have departed the Cork city — but not its most significant, singular blight.

Would somebody please, please, dump those black plastic cascades of floral awfulness from our streets? They don’t work— wouldn’t even with the cascades of ivy etc which they’re supposed to have — they are simply, bloody awful and an insult to a city and county of renowned gardeners.

And why not lose the silly and childish, rows of summer bedding around City Hall and create a sustainable, insect-friendly, herbaceous border instead? Grow climbers, initiate an horticultural design competition — put up hives, but for heaven’s sake — lose the black things. Please.

Category Winners

- Best Commercial / Workplace: 1WML Office and Mixed-Use Development, Dublin by MOLA Architecture AND Fallahogey Studio, Kilrea, Coleraine by McGarry Moon Architects Ltd

- Best Conservation / Restoration: No 14 Henrietta Street, Tenement Museum Dublin by Shaffrey Architects

- Best Culture or Public Building: National Gallery of Ireland, Refurbishment of Historic Wings, Dublin by Heneghen Peng Architects with Blackwood Associates Architects (Conservation Architect)

- Best Educational Building: Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Co. Mayo by SJK Architects AND No 26 York Street, RCSI, Dublin, Henry J Lyons

- Best Fit-Out: Meath County Council HQ, Co Meath by Bucholz McEvoy Architects AND Triggerfish Cookshop, Co Dublin by Darragh Breathnach

- Best Health Building: Northwest Cancer Centre, Derry by O’Connell Mahon Architects with Isherwood and Ellis Architects

- Best House: Vaulted House, Dublin by GKMP Architects

- Best House Extension: St Catherine’s, Dublin by Ryan W. Kennihan Architects

- Best Housing: Clancy Quay, Phase 2, Dublin by O’Mahony Pike Architects with Lindsay Conservation Architects

- Best Public Place: Port Centre Precinct, Dublin by Darmody Architecture AND DLR Red Jetty, Co. Dublin by A2 Architects and Alan Meredith Studio

- Best International: Thapar University Student Accommodation, India by McCullough Mulvin

- Future Award: John Monahan, Noji Architects

- Sustainability: The Mews, Co. Dublin by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Architects Department

- Universal Design: Newry Leisure Centre, Newry by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

- Public Choice Award Winner:

1st: 26 York Street, RCSI, Dublin; Henry J Lyons

2nd:Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Co Mayo by SJK Architects;

3rd: One Microsoft Place, Dublin, RKD Architects

- Special Jury Award: Special Jury Award No 14 Henrietta Street, Tenement Museum Dublin by Shaffrey Architects

For more see: 

- www.irisharchitectureawards.ie and www.riai.ie

- @RIAIOnline

- #RIAIawards