• Thursday , 12 December 2019

Architecture Competition: Ireland House, Tokyo


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in conjunction with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland have announced an international competition to create an architectural design for a new Ireland House in Tokyo, Japan.

Ireland House will be a tangible architectural expression of Ireland’s official relationship with Japan as well as the warm friendship with the people of Japan.

When constructed, it will be the platform of Ireland’s official presence in the country and will include embassy premises and offices for state agencies as well as offering facilities to promote cultural exchange and to foster interaction between the Irish and local communities.

The competition, which is being administered by the RIAI, is open to architect-led design teams to design and manage the delivery of the construction of a new Ireland House in Tokyo.

The brief to entrants is to design a building that demonstrates that Ireland is at the forefront of modern international architecture, a building that captures the spirit of Ireland, including all aspects of its heritage, culture and Ireland’s position as a modern nation within the contemporary world.

The competition begins from 18 January and the final winner will be announced in the second half of the year.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., said: ‘Japan and Ireland are strong international partners. As we celebrated sixty years of diplomatic relations in 2017, the Government decided that it was the right time to make a strong statement of our commitment to that relationship. This project also forms part of the Global Ireland initiative, which aims to double our impact globally between now and 2025. I am delighted that, with a site secured, we are now moving to the next phase and I look forward to the development of a really strong design for what will be a flagship property for Ireland.’

Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO said: ‘The RIAI is delighted to partner with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on this competition to design Ireland House in Tokyo and welcomes the investment by Government in architecture-led design. This competition is an opportunity to promote a strong international identity of Ireland as a nation that values quality design in the built environment and the public realm.’ She added: ‘Irish architects are working internationally across all areas of construction including education, healthcare, workplace, data centres and housing. Irish architecture is in a golden period currently as the profession receives global recognition for both projects completed overseas as well as for international clients in Ireland. We look forward to continuing this partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Government to build the profile and image of Ireland across the world.’

The Competition Jury comprises six eminent persons drawn from the fields of architecture, design and diplomacy. They are:

– Anne Barrington, Irish Ambassador to Japan, 2014-2018, (Chair of the Jury)
– Sou Fujimoto, Director Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo, Japan
– Karen McEvoy, MRIAI, Director Bucholz McEvoy Architects, Ireland
– Ciaran O’Connor, FRIAI, State Architect, Office of Public Works, Ireland
– Raymund Ryan, HonFRIAI, Irish architectural curator and critic, Pittsburgh, USA
– Joseph Walsh, internationally-renowned Irish furniture designer, Ireland

Full details of the competition can be found here: https://www.riai.ie/competitions/detail/ireland_house_tokyo

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