The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has announced the results of prestigious global architecture awards which include two Irish winners. Two Dublin practices are to be awarded medals as part of the International Union of Architects (UIA) Friendly and Inclusive Spaces’ Awards 2017. Now in its second year, the awards recognise and promote inclusive design in four categories: New Buildings; Public Spaces; Existing & Historic Buildings and Research. From a total of 76 entries spanning 28 countries across five continents, two Irish projects designed by RIAI-registered architects were chosen as winners of the top awards by an international expert jury. Dublin-based McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects has won a medal in the New Building category for Coláiste Ailigh, a secondary school on the outskirts of Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The school sits on a sloping site with two levels of accommodation, the lower level backed into the hill, leaving the main elevation facing the view and the playing field.
In the Existing & Historic Buildings category, Seán Harrington Architects, which is also based in the capital, has won a medal for its work on Malahide Parish Centre. Wrapped around a contemporary cloister and sitting comfortably next to a historic church, Malahide Parish Centre in North Dublin provides various community meeting rooms, a children’s nursery, a cafe, and a quiet contemplation room, all open and accessible to everyone. The third medal, in the Public Space category, will be awarded to SCF Arquitectos of Puerto Rico for Paseo Puerta de Tierra. The medals will be formally presented at an award ceremony in Seoul, Korea on September 6, as part of the 26th UIA Congress of Architecture. International practices which were recognised with Honourable Mentions in all categories will also collect awards at the event – see full list of winners below. Irish architect and Co-Director, UIA Work Programme Architecture For All, Fionnuala Rogerson said: “The standard of entries was exceptionally high this year, which reflects our vision that good architecture contributes to the creation of ‘enabling’ environments which are suitable for people of all ages, abilities and cultures to use and enjoy.”
RIAI President, Carole Pollard added: “On behalf of all of our members, I would like to congratulate all of the medal winners and those that received Honourable Mentions, particularly the two Irish practices which have been recognised with this honour. It’s further evidence of the high regard in which Irish architects are held, both at home and abroad. Their expertise continues to contribute to the quality built environment which benefits all of our lives.”
The International Union of Architects (UIA) ‘Friendly and Inclusive Spaces’ Awards 2017 is administered by the RIAI and supported by the Polish Association of Architects (SARP) and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA).