The Winner of the RIAI Public Choice Award 2019 – An Ríocht, Scoil Chríost Rí, Boys National School, Caherdavin, Limerick
The RIAI has announced An Ríocht, Scoil Chríost Rí, Boys National School, Caherdavin, Limerick, designed by Drake Hourigan Architects, as the winner of the Public Choice Award at the RIAI Architecture Awards 2019. The school, which is located on the northside of Limerick City, beat off tough competition from a shortlist of forty-one projects which included entries from Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick, Meath, Tyrone and Wexford, as well as London and India. All of the projects on the shortlist were designed by Registered Architects, based in Ireland and overseas, and were completed in 2018.
Developed in close collaboration with the principal and teachers, the building at Caherdavin provides for a two-classroom Autism Syndrome Disorder (ASD) suite with a central activities space and a sensory garden, new entrance courtyard and atrium space for whole school circulation. Inclusion, compassion, and flexibility of use were all cited as key drivers in the design. The new accommodation facilitates the school and teaching staff in providing pupils with the necessary educational and social supports when starting school. By including these facilities within the mainstream school setting, children will develop social skills through participation in educational and social activities with their peers, with a view to moving to mainstream classes as they progress through their school years.
David Browne, RIAI President said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to award Drake Hourigan Architects the 2019 RIAI Public Choice Award. The importance of good design in all of our built environment and public spaces is reflected by Public Choice being awarded to a school. Well-designed buildings can improve quality of life and social interaction, and in the case of Scoil Chríost Rí, can promote inclusion, compassion and flexibility. The positive impact this building will have on the learning experience of the pupils cannot be underestimated.’
Carole Pollard, FRIAI, Chair of the Jury said: ‘I would like to congratulate Drake Hourigan Architects for their spectacular project; everyone involved should be immensely proud of the work they have produced. The RIAI Architecture Awards celebrate the standard of excellence in architecture across Ireland and Scoil Chríost Rí is a prime example of this.’
Second Place in the Public Choice went to the Cork Criminal Courthouse by OPW Architects with Wilson Architecture and Bluett O’Donoghue Architects. In third place is the office building 13-18 City Quay, Grant Thornton HQ, in Dublin by Henry J Lyons Architects.