• Monday , 16 December 2019

Northern Ireland’s Building of the Year 2018


St Bronagh’s Primary School named Northern Ireland’s Building of the Year

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) has awarded the Liam McCormick Prize for Northern Ireland’s Building of the Year to St. Bronagh’s Primary School in Rostrevor by d-on architects.

The school joins an illustrious list of buildings including the Giants Causeway Visitors Centre and the Lyric Theatre which have previously won the prestigious award named after one of Ireland’s greatest 20th century architects. The building was also awarded the RSUA Sustainability Award and d-on’s Paul McMahon was named Project Architect of the Year.

Located near Ballygowan, the County Down Barn by Micah T Jones has been named as Northern Ireland’s House of the Year. Other winning buildings at the RSUA Design Awards 2018 included the transformative Junction Community Peace Building in Dungannon by Hall Black Douglas, the sensitive overhaul of the Main Site Tower at Queen’s University Belfast by TODD Architects and a fine example of restoration by RMI Architects at the Weaving Works, Belfast.

A full list of winners is provided below. Images and judges citations can be downloaded here: https://riba.app.box.com/v/RSUAAwardWinners2018#

Ciarán Fox, RSUA Director said, “The RSUA Design Awards primary purpose is to promote excellence in the design of our built environment with the view to making Northern Ireland a better place for everyone. Our buildings have an enormous impact on how we live and this year’s awards demonstrate wonderfully how good design can improve learning, health, community relations and economic development. We also see architects rising to the challenges of catering for an ageing population.”

“Increasingly clients in Northern Ireland are seeking out ways to improve design quality. There is a growing awareness that by investing a bit more upfront the client benefits significantly over the course of the project but even more so over the life of the building. Most public sector clients don’t want to skimp on design. They are keen to find ways to avoid a race to the bottom on fees and we are working closely with them on how best to achieve that.”


“The greatest threat facing Northern Ireland’s built environment now is the absence of devolved government for over a year. The lack of Ministers to make decisions on which new construction projects to progress to design stage is quickly reaching a crisis point. Not only will badly needed investment be delayed but many jobs in the construction industry could be at risk.”

The RSUA Design Awards ceremony took place at the Whitla Hall, Belfast. The building was designed by local architect John McGeagh along with Edward Maufe of London and won a RIBA Architecture Medal in 1950.

The RSUA Design Awards 2018 judges were:

  • RSUA appointed chair (architect from NI) – Michael Doherty, Doherty Architects
  • RIBA appointed judge (architect from GB) – Greg Penoyre, Penoyre & Prasad
  • RSUA appointed lay judge – Wendy Austin, Broadcaster (not in attendance for shortlisting)
  • RSUA appointed judge (architect from RoI) – Carole Pollard, Immediate Past President of RIAI
  • RSUA appointed judge (architect from NI) – Geoff Sloan


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