The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) has awarded the Liam McCormick Prize for Northern Ireland’s Building of the Year to the Colin Connect Transport Hub and Colin Town Square in west Belfast.
The project was designed by Hall McKnight for the Department for Infrastructure, the Urban Villages Initiative, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, and Translink. It is the west Belfast terminus for the Glider, and along with the new square, will act as the focal point for further regeneration in Colin Town Centre.
Previous winners of the Liam McCormick prize, which honours the best of Northern Irish architecture, include the Lyric Theatre Belfast, St Bronagh’s Primary School in Rostrevor, and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.
It was a triple success for Hall McKnight as the project also won the RSUA Living Places Award for its demonstration of the qualities set out in the Living Places planning guidance, while Richard Dougherty from the practice was named Project Architect of the Year for his work on the hub.
The prize for Northern Ireland’s House of the Year went to McGonigle McGrath for their House at Lessans, just outside Saintfield.
McGurk Architects and ARdMackel won an award for Raidió Fáilte – Lionra Uladh, a new facility for the radio station which serves the Irish-speaking community across Ulster. The building, which includes a café, exhibition space and garden, brings ‘front door’ activity back to Divis Street in Belfast. Raidió Fáilte also won Client of the Year for their enthusiasm and energy.
The final award went to Grimshaw Architects for Belfast City Quays 2. It is the second speculative commercial office building by Belfast Harbour Commissioners as part of a wider development of Belfast Harbour around Clarendon docks. The £15m building provides eight stories of flexible workspace and, due to its excellent energy performance and local sourcing, it also picked up the Sustainability Award.
Ciarán Fox, RSUA Director, said ‘It is critical to the health, happiness and environmental well-being of our communities that we continue to enhance architectural culture in Northern Ireland. These awards highlight the best and should inspire clients, architects, and policy makers to push standards higher again.’