Winners of the 2020 RIAI Architecture Awards Announced

By Gemma Creagh - Last update

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The winners of the 2020 RIAI Architecture Awards have been announced.

The awards celebrate work carried out by members of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland and overseas in 2019 and highlight the contribution that architects make to society for everyone’s benefit.

The winners of the 2020 RIAI Architecture Awards were announced today on the RIAI Website. The awards celebrate work carried out by members of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) members, both in Ireland and overseas, in 2019 and highlight the contribution that architects make to society for everyone’s benefit.

The prestigious architecture awards were first established in 1989 to celebrate excellence in the built environment and the work of RIAI-registered architects. This year, the RIAI announced 12 Award Winners across 11 categories, including Adaption & Re-Use, Conservation, International, Learning Environments, Living (Homes), Public Space, Well-Being and Workplace.

All of the projects on the shortlist have been designed by RIAI-registered architects, based in Ireland and overseas, and were completed in 2019. The award winners include projects in Dublin, Cork, Connemara, Drogheda, London and Paris.

The conversion of an historic building on Dawson Street to both residential and commercial use by Paul Keogh Architects, was the winner in the Adaptation and Re-use category while the restoration of Leinster House by the Office of Public Works Architectural Services received the top award in the Conservation category. The Living category saw awards going to a coach house renovation by Culligan Architects, and a house on the Connemara coastline by A2 Architects. The transformation of the South Presentation Convent site in Cork, winner in the Urban Design category, was described by the judges as ‘an exemplar urban renewal project’. Woodruff Restaurant in South County Dublin, where the ‘architect inventively and sensitively used a modest budget’ won the Fit-Out/Workplace category, with the Candle Community, a therapeutic space for young people in Ballyfermot, winning the Wellbeing Category.

Grafton Architects were double award-winners in both the Learning Environment category for their work on the Toulouse School of Economics as well as the International category for Institut Mines-Telecom, outside Paris. The Sustainability award was given to McGurk Architects and Cullinan Studio for their work on the Bunhill 2 Energy Centre, a world-first scheme in Islington, London, that uses waste heat from the London Underground to warm homes, leisure centres and a school.

The RIAI Public Choice Award was announced in June. The winning submission which received over 12,000 votes, was Tooting Meadow, a development of 15 high quality homes for the elderly and families. The housing scheme, designed for the North and East Housing Association, was developed on a brown-field, infill derelict site, in Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Ciaran O’Connor, RIAI President said: “Architects bring insight and understanding to a project, ensuring that not only is it aesthetically pleasing but also functional, addressing the client need, both now and into the future. The shortlist of entries for this year’s awards demonstrates both the scope and scale of projects being delivered by RIAI members, all of which combine creativity and a commitment to quality design. I’m delighted to see the restoration of Leinster House as a category winner, a project that was undertaken by my colleagues in the OPW. Quality design must be at the heart of our public spaces and buildings and in the protection and enhancement of our cultural heritage.”

Liam Tuite, FRIAI, Chair of the Jury said: “The jury had a challenging task to pick winners in each category. The shortlist was made up of exceptional projects including residential homes, commercial spaces, a youth centre, heritage locations and public spaces. It is not easy to put yourself forward to be judged by a panel of your peers and I’d like to thank both my colleagues in the profession and their clients for sharing with us all of these wonderful projects. All of the submissions received underline the value that Irish people place on quality design in our build environment.”

The RIAI Awards Jury consists of Registered Architects and a distinguished guest juror. The Jury for the RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2020 are: Liam Tuite, FRIAI (Chairperson); Eugene Downes, Cultural Director, DFAT (Distinguished Guest Juror); Susan Dawson, MRIAI; Ailish Drake, MRIAI; Rachel Dudley, MRIAI; David Magennis, MRIAI; Orla O’Callaghan, FRIAI; Michael Pike, MRIAI; Sally Starbuck MRIAI; Gavin Wheatley, MRIAI.

Interested in studying Architecture? Check out our list on Architecture courses 

Gemma Creagh

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