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Stirling shortlist: O'Donnell + Tuomey

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The AJ presents buildings, essays and archive material from the architects nominated for the 2011 RIBA Stirling Prize, sponsored by Benchmark

Dublin-based practice O’Donnell + Tuomey will be hoping to make it third time lucky following An Gaeláras’ nomination for this year’s Stirling Prize.

The Irish language arts and cultural centre in the historic centre of Derry in Northern Ireland is the practice’s third nomination for the Prize after Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School in 1999, and The Lewis Glucksman Gallery in 2005.

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey established the practice in 1988, and the pair have been central characters of Irish architecture over the past two decades with a portfolio of highly crafted and restrained buildings.

The RIBA judges described An Gaeláras as ‘innovative and vibrant building that embodies the celebration of Irish language and culture’. It is the first time a building from Northern Ireland has made the Stirling shortlist.

This month the practice’s ‘Sleeping Giant’ in Killiney, County Dublin features in the Architectural Review’s annual AR House competition. Praise was given to how the building negotiated the difficult site, an aspect that is key to the success of An Gaeláras.

The Stirling Prize winner will be announced at the Magna centre in Rotherham on Saturday 1 October.

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