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Aoibhneas Women and Children's Refuge, RIAI competition

The RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) is administering a competition on behalf of the competition promoters, Aoibhneas Women and Children’s Refuge

This open, two-stage architectural competition is for the design of a children’s centre on the existing site of Aoibhneas Women and Children’s Refuge in Coolock, Dublin.

Aoibhneas aims to provide a specialised, child-centred service, housed in an innovative building using cutting edge design to meet the many needs of children living in refuges and accessing refuge services. Aoibhneas believes that Irish refuges must become more than temporary safe houses and become places that truly support children through the traumas of domestic violence. Aoibhneas wants to create an environment whereby children can reclaim their trust and feelings of safety.

Architects worldwide are being asked to design a state-of-the-art children’s centre facility which will include age appropriate play areas, homework, art and therapy rooms with space for children to spend time alone and with their families.

The subject site which is triangular in shape (3,214 m²) is located within a predominantly residential area. A courtyard building of refuge accommodation units (727m²)is located on the eastern corner of the site and encloses a small play area. Competitors should assume a budget in the range of €600,000 - €800,000. The outline cost plan in the competition pack provides additional information.

Submissions for Stage 1 will be evaluated on quality and innovation in architectural design and compliance with the competition brief.

The competition is open to persons who are currently included on the RIAI Register for Architects, or who could seek registration without significant delay (e.g. without requiring further assessment). You should consult the registration requirements at to check that you have the required qualifications and documentation to seek registration without requiring further assessment by the RIAI or any other examining body.

Terri Morrissey, Chairperson, Aoibhneas Women and Children’s Refuge
Linda Smith, Manager, Aoibhneas Women and Children’s Refuge
Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive, Barnardos
Marguerite Murphy, County Architect, Fingal County Council
Ryan Kennihan, Architect, Ryan W. Kennihan Architects

Prize Fund
Each short listed competitor invited to participate in Stage 2 of the competition will be paid an honorarium of €10,000 for a valid Stage 2 submission.

How to Register
The Registration Form is available in the Competitions section of the RIAI website
Download and complete the registration form including payment / payment details for the €121.00 registration fee (inclusive of VAT at 21%).
Registration forms are accepted via email, fax or post.

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