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RIAI set to protest to European Commission over design contest

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The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) is considering a formal complaint to the EC over ‘exclusionary’ rules set by the Energy Supply Board (ESB) for a design competition

The Irish Times said the RIAI claims the European tender criteria which stipulates practices have to have an annual turnover exceeding £2 million for entering the competition - to redevelop its Dublin headquarters - would effectively prevent most Irish architects from taking part.

RIAI president Sean O’Laoire met with ESB chairman Lochlann Quinn to discuss the institute’s concerns but Quinn said the ESB would not change the rules at this stage.

In a letter to the ESB chairman in April, O’Laoire said that the criteria would exclude such practices as Grafton Architects, which won the first World Building of the Year award last October for Bocconi University in Milan, and Gilroy McMahon Architects, which received a RIAI gold medal for Croke Park.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I have complained to the RIBA about discrimination against smaller practices as a result of the questions in tenders tailored to exclude small and medium sized practices. Turnover, experience and size of practice should all be excluded and are a result of the risk adverse culture of the consultants advising the clients in design competition and OJEU tenders.

    Competitions and tenders should be open to all not just the usual suspects.

    The RIBA was not interested as it seems to be run by the larger practices, for the larger practices.

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