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Glasnevin Chapel competition winner revealed

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Dublin-based O’Daly Architects has won an international competition to design a commemorative chapel for the Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin

The home team saw off competition from 128 entries to win the RIAI-organised contest for the new building commemorating the 232 people who died in the 1916 Easter Week Rising.

Competition-backers, the Glasnevin Trust, awarded four further prizes with second place going to Dublin-based trio David Jameson, Paul Fox and Rose Bonner and three commendations handed to Dublin-based practices TAKA and MOLA Architecture and London’s Weston Williamson.

Commenting on the winning scheme, the judges said: ‘This project imaginatively created a unique sense of place which is simultaneously one of peaceful contemplation, commemoration and celebration. The design strongly reinforces the notion that all religions, and all humanity, have in common a love of and affinity with nature. This has been achieved by the clever exploitation of sunlight and daylight, rich and complex inside/outside relationships and a sensitive use of materials. The response to natural phenomena and landscape together create a fitting tribute to the citizens of Dublin who perished in the 1916 Easter Rising.’

Emer O’Daly of O’Daly Architects said: ‘The design for the Glasnevin 1916 Centenary Chapel creates a series of calming and contemplative spaces that are embedded in nature. A garden of water pools and trees is formed around which the visitor journeys from walkway to memorial to Chapel space.  The interior of the Chapel is a play of light, water and stone, creating a space of transition from dark to light.’

The winners

  • First place: O’Daly Architects, Dublin
  • Second place: David Jameson, Paul Fox and Rose Bonner, Dublin
  • Highly commended: TAKA, Dublin
  • Highly commended: MOLA Architecture, Dublin
  • Highly commended: Weston Williamson, London

O’Daly Architects was awarded €10,000 for their entry.

The building is expected to cost €3.5 million and is planned to complete in time for the Easter 2016 Centenary celebrations.

Commenting on their highly commended entry Weston Williamson architects added: ‘It was a challenging brief to create a modern chapel suitable for people of all denominations whilst simultaneously remembering those who died in the 1916 Rising.

‘The building sits on a base of basalt paving to mark the site of the mass grave and is enveloped in a single folded for to create a strong silhouette commemorating those who died in the 1916 Rising. Internally, a controlled sequence of contemplative spaces mediate the transition from thedark to the light, culminating in the spectacular main chapel volume with framed courtyard views to create calm and peaceful space for reflection.’

Weston Williamson's highly commended entry to the Glasnevin Chapel contest

Weston Williamson’s highly commended entry to the Glasnevin Chapel contest

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