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Hall McKnight transport hub named Northern Ireland’s best building of 2019

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Hall McKnight’s Colin Connect Transport Hub and Colin Town Square has been named Northern Ireland’s best Building of the Year

The scheme was one of just four projects in the country to win RIBA Regional Awards, also known as the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Design Awards.

Hall McKnight won two more special awards for its transport hub. It received the RSUA Living Places Award for having met the requirements in Northern Ireland’s the Living Places planning guidance; while practice associate Richard Dougherty was named Project Architect of the Year.

The prize for Northern Ireland’s House of the Year went to McGonigle McGrath’s House at Lessans, just outside Saintfield.

McGurk Architects and ARdMackel won an award for their facility for the Gaelic radio station, Raidió Fáilte; while Grimshaw picked up the Sustainability Award for its £15 million flexible workspace in Belfast City Quays.

The quartet of projects was selected from a surprisingly small shortlist of only eight schemes – a huge fall from 2018 when 21 schemes were in contention for the regional accolades.

RSUA director Ciarán Fox said: ‘It is critical to the health, happiness and environmental wellbeing of our communities that we continue to enhance the architectural culture in Northern Ireland. These awards highlight the best and should inspire clients, architects and policymakers to push standards higher again.

‘To ensure that local architects are able to fulfil their full potential at home, rather than having to go away to achieve their best work, we must invest in design, uphold high design standards through the planning system and reward creativity’.

He added: ‘I commend the clients and architects involved in all eight shortlisted projects and extend my particular congratulations to the four winners’.

The RSUA Design Awards ceremony took place at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, which itself won an RIBA award in 1972.

The four winning schemes will now be put forward for the RIBA National Awards, with the winners named in June. Those collecting national awards will then be considered for the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist.

RSUA award winners

Colin Town Centre (CTC) Transport Hub, Belfast, by Hall McKnight

Ctc transport hub 3420 donal mccann original 10

Source: Donal McCann

House at Lessans, Saintfield, by McGonigle McGrath

House lessans 3344 aidan mcgrath original 4

Source: Aidan McGrath

Lionra Uladh for Raidió Fáilte, Belfast, by McGurk Architects and ARdMackel

Raidio failte lion 3213 paul lindsay original 6

Source: Paul Lindsay

Belfast City Quays 2, Belfast, by Grimshaw

Belfast city quays 2 3177 donal mccann original 2

Source: Donal McCann

Special awards

  • Colin Connect Transport Hub and Colin Town Square, Belfast, by Hall McKnight, Liam McCormick Prize for Northern Ireland’s Building of the Year
  • Colin Connect Transport Hub and Colin Town Square, Belfast, by Hall McKnight, RSUA Living Places Award
  • Richard Dougherty of Hall McKnight for Colin Connect Transport Hub and Colin Town Square, RSUA Project Architect of the Year
  • House at Lessans, Saintfield, by McGonigle McGrath, RSUA House of the Year
  • House at Lessans, Saintfield, by McGonigle McGrath, RSUA Small Project of the Year
  • Lionra Uladh for Raidió Fáilte, Belfast, by McGurk Architects and ARdMackel, RSUA Client of the Year
  • Belfast City Quays 2, Belfast, by Grimshaw Architects, RSUA Sustainability Award
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