A dozen projects have been handed regional RIBA awards in Northern Ireland – six times the number handed out last year
In 2017 only two projects in the region (see AJ 22.05.17) were handed the honours, which also double as the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Design Awards.
Northern Ireland’s building of the year award – officially the Liam McCormick Prize – was given to St Bronagh’s Primary School in Rostrevor, by d-on architects. Previous winners of the title include Heneghan Peng’s Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and the Lyric Theatre by O’Donnell + Tuomey.
The seven-classroom school overlooking Carlingford Lough also picked up the region’s sustainability award and d-on architects’ Paul McMahon, who worked on scheme, was named the region’s Project Architect of the Year.
There was also a brace of special honours for Micah T Jones Architect, which won the RSUA’s House of the Year and Small Project of the Year awards.
The Northern Irish Client of the Year award went to The Junction, the project backer behind the new Community Peace Building in Dungannon by Hall Black Douglas.
RSUA director Ciarán Fox said: ‘Increasingly clients in Northern Ireland are seeking out ways to improve design quality. There is a growing awareness that, by investing a bit more up-front, the client benefits significantly over the course of the project but even more so over the life of the building.
’Most public sector clients don’t want to skimp on design. They are keen to find ways to avoid a race to the bottom on fees and we are working closely with them on how best to achieve that.
The greatest threat facing Northern Ireland’s built environment is the absence of devolved government
’The greatest threat facing Northern Ireland’s built environment now is the absence of devolved government for over a year. The lack of ministers to make decisions on which new construction projects to progress to design stage is quickly reaching a crisis point.
’Not only will badly needed investment be delayed, but many jobs in the construction industry could be at risk.’
This year’s jury was chaired by architect Michael Doherty of Doherty Architects and included RIBA-appointed judge Greg Penoyre of Penoyre & Prasad and RSUA-appointed lay judge, broadcaster Wendy Austin.
The regional winners were announced on 18 May at the Whitla Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, and will be put forward for the RIBA National Awards, with the recipients named on 21 June.
Those collecting national awards will then be considered for the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize.
Note: RSUA Design Awards 2018 were also handed to Ballymena Health and Care Centre, Ballymena by Keppie Design with Hoskins Architects; and Fallahogey Studio, Kilrea by McGarry Moon.
Both projects had already won RIBA regional awards in 2017.
RIBA regional winners
Castle Tower School, Ballymena, by Isherwood + Ellis
Castle Tower School, Ballymena by Isherwood + Ellis
Source: Donal McCann
Corriewood Private Clinic, Castlewellan, by McGurk Architects
Corriewood Private Clinic, Castlewellan by McGurk Architects
Source: Gordon Mcavoy
County Down Barn, Newtownards, by Micah T Jones Architect
County Down Barn, Newtownards by Micah T Jones Architect
Source: Micah Jones
Main Site Tower and Peter Froggatt Centre, QUB, Belfast, by TODD Architects
Main Site Tower and Peter Froggatt Centre, QUB, Belfast by TODD Architects
Source: Chris Hill
Maison Wedge, Killinchy, by BGA Architects
Maison Wedge, Killinchy by BGA Architects
Source: Aidan Monaghan
Newry Leisure Centre – Phase 2, Newry, by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects
Newry Leisure Centre - Phase 2, Newry by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects
Source: Donal McCann
No 37, Belfast, by FAMILY architects designers makers
no 37, Belfast by FAMILY architects designers makers
Source: Grainne Cumming
Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex, Omagh, by TODD Architects with Hall Black Douglas
Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex, Omagh by TODD Architects with Hall Black Douglas
Source: Chris Hill
Sportlann, Belfast, by ARdMackel Architects
Sportlann, Belfast by ARdMackel Architects
Source: Gary Quigg
St Bronagh’s Primary School, Rostrevor, by d-on architects
St Bronagh’s Primary School, Rostrevor by d-on architects
Source: Richard Watson
The Junction, Community Peace Building, Dungannon, by Hall Black Douglas
The Junction, Community Peace Building, Dungannon by Hall Black Douglas
Source: Mervyn Black
The Weaving Works, Belfast, by RMI Architects
The Weaving Works, Belfast by RMI Architects
Source: Todd Watson