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Northern Ireland names a dozen winners in RIBA regional awards bonanza

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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 2389 donal mccann pressimage 1

Castle Tower School, Ballymena by Isherwood + Ellis

Source: Donal McCann

Corriewood Private Clinic, Castlewellan, by McGurk Architects

Corriewood private c 2708 gordon mcavoy pressimage 2

Corriewood Private Clinic, Castlewellan by McGurk Architects

Source: Gordon Mcavoy

County Down Barn, Newtownards, by Micah T Jones Architect

County down barn 2651 micah jones pressimage 4

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  2246 chris hill pressimage 3

Main Site Tower and Peter Froggatt Centre, QUB, Belfast by TODD Architects

Source: Chris Hill

Maison Wedge, Killinchy, by BGA Architects

Maison wedge 2207 aidan monaghan pressimage 5

Maison Wedge, Killinchy by BGA Architects

Source: Aidan Monaghan

Newry Leisure Centre – Phase 2, Newry, by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Newry leisure centre 2158 donal mccann pressimage 1

Newry Leisure Centre - Phase 2, Newry by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Source: Donal McCann

No 37, Belfast, by FAMILY architects designers makers

No 37 2683 grainne cumming pressimage 4

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 p 2662 chris hill pressimage 3

Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex, Omagh by TODD Architects with Hall Black Douglas

Source: Chris Hill

Sportlann, Belfast, by ARdMackel Architects

Sportlann, belfast 2655 gary quigg pressimage 1

Sportlann, Belfast by ARdMackel Architects

Source: Gary Quigg

St Bronagh’s Primary School, Rostrevor, by d-on architects

St bronagh's primary 2267 richard watson pressimage 5

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, commun 2678 mervyn black pressimage 4

The Junction, Community Peace Building, Dungannon by Hall Black Douglas

Source: Mervyn Black

The Weaving Works, Belfast, by RMI Architects

The weaving works 2774 todd watson pressimage 1

The Weaving Works, Belfast by RMI Architects

Source: Todd Watson

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