When Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey, who practice in partnership as O'Donnell + Tuomey, were named as this year's recipients of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, a palpable collective satisfaction appeared to spread throughout the profession. No one could find criticism in Joseph Rykwert and Níall McLaughlin's nomination, nor the ultimate choice of the RIBA Honours Committee, to bestow the award upon the Irish team. Their astonishingly rigourous body of work, compiled and constructed over the last twenty five years, has an appeal which extends beyond Irish and British shores. A robust stock of cultural, community and educational projects, alongside family homes and social housing projects, leaves little doubt about the quality, depth and breadth of their mutual capabilities and the skill of those that they choose to collaborate with.
Read the conversation with the Gold Medallists after the break.
Dublin-based Newenham Mulligan and London-based Grimshaw have been selected by the Royal Dublin Society and Leinster Rugby to redevelop the rugby team’s home arena in Ballsbridge, Ireland. The €20 million redevelopment, announced just before Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, plans to replace the RDS Arena’s old Anglesea stand with one that increases the venue’s capacity to 25,000.
In collaboration with The Model, Hazelwood Demesne Ltd, and Sligo City Council, the Institute of Technology Sligo has launched "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," an international architecture competition inspired by Yeats' eponymous poem of 1892. Part of Yeats2015, the competition prompts practitioners to propose an intervention for the Irish island of Innisfree, combining "Yeats' poetic vision and contemporary architectural ideas." Work may be submitted individually or as part of a team, and must be received by March 12. The winning design will be constructed on the island before June 13, in time for what would have been Yeats' 150th birthday. See more information about the competition and download the project brief here.
University College Cork has selected O'Donnell + Tuomey to design the university's new student hub, which will house learning, student support and administration spaces in a new building adjacent to the campus' Victorian Windle Medical Building, to the West of the main quadrangle. Selected for their ability to work within and around the historic buildings, the project will also see O'Donnell + Tuomey restore the medical building.
The new student centre will be the second building designed by the practice for University College Cork, a decade after the completion of their Stirling Prize-shortlisted Lewis Glucksman Gallery.
Grimshaw Architects have received full planning approval for City Quays 2, the second building planned as part of their City Quays masterplan for Belfast Harbour’s Clarendon Dock. To be built on a former ferry terminal site, City Quays 2 will stretch nine stories high and provide over 95,000 square feet of flexible work space.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has selected Irish architects Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey as recipients of the 2015 Royal Gold Medal, one of the world's most prestigious lifetime achievement awards for architecture. Approved personally by the Queen, the award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of architecture.
The RIBA praised the way O'Donnell + Tuomey came together in the early 1990s to combine "Sheila’s quiet, studied 'rationalism' alongside John’s fluent, rhetorical 'constructivism,'" commenting that "through their buildings, publications, exhibitions and teaching they have forged a confident new identity for Irish architecture."
The Irish pavilion's response to the theme of the 2014 Venice Biennale captures the tumultuous history of the Ireland's past hundred years through ten infrastructural projects which highlight the country's progress. Ireland's relationship to the theme of "Absorbing Modernity" was colored by their independence from the United Kingdom in the early 1920s, with modernism and infrastructure seen as the way to leave this past behind. The pavilion examines the outcomes of this approach, with Ireland treated as "a launch-pad and testing ground" for everything from concrete infrastructure to data centers. Read the curators' take on their pavilion after the break.