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Civic and Culture The Lyric Theatre, Belfast Wexford CoCo Headquarters Rathmines Square 2011 Irish Architecture Awards NAMALab

The Journal of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

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Contributors / RIAI Annual Conference Comment Presidents Column

Architecture Ireland incorporating Irish Architect The Journal of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland 9 Sandyford Office Park, Dublin 18 Telephone: 01-295 8115 Facsimile: 01-295 9350 Email:!/archireland Editor Dr Sandra Andrea OConnell Commercial and Advertising Sales Derek Moroney Design evolve - Printing Swift Printing Solutions Magazine Intern Michael Hayes Correspondents Ulster: Ciaran Mackel BSc.Dip.Arch.Dip Project Management, MSC Design, MRIAI Munster: Alexander White Dip.Arch., MSDI, MRIAI Leinster: Brian McClean B.Arch.B.Sc.Arch, MRIAI Connaught: Malcolm OBeirne Dip.Arch.B.Sc.Arch, MRIAI London: Sean Madigan AADip Arch, RIBA, MRIAI Angela Brady B.Sc.Arch, Dip.Arch., FRIAI, RIBA Germany/Austria/Switzerland: Rory ODonovan B.Arch France: Vincent Ducatez, Architecte DPLG, MRIAI, M. in Arch.

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Architecture News Irish Architecture Awards 2011 RIAI CPD News Architecture and Education News by Michael Hayes Urban Agenda by Alan Mee

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Designing Primary Schools for the Future by Jim Coady NAMALab by Sandra OConnell Research in Architecture Colloquim by Noel Brady

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Wexford County Headquarters, Wexford, Robin Lee Architects in association with Arthur Gibney and Partners Review by Kevin Donovan The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, ODonnell + Tuomey Review by David Leatherbarrow Rathmines Square, Dublin, Donnelly Turpin Architects Review by Eddie Conroy Drive Through Restaurant, Galway, Paul Dillon Architects Seaside House, Louth, A2 Architects Review by Fergus McArdle


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Forbo Young Architects Design Competition Product News Brick in Architecture by Michael Hayes Project Gallery

Published by Nova Publishing Ltd. for the RIAI RIAI 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 Tel: 01-676 1703 Fax: 01-661 0948 Websites: Architecture Ireland RIAI Cover: The Lyric Theatre, Belfast Photography by: Dennis Gilbert / VIEW

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Design Blog by Aideen McCole Routes to Registration by Sandra OConnell The Prow of Ship on Ridgeway Street by Gerald Dawe Book Reviews by Stephen Best and Paul Kelly 10 Questions for Robin Lee

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2011 RIAI Annual Conference at VISUAL, Carlow (23-25 October)
Entitled Riding out the Storm Survival, Renewal and Recovery, this years RIAI Annual Conference focuses on how architects can adapt to the current crisis, and how the profession and the RIAI can capitalise on the strengths and reputation of Irish architecture to develop strategies for renewal and recovery in the years ahead. Three international keynote speakers Edward Jones, Kenneth Frampton and Rafael Moneo will offer their perspectives on the theme; from Joness Reflections on Irish Architecture - Identity, Reputation and Values to Framptons thinking on Critical Regionalism Revisited World Architecture and Liquid Modernity, and Moneos overview on The Remains of Architecture - what will remain of what we call architecture in years to come. The conference takes place in VISUAL, Centre for Contemporary Art and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow from 23 to 25 October. With the economy expected to return to growth and the recent census confirming the population to increase (reaching 5 million by 2020) RIAI President Paul Keogh says that the conference will ask how can architects contribute to ensure that Ireland emerges from the current crisis in a stronger and better position. A strong line-up of speakers will deliver keynote addresses, followed by panel responses and open discussions. In addition to the three international keynote speakers, architects contributing will include Michelle Fagan, Angela Brady, Conor Skehan, Eddie Conroy, David OConnor, Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara, Sheila ODonnell and John Tuomey, Shane de Blacam, Brendan Woods, Shane OToole and Dermot Boyd and many more. Booking form and Conference Programme are available on the RIAI website,

Riding the Storm Survival, Renewal and Recovery

Stephen Best (Book Review) is a Senior Lecturer at DIT Bolton Street, where since 2009 he has taught architectural design and professional practice. He is also The Sunday Times architecture critic for Ireland. He began his architectural career at Foster and Partners, where in 2005 he was made a Partner. Noel Jonathan Brady (Research in Architecture) established the award winning architecture and urban design firm NJBA A + U in 1994. In addition to lecturing in Design, Theory and Urban Design at the DIT school of architecture, he continues to contribute articles on art and architecture to publications and books.
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Paul Kelly (Book Review) is a Director of FKLarchitects, which he established in 1998 with Michelle Fagan and Gary Lysaght. With a strong focus on practice-based research, FKL has lectured and exhibited nationally and internationally and was nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Award. In 2006, they curated and participated in the Irish entry for the Venice Biennale - SubUrban to SuperRural.


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Jim Coady (RIAI, Primary Schools for the Future) is a principal in private practice, and chairs the Design For Education Group in the RIAI and the RIAI/DES Joint Committee on Education Design. Belfast-born poet Gerald Dawe (The Lyric Theatre) is the author of the highly regarded portrait of Belfast, My Mother-City (Lagan Press 2007). He is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

David Leatherbarrow (Review Lyric Theatre) Autmatic Door Standards is Professor of Architecture at theare changing and PHOTOGRAPHERS University KCC using Geze slimline automatic door of Pennsylvania, whereway also serves as prodcuts are he ahead of the rest. Interim-Chairman of the Department of A full member of ADSA and all engineers Dennis Gilbert/VIEW Architecture and Associate fully compliant on current (The Lyric Theatre) and specifiers are Dean of the School of Design. He teaches architectural legislation and standanrds (BS 7036) Ros Kavanagh design, as well as the history and theory of (Rathmines Square) architecture, gardens, and cities. Fergus McArdle (Review Seaside House) graduated from UCD with a BArch in 1995. He worked on the Scottish Parliament with the late Enric Miralles in Barcelona. He now lives and works in Dublin. Alan Mee (Urban Agenda) is an architect working in urbanism, architecture and education. Projects range from urban design to domestic architecture. He is also Director of the Urban Design Masters programme at UCD.

Kevin Donovan (Review Wexford CoCo Hq) studied languages and literature in Dublin and Paris. He then turned to architecture, graduating from UCD in 2004. Kevin has worked for a number of award-winning practices in Dublin and currently teaches Design Studio and History and Theory of Architecture in both UCD Architecture and the Cork Centre for Architecture. He also lectures at the School of Art History, UCD.





Andrew Lee (Wexford County Council Headquarters) Paul Tierney (Drive Through Restaurant) Enda Cavanagh (Rathmines Square) Marie-Louise Halpenny (Seaside House)

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COMMENT by Dr Sandra OConnell

Architectural quality enhances all our lives, said Minister William Penrose at this years Irish Architecture Awards and this is evident in both the 2011 award winners such as the accomplished Drive Through Restaurant in Galway and the evocative Seaside House in Louth featured in this issue and in these new civic and cultural projects: The elegant juxtaposition of gravitas (stone) and lightness (glass), embodied by the Wexford County Council Headquarters; the successful making of place at Rathmines Square with its stunning pool hall, softly illuminated by dappled daylight; and the rich spatial complexity of The Lyric that rises out of a landscape of city and river in Belfast. Our reviewers, Kevin Donovan (Wexford), David Leatherbarrow (Lyric), Eddie Conroy (Rathmines) and Fergus McArdle (Seaside House) discuss the significance of these landmark projects for Architecture Ireland. Aside from their enduring quality, what these important civic and cultural buildings have in common is that they were some time in the making. The current dearth in commissions and continuing pause in construction will undoubtedly affect our built environment in years to come because of the long lead-in time. The joint DECLG/RIAI Housing Conference, which took place in Dublin Castle on 12 September heard from leading economist Marian Finnegan that our population is set to rise to 5.1 million by 2026. We need to start planning now to address the needs of our growing population, said RIAI President Paul Keogh in response. This was echoed by John OConnor, Chief Executive of the Housing Agency who warned that if we dont match output to population growth it will lead to a build up of pent up demand in years to come. To unclog the planning system and enable projects to reach the construction stage, RIAI Director John Graby delivered an action-based paper at the conference. This issue of Architecture Ireland intends to give food for thought for the pause and stimulus for the recovery from the

laboratory of ideas of DITs 5th year students, who dedicated their collective end-of-year energy to NAMA-bound lands and buildings in Dublin to colloquia that explored the interface between research and architecture. Noel Brady has reviewed a recent colloquium at UCDs School of Architecture on Research in Architecture, while the RIAI and the Department of Education and Skills also held an inaugural research event Designing Primary Schools for the Future earlier this summer. The schools colloquium heard challenging findings from the recent ESRI report on designing primary schools, while Minister Ruairi Quinn announced an overhaul of the design brief and particularly welcome news of a new architectural competition for secondary schools in 2012 (see our report by Jim Coady). To keep up-to-date with the research of Irelands schools of architecture, Architecture Ireland is delighted to feature a new regular column Architecture and Education News, compiled by student and staff correspondents from Irelands schools of architecture and magazine intern Michael Hayes. Your contributions should be sent to the editor, Last but not least, congratulations are due to long-standing RIAI Council member Angela Brady who was inaugurated as RIBA President in London on 9 September. In a critical and political but also uplifting speech, Angela Brady reminded her audience, which included a large contingent of Irish peers, of the important responsibility of architecture to society and that, in these turbulent times, the public urgently needs our skills and vision, as never before. We are looking forward to discuss national and international perspectives on the role of the profession in the recovery at the forthcoming RIAI Annual Conference on 23-25 October, where Kenneth Frampton, Edward Jones and Rafael Moneo are keynote speakers. For updates see RIAI website and follow us on twitter.

Architecture Ireland Editorial Board 2011: Paul Keogh, President John Graby, Director Dermot Boyd Peter Carroll Miriam Dunn Ann McNicholl Kathryn Meghen Gary Mongey Ruth OHerlihy Jason OShaughnessy Grinne Shaffrey Liam Tuite

Architecture Ireland The contents of this journal are copyright. The views expressed are not necessarily those held by the RIAI nor the publishers, and neither the RIAI nor the publishers are responsible for these opinions or statements. Publication in Architecture Ireland is a record of RIAI members work and it is a condition of acceptance of RIAI members submitted material that copyright clearance has been obtained. Neither the RIAI nor the publishers accept responsibility for copyright clearance. The editorial team will give careful consideration to material submitted, articles, drawings, photographs, etc, but does not undertake responsibility for damage of their safe return. The editorial

team reserves the right to edit,abridge or alter articles or letters for publication. Architecture Ireland is published six times a year and is distributed to all members of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, In Ireland and overseas. It is available to others at an annual subscription rate of e75 including VAT and postage in Ireland, e100 in Europe and elsewhere, surface mail included. Individual copies e10 including VAT. Enquiries to 01-295 8115 All advertising and editorial queries should be addressed to the publishers. ISSN 1649 - 5152 Nova Publishing Ltd.

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by Paul Keogh
There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price alone is that mans lawful prey. (John Ruskin) Earlier this year, I asked the RIAI Director to undertake a survey of practices records of the time inputs required to provide architectural services on a range of building types, starting with schools. The need for such a survey arose from reports that the fee tenders now required to secure public commissions appear unsustainably low, whether to deliver exemplary services and quality design outcomes, or to cover normal salaries and overheads, not to mention a degree of profit. It was therefore felt that a survey of time inputs for typical projects would provide an evidence-based benchmark to guide contracting authorities in establishing what might constitute an abnormally low fee in todays competitive tendering environment. It is not and never could be the RIAIs intention that this survey would be construed as any attempt at price fixing. While the State may set fees as it does in some countries for architecture (e.g. Germany) and in Ireland, for example, for medical services individual professions are legally barred from any form of collusion on charges. However, there is a concern that current fee levels appear to be as much as 60% below those negotiated in the quality-basedselection (QBS) processes previously applying under Department of Finance Directive 11/87, notwithstanding the evidence indicating that architects as a profession were not overpaid, even in the boom years, and that the services now required to undertake commissions to a reasonable professional standard have greatly increased on account of changes to building regulations, new forms of contract and health and safety requirements, whether under the RIAI or the GCC forms of appointment. Results of the survey are now available, with responses from 22 practices on a total of 42 completed projects. They have been professionally analysed, and they indicate that the required time inputs across schools of various types and sizes range from 1.2 to 1.7 hours per square metre, with an overall average of 1.39. However, some recent school procurement results show average tender inputs hours available for stage services in the order of half the number coming from the RIAI survey. When the surveys time inputs are related to MEAT tender sums, the results are cause of some considerable concern. From a sample of recent schools results, the average lump sums and hours available tendered translate into average hourly rates in the order of e65, which, using text-book rules of thumb, are about equivalent to the e50,000 average Irish salary quoted in the 2010 ACE survey of the profession. But, if unforeseen eventualities or simple underestimating of the hours required result in a project requiring the RIAI surveys time inputs, the MEAT tenders hourly rates reduce in one case to salaries as low as e15,000 per annum approximately equal to the current minimum wage! These anomalies may be symptomatic of the poor business skills which permeate the profession, in part fostered by the culture of architecture as vocation embedded into students by the schools - a phenomenon not unique to Ireland. But, without systematic records of costs on similar projects, fixed-price tendering is extremely error-prone, resulting in unacceptable levels of risk especially for practices who may be inexperienced in particular building types, but no less so for contracting authorities in evaluating what might be the most economically advantageous tender. While fee tenders will always reflect individual practices salaries, overheads and other costs and their keenness to win the project - one response to the present situation is that the struggles facing practices today to simply stay afloat result in a willingness to tender below cost on the basis that any job is better than no job - no matter what the price. Anecdotal reports indicate that the fee tendered to secure a recent school commission is based on all members of the practice taking cuts of up to 50% in salaries, and working in excess of 50 hours per week to get the job done and in theory keep the practice alive. Also, I have received representations from graduates and younger architects regarding instances of dubious employment practices in the profession in terms of working long hours for little or no salary, particularly junior staff. I have written to members separately to express my concerns regarding breaches of employment and social legislation and, not least, the RIAI Code of Conduct. The current race-to-the-bottom fee tendering culture is untenable - both economically and socially. While one below-cost project may be necessary for cash-flow or marketing purposes, an entire public capital programme based on below-cost design fees is not sustainable, and it is definitely contrary to the Government Policy on Architectures objective to have architectural quality as the cornerstone of national policy on the built environment, and its commitment for Government to be seen as an exemplary client committed to quality in every aspect of building procurement and property development. The acceptance of below-cost fee tenders is also shortsighted from the contracting authoritys point of view. Design is estimated to be as little as 2.5% of the whole-life costs of a typical building. Lowest price as the measure of value-for-money is therefore inappropriate: first, because any cost savings from lowest-price tendering are inconsequential compared with the risk exposure involved; second, because precise quality standards cannot be specified, and different firms will tender on the basis different levels of design and service quality.

Fee tendering can only be based on what is known, and what can reasonably be predicted, and the real cost of providing architectural services is determined by a huge range of variables client, site, contractor, weather, cost and time, to list the most obvious. What happens when risks that havent been anticipated become reality? And, how can factors such as research, innovation and the consideration of alternatives be predicted and therefore priced? Design and building construction are high-risk activities. Contracting authorities and designers have onerous responsibilities. Clients have an obligation under health and safety regulations to satisfy themselves that appointed designers have adequate training, knowledge, experience and resources for the work to be performed. Similarly, failure to provide adequate resources and competent staff carries significant risks for the architect; when vaulting in his Venice Libreria collapsed in 1545, Sansovino was imprisoned for months, and only released on the pleadings of influential friends, including Titian. The truth about competitive fixed-price tendering is that it transfers the risk for unforeseen eventualities from contracting authorities to service providers, and architects have been naive at best and more often irresponsible in not assessing, and pricing for, the risk exposure involved. The solution, I believe, demands a fundamental rethink, not only by the State and contracting authorities, but also by individual practices and the professions generally. Firstly, while the Government Policy on Architecture commits the State to fostering the demand for quality, innovation in architecture, and exemplary practice in every aspect of building procurement, there is widespread concern that public tendering practices are often contrary to the GPAs commitment to ensure the architectural quality of all buildings procured through State funding, particularly where lowest price is seen as the ultimate measure of value-for-money, and where the resulting cycle of below-cost fees makes it increasingly difficult if not impossible for architects to focus on quality issues such as design, research and innovation; thereby threatening the future quality of our infrastructure and built environment, and the reputation of Irish architecture internationally.

Secondly, public procurement must be reformed. EU directives allow discretion in drawing up tender documentation, and the choice of selection and award criteria. The Institute is currently engaged in a number of initiatives, and discussions with Government and contracting authorities to achieve key reforms: to appoint the best qualified and most appropriate design teams; to adopt quality / price ratios that prioritise architectural quality; to reduce costs and administrative burdens for tendering firms and clients alike; to achieve a broad distribution of commissions among practices of various sizes, experience and capacity; to expedite the roll-out of design team appointments for essential public sector projects. Thirdly, the importance of architectural quality must continue to be communicated to central and local government, professions, industry, clients, and the general public, particularly highlighting evidence-based exemplars of the positive and measurable value social, economic and environmental which design brings to construction projects, and to society at large. As pointed out in the keynote presentation of the ESRIs Designing Primary Schools for the Future to the inaugural RIAI/DES education conference, school buildings give material form to how we view education, and the importance of good design cannot be over-emphasised....welldesigned schools have the potential to enhance childrens school experiences, thus promoting adults life chances. Finally, I am increasingly of the view that the solution is equally in the hands of the profession. Architects must value their creativity and problem-solving skills, and realise that every hour has a price: to survive, salaries have to be paid, overheads have to be covered, and profit is essential to fund research, training, competitions and such like. Successful outcomes depend on the commitment of staff with the training, knowledge and experience and the allocation of sufficient time to deliver exemplary service and design quality. If architects do not put a price on the added value which architectural quality brings to a project, how can we expect clients or the public to do so?

Paul Keogh, PRIAI, September 2011

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3. Ballymahon Community Library, Co. Longford Commended, RIAI Awards 2011 - Restoration / Conservation

1. Pictured at the recent accreditation award were (L-R) John Ryan, Commercial Director, Certification Europe, Tom Whelan, Surveying Director, Purcell Construction & Michael Bane, Managing Director, Purcell Construction

2. Pictured at the recent sod turning ceremony were (L-R) Pat Kelly, Dept. of Education & Skills, Fr. Joseph McEvoy, Parish Priest of Moynalty and Chair of the Board of Management & Gerry Dolan, Contracts Director, Purcell Construction

ISO 14001 accreditation for Purcell Construction (1)

Purcell Construction Ltd, based in Galway and Dublin, was recently awarded accreditation to ISO 14001:2004 by Certification Europe, for their Environmental Management System. Purcell Construction has grown into a leading building contractor with many award winning projects nationwide. We are delighted to add the 14001 accreditation to our other standards, 9001 & 18001 says Michael Bane, Managing Director with the Company. This marks another step in the companys development and makes us better able to meet the challenges ahead and deliver for our clients. We recognise that we have a significant role to play in protecting and maintaining our countrys rich and varied environment.

New Passive House Standard School Building (2)

Purcell Construction recently commenced works on one of Irelands first low energy schools, designed to achieve Passive House Certification, at Scoil Mhuire, Moynalty, Kells, Co. Meath. The school design is unique, involving a number of challenging aspects to the building, resulting in a school that will be hugely energy efficient and extremely eco-friendly in operation.

RIAI Award Commendation for Ballymahon Library (3)

Purcell Construction are delighted to be associated as the main contractors on the Ballymahon Library Restoration, which received a commendation from the RIAI in the Restoration / Conservation awards category. Designed by Sen Harrington Architects, the brief was to refurbish the protected structure of a very dilapidated Market House building, dating back to 1819, and to develop it as a modern community library and meeting space. Since the new community library opened its doors, the local community has expressed excitement, pride and a sense of ownership in this new civic space and celebration of an important part of their local heritage.

Design + Cities Lessons from Barcelona RIAI Honors Pasqual Maragall (1)
To celebrate the award of RIAI Honorary Membership to President Pasqual Maragall and to mark the 20th anniversary of Dublin as European City of Culture the RIAI and Dublin City Council are holding a joint Symposium, on Thursday 13 October in Liberty Hall from 2.30 to 5pm. The event, Design + Cities Lessons from Barcelona, is free but booking is essential by emailing to secure your place. Irish-Scots architect David Mackay (partner in Martorell Bohigas Mackay, Barcelona, masterplanners of the Olympic Village) will deliver a keynote address Design + Cities Lessons from Barcelona that will explore the social, cultural, political and architectural strategies adopted by the Catalan capital to achieve its unprecedented transformation. A distinguished panel including Pasqual Maragall, Alan Mee, Dick Gleeson, Ali Grehan and the renowned writer Colm Toibin (author of Homage to Barcelona) will respond with observations on the key lessons for Dublin as it seeks the designation of World Design Capital. forms, planning notices, records of pre-planning systems, invalidation, further information requests, and compliance conditions and listed a number of urgent action points to reform the planning system at macro level. Gerry Cahill (7 October at 7pm, Wood Quay Venue). Walking tours discuss the Destruction of Dublin, the potential of NAMA-bound lands and buildings, and conduct an Urban Check Up of inner city areas. Devised by Paul Kearns and Motti Ruimy, The Dead City will see the properties on Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square turn on their lights for exactly one hour at exactly 8pm on Saturday 8 October a compelling mediation on the potential of our Georgian city. Now in its third year, Open House Galway returns from 13 to 16 October 2011. Highlights include a lecture by Orla Murphy exploring the character and challenges facing Irish rural towns, themed architectural tours that showcase the citys rich building stock, a childrens workshop and a special Ignite Architecture event to harness the collective imagination for architectural ideas. The RIAIs Irish Architecture Awards 2011, open in the Centre Pier Building, Galway Harbour at 6pm on Friday 14 October 2011.

Dublin Contemporary 2011 (2,3)

Well-known to UCD architecture graduates, the former studios and lecture halls of Earlsfort Terrace have been creatively adapted into stimulating spaces for contemporary art for Dublin Contemporary 2011. Running until 31 October, the international art exhibition has adopted a less is more approach that reveres the buildings patina of age, says designer Gordon Ryan. The curatorial theme, Terrible Beauty Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance, was devised by Jota Castro and Christian Viveros-Faun. Among the many excellent Irish artists are DIT architecture graduates, Paris-based Cleary & Connolly, whose work explores the patterns of movement. International artists include Thomas Hirschorn in the Real Tennis Court, while American artist Kysa Johnson, has executed a site-specific 360-degree chalkboard drawing of the Irish ghost-estate, composed of subatomic decay patterns. There are more than 100 artworks on view in Earlsfort Terrace and in the National Gallery of Ireland (Brian ODoherty), the Douglas Hyde, the RHA (James Coleman) and at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (Willie Doherty). The recent adaptation of Earlsfort Terrace was carried out under the guidance of the OPW and Assistant Principal Architect, Klaus Unger, is delighted that the show will add to the cultural and intellectual layering of the site and allow people to experience its peculiar spatial qualities.

2011 National Housing Conference: Planning Reform and 30,000 New Homes Required
The National Housing Conference, which took place in Dublin Castle on 12 September, heard calls for an urgent reform of the planning system and learned that 30,000 new houses will be required annually from 2012 to deal with the demand caused by Irelands growing population. The latest census figures show that Irelands population is expected to increase to 5.1 million people by 2026, said leading economist, Marian Finnegan of Sherry Fitzgerald. RIAI President, Paul Keogh, added that we need to start planning now to address the needs of our growing population for homes, schools, local shops and community infrastructure. John OConnor, Chief Executive of the Housing Agency, warned that if we repeat the cycle of extremely low output and dont match output to population growth, it will lead to a build up of pent up demand in years to come. RIAI Director John Graby stressed that if the planning system remains unreformed, it is likely to damage our economic recovery. He called on the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Gaeltacht (DOE) to develop standardised protocols to regularise planning application

Irish Architecture Now

Two groups of Irish architects will travel to six prestigious US venues this autumn, where they will participate in symposia, presenting key aspects of their work and engaging in discussion on critical issues facing Irish Architecture Now. The event is part of Imagine Ireland, Culture Irelands year of Irish arts in America in 2011, and is curated by Raymund Ryan, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, produced by the Irish Architecture Foundation, funded by Culture Ireland and will also be supported in the US by Enterprise Ireland. Bucholz McEvoy Architects, Shih Fu Peng of Heneghan Peng Architects and Niall McCullough of McCullough Mulvin Architects will visit the East Coast of the U.S. in September where they will speak at The Cooper Union, New York, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. In November, Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, Sheila ODonnell of ODonnell + Tuomey Architects and Tom dePaor of dePaor architects will travel to the West and Mid-West of the U.S. to participate in symposia at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the University of Berkeley and at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Full Programme Announced: Open House Dublin and Galway 2011

The Irish Architecture Foundations Open House Dublin returns from 7 to 9 October with over 120 buildings and events providing free access to the citys architecture and tours by RIAI architects. Curated by Dr Sandra OConnell, this years theme The Architecture of Change reflects on how architecture and design thinking can be a catalyst for positive change. The architectural spotlight this year is on the prolific housing architect Herbert Simms who is remembered in a SIMMSposium with Eddie Conroy, Dr Ellen Rowley, David OConnor and





Architectural quality enhances all our lives said Minister of State, Willie Penrose, T.D. at the presentations of the RIAIs 2011 Irish Architecture Awards, which took place on 11 July in the Wood Quay Venue, Dublin. The Minister of State with Responsibility for Housing and Planning also emphasised that we should never sacrifice quality for price and announced that Government needs to bring a degree of simplification to the procurement process a statement welcomed by the RIAI. Minister Penrose and RIAI President Paul Keogh presented in total 16 Awards, across a diverse range of projects and scales. Praising the quality of this years winners, Paul Keogh said: Architecture matters. It creates a built environment that can be showcased on the national and international stage and is an expression of Ireland as a progressive, innovative and dynamic nation. Developing a humane and attractive built environment is not only part of our international reputation and our ability to sell Ireland abroad but it also has a tremendously positive impact on the quality of our daily lives. The winners at this evening

Architectural Quality Enhances All Our Lives

2011 Irish Architecture Awards are testament to all of those values. The Irish public should be extremely proud of the overwhelming talent in architecture that this country is so fortunate to have. Eddie Conroy, County Architect South Dublin County Council and Chairperson of the Judging Panel, agreed with these sentiments: The winners show that even in the midst of recession, quality and sustainable building programmes are being delivered especially in the health and education sectors. This is vital because if the public service cut back on design, they risk providing only a short term and unsustainable solution. Design costs are only a small part of the overall construction budget but they pay dividends for many years after a building is finished. The winners tonight and all those who were shortlisted show the tremendous cultural and economic value of architecture which contributes to the heritage of our future. The 2011 award winners and short-listed entries are featured in a highly visual exhibition that is currently on nationwide tour.


The Milk Market Architect: Healy Partners Architects Client: Limerick Market Trusters Over 10,000 votes were registered for RIAI Public Choice Award, which went to the Milk Marker in Limerick city by Healy Partners Architects. Over 15,000 people regularly attend the Milk Market on Saturdays in Limerick. Alongside food and clothing, the market is also being used as a concert venue.


BEST COMMERCIAL / RETAIL BUILDING Drive Through Restaurant, Galway Architects: Paul Dillon Architects Client: Liam Mulryan BEST PUBLIC BUILDING AND BEST PUBLIC SPACE: Rathmines Square Leisure Centre and Apartments Architects: Donnelly Turpin Architects Client: Dublin City Council BEST HOUSE: Seaside House Architects: A2 Architects Client: Private
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A new award for Best Emerging Practice went to Ryan W. Kennihan Architects. Launched by Architecture Ireland, the award was conceived to emphasise the importance of ideas and a real philosophy for an emerging practice in order to generate interesting and complex work. Ryan W. Kennihan Architects have demonstrated innovation, strong new ideas and a rigour in thinking across a diversity of work. Founded in 2007, the practice approaches the field of architecture from multiple perspectives and is actively engaged in design, research, collaboration with academia and industry, and teaching in Ireland and abroad.


Aviva Stadium Architect: Scott Tallon Walker & Populous Client: Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company Ltd. (LRSDC)


Refurbishment of PJ Carrolls: School of Informatics and Creative Arts DKIT Architect: Scott Tallon Walker Client: DKIT (Dundalk Institute of Technology)


Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin Architect: McCullough Mulvin Architects Client:Trinity College Dublin


Unbuilding Architect: Shaffrey Associate Architects Client: Mermaid Arts Centre / Wicklow County Council


Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, Cork Architect: McCullough Mulvin Architects Client: HSE South


Roebuck Hall University Residence, Dublin Architect: Kavanagh Tuite Architects Client: UCD


Laneway Wall Garden House, Dublin Architect: Donaghy Dimond Architects Client: Private


Kilmeena Village, Co Mayo Architect: Cox Power Architects Client: Mayo County Council


C4D, Cranfield University, UK Architect: Niall McLaughlin Architects Client: Cranfield University

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The slender and striking Alto Vetro apartment building at Dublins Grand Canal Quay, has been awarded the Royal Institute of the Architects of Irelands Silver Medal for Housing (2007-2008). The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, presented Shay Cleary Architects with the award at a ceremony in Dublin Castle during the National Housing Conference on 12 September. The Silver Medal for Housing promotes the best housing in a two-year period and is awarded three years after the completion so that the building can be evaluated in a mature setting. The Jury for the RIAI Silver Medal for Housing (2007/8) was Eddie Conroy (Chair), John McLaughlin, Aidan OConnor, John OMahony and Shane OToole.

Alto Vetro, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin Architect: Shay Cleary Architects Citation: This scheme is challenging. At the end of the Celtic Tiger period it might be hijacked to reprise tired and hackneyed arguments on one side against height and overdevelopment in the city, on the other side for a futurist, Randian model of boundless growth and the economic precedence of the individual. In its built and occupied reality it is more interesting and significant than either argument. It is pitch-perfect in its relation of form to site. At an important junction of a busy car-corridor and a growing pedestrian route, its slim elegance is a significant new urban marker, confidence and proportion reminiscent not of its modernist but its Italian hill-town antecedents. Its height is apposite against the large sheet of water of the Grand Canal Harbour and adjoining tall structures, old and new. The small urban space it generates along the Quayside is animated by its caf on the ground floor. Its elevations counterpoint irregularly-spaced minimalist balconies against the grid of its vertical stripes simple, yet not easily comprehended and complex as a result. Inside, each floor accommodates two apartments, sometimes on one floor, sometimes extending over two.

Memorial Court, Kilmainham, Dublin Architect: Architects Division, Dublin City Council Citation: Memorial Court is a paradigm shift for Dublin City Council housing. A project of one- and two-bedroom apartments, it is centred on a sunny, handsomely-proportioned garden in Islandbridge. Its restrained palette of whites and greys is counterpointed by its rhythmic and clever massing and modelling of balconies and stairways. Long-life detailing, community involvement and careful housing management ensure it shows little or no signs of wear.

York Street, Dublin Architect: Sen Harrington Architects Citation: Once again, this is a high-water mark of social housing, this time a short distance from the top of Grafton Street. Situated on a busy corner, it forms a perimeter block. The two facades facing the street are tall; one is heavily modelled and enlivened by the sprung rhythm of a large order of recessed opes. The other is more restrained with elegant glass light boxes. The inside edge of the perimeter is formed by a short terrace of articulated houses, almost villas. The courtyard inside is a luxuriant garden with a childrens activity area and sheltered sunny space off the community room. The scheme overall articulates its sustainable systems grey-water tanks, winter-garden balconies, and cranked solar collectors.
The Irish Architecture Awards website has full details on all past Silver Medal for Housing winning projects:
14|15 Architecture Ireland 258

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Architects Can Create Change RIBA President Angela Brady
Architects foresee, create and build we can create change, said Dublin-born architect Angela Brady in an inspiring address on the occasion of her inauguration as the 74th President of RIBA on 9 September. Brady is the first Irish woman President of RIBA and a long-standing member of RIAI Council. She has campaigned in Ireland and Britain for issues such as equality in architecture, public engagement in architecture, and more access for SMEs to the public procurement system. Her practice Brady Mallalieu Architects, which she runs with her husband Robin Mallalieu in London for the past 25 years, is renowned for its socially engaged architecture such as the innovative Foyer project for Dublin City Council, which provides supervised independent living for teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the acclaimed Phoenix Heights social housing in Londons Isle of Dogs, winner of the 2010 RIAI Award for Best Overseas Project. A large group of Irish colleagues and friends attended Angela Bradys inauguration in London, including RIAI President Paul Keogh, President of the Architects Council in Europe (ACE), Selma Harrington, and Past-President of the Ontario Association of Architects, Gerrie Dunne. In her highly political and topical speech, Brady said that a poorly planned built environment combined with cuts in spending and the reconfiguration of funding strategies had its role to play in recent UK riots: We have had civil unrest and disorder, which when mapped, tracks the evolution and location, to significant blocks of social housing, where this so called feral society sought by the Prime Minister, may well be found. Brady added that the third rate physical environment, in which many of these youth live needs urgent attention. Such poor conditions, lie at the very foundation and the future health of our nation, warned the RIBA President. In a both critical and uplifting speech, Brady said that architects and architecture have a key role to play and that society urgently needs our skills and vision, as never before. Going forward, this embodies an enormous regeneration and restructuring programme. Setting out her agenda as RIBA President, Angela Brady committed to campaigning for an open conversation to kick-start development and regeneration and to bring about reform of the procurement system, which is the bane of our professional lives. Brady said she was determined to engage the public to empower them to rebuild their communities and demand better design, as a basic human need.

RIAI Commissions Major Study: Exporting Irish Architecture (1)

The RIAI, with funding from Enterprise Ireland, has commissioned a ground-breaking study, Exporting Irish Architecture, to support Irish practices, who wish to export their services. The study has examined countries and regions that have successfully branded their architectural services internationally such as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Queensland in Australia, which is becoming synonymous with green architecture. The next step for the RIAI is to seek funding to implement the recommendations of this report and support the Irish architectural profession with a cohesive, coordinated and strategic plan for internationalisation, says the RIAIs Kathryn Meghen. Such a plan would give great international visibility to the design expertise developed in Ireland over the past years. The full report will be available shortly.

EFAP Residence at the RIAI: Dr Nicola Russi (2)

The Italian architect and urban designer, Dr Nicola Russi, has undertaken a residence at the RIAI in August as part of the EFAP Converging Territories project. Converging Territories is an EU pilot-project for architects mobility in Europe with a view to promoting cultural diversity and fostering intercultural dialogue. Dr Russi runs an architecture studio in practice in Milan, Laboratorio Permanente, which recently completed a crche at Bari Airport and contributed to the new masterplan for Milan. He also teaches urban design at Politecnico di Milano. Russi considers Dublin a European capital of new architecture and credits Grafton Architects, who designed Universit Bocconi in Milan, with giving Dublin a good start in becoming known as a destination for architecture.

Russis research project examines how architects can use their progressive thinking and problem solving skills to make an impact on the city. The urban designer, who visited Dublin for the first time, argues that someone coming from outside will have a different perspective: I want to look at everything, find connections between things, and then enforce or cut some of these connections. For his urban design project, the Italian architect will focus on a north-south axis in Dublins inner city, from Prussia Street and Grangegorman to Cork Street and the Liberties. This area offers currently very few public spaces to linger, yet if you want to make Dublin more dense, you need to make better public spaces, says Dr Russi who plans to have a draft proposal in October. Nicola can be contacted by email, Nicola@,



16|17 Architecture Ireland 258

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The RIAI welcomes suggestions and comments from members on CPD. Contact Sandra Campbell
RIAI CPD FAQs Responding to the many frequently asked questions by RIAI Members on CPD Policy and CPD Engage over the last year, Education Manager Sandra Campbell has compiled a useful document of FAQs. Questions include When is the RIAI CPD cycle? and How many CPD points do I need to complete for each cycle? It also explains that any person failing to achieve at least 70% of their CPD requirement by the cycle deadline on 30 September 2011 will automatically have their CPD record displayed as Incomplete for the 2010-2011 cycle. Members who have completed 70% of the full CPD requirement by the cycle deadline on 30 September 2011 will automatically be granted a 6 weeks grace period within which to complete their CPD requirement. This document is available to download from the RIAI CPD Policy page of the RIAI website or email FREE ONLINE CPD ACTIVITIES A list of free online structured and unstructured CPD activities is available for download from the CPD section of the RIAI website RIAI CPD News and Current Programmes Log into to RIAI CPD Engage 20 STRUCTURED or the events section of the RIAI website at to plan your CPD activities, access booking forms or pricing details. RIAI Project Supervisor Design Process 4 Funding Available STRUCTURED November 2011 (Date TBC) email Attendance on the RIAI Safety by Design course is a pre-requisite RIAI Safety by Design 4 October 2011, RIAI

RIAI CPD LOTTERY Interested members should submit the relevant application form, available from the RIAI website, together with proof of circumstances to or fax to 01 6610948. RIAI BIM TRAINING OFFER In support of the RIAIs effort to raise the awareness of BIM, and to help RIAI members to build their BIM capabilities, the RIAI have negotiated with four of the main BIM software vendors to offer a substantial reduction on the cost of BIM training for RIAI members. A number of Revit Architecture Essentials, ArchiCAD and Vectorworks training centres around the country are now offering a limited number of training places at a reduced and consistent rate of e300/person for a 2 or 3-day BIM training course (duration differs depending on the software package) between now and the end of December 2011. Thanks to the generosity of the training centres this reduction represents a saving of between 50% and 66% of the standard training cost. Further details are available on the CPD Event page of the RIAI website FREE PRACTICE SUBSCRIPTION TO RIAI GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE The 5th edition of the RIAI Good Practice Guide is complete and is available online to subscribers. All RIAI Registered Practices are entitled to one free subscription as part of their Practice Membership.



RIAI Designing Low-Energy Domestic Refurbs - Funding Available Structured CPD points + Unstructured for pre & post learning, RIAI 14 October 2011 RIAI Designing Low-Energy Domestic Refurbs - Optimising Long Term Value for Your Client RIAI, Dublin and (nationwide on demand) RIAI Annual Conference: Riding out the Storm Survival, Renewal and Recovery 23,24,25 October 2011 Carlow Visual Centre

SAMPLE MEMBERS COMPLIANT CPD RECORD This fictitious CPD record demonstrates how recent changes to the CPD Policy have expanded the range of activities eligible for Structured CPD Points, and illustrates how members can complete the required 40 CPD Points (made up from a minimum of 20 Structured CPD Points) for little or no cost. The sample also shows that activities dont have to be approved or accredited by the RIAI to count as CPD and that ANY learning activity relating to your practice as an architect / architectural technologist counts as CPD. The Sample Members Compliant CPD Record provides an excellent tool for those experiencing difficulty in completing their record on CPD Engage. This document is available to download from the CPD section of the RIAI website or email

NEW CPD COURSES New courses to be launched in the Autumn/ Winter 2011 include: RIAI Good Practice Guide Quality Assurance System Training; RIAI Part L Roadshow; RIAI Sustainable Fundamentals Reviewed CPD; RIAI/SEAI Designing for Renewables CPD; RIAI Detailing and Best Practice CPD.

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by Michael Hayes
SAUL (1)
The end-of-year show of the School of Architecture, University of Limerick, took place in the schools Design Studio from 1st to 10th June 2011. The final year thesis projects on exhibition emphasised the concerns of the students in articulating a wide range of issues requiring attention in contemporary Ireland, with their designs responding to and challenging these issues through architectural proposition. Many of the 20 thesis design projects this year are regional in scope at the scale of the land and strategic in nature, raising provocative questions about the role of the architect and the potential for change as embodied by the intent and interests of these new graduates. These architecture theses are being presented to the City and County Councils of Limerick and Galway and the ideas have been published in local newspapers. Currently being prepared for publication, the work exhibited from the 4th year studio presented a carefully considered documentation of Inis Mein, from explorations of wall systems to social demographics to the changing nature of production on the island. laboratory for many of their projects. We are very grateful to the City Manager Michael Walsh and his Council who have helped make this move possible and to the committed team in WIT who have supported this project. Bringing a creative and cultural discipline like architecture into the city centre will inject a new life into this part of the city and help to increase public awareness of good architectural design. It will also contribute enormously to Waterford as a city of arts and culture as well as a city for students. SchoolsDepartments/SchoolofEngineering/ DeptofArchitecture/ Professionals from political, economic and architectural backgrounds will speak about NAMA from their point of view, which will be followed by an open floor discussion. Tea Coffee and Refreshments will be provided.

UCD (4)
UCD School of Architecture officially launched its historic centenary year on 16th September. The opening ceremony took place at Richview campus, the former home of the Masonic boys school. Hundreds of graduates from around the country and across generations were in attendance as the event took off with speeches from UCD President Dr. Hugh Brady and Minister for Education and Skills Mr. Ruairi Quinn. In an inspiring speech, Ruari Quinn recalled his revolutionary student days, the appeal of architecture for having no right answer and its relevance for politics the budget does not aspire to the job. To mark the occasion, a specially designed ceiling, constructed and installed by 5th year students in the Red Room, was unveiled, revealing the names of all 2047 graduates from the last 100 years. The focus then shifted to Memorial Hall where guests were treated to a few words from the Head of Architecture, Prof. Hugh Campbell, live music and a photographic exhibition documenting the life of the school from the 1930s to present day. As the wine flowed and sun set, guests saw the night out to the sounds of tunes from their former studio days. For more information on centenary events throughout the year visit www. or follow on facebook and twitter.

NAMAlab (3)
The NAMA Laboratory is a Dublin School of Architecture design initiative at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street. Run by the students and staff of 5th Year Architecture, it seeks to map buildings and sites in Dublin that are thought to be controlled by the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), and then propose alternative projects for the sites in order to meet the needs of a new Irish society. The NAMAlab Symposium, along with a Book Launch, will be a culmination of projects undertaken by the NAMAlab collective throughout the summer period. The hope is to create a platform for an open discussion on NAMA and its physical impact on Dublin City with a view to defining the architects role within in this context. Student projects will act as case studies, articulating an alternative view. The Symposium will take place at DIT Bolton Street on October 14th from 1.30pm to 5.30pm.

WIT (2)
Work has started on transforming the former Waterford Treasures Musuem into a home for the Department of Architecture at Waterford Institute of Technology. Mire Henry, Head of the Department of Architecture is looking forward to bringing her 320 creative students and staff into the city centre where they will continue to educate high quality architects of the future using the city and region as a





20|21 Architecture Ireland 258



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While it could be said that in Ireland, neglect in the countryside has been forever with us, and the isolated ruin has an almost romantic appeal [1], urban neglect seems to be more recent, and at this point, pervasive nationwide. Do we neglect our designed environment in Ireland more than other cultures and countries? Given our historically lower densities of population over time, particularly in the countryside, Ireland has not been pushed to re-use its built heritage to accommodate expanding populations, and possibly we associated doing this with poverty, or not moving on. More recently, with an actively densifying urban culture, it has seemed that generations of broadly suitable urban structures are consigned to some cultural scrapheap, as the newness of urban living is expressed through teen-like mutant building typologies alongside their silent, more mature building neighbours, such as the street shop with house over, most of which are respectably rotting in towns all over the island. Over 25 years ago, Barcelona began a city led campaign called Posat Guapa (make yourself beautiful), which encouraged the renovation of buildings, as a visible first step in renewing the older building stock. In that time, over 30 per cent of the 87,000 buildings in the city area have benefited from public subvention to renew facades and other parts, and each was covered by the same branded poster during the works. As well as prolonging the life of such essentials to apartment living as balconies, shutters, and other architectural details, the urban image of the city became live again, more like a growing thing than a dying one. The current mood amongst conservation professionals here in Ireland is dark, as they survey a rapid deterioration of structures and groups of buildings which managed to survive the 20th century, but ended up in NAMA or attached to planning permissions that have not turned into reality. The sites most at risk seem to be caught in a fog of unclear ownership and responsibility, which in turn is working to the advantage of those who would be happier to see them gone. At this point, there is a need for a national scale campaign, run by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Gaeltacht and/or the Heritage Council to actively catalogue the urban properties most at risk, and re-state through action the position of the State as regards our urban built heritage. On the most superficial of levels, the growing graffiti creep across the built landscape of Dublin is observed officially, if at all, by the daily clean, scraping away at hundred-year-old walls, or re-painting surfaces only recently finished for the first time. The arguments for and against are made, and after a few minutes on www. you will come away with a whole new reading of the tags, throw-ups and pieces of the city, whether you like them or not. What does this say about the current state of the place? Is it an indicator of a vibrant visual culture with individual artistry on show on every street corner, or an increasingly depressing indicator of anarchy and urban breakdown? The discussion internationally can be summed up in discussion, Graffiti as International Language [2], which elaborates on the themes without coming down on either side. The fact is that either way buildings and streetscapes of value are being changed, some irreversibly, and there seems to be no mechanism to communicate the issues to a wider audience. Neither side seems readily identifiable, or even visibly engaged in an exchange, whatever the value this might have. Where are the officials to protect Iveagh Markets on Francis Street in Dublin, the frontage of which survived for over a 100 years until last month, when it was destroyed beyond repair by artists Graffiti could be argued to be one of the indicators of neglect, like buddleia [3] , and unlike Berlin or London, Dublin has only a relatively small number of buildings and streetscapes of quality, and worthy of care. Is it possible that Dublin City Council, perhaps together with Dublin Civic Trust, could engage with some collective of the graffiti artists, to explain the craftmanship and dedication involved in making a piece of cut stone appear 100 years ago on a street corner? As artists themselves, surely they could be brought around to an understanding of the complexity and creativity involved in realising a piece of architecture? And the knowledge and care required to preserve and maintain it? As in the case of other cities like Barcelona, it is arguable that the evidence of care of the urban environment should be immediately apparent, particularly for visitors, and that certain places could be prioritised, related obviously to relative value, but also to urban prominence. As a pilot project this October, Urban Agenda, Open House and Dublin Civic Trust will organise an Urban Check-Up walking tour, centred on the Liberties in Dublin, which involves demonstrating methods of measuring and evaluating architecture and its context, and levels of apparent urban neglect, using various recording methods such as drawing, photography, video and then digitally submitting information to the relevant authorities to assist in addressing this urban neglect. The purpose is to demonstrate collective assessment and engagement in quality and care in architecture and the urban environment, but also active urban citizenship.
Notes [1] As represented recently at the IRCHSS Summer School at Maynooth Lecture by Brian Dillon and Catherine Waugh, http://briangdillon.wordpress. com/my-books/ [2] [3] Buddleia Open House Walking Tour, Irish Architecture Foundation, 2009

22|23 Architecture Ireland 258


By Jim Coady

Architecture has a key role to play in creating environments that are stimulating and inspiring, as well as supporting the needs of users. The role of architecture is to realise possibilities. As the needs of education evolve, the buildings in which these activities take place must allow for change. (Ruairi Quinn, T.D., Minister for Education and Skills) Ruairi Quinn, T.D., Minister for Education and Skills, opened the RIAI Colloquium Designing Primary Schools for the Future with an inspiring address and news of a forthcoming competition. The colloquium was hosted by the RIAIs Design for Education Group in collaboration with the Department of Education and Science (DES) in early July. In his opening address, the Minister committed his department to participate in a joint Education Committee with the RIAI, collaborate in conferences and events, and encourage good design of schools. Welcome news for members was the Ministers announcement that he will revise the brief for primary schools and launch a new post primary brief with an architectural competition in early 2012. Ruairi Quinn also said he would welcome contributions from the RIAI to the celebration of the bicentenary of the 1831 Education Act. If we didnt get along, it would be really bad because were all squashed! (Pupil from Hillcrest Primary School) To discuss the wide range of issues relating to the design of primary schools, the colloquium brought together an interdisciplinary panel and audience. Teachers, principals, school patrons and parent representatives discussed the issues with architects, DES officials and economists. Setting the scene, Professor Merike Darmody reported on the findings of an ESRI study carried out for the DES into Designing Primary School for the Future. A particular innovative aspect of the study was the consultation with teachers and primary school children, who illustrated through drawings their likes and dislikes. The ERSI Report found that school grounds should incorporate a variety of play surfaces and playground equipment with a school garden and other spaces. It argues that schools play an essential role in society and that a school should be located at the centre of a community, and that parental involvement should be encouraged by providing spaces for parents to meet. Darmody noted that schools should move towards an extended school model, with early childhood care and education, along with local social and community services, provided within or close to the school. ICT is no longer considered an activity confined to a computer room but must be fully integrated into the school, which requires adequate access to up-to-date computers, broadband services, and technical support. The diversity of the pupil population requires more and larger rooms for supplementary teaching activities, while greater attention should be paid to providing ergonomic and age-appropriate furniture for differing pupil needs. A designated space is needed for pupils to eat lunch and adequate storage space for books and belongings should be provided within the classroom. Responding to the Report were Niall Cussan of DECLG and Diarmuid Dullaghan, an Inspector with the DES, who said that we need to create buildings in which children can be empowered to learn and that it was important to listen to the childrens voices. Paul Rowe, CEO of Educate Together, reported that many of the new schools had problems with acoustics and that designers tend to forget that being able to darken a room for IT was just as important as good day-lighting. Aine Lynch of the Parents Council said it was important to provide different types learning environments as well as community facilities.

Primary schools are the centre of the community and they pull the community together. (Aine Lynch, Parents Council) RIAI President Paul Keogh said that the RIAI was prepared to engage in a much stronger way with Government and that the Institute was also currently working at European level on a White Paper to simplify public procurement across Europe. Tony Sheppard, Manager of the Planning and Building Unit outlined the work of the Centre for Effective Learning Environment, a grouping within the OECD, and Dermot Kehilly of DIT offered a methodology for Life Cycle Costing. Studies of exemplar schools and of design projects were presented by staff and students from fifth year, School of Architects, UCD. The afternoon featured table discussions, which focused on aspects of the school brief and procurement. The findings were brought to a plenary session by Professor Kevin McCartney of UCC, who summarised: Primary school sites should be more rigorously planned, with cooperation between DECLG, DES and planning authorities. They should be associated with other community facilities and public open space. The school should be a learning hub for the community at large. While the core accommodation in a new school may be universal, each project should be customised to reflect local need. The whole school should be viewed as a learning environment. The current emphasis on the enclosed classroom should be challenged. Outdoor space is a core requirement and must be designed for children of varied age, and for play, teaching and self-discovery. Our schools should be flexible, sustainable and have low carbon demand. Better maintenance, the latest technology in computing and use of the buildings out-of-hours are key to fuller use. Universal access should include the widest spectrum of abilities: special schools would benefit from co-location with neighbourhood schools. Many patrons are needed to broaden the ethos of our primary schools. Design led research and post occupancy evaluation would inform school design with hard data and user response. Boards of Management, Patrons and VECs could, with support, act as the clients for schools. There is a critical shortage of schools in the developing areas of our cities, and in some regional hot-spots. The procurement system needs radical overhaul and the PBU needs to refocus its effort to meet an emerging crisis. The day closed with optimism in the air. Much common ground had been found and the many problems of school design were better understood. The invitation to join in common purpose into his department from the Minister for Education, who understands the issues and wants to improve school design, offers architects a real window of opportunity!
Willow Park Junior School by Coady Partnership Architects


By Sandra OConnell

The end of the end-of year-show usually arrives in schools of architecture when the exhibition is taken down, the drawings are folded away and the models and notebooks stored neatly away in boxes. The tremendous collective energy of a year of architecture graduates then gradually disperses. Not so with DIT Bolton Streets 5th year NAMAlab. The most political of this years final year architecture shows, it has re-invented, re-launched and re-manifested itself in multiple configurations, including pop-up exhibitions in empty shop units (Cope Street and Kings Inn Street), public walking tours, discussions in darc space gallery and participation in the annual Open House Dublin event. With funding from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Gaeltacht, they have set up a pioneer research unit, NAMAlab, composed of six graduates and four DIT staff. Together they are working on a publication and organising an ideasbased symposium on NAMA on 14 October in DIT Bolton Street with leading economist and TCD Professor, Constantin Gurdgiev as one of the keynote speakers. The collective energy of DITs 5th year architecture students was palpable at the formal opening of their end-of-year show in June. Guest critic and speaker, Dublin City Architect, Ali Grehan praised the show for linking ideas to action, while Professor of Architecture, Jim Horan reminded the students of W.B. Yeats famous call: In dreams begins responsibility. Graduates Helen-Rose Condon and Michael ODell, who are part of NAMAlab have shouldered this call to responsibility and action lightly. Architecture has validity and a real social relevance for society. Our work on NAMA projects and NAMAlab has allowed us to show that , say Condon and ODell. Their year has produced 48 thought-provoking projects based on NAMA-bound lands and buildings including an urban farm on the lands of the infamous Glass Bottle site to a House for the new (Super)Dublin Mayor on the Carlton Site, a State-run Casino in Temple Bar and a gallery of Bankowned art in the concrete skeleton of the Anglo-Irish Bank to this day the most prominent emblem of the Irish banking crisis. Although this was the first unifying theme for the final 5th year project, the idea has its roots in a heritage of urban design projects that we have been running over the past years, explains Head of 5th Year, Dermot Boyd. Previous urban scale projects at DITs School of Architecture such as Wastelands, which looked at the regeneration of sites around the Bolton Street area and the recent 3rd year Remaking of Neilstown in South Dublin have demonstrated how students and schools of architecture can make a real contribution to urban society. Architects are trained to deal with the environment and we would like to see them being part of the solution, explains Dermot Boyd. At the outset, the team at DIT set about mapping the Dublin-based NAMA-bound buildings and sites. No such map had been available publically from NAMA and the researchers compiled information widely accessible in the media and on the website The School of Architecture then produced the first-ever visualisation* of NAMA-bound sites and buildings in Dublin to deal with the project architecturally, as DIT lecturer Janek Ozmin explains. Lecturer Donal Hickey adds that it was an important device to explore what NAMA physically means. Before individual sites were chosen, the 5th year students worked collectively on NAMA research and analysis of the sites. Condon devised then an ambitious city library scheme for the Drury Street car park. I wanted to give something back to the city by marrying the typologies of car park and library, turning the roof space into a city
Patrick O Connor, Permanence, A Casino for Temple Bar.

branch library. Rooting her project in theories of psycho-geography, Condon researched how people traverse a city and buildings, and developed a separation of stillness and movements in her library project. Michael ODells thesis focused on an abandoned crane yard in Dublins East Wall, which he turned into a training centre for the Dublin fire brigade. I wanted to bring infrastructure into an area that was quite closed off and isolated, says ODell. This building type is robust and symbolic of the area; it is designed to train firemen in the actual experience you can set part of it on fire and it features a labyrinthine area underground, where firemen learn to deal with darkness and smoke, explains ODell. To this date, NAMA has not formally engaged with NAMAlab but it is hoped that the forthcoming Symposium and publication will change this. We would like to offer NAMA our research as the students have a valid perspective, says Dermot Boyd and Donal Hickey adds: The work of the students has shown that architects can open new perspectives on the potential of these sites and a vision for the future. For Helen Rose, Michael and their fellow graduates the public engagement with their project has been a very positive experience: The project has lots of legs to run on and it is great that people saw the exhibition in the empty shop units it has allowed us to keep the conversation on NAMA rolling. The NAMAlab Symposium will take place on Friday 14 October from 13:30 - 17:30, Room 259, Bolton St. Dublin 1. Certificates for 4 Structured CPD points will be issued on signing in and out of Conference. Register early at and receive Conference, NAMAlab book and CPD Certificates for E25. NAMAlab are: Dermot Boyd, Helen Rose Condon, Elizabeth Gaynor, Paul Geoghegan, Donal Hickey, Ronan Murray, Paul OBrien, Michael ODell, Janek Ozmin, Dominic Stevens.
*This NAMAlab Map has been generated to facilitate an academic study at the Dublin School of Architecture at the Dublin Institute of Technology and is a purely theoretical project. The mapping is restricted to the Dublin City area and is not intended to represent the NAMA portfolio. Rather it is a selection of lands and properties which have been discussed in the media within that context. The identification of individual sites is indicative and may not represent the actual extent of holdings. Note that NAMA has said that it will not normally reveal the identities of any NAMA borrower and will accord NAMA borrowers the same confidentiality they would receive at the original financial institution.

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By Noel J Brady
An appreciation for the value of research in architecture, in particular the validation of activities such as research through design, is gaining momentum. This is a vital development when practice is in danger of being subsumed into the broader globalised agenda of international trade, becoming an addendum to a centralised dominant economic that understands cost but not value. Critical Research will be necessary to open the debate about how and why we do what we do. It must cast an eye on a priori industry-derived knowledge and with equal fervour on presumptions within the profession itself. This colloquium organised by Emmet Scanlon and the School of Architecture at UCD in June brought Hildegarde Heynen of Ku Leuven and Murray Fraser from the Bartlett to set the scene for the future of architectural research. Heynen was particularly effective in identifying why architecture finds itself excluded from research categories. It has been difficult to identify just where it should find a home, whether in the social sciences, art practices or technical processes. This was in evident in the broad membership of this nascent research community (, confirming the breath of interest from the theoretical to the technical. Why stay in college? Why go to night school? / Gonna be different this time / Cant write a letter, cant send a postcard, / I cant write nothing at all../ Burned all my notebooks, what good are /notebooks? They wont help me survive. (Life during Wartime, Talking Heads, 1979) Relevance The social contract between the state and the profession, by which the title architect is a legal term, offers a (potential) monopoly to the profession in return for the safe management of an area of (unsafe) knowledge. (The Illegal Architect by Jonathan Hill, 1998 Black Dog Publishing Limited) In The Illegal Architect, Jonathan Hill identifies how the profession can in an act of selfdelusion, sustain its mastery of architecture, through well-established procedures such as displacing buildings with photographs of (empty) buildings or drawings (of an unbuilt project) or a theory (of an abstracted architecture). Steadily building a case for autonomy within the profession and the discipline (academia), has made each vulnerable to the point of being ignored. The death of the profession has been flagged for years but recent events appear to accelerate the possibility. At the very least it will be chastened. The one approved model of practice has proving unwieldy in dealing with the rapidly evolving social and economic condition. Alternative Practice Is this the kind of place you wanna live? / Is this were you wanna be? / Is this the only life were gonna have? / What we need is.. Alternative Ulster Pull it together now. (Alternative Ulster, Stiff Little Fingers, 1978) As a revolution against popular music, Punk initiated much needed music experimentation, providing a platform for the dissatisfied and disenfranchised. In Ireland Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers was a signpost, an alternative to the bipolar political landscape of Belfast. Architecture is in need of such signposts. Initiatives such as the RIAIs 3 Twenty 10 research competition and the All Ireland Research Group point the way. Attendees at the colloquium bear witness to this and, importantly, some who are not legal architects but have architecture close to their hearts. It is at this edge of practice and discipline where collaboration is more likely; where the boundaries have yet to be formed that valuable work can be done. The colloquium offered up many suggestions for investigation. Yet what we really need is alternative practice. RIAI Colloquium: Schools of Architecture and Local Government (Action 38) by Sandra OConnell Responding to Action 38 of the Government Policy on Architecture, a colloquium was held on 19 May 2011 at the RIAI to examine how schools of architecture can contribute (and are contributing) to addressing built environment design challenges at local level. The colloquium was attended by international keynote speakers, members of the City and County Managers Association(CCMA), Directors of architectural programmes at Irish universities, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht(DAHG) and by the RIAI. The colloquium opened with a presentation by Martin Colreavy (Chief Architect, DAHG) on Irelands Government Policy on Architecture. It heard examples of current research by Schools of Architecture at the larger urban design scale and how it interfaces with local authorities and real life projects (Professor Merrit Bucholz, SAUL and Professor Mary Corcoran, Maynooth University). Local authorities discussed the synergies between real life research projects and local governance (David OConnor, Fingal County Manger) and how design thinking can change process. Professor Laura Lee, Carnegie Mellon University presented her acclaimed Integrated Design Strategy for Adelaide (AUS), discussing how design thinking can transform outcome and empower communities. Henk Ovink, National Spatial Strategy Director, Netherlands and Co-curator International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2012, discussed the importance of flexible design strategies that respond to change and the need to develop new alliances outside the design world. The colloquium was chaired by RIAI President Paul Keogh, who generated an important discussion on design thinking and its applications in Ireland in education, governance and practice.

Life During Wartime We are challenged to be better people, better architects. It demands a new vision for practice that is critical, relevant and ethical. The AIARG are holding a mini conference on 20 and 21 January 2012 at the DIT School of Architecture & Urban Design, which hopes to draw upon the interests. everything will depend on the effort made and on the attention paid to these alarming symptoms. Architecture or Revolution. Revolution can be avoided. (P 307, Vers une Architecture (Towards Architecture), Le Corbusier, 1928, Frances Lincoln Edition, 2008)

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Wexford County Council Headquarters, Robin Lee Architecture in association with Arthur Gibney and Partners The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, ODonnell + Tuomey Architects Rathmines Square, Dublin, Donnelly Turpin Architects Drive Through Restaurant, Galway, Paul Dillon Architects Seaside House, Co. Louth, A2 Architects

Architects featured in this issue

Robin Lee Architecture (Wexford County Council Headquarters) Robin Lee Architecture has offices in London and Dublin. Practice principal Robin Lee trained in architecture and sculpture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture (1990) and Glasgow School of Art (1993). Nord LLP, now renamed Robin Lee Architecture, has won a number of industry accolades including AJ 40 Under 40 (2005), BD Young Architect of the Year Award (2006), and Architect of the Year in the Scottish Design Awards (2007). Key projects include the Primary Substation for 2012 London Olympics, Bridgewater Bridge in Stoke-on-Trent, Destiny Church in Glasgow and Bell House in Strathblane. Wexford County Council Headquarters is the largest built work and the first project to complete under the new practice name. A second project in Ireland, the National Sculpture Factory in Cork, is in development for completion later this year. Arthur Gibney and Partners Wexford County Council Headquarters Arthur Gibney and Partners has over 34 years experience in providing comprehensive architectural services for projects in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. Founded by the late Dr. Arthur Gibney, the practice is now managed by two partners who take direct responsibility for the development of the clients brief and oversee the conceptual and technical design of the project and construction management from tendering to final account. The Practice has a reputation for producing high quality architecture within tightly controlled budgets and has considerable experience of working on a large variety of building and project types. ODonnell + Tuomey Architects The Lyric Theatre Belfast Established in 1988, ODonnell + Tuomey have been involved with urban design, cultural and educational buildings, houses and housing projects in Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK. The work of the practice has been widely published and exhibited and won more than 50 awards, including the RIAI Gold Medal in 2005 and 7 AAI Downes Medals. Sheila ODonnell and John Tuomey have taught at the School of Architecture UCD since 1980 and as visiting lecturers in many schools in America and Europe. John Tuomey is Professor of Architectural Design at UCD. In 2010 they were elected as Honorary Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. Donnelly Turpin Architects (Rathmines Square) Donnelly Turpin Architects was founded in 1996 by Charlie Donnelly and Mark Turpin. Since then the practice has gained extensive experience in a wide range of building types including government, institutional and commercial offices, retail and residential development, swimming pools, leisure and community facilities, childcare buildings, library and interpretive facilities. The practice has expertise in master planning and work at the urban design scale. Donnelly Turpin Architects has successfully completed a number of high profile building projects including Leinster House 2000, a 10,000m2 extension to the Houses of the Oireachtas, The Irish Times Building on Tara Street in Dublin and major civic/leisure centres for Dublin City Council in both Finglas and Rathmines. For these and other projects the practice has received awards from the AAI, the RIAI and the prestigious international award of the Europa Nostra Medal. Paul Dillon Architects (Drive Through Restaurant) Originally from Galway, Paul Dillon received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from New York Institute of Technology and a Masters of Architecture from California State Polytechnical University, Pomona. He won The Richard Neutra Design Award for his Masters Thesis and has served as guest design critic at schools of architecture on a number of occasions. He established paul dillon architects on returning to Galway. The practice is currently working on a small number of challenging everyday projects. This commitment to the process of building has been recognised with numerous international publications, as well as an AAI Award for Site 7, and an RIAI Award for the Drive Through Restaurant. A2 Architects (Seaside House) A2 Architects was established by Peter Carroll and Caomhn Murphy in 2005 and is based in Great Strand Street in Dublin, Ireland. The practice is founded on a shared interest in both the continuing development of architectural practice as well as the unchanging, essential nature of architecture. In 2009 they received an RIAI Irish Architecture Award and a Special Mention in the Architectural Association of Ireland Awards for the new French School at Eurocampus Dublin. In 2008 they received an AAI Award and an RIAI Irish Architecture Award for a residential project entitled One up, One down, One deep in Portobello, Dublin. In 2007 they received a Special Mention for Brick Thickness in the Architectural Association of Ireland Awards. Along with several Irish practices A2 represented Ireland at the inaugural Lisbon Architecture Triennale in Portugal in 2007 with four residential projects and were participants in the Four under forty exhibition and book about emerging Dublin-based practices. Since graduating from University College Dublin in 1995, both partners have gained extensive Irish and international experience on a broad range of building types and sizes.

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ARCHITECTS - Robin Lee Architecture Executive Architects - Arthur Gibney and Partners CLIENT - Wexford County Council QUANTITY SURVEYORS - Mulcahy McDonagh & Partners STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS - Buro Happold SERVICES ENGINEER - Buro Happold LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT - Mitchell & Associates SPECIALIST CONSULTANTS FOR ACCESSIBILITY, LIGHTING, SECURITY AND AV - Buro Happold MAIN CONTRACTOR - Pierse Contracting Ltd (until 2010) and Wexford County Council PHOTOGRAPHY - Andrew Lee
Project size - 11,500 m2 Value - e 41m Duration - 41 months Location - Wexford

Report by Robin Lee Architecture

The new Wexford County Council Headquarters are the outcome of an international competition, organised by the RIAI in 2006 on behalf of Wexford County Council. The building has been realised by Robin Lee Architecture (previously Nord LLP), in association with Arthur Gibney and Partners. The building sits on a sloping site on the outer fringes of Wexford town, in southeast Ireland, with fine views to the River Slaney Estuary and the Blackstairs Mountains. It brings together the services and departments of Wexford County Council that, until now, have been housed separately within the centre of the town. The new headquarters give identity to the collective endeavour of Wexford County Council as a unified organisation, while individual expression is provided to the separate departments and their unique activities. The accommodation is laid out as a series of six discrete blocks; each block houses key services and individual departments. The blocks are gathered around a large central space, a civic forum, which gives access to all of the council facilities. Open and fully accessible, the space supports the way-finding strategy with enquiry desks, public counters and informal seating throughout. It allows the building to be navigated in a safe and efficient manner, while offering opportunities for civic ceremonies, presentations and social gatherings. Separating the blocks, and filled with planting and serene pools of still water, courtyards bring light into the deeper portions of building and connect the interiors with the surrounding landscape, providing a sense of place and context. These spaces combine to place social interaction at the heart of the building and allow the public realm to pervade the whole building at ground floor. Internally, walls and floors are clad in Irish Blue Limestone, a material that is synonymous with the rich history of civic buildings in Ireland, creating a sculpted interior volume with a calm, refined atmosphere.

An outer layer of glass wraps around the blocks and acts as the outer skin of a double faade. This provides protection on an exposed site but also regulates the interior temperature through the control of air around the building; cooling the building in the summer and creating an insulating layer during the winter. The glass faade is treated uniformly with structurally bonded low iron glass on anodized aluminium mullions to create a sheer envelope that gives the building a single, coherent identity and scale appropriate to its civic status. Stepped terraces and landscaped gardens ameliorate the sloped site, elevating the building and also creating an entrance landscape for the building. Externally, the simple but expressive form highlights the entrance via an open mouth, cut from the corner of the building as the building is approached from the north-east. Directly above the entrance corner, the building height is increased to give strength and prominent scale to the entrance. At ground floor, a large anteroom greets visitors at the entrance and leads them through to the main reception desk situated at the end of the expansive civic forum. Each of the six department blocks surrounding this space is carved open at one corner to create intimate reception areas that mediate between the public thoroughfare and the secure office spaces that occupy the ground and first floors of each block. Limestone is replaced with a warm palette of oak to mark the threshold to the departmental offices. The blocks are exposed to air and light on three sides via courtyards and the double faade. Floor plates are punctuated with central atriums that facilitate cross ventilation of the open plan offices and allow daylight penetration. Meeting rooms are arranged to face onto the central civic space, encouraging accountability and offering the public glimpses of departmental activity.

Site Plan 1 Wexford County Council Headquarters 2 Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government 3 Former Wexford County Council offices 4 Wexford Main Street 5 Wexford Opera House 6 River Slaney Estuary 3 4

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The second floor comprises a range of facilities including the staff canteen, the council management suite and the county library headquarters. The canteen is a key social space for the staff and allows for informal meetings within a bright pavilion-like structure, filled with light and with open expansive views to the River Slaney. Bespoke acoustic panelling in oak attenuates the sound to create an intimate environment within the heart of the canteen. To the south and north, generously planted terraces occupy the roof and allow the canteen to extend out in fine weather. The third floor is dedicated to the Council Chamber, accessed via a grand stair formed in European Oak. It occupies an elevated position and is dominated by a dramatic panoramic view towards the River Slaney with distant views to Wexford town in the east and the mountains on the Wexford, Carlow and Wicklow borders to the north and west. Conceived as a grand room, the Council Chamber is a necessarily large volume that accommodates a monolithic oak table, circular in form and democratic. Acoustic wall panels and ceilings combined with low-level lighting ensure that the room has an intimate character, refined and respectful; a chamber dedicated to discussion and debate. The fourth and uppermost floor is occupied by a series of individual meeting rooms for Elected Members of

the Council who are responsible for deciding policy issues. In this way, the Elected Members suite and the Executive suite are located above and below the Council Chamber; with the Council Chamber functioning as the meeting place and decision making forum. Wexford County Council is an open and responsive organisation, whose goal is the effective and efficient administration of services to the community. This is expressed architecturally through the transparency of the glass elevations, a clear arrangement of functions and strong forms, which give the building a clear identity, reflecting its democratic and civic purpose and its status as the headquarters of a countywide administrative authority. Sustainable features: - Double faade for energy efficiency and environmental control - Floor plates optimised for natural ventilation and natural lighting - Exposed concrete slabs for thermal mass - BMS for overall building control and energy efficiency - Biomass boiler - Evacuated solar tubes for water heating - Grey water recycling - Locally sourced materials including Irish Blue Limestone

The blocks are gathered around a large central space, a civic forum, which gives access to all of the council facilities.
1. The entrance is cut like an open mouth from a corner of the building 2. The public realm pervades the whole building at ground floor 3. The open plan offices within each of the six blocks 4. A clear and transparent architecture reflects the demographic and civic purpose of this building 5. Courtyards bring light into the building and instill a sense of space ofplace and context






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Second floor plan County Managers Office Directors Office Meeting Room Entrance to executive suite Grandstair to council chamber Gallery Public stair Canteen Courtyard Servery Kitchen Roof terrace Library Headquarters Atrium Void over courtyard

6. The council chamber has been conceived as a grand room 7. Eurpoean Oak is used with the departmental offices to add warmth to the palette 8. The top floor staff restaurant features bespoke furniture 9. Irish Blue limestone creates a sculpted interior with a calm and civic atmosphere

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Ground floor plan Entrance hall Main reception Civic forum Department reception Open plan office Meeting room Atrium Courtyard Pool Public counter Public stair

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First floor plan Void over entrance hall Void over civic forum Training room Open plan office Meeting room Atrium Void over courtyard Public stair




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10. Model of the courtyard and department facade from the original architectural competition


Spaces combine to place social interaction at the heart of the building

Review by Kevin ODonavan

At the new Wexford County Council Headquarters, there are is no monumental stair, no ceremonial dais. There is no great timber door with brass furniture, no singular progression to a great council chamber at the buildings heart. Many of the great civic centres of the 20th century rely on a meaningful transformation of an existing, noble architecture that is remote in time, place or imagination. Kahn at the Dacca National Assembly and Le Corbusier at Chandigarh both achieve their intriguing monumentality by fusing Eastern and Western references with emblems of their own personal cosmologies. Abstracted classical references have been frequently deployed to incorporate, as in the case of de la Sotas Gobierno Civil at Tarragona, weight and gravitas and at Kenyons Newcastle Civic Centre a lighter and more joyful democracy. Each of these buildings is laced with honorific incident, controlling the hierarchy of access and event. Accessibility is delicately moderated in the ceremonial articulation of element and detail. The building at Wexford achieves its strength in the opposite way. Entirely wrapped in a taut glazed environmental flue, it assumes a singular form that can appear both monolithic and diaphanous, of both ground and sky in its wide landscape at the edge of town. A glass panel in the buildings flank slides above a continuous limestone floor giving fluid access to a central void, three storeys high and longer than broad, that seems ineffably familiar. Clarity dawns as you move through; this is a street, like so many in Wexford, where buildings are staggered on either side of a place of exchange, where the space is loose and open-ended with a vista, where the views of the sky are framed, where the claim to territory is staked by a change of material, or the shift in scale at an entrance. The street is a vehicle of democracy; it is shaped by six departmental houses of equal size and importance, each with its own court, each small enough to be humanely lit and ventilated, each with its returning internal stair, oak-lined and intimate. The council chamber is contained in one of these houses. A well furnished room with a good acoustic, it makes few claims to primacy in the hierarchy of the building apart from a view over the landscape it governs.

Traffic between these houses and communal areas (the restaurant, the car park, the roof garden) enlivens the street and the two public stair towers, contributing to their very particular atmosphere. The fine materials and elements of the street are seamlessly jointed to form a single, wrapping surface. Windows and doors are pushed flush to the line of the street wall and notional plinths for desks are let into the stone floor, the material changing but the plane continuous. This imbues the place with tautness, lends the void a strongly figural character and heightens the action of the body in space. There seems to be a corresponding effect on the consciousness of the occupiers, employees and clients alike, whose actions on the day I visited seemed thrown gently into relief against the relative muteness of the architecture. The scale of the stone module, the cantilevered rooms and the exposed concrete ceiling register in the pace of the occupants movements, while the acoustic ensures a civic tone in conversation. Thus, there is a double transformation at play. The first is the reimagining of the vernacular street in the architectural language of Modernism. This is then retransformed through the compression of detail to make an architecture of surface rather than articulation. The space is fluid not hierarchical, pluralistic not honorific, and the action of the individual defined by a sense of civic decorum rather than architectural prodding. Pugin exhorted architects to develop the nobility of their buildings by thinking of them as ruins. One can easily imagine that, many years hence and after a final transformation, the six stone houses of the Wexford County Council Headquarters, services and glazing effaced by time, will continue to civilize their hillside site above the River Slaney.

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ARCHITECTS - ODonnell + Tuomey John Tuomey (Director in Charge), Mark Grehan (Project Architect) CLIENT - Lyric Theatre STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS - Horgan Lynch Consulting Engineers COST CONSULTANT - Rider Levett Bucknall SERVICES ENGINEERS - IN2 Engineering THEATRE CONSULTANTS - Theatreplan ACOUSTICS - Sound Space Design ACCESS / CDM - Ken Ewart Associates TRAFFIC ENGINEERING - RPS Consulting Engineers PROJECT DIRECTOR - Richard Wakely PROJECT MANAGER - EC Harris GRAPHIC DESIGN - Red Dog MAIN CONTRACTOR - Gilbert Ash NI PHOTOGRAPHY - Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
Project size - 5,0262 Value - 15.7m Duration - 26 months Location - 55 Ridgeway Street, Belfast

REPORT By John Tuomey In 2003, the Lyric held an international architectural competition and selected ODonnell + Tuomey as architects to design a new theatre. In May 2008, Belfast City Council granted planning approval, which included the demolition of the existing theatre and the construction of a new building for use by the Lyric providing auditorium, rehearsal and studio theatre together with related technical facilities. Further accommodation includes reception, bar and foyer, offices and an education room. With demolition of the existing theatre completed in 2008, construction started on site in March 2009. ODonnell + Tuomey were novated to the Main Contractor Gilbert Ash and excellent working relationships were quickly established between the various members of the building team. The new Lyric Theatre opened on 1 May 2011. The American novelist Willa Cather described one of her early works as having been written before () the time in a writers development when his life line and the line of his personal endeavour meet. It seems to us that our work for the Lyric has emerged from just such a moment of intersection, when external circumstances and private purposes coincide. Experiments in overlapping geometry and three dimensional expression that were initiated several years ago in other projects and tested out at further stages in between have prepared us for this special public commission, a theatre in the city. After eight years of immersion in architectural design, technical details, study models, working drawings, through the long drawn out processes of planning and construction, it is a strange sensation to walk through the new theatre, to see our first thoughts made real. We set out to design a House for Lyric, specific to the spirit of a producing theatre. Three brick-walled purpose-made spaces for

performance and rehearsal are tightly wrapped around a flowing social space. The in-between spaces are designed to have an intimate character, providing for impromptu theatrical occasions. Now that our work is done, the newly finished building passes out of our hands to fend for itself in the world. We hope that it will soon feel not so new, rather that it will be recognised as continuing the cultural ambition of the Lyric, as if this crystalline cluster has always been there on the city skyline, rising out of the deep background of Belfasts urban architecture, between brick streets and tall trees, reflected in the river, belonging to its place. Volumetric spaces are produced as a direct consequence of the plan itself and the spatial scheme for the Lyric exploits the topographical aspects of its urban landscape setting. Our design found its form in reaction to the different pressures of its surroundings, from the constraints of the site. The impact of site vectors worked their way inwards from the world outside to influence the configuration of the plan. The Lyric plan is composed out of three constituent elements, the auditorium, the studio and the rehearsal room. Each element had to be acoustically separated from the other and each is identifiably outlined in its own shell of Belfast brick. There are three different points of entry, one for trucks and two for people, all tied to existing street levels. The rehearsal room is raised up to provide social space in its undercroft. The dismembered unity of the plan is a direct response to functional requirements and the complexity of the section results from our efforts to resolve the sometimes conflicting demands imposed by a tightly restricted and steeply sloping site. But there is more to design than problem solving, there is a parallel purpose that keeps us going, and that is the pursuit of architectural form.

Site Plan

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Level 1 Entrance lower foyer Box Office Education Room Boardroom Toilets Backstage Green Room Dressing Room Classroom Storage Prop Store Understage

1. Reflected in the river, the Lyric rises out of the landscape 2/4. The impact of site vectors worked their way inwards to influence the plan 3. The Caf addresses the river landscape 5. There are different points of entry 6. The rehearsal room is raised up to provide a social space in its undercroft 7. The front entrance at Ridgeway Street 8. The Lyric in its urban context 9. The cantileveried box offers views 10. The auditorium and stage are acoustically separated from the other spaces



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Section A

Section B







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11. The auditorium with its folded planes and side-pocket settings offers complex planarity


Review by David Leatherbarrow

The originality and significance of the new Lyric Theatre becomes obvious when one recalls the long-standing dialogue between the theatre and the town. Before the construction of theatres, staged action took place in temporary settings. After the Renaissance, theatrical settings were made to last. The most well known case is transitional: Palladios Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza (1585) was installed into pre-existing buildings at the edge of town and built out of timber. The really decisive breakthrough towards the modern enclosed and free-standing type was the Olympic Theatre in Sabbioneta (1590). Designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, the interior ensemble internalised key aspects of its surrounds. The patrons loggia above the auditorium and stage, for example, was built to resemble a palace balcony overlooking the towns central square, making the theatres interior the epitome of the landscape. The same dialogue between theatre and town exists in ODonnell + Tuomeys Lyric, but is articulated with entirely different means, which is why it writes a new chapter in the story. Not one but many rooms are involved in the relationship and the mode of experience is non-perspectival. Risking the introduction of a new term, Ill refer to the result as verging space, by which I simply mean the sort of configuration that allows one setting to edge its way into another. For this to occur, each must first have its own character and definition. Next, it must be willing to open itself into another or others without, however, compromising its own definition, which would result in fragmentation and render the entire exercise pointless. Lateralism such as this aims at involvement. Thats not the same as acquisition; verging space articulates common interest. In the Lyric Theatre walls open in order to ease and structure views into adjoining rooms or places outside. Comparable breaks accept insertions of identifiably distinct elements, which are themselves often porous. In the construction of verging space all manner of apertures are drawn into service, extra-wide doors too, and screen walls. Once a break has been opened and the request of one setting been answered by another, convergences appear. Movement of the eye or foot is the next step, accepting the invitation, increasing spatial knowledge. We tend to forget that architecture is a way of knowing ones place in the world. Verging space fosters orientation. Consider the Lyrics main entry. The acute triangle of its canopy and its shadow annex a stretch of the sidewalk into its holdings. The purchase or investment is gradual, beginning with a slight divergence from the lines of the wall and walk. Under the canopys half enclosure, lateral settings appear in sequence: waiting rooms, posters, the first step of the main stair, the Heaney poem-stone, and the entry after the stone says turn here. Although they all have their place in the newly thickened sidewalk, their non-parallelism keeps each opening individual. Above all this, before the cut gets very deep, a corresponding dent opens the faades mid-level, framing a view that penetrates all the way through the building to the giant window facing the river. This is seen best from the other side of the road, suggesting that the aim is to get the streets entire width involved. Of course the borrowing works in reverse too, putting the houses on stage. Marginal play of this kind is not only geometric or spatial, for the breaks often introduce different materials into the buildings physical body, warming or cooling it. But the main objective is to increase ones awareness

of practical possibilities: from the sidewalk vantage one can see the possibility of observing, attending, entering, ascending, or having a drink. In short, verging space invites involvement. Perhaps the main auditorium is the most articulate display of side-pocket settings, given its folds, complex planarity, spread seating, and varied lighting, all together approximating a totality of reciprocal involvements. Bay windows are another version of the divergence/convergence structure, for they extend marginal inflection into separate rooms. A case in point is the cantilevered bay that extends the bar area. The consequence of this kind of order for the buildings exterior and urban presence is the transformation of its volumetric bulk into planar surfaces, shadows, and settings that are more in scale with the surrounds, at least on the city side, with respect to the terraced houses nearby. The yield of such convergence is not exactly knowledge. Nor is it full experience of the settings exposed by the openings. Certainly one cannot be in two places at the same time. On the balcony one is plainly not in the foyer. Yet, it is precisely this sort of convergence (meeting, junction, union) that the building proposes. Settings seen at the margins are not grasped or known fully but sensed or apprehended, and not because of focus but awareness. Here, then, is the crucial point: this building structures a truly spatial, which is to say nonpictorial mode of experience; it makes us aware of where we are in the building and in the world. Thus, it is both ironic and fitting that this restatement of architectures spatial essence also sets the stage for theatrical performance, for it was the theatre, more than any other building type that led to the step by step transformation of architecture into a pictorial or scenographic art form, an accomplishment with which we struggle still today. But theatre has always had more tricks up its sleeve: off-stage sound, temporal structure, inconspicuous arrivals and departures, and so on, none of which are perspectival. In theatre what is seen is never more than part of the story, no more important than what is recalled or anticipated, seen no longer or not yet. It is the no longer and not yet of theatrical sense that the spatiality proper to architecture brings into visibility. Looking from the second to the first storey of the Lyric stair hall several spaces promise more than they show: the stools of the bar, the trees along the river, entry into private offices, and so on. Because they propose more than they portray, prospects such as this enrich individual settings with ties to others, as in a family, with its typical rivalries, affections, rebellions, and memories that shape identity. Because kinship exists here too, settings that appear and diverge recall one another through resemblance. But continuity also requires difference. Finally, verging space such as this is uncommonly generous. This building always gives more than it shows. Is that because it contains great richness? Yes and no. A great variety of characters and moods can be found here. But I believe its real richness results from its involvement in the world around it: the fabric of the town, the flow of the river, the history of the place, and the tradition of theatre. The buildings openings provide access points to the urban and cultural depth it finds itself within. But these connections always emerge laterally and without much fuss because the building is concerned less with what it shows than what it allows to appear.
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ARCHITECTS - DONNELLY TURPIN ARCHITECTS Charlie Donnelly, Marta Gonzalez Bullon, Eoin Kingston, Mark Turpin, John Winslow (Project Architect) CLIENT - Dublin City Council QUANTITY SURVEYORS - Austin Reddy and Company PROJECT SUPERVISOR DESIGN PROCESS - RPS STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS - Punch Consulting Engineering SERVICES ENGINEERS - IN2 Engineering Design Partnership MAIN CONTRACTOR - John Paul Construction LANDSCAPING - Hyland Edgar Driver PHOTOGRAPHY - Ros Kavanagh, Enda Cavanagh
Project size - 14,000m2 Value - e 30m Duration - 48 months Location - Rathmines Road, Dublin BER - Apartments: A1

2011 Irish Architecture Award Best Public Building, Best Public Square

Report by Donnelly Turpin Architects

In 2004, following consultation with local representatives and groups, Dublin City Council made the decision to redevelop the site of the former Rathmines swimming pool to provide a range of quality sports and community facilities. The new community, sport and leisure facilities comprise a 25-metre swimming pool with a level-adjustable floor, sauna and steam rooms, gymnasium, aerobics suites, a multi-purpose sports hall and childcare facilities for 50 children. To subsidize the cost of the facilities, 46 one, two and three-bedroom apartments (both private and social & affordable) was included in the redevelopment to be sold on the open market on completion. Urban Design Strategy The urban design strategy was devised to achieve the fullest potential of what had been the ill-defined spaces both on this site and its immediate area. The building is conceived as an extension of the townscape of Rathmines and is entirely clad in brick. Two new public spaces have emerged: a linear, paved public plaza fronting Rathmines Road and a park to the rear facing the Georgian terrace of Williams Park and the entrance to St Louis school. Fulfilling its primary role as public spacemaker, the form of the building emerged as a simple rectangular brick-clad urban block. Design Concept The design concept envisaged a high level of transparency and legibility for the

public leisure facilities. Located in the 6m high ground level podium, the principal public spaces of reception, pool hall and gymnasium create a single double-height volume running the full 60-metre depth of the building. There are clear views through the building to the park at the rear. Large roof lights, set between the in-situ cast concrete V-shaped beams in the podium roof, ensure that the centre of the plan is full of daylight. Above the podium, the apartments are located in 4, 5, and 6-storey blocks that are accessed from the podium level courtyard. The multi-purpose hall, with its own dedicated entrance on Williams Park, is located at podium level on the west side. The hall, when required, can function separately from the swimming pool and gymnasium functions of the building. With a foyer that has spectacular views over the new park, the hall offers potential as a significant public assembly space in Rathmines. Also overlooking the new park and facing south is the three-storey stand alone community childcare building. We sought to enhance the quality of the brick architecture in a number of ways including the creation of deeper reveals, brick clad soffits and lintels and, on the buildings podium, brick paving, stairs and canted brick walls to clad the rooflights over the main pool hall below. The top level is clad in interlocking vertical zinc panels and is articulated to create a varied roof profile.

Sustainability and Services To achieve a high level of transparency, our efforts concentrated on the integration into the architectural fabric of the principal secondary elements required with this type of space air conditioning ducting and vents, artificial light fittings and general pool paraphernalia. The mechanical air circulation system utilises the volume of the rooflights and the naturally convective qualities over the heated pool to eliminate the need for any ducting in the pool hall volume. The concrete roof light beams span the full width of the pool hall and are designed to accommodate the customised linear artificial lighting fittings that remain accessible for maintenance from the podium roof. The fittings, designed to have minimal visual intrusion, optimise the use of the walls of the concrete V-beams as light reflectors/diffusers over the pool hall space. In addition to solar heating of domestic hot water and high levels of insulation and air-tightness (the apartments achieve a A1 BER rating), the building has a number of additional energy-saving features. These range in scale from the recycled glass used in the casting of the benching in the external public spaces, to the harvesting of rainwater in storage tanks used to irrigate the grassed mounded area and tree planters in the park, to a gas-fired CHP unit that produces both heat and electricity for the centre.

Site Plan

Rathmines Road

Williams Park

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1. Entirely clad in brick, the building has been conceived as an extension of the townscape of Rathmines. It forms a new public space at the front 2. This second public space at the rear defines the urban form of the scheme 3. The apartments are located in 4,5 and 6 storey blocks and address the glass roof of the pool hall 4/6. Deep concrete beams bounce and baffle sunlight into the pool hall 5. The multi-purpose sports hall can be separated from the swimming pool 7. The scheme has resolved a previously ill-defined public space

Long Section

4 3 2

1 1 2 3 4 5 Plinth Level Apartments Roof Multi-purpose hall Park Childcare building

5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Ground floor levels Public Plaza Foyer Pool Hall Viewing Changing Village Gym Aerobics Park Childcare building

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9. The elevation onto Rathmines Road features a successful rhythm of brick, with concrete strips and glinting alluminium panels


Review by Eddie Conroy

It should be a truism that architecture and urban design are synonymous but this is not inevitable. Masterplanning grapples with primary issues in a project quantum, use and movement addressing them at the scale of the urban block and simple typological decisions arising from the block. This process is increasingly informed by the investment strategy, such as balance and location of uses, necessary to fund larger projects. When both lines of enquiry finally coincide in a viable pattern, frequently the resulting diagram is simply formalised as a building. The richness that results when architecture allows the logic of the programme to intercept and be informed by the physical realities and opportunities of the site has been missing in many larger schemes in recent years. This is not the case in the Rathmines Leisure Centre. Investment was linked to design as a useful hybrid of the Public Private Partnership process, put in place by Dublin City Council as the procurement route. Firstly, an architectural competition sought a solution to the replacement of the old well-used but exhausted Rathmines Swimming Pool with a new pool and leisure centre. Equity released by the development of the air-rights above the scheme would act as the financial engine for a joint-venture project with a private-sector partner. The winning competition entry by Donnelly Turpin proposed a large building in the centre of the site with a public space to the front on Rathmines Road and a public garden to the rear, adjoining St. Louis school. A crche included in the brief was not swallowed up in the overall block logic of the scheme but separated and artfully deployed along one side of the rear garden space. This three-storey finger of building carries out a lot of urban heavy lifting for its size. Closing vistas in three directions, it nudges against the main building, linking it to the 19th century terrace (which it frames), and bringing all three into play around the public garden; a satisfying game of enclosure, texture and view. The finger-block echoes the footprint of the library, VEC building and the adjoining barracks; understanding and adding to the underlying urban texture of the site. The transparency of the ground floor reinforces the visual link between the two urban spaces. It is possible to look through the frenetic activity of the gym along a sheet of roof-lit water out onto the space on Rathmines Road. This is not merely an aesthetic proposition about transparency. From their previous pool in Finglas with its elegant red tower, Donnelly Turpin know that this openness encourages interaction and increased usage. The project overall is enlivened by an understanding that the opening out of elements of the programme caf and reception, first floor glazed gallery access to the hall and childrens playrooms in the crche adds to the buildings welcome, making it truly public in terms of both access and social legibility. The reception area allows a full view into the pool. The route to the changing village and on into the water is simple and encouraging. The gym area likewise enjoys a clear

view of the pool and southern light from the public garden beyond. The systems of the pool are skilfully integrated and barely visible. The deep concrete beams overhead bounce and baffle direct sunlight, dappling the surface of the pool. The lighting is elegantly integrated into the beams just below the rooflight. Air-handling is not visible at all. The use of rooflights and glazing at both ends allows a simple but clever solution to the location of the viewing gallery, tucked nicely into its slatted wooden box. The concrete beams at either end are deeper than the ones between, giving a sense of lift, an implied arch, along the length of the pool. This lightness of touch with the language of rooflight, mediating beams and timber enclosure is reminiscent of the best Scandinavian public architecture. This is also the case externally. Great care has been taken to minimise maintenance requirements. A beautiful Ibstock brick (West Hoathley Medium Multi for the technically minded), natural anodised windows, and VMzinc panelling (recessed rather than standing seam) create a robust and coherent palette. This combines with careful proportions and a vigorous control of both openings and projecting planes. The elevation to Rathmines Road is particularly successful, its rhythmic grid of brick, white concrete stripes and asymmetric glinting aluminium panels rigorous but light-hearted. The ground floor is brightened by white-glazed bricks, which, tellingly, are not marked by graffiti. If the intersection of architecture and urban design adds to the layers of the scheme, the responsibility and professionalism of John Paul Construction add to the quality of the artefact as constructed. This nexus of design and high quality construction was noted in the 2010 Brick Association Awards (Best International Building) and in the 2011 Irish Architecture Awards (Best Public Building and Best Public Space). Even with the downturn, the contractor / developer stood by the contract with Dublin City Council. The project was fully completed and contractual obligations met. The apartments are now leased rather than sold but this will be resolved by time. The downturn has impeded the next phase of the project, which had been agreed with the adjoining properties and received planning permission. This scheme will allow additional apartments and workspaces but, more significantly, will extend the front plaza as far as the Rathmines Library, bringing that building, its cupola and the tower of Rathmines Town Hall into a set piece with the new Leisure Centre. The public garden will also extend into a longer, narrower shape, benefitting from orientation and further connecting with the school and its pupils. This would be a worthwhile addition and a significant piece of civic design and place-making, adding heart and new focus to Rathmines.

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01 02 02 03


1. The simple form was generated by the need for clarity in an ill-defined urban context 2. A Small Patio defines the entrance 3. Materials are roboust and restrained to stone, concrete and glass

Section A

Section B


ARCHITECTS Paul Dillon Architects Paul Dillon, Zsolt Zsuffa, Brendan Horan, Gerard Rainey CLIENT - Liam Mulryan QUANTITY SURVEYORS - Peter Costello & Partners STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS - Alan McCarthy PLANNING CONSULTANTS - A.P. McCarthy Planning Consultants Ltd LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT - Dermot Foley Landscape Architects MAIN CONTRACTOR - Purcell Construction Ltd. PHOTOGRAPHY - Paul Tierney
Project size - 590m2 Duration - x months Location - Briarhill, Galway

2011 Irish Architecture Award Best Commercial Building

by Paul Dillon Architects

This is a project for a drive-through restaurant located off the M6 motorway on the eastern edge of Galway City. The narrow site is surrounded by the parking lot of Briarhill Shopping Centre, the Clayton Hotel, Briarhill Business Park and by the motorway. As roads surround the building, there is no real front or back to the site, and several design studies were made in deciding how the building might respond to its immediate environment. In the end, a very simple form emerged, with a solid stone base at street level, anchored to the site, and a glazed first floor, like a stage above the traffic. Since the public entrances faced onto the car park small patios were designed to humanise the portals. The restaurant is on two levels; the kitchen, storage, staff rooms, and a small seating area are located on the ground floor. The first floor has most of the seating as well as a terrace and play area, which is designed as an extension of the indoor spaces. Full height glazing wraps around this outdoor space, and protects from strong winds. In addition to the restaurant, the building has a small shop at street level.

The floors, walls, columns, stairs and roof are constructed from concrete, which is left exposed in many areas. Externally, three materials are used, stone, concrete and glass. The local stone walls are finished flush with the silicone-jointed glazing and the exposed concrete structure. Overlooked from the shopping centre and hotel, the roof is finished with a ballast of rounded washed limestone pebbles. Plant is located under the roof at first floor level.

This is a simple, robust and local architectural response, to an ordinary, everyday public building type.

First floor plan 1 Restaurant 2 Terrace

1 2

Ground floor plan 1 Shop 2 Entrance 3 Restaurant

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ARCHITECTS A2 Architects Caomhan Murphy, Peter Carroll, Joan McElligott, Ciara Keohane and Suzy O Leary CLIENT - Private STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS - Casey ORourke Associates MAIN CONTRACTOR - Taaffe Builders PHOTOGRAPHY - Marie-Louise Halpenny (Ros Kavanagh: Sketch Design)
Project size - 150 m2 Duration - 48 months Location - Co. Louth

2011 Irish Architecture Award Best House, 2011 Irish Architecture Awards

DESIGN FOR LIFE by Fergus Mc Ardle Every great building has an even better back story Dr. Edith Farnsworths romantic infatuation and subsequent lawsuit with Mies or Lou Kahns numerous liaisons with beautiful, vulnerable assistants in his office. Beach House is no different, albeit less salacious. A newly-formed architectural practice secures the dream commission of a beach house from a young professional couple with no children. Some years later, a family of five abandon their larger house in the town to live here fulltime after their first weekend. We love it. Were staying, she said. They only went back to clear the rest of their belongings before renting the sensible, if mundane, family home. Some years on, they still love it. It fascinates me how this average family chose modern open plan living with less private space over a more conventional home. It is probably the best compliment a designer could receive. What we love most about this house, and consider its greatest success, is the connection it gives us to the outside world. () We sit and have our family meals looking out at the people, boats, horses, dogs, birds, hang gliders passing by () all this without having to leave home. () We were not expecting this. Our biggest problem is where can we go on holiday - where is better than here? I have many ties with this project and to this site. The she in the story is my sister. The newly-formed architectural practice are my college friends. The builder, a family friend, employed my brother to complete much of the carpentry work. As a child, I played regularly in the caravan park, located en route, in the offseason. There are not many sites like this. Located at the end of a caravan park, it has private access to the beach, overlooking it from a vantage point of some four metres. The house is well-designed, considered and concise. It borrows from the aforementioned projects: storage as an organisational device from Farnsworth; the look and feel and crafted planning of Kahns houses (Fisher, Korman and Esherick). It shares some

DNA with the work of Caruso St. John, but also with the caravans that surround it, reflecting their proportions and orientation. The main living space is book-ended by stunning views of both sea and farmland. The materials are neutral, smooth and strand-like. They do not compete brashly with the elements, but blend effortlessly with their surroundings shingle, driftwood, retaining concrete walls. More sundial than whirring horologue, this house silently observes the movements of each night and day, from sunlight to moonlight, charting the seasons ever-changing hues and shades. The children add to this sense of tracking time with their games which encircle and lap the house, both inside and out, depending on the time of year. Their parents can both watch and watch over them. Like any other family, photographs are taken at the side of the house; the horizontal timber cladding serves to chart how much theyve grown. In short, this building edifies the lives of this normal family on a daily basis. That is what good design does it is fit for purpose and elevates the ordinary at the same time. My criticism of the house is with the benefit of hindsight and could be levelled at both client and architect. It was clear early on that it may be difficult to extend this house externally in the future, and more thought could have been given to the inevitable internal modifications by this or another user. A metres play here or there with the fixed elements would have made changes much easier to carry out. Despite this, Beach House is an excellent showcase for contemporary architecture in these difficult times, when people are keen to economise by eliminating the design professional from their brief. Good design has delivered and won out in a multitude of ways. This building has far more converts than detractors in this rural community. Ironically, highest praise has come from the most unlikely sources! For its patrons, it has delivered a quality asset of clear tangible value which they love and exceeded their expectations. It is amazing what can be done with a willing client, an accomplished builder and some talented young designers.

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Shelter unfolds between parallel wall planes to embrace views east over the Irish Sea

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Ground floor plan Entrance Hall Living Area Dining Area Kitchen Bedroom Bathroom Terrace Access to Beach

Section A 1 Hall 2 Living 3 Bathroom

4 5

1 2 3 4 5 6

Section B Entrance Terrace Living Area Dining Area Terrace Access to Beach Beach







1/2. This new seaside holiday house occupies the former site of a long-standing summer chalet with existing private access to a beach 3. Resonating with the scale and placement of neighbouring mobile homes, two untreated douglas fir timber enclosures rest on a cast concrete podium over a drift geology 4. A layer of reflective polished terrazzo is laid over the concrete podium and parallel to the horizon in a wave-like rhythm 5. A central terrazzo fireplace and a roof-lit spine hallway anchor the plan 6/7. Clerestory glazing internally above the built-in furniture brings reflected sunlight into the interior

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The annual Forbo Young Architects Design Competition is a popular event amongst architecture students. Not only does it constitute a real design challenge, it also allows students to experiment with the possibilities of an exciting and versatile material. This years entries responded to the theme of sustainability with the first prize going to Kevin Coffey, a final year student at DIT Bolton Street. Highly Commended was Stephen Murray, a fourth year student at UCDs School of Architecture, while Aislinn Ni Ghadhra, a fourth year student at SAUL was Commended. Also commended was Ciara McGonigal, a graduate of DIT Bolton Street. The winner will receive a prize as well as an invitation to the RIAI Annual Conference. possibilities of how accurately a Marmoleum floor could be cut. The material lends itself to pattern design; the competition, for me, became about discovering both a useful and aesthetic pattern.

What inspired the design - in particular the sustainability angle you took?
Last year, we had classes with Marcin Wojcik who gave an introductory course in Ecotect modelling daylight, insulation, right-to-light and heating. I had used the program to advance part of my RIAI travelling scholarship project, which was about the sustainability of growth in small Irish towns, and measured the amount of daylight entering a typical ghost estate house. As Marmoleum is a very eco-friendly product, it was a natural step to move towards a sustainable-type solution. I teased out the idea that, similar to the daylight factor analysis projected on to the computer models floor, the floor could hold a pattern representing bright and dark spots. While it would have been possible to lay a grid pattern similar to the programmes analysis, in reality daylight does not appear in blocks, so I pursued remodelling the floor pattern in a more realistic manner. The final result was a floor that outlined the brightest spots in the room and gave any future occupants help in organising an office layout. By making a floor useful, the potential for reuse increases. While it would be possible to give a huge amount of detail on the floor, by restricting the solution to just three of the many samples in the Forbo catalogue, a more elegant solution appeared. The Judges for the 2011 Forbo Young Architects Design Competition were Danuta Wejchert, John Graby, Paul Carney and Dr Sandra OConnell For more information on FORBO FLOORING please visit

WINNER: Kevin Coffey, Final Year Student at DIT Bolton Street

Competition winner Kevin Coffey is a final year student of architecture in DIT Bolton Street. He previously completed a four-year masters degree in structural engineering at the University of Cambridge. Architecture Ireland spoke to Kevin about his winning design.

What was the motivation behind entering the competition?

The competition was well advertised in DIT and, early in the year, I had looked up the brief online. I try to keep an eye on competitions that take place, even if theres little spare time during the academic year. The Forbo competition was at the back of my mind for a few months before I had a good concept in April. Fortunately, there was a short break from college over Easter, which gave me an opportunity to work out and assemble my submission.

How did you enjoy working with the material?

It was an interesting challenge my father moved into a new primary care building in Killarney at the start of the year, which had inlay designs in the Marmoleum flooring. That was the first place I saw the

Forbo Flooring Young Architects Competition 2011

Registration No: C0002

soundproof pleated multimedia pod

Pleated Pods
pleated desk dividers

soundproof pleated private meeting pods

clustered pleated pods on silver shadow marmoleum floor

pleated semi-formal meeting pods

spaced pleated pods on volcanic ash marmoleum floor

group/individual pleated pods on sky blue marmoleum floor Pleated pods are insulated sound-proof rooms which can be arranged to suit the changing technology and needs of any business in the future. They are fully transportable and their flexible nature means they can be adapted to any office space. Available in any colour and a range of materials, pleated pods are a stylish and modern option for any office space. The Marmoleum and Artoleum floor range from Forbo Flooring perfectly compliments pleated pods in style, design and versatility. Like Forbo Floors, pleated pods are environmentally friendly, functional and design-oriented products which will guarantee a happy and productive workforce and impress your clients.

shared space
several companies inhabiting a single space can all enjoy their own privacy

Office as a marketplace
private and semi-formal spaces allow employees to share ideas, trends, insights and information

office as venue
a space to showcase ideas, entertain clients, give presentations

office as flagship
pleated pods can be designed to display the brand, ethos, logos and style of the company

Highly Commended: Stephen Murray, School of Architecture, UCD

Commended: Aislinn Ni Ghadhra, School of Architecture, University of Limerick

Commended: Ciara McGonigal, architecture graduate of DIT Bolton Street

Architecture Ireland presents a selection of innovative products and materials that have been specified by architects for the buildings featured in this issue.
Kilsaran Paves the Way for Wexford County Offices (1)
Kilsarans innovative paving products feature extensively in the new offices for Wexford County Council. Clima-Pave, a permeable paving solution was used for 5000m2 of car parking bays at Wexford. The Clima-Pave blocks were manufactured in a special grey colour for the body of the bays and in a white colour for the demarcation lines. The process of shot-blasting gives a fine textured feel to paving. Kilsarans state-of-the-art maunfacturing facility in Dunboyne has five secondary finishing lines, one of which is a shot-blasting line. A further 5,500m2 of Kilsarans Slane Paving Blocks (200 x 100 x 80mm) in a shot-blasted finish and made-to-order grey colour were used on the roadways around the building. Pedestrian areas also feature this innovative product, with a further 3500m2 of the same block (in a 200 x 200 x 80mm size) used. Completing the textured look, shot-blasted Newgrange Flags (600 x 600 x 50mm) were used for the roof and balcony areas. Tactile Flags were also specially made for the new County offices in a made-to-order grey colour.

VM Zinc Quartz Panels Top Rathmines Square (3)

Metal Processors LTDs clean line VM Zinc Quartz interlocking panels were installed for the roofs at Rathmines Square. A total of 1,500m2 of the product was used. Metal Processors LTD are the main agent and distributor of both VM Zinc and LUVATA copper panel ranges for the Irish market. The company offers a full design assistance to architects to ensure correct detailing of products. A full list of recommended Irish installers is also available to install both product ranges. Metal Processors LTD also supply a full range of complimentary rainwater systems in both zinc and copper. Our product portfolio further includes METDECK tm, which is a warm roof insulation decking board for under traditional standing seam roofing systems. METDECK offers superb U-value allied with a thin solution, the insulation board also has a Class O fire-rating. METDECKS ease of fit and compatibility with roofing contractors make it a must-use product for both the contractor and architect alike.

Stonetechs Kilkenny Blue Limestone Faade (2)

Wexford County Council headquarters has been the largest single projects in Ireland for the Irish Blue Limestone industry in over 10 years. Stonetech Cladding Ltd has provided over 4000m2 of Kilkenny Blue Limestone cladding and paving for this landmark project. All the stone selected was to the highest quality and standards of workmanship. We are particularly proud of this project because of the use of the Irish stone and the technically challenging design, said Colin Feely, Managing Director of Stonetech. A huge part of the challenge was the fact that the cladding panels were over 1800mm long and therefore it was difficult to quarry blocks big enough to supply such a large quantity of cladding. The internal street pavers are 1200x1200x30mm, which puts enormous pressure on a quarry to produce 1800m2 of panels of this large size and still maintain the high standard of workmanship. Stonetech worked closely with the quarry supplier Kilkenny Limestone to ensure the quality was maintained and the project brought in on budget. The close collaboration of the Wexford Co Co, the design team and all the main sub-contractors made it possible to bring the project to a successful completion and achieve a building of outstanding design that is a credit to all involved. Visit to see a list of other prestigious buildings they have been involved in over the years.

Richardsons Ceramics: Unique Hydrophylic Coating for Swimming Pools (4)

Richardsons Ceramics offer a range of stunning tiles and innovative technology. Wherever it is a matter of cleanliness and hygiene, the innovative Hydrotect coating technology from Deutsche Steinzeug sets totally new standards. The unique hydrophylic coating provides wall and floor tiles with revolutionary properties. Whether at home, in swimming pools, hospitals, large kitchens or railway stations: Hydrotect guarantees everywhere brilliant cleanliness and perfect hygiene with a minimum of cleaning effort. Permanently burnt in and thus practically indestructible, Hydrotect is the first tile coating with a long-term guarantee. The colours in the Chroma II range are designed for use in swimming pools providing under water effect, light refraction and reflection. Since market launch in 2007, the XENO range has undergone extremely successful development. The main areas of application to date have included foyers, administrative buildings, schools, hotels, restaurants, shop design and similarly representative areas as well as up-market apartment buildings. And the range of attractive decors extended in 2011 increases the range of applications for these high-quality design tiles. The Polygon and Prisma decors in the XENO by German manufacturer AGROB BUCHTAL also were awarded to significant design prizes recently.





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Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Uses BIM to Ensure Safety First

If you are about to burst through a door and enter a burning building, you would really want to know what is behind that door - the layout of the building, the location of stairs and passageways, and anything inside that could cause a danger to you, or other people. That is precisely what Brian Sweeney, Chief Fire Officer for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue (SFR), thought several years ago, following a fire tragedy in a block of flats in Glasgow. Watching the then classic computer game, Doom, he wondered why the same ability to visualise a buildings layout couldnt be set up to assist fire crews. Without delay he set up a department to produce the plans for high risk buildings to provide better support to fire crews within the Strathclyde area actually 10 local authorities covering a vast 13,600 square kilometres from Oban to Turnberry and including the islands of Islay and Bute. Indeed SFR is one of the largest fire and rescue services in Europe. Much of the early work used surface based CAD software to create simple 3D architectural models of buildings from 2D plans supplied by the regions Fire and Safety Department. Finding this technology too cumbersome SFR decided to implement GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD, which eliminated the need for multiple CAD software but, more importantly, its BIM (Building Information Modelling) capabilities provided accurate and co-ordinated data to increase clarity on SFRs touch screen VMDS system (Vehicle Mounted Data System). The BIM models that SFR produce are regularly updated, and stored on hard disk on each of 200 fire appliances. To date this includes 7,800 buildings and 26,000 plans. Called out to a fire, a Mobilisation Summary triggers each operation in the fire vehicle, enabling the crew to upload the appropriate building views and plans to the display. If the crew see an item that might prove dangerous to the operation a symbol, perhaps, showing a specific chemical storage container they can bring up detailed operating procedures for dealing with the hazard. To enhance visualisation a unique colour scheme has been developed to make the system more effective red, purple and green which has proved to be very visible and clear under the street light conditions that crews often have to work in. The team has also put great emphasis on increasing the level of symbols attached to the models, highlighting hazards, and producing consolidated models that include the civil infrastructure and surrounding buildings. Under the leadership of John McNicol, the SFR CAD team are now looking at other ways of displaying the models such as incorporating them into 3D PDFs, or enabling them to be viewed, in real time, with GRAPHISOFT BIMx a virtual building explorer. BIMx also increases the value of the models as they can be used pro-actively to help train firefighters, or to enable crews to familiarise themselves with buildings, such as sports stadia, prior to major events. Having models of major structures in the very large Strathclyde area also opens up other options, such as accident enquiries with the ability to support Inquests with information from the model. Typically, accompanied by photos, fire service investigators are able to show what damage has been done and how this was likely to have been caused. SFR has continued to add more symbols and colour, has enhanced building plans and model definitions, and has added materials such as glass and timber where appropriate. Buildings can also be split into sections, roofs removed, and unnecessary detail obscured to ensure fire crews can focus easily on important information. Faster and Friendlier Asked why SFR use ArchiCAD exclusively for the development of their fire appliance based system, John McNicol said, When we started to look seriously at the problem, ArchiCAD offered higher resolution capabilities, better building tools and it was easier to use to manipulate the images we wanted. We were also able to discard a number of different software and keep the model within just one CAD application. Looking into the future, McNicol explained that having access to BIM models of much of Glasgow will enable them to do much more such as predicting the spread of fire, using CFD and other tools, or to develop fire fighting tactics, using software like Cinema 4D linked to the models. This will add further to the information base of Glasgow and its infrastructure and which can be shared with other public services. Its reassuring to know that as a progressive fire and rescue service Strathclyde saw the advantages of BIM many years ago. This has given SFR the ability and time to build up a comprehensive repository of information about how best to tackle, and increasingly predict the course of, fires in buildings, stadiums, and even ferries. For SFR safety first means equipping fire crews with the best information to protect both the public and their own fire fighters. For more information on Strathclyde Fire and Rescue visit http://www. For further information on GRAPHISOFT products, contact Martin Reddington, E T 01 8721766. or visit


Brick in Architecture By Michael Hayes

Two recently completed Irish projects reaffirm the value of brick in architecture the Lyric Theatre in Belfast and Rathmines Leisure Centre. While each have been inspired by unique conditions, the architects choice of brick expresses qualities associated with one of the worlds oldest building materials. In a modern context, the semantics of brick speak of a long tradition and humane craft and scale that is backed up by its practical properties of durability and reliability. Architecture Ireland has discused these issues with architects John Tuomey (The Lyric) and John Winslow (Rathmines Square) The Lyric Theatre(1+2) is built to match the sloping Belfast brick streetscape. Ibstocks Heritage Red Blend has been chosen to sculpt the three principal volumes housing theatre, studio and rehearsal space. This external brick cladding extends internally, reinforcing the massing of forms through a series of permeable public spaces. Simultaneously providing a functional role, the material itself forms an integral layer in the assembly of a high performance acoustic and thermal mass. For example, within the studio space brick has been chosen to internally clad a 6-metre high warehouse performance space, creating a dynamic, robust and vibrant theatre environment. The possibilities of brick as an individually crafted object are exploited to the full in the Lyric Theatre. Brick specials that have been hand-cast are used throughout the building in response to the carved angles and spatially complex spaces created by the site specific design solution. Terre de Rose Pavers manufactured by Wienerberger are used as flooring to define the main areas of public congregation in the foyer and bar spaces, extending the colour, texture and intimate brick character beyond the walls.

For Rathmines Square (3+4) the context of 19th century brick terraces, Carnegie Town Hall and the Library building made brick seem an obvious and respectful choice. Two brick types are used: Firstly, the predominantly red West Hoathly stock brick from Ibstock was used generally, including as a paver to the roof of the swimming pool. Its mottled multicoloured texture finish is sympathetic to the diversity of the local bricks, particularly the traditional Dolphins Barn brick, which was often made on site. The West Hoathly brick, which originates south of London, is formed in a similar labour intensive manor, practically using the same method and machinery today as it did 100 years ago. The second brick is a smooth cream glazed brick by Ibstock. Selected to contrast with the former, it is predominatly used where the building meets the ground, helping to deal with any unwelcome graffiti and recalling the way the Victorians used glazed bricks as decoration around door openings. Rathmines Square also provides a lesson in approaching this material. While considering emerging technical developments, the architects stress the importance of traditional design methods such as large-scale sample panels and mortar experiments. In practical terms, good brick layers have been appreciated as key, but how many and where they are deployed on the site warranted serious thought, critical for obtaining a consistent appearance. In Rathmines Square the majority of the public elevations were completed by just three or four men.





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Working with 5 star hotels, restaurants, bars and commercial premises all over the world, including the U.S.A, Japan, Hong Kong and throughout Europe, we have developed an international reputation as one of the finest fit-out craftsmen in the business. Its a reputation we have been careful to protect over the last 25 years and every commission builds on this, which is why we take so much care in our work.

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Bolan Rugs from Loomspace (1)
Praised by the worlds leading fashion designers, interior designers and architects, rugs made by acclaimed Swedish design company Bolon are now exclusively available in Ireland from Loomspace@ RugArt. Loomspace is a new Irish venture headed up by Ray OConnor that stocks leading European manufacturers such as Bolon, Bentzon, Vorwerk, Lano, Rols and Whitespace. Bolons history starts in Stockholm, in 1949 when Nils-Erik Eklund had a genial idea and started to manufacture woven rag rugs from textile waste from the neighbouring factory. Eventually, the textiles were abandoned and replaced by plastic. Sisters Marie and Annica took over the enterprise from their parents in 2003 and started the journey towards a designdriven Bolon with influences from the fashion world. The phrase Floored by Fashion was born. Loomspace@ RugArt,, has generated 60 per cent more electricity than it needs for its own consumption. The e3.5m scheme provides in-house testing facilities for new products and project-specific faade solutions which can then be independently certified to the latest European standards. The test centre is designed to be highly energy efficient and sustainable. Roofmounted photovoltaic panels generate sufficient power for heating, lighting and operating the entire building, making it one of Europes first energy-positive production buildings. Daily energy monitoring has shown that the building has generated enough energy to be selfsufficient and to deliver a significant level of electricity into the national grid. (Track the energy performance A key factor in helping to reduce the energy consumption of the building to as little as 23kWh/m2a around the same as a standard passive house is its highly efficient Wicona faade. This is integrated with the building services and low energy technology, and is also highly glazed to allow most of the product testing to be carried out without the need for artificial lighting. E,

Wicona Roof Glazing Now Available in Ireland (2)

Developed in Germany, the highly engineered Wicona Wictec 50 roof glazing system is now available in Ireland. This highly efficient solution for glazed roofs has been used extensively internationally on a wide range of technically challenging projects. The aluminium system, which can also be specified for vertical glazing applications, will achieve large roof spans and complex shapes such as domes, facets and pyramids on high specification architectural schemes. Whilst still being simple to fabricate and install, saving time on site, the Wicona roof glazing option has been designed to provide highly efficient drainage whether the requirement is for sloped glazing or more complex 3D glass roof constructions. It features penetrating transoms so the mullions and transoms overlap, allowing effective drainage on three levels, and avoiding pooling, which can result in water ingress. The Wictec 50 system has been engineered to create large unsupported spans, and is sufficiently robust to meet specific project requirements for glazed roofs such as wind and snow loads. It is a dry glazed system for water tightness without the need for sealants, and the Wictec 50 FP option has a fire rating to 30 minutes. Wicona is also the first faade specialist to offer a complete turnkey service for the building envelope from design concepts to fabrication, installation, testing and handover.

Kalzips Futuristic Canopy Roof (4)

Over 1,000m2 of convex and concave smooth curved Kalzip aluminium standing seam roof sheets have been installed on the impressive new Pudsey Bus Station by experienced Teamkal contractor, KGM Roofing Ltd. Built by Allenbuild Ltd for Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, this futuristically designed canopy roof is attractively finished all round with a continuous true curved bull-nosed fascia, also from Kalzip. Convex taper-curved to a 10 metre radii, the Kalzip sheets form full semi-circles on plan at both ends of the roof, while the soffits were ingeniously created by using a similar combination of downward facing concave curved Kalzip sheets. The roof canopy is neatly finished with tightly curved aluminium bullnosed fascias, polyester powder coated to RAL 9006, and an 80mm thick layer of Kalzip Insulation 23 glass quilt, sandwiched between the Kalzip soffit and top sheets for rain-sound reduction. Produced using a unique manufacturing process, the true curved fascias were designed to be invisibly fixed using a system of bonded butt straps which create a beautifully seamless finish to the roofs eaves. For further information and a copy of the Kalzip Systems brochure, please visit

Wiconas Test Centre Generates 60% Electricity Surplus (3)

One of the first energy-positive industrial buildings In Europe, the new dedicated test centre for Wiconas faade products near Ulm, Germany





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Aideen McCole really likes design, architecture and the arts. Often this means writing a blog such as this new column for Architecture Ireland. Aideen would like to hear about design ideas and can be contacted at
Perhaps its an unusual time to start up a design shop in Dublin. However, a number of people have taken the plunge and opened their own design stores in the city in the past eighteen months or so, each with a unique vision and individual range of stock. Design retail stalwarts such as Wild Child and Retrospect, and more recent retailers like the Irish Design Shop, are being joined by a new generation. I caught up with three such new kids on the block to find out their motivations for setting up and starting off on a new adventure. First up was Vanessa MacInnes, owner of Industry (Smock Alley, Temple Bar), a shop dedicated to vintage and upcycled pieces as well as new design. Vanessa has a real passion for the industrial aesthetic, and during her years working as an interior designer had trouble finding anything of that style in Ireland. Industry now stocks an ever-changing range of vintage and one-off industrial furniture, from postal desks to metal shelving units. Paired with the harder edged furniture is a range of printed cushions, artworks and tabletop objects, illustrating how easy it can be to work something with an industrial feel into an interior. Next door to Industry, youll find Gary Tiernans Ubode, a cafe-cum-design shop where you can have a coffee and then stock up on the necessary utensils to feed your caffeine addiction at home. With a growing range of Bodum products, along with products from Normann Copenhagen, Joseph Joseph and others, theres plenty to look at while you sip your latte or eat your lunch. Gary began Ubode as an online design shop, but by cleverly combining his love of design and his experience in catering has made another great indie addition to Temple Bars west end. If you head for the beautiful surroundings of the Powerscourt Centre youll find Article on the first floor. Run by John Adams, Article stocks a small but perfectly formed range of tableware and home accessories. His selection of beautiful and quirky pieces, sourced both at home and abroad, and includes old favourites such as Seletti along with more unusual ranges by London-based designer Rob Ryan and French company Reine Mere. One thing that seems clear from each of these people is how now really is the opportune time to take a chance and start something new. Unlike before, its affordable to rent a citycentre retail space, its possible to get small orders from suppliers, and with few people offering you a job, why not make up your own? As for customers, each shop I visited was busy and everyone was making sales. Each location brings with it a mix of locals and tourists keen to pick up something attractive and useful, and each retailer can rely on a core base of returning customers who recognise that each offers good quality stock at a reasonable price. A willingness to change and evolve is another thing that these retailers have in common. Each began their current business out of a need to find something new to do when work was running out. And from changes as small as adding more colourful stock or popping-up in alternative locations to bigger challenges like moving from online-only sales to running a premises too (or vice versa), each of these people is keen to adapt to what is going on and what their customers look for. Its a good trait to have at a time where a lot of people are learning the hard way that the old way of doing things isnt always the best. Article is very much about the brighter things in life patterned crockery, limited edition prints to hang on your walls, and useful objects with a decorative feel. As Ubode develops, so too will its range of fine foods and the fine utensils youll want and need to prepare them with. Industry loves all things industrial, but through careful selection of complimentary stock, shows you how you can live with edgy one-off pieces. The Malthouse Design Centre also represents change for Architects and furniture designers Greg Tisdall and Arthur Duff who have offered fully fitted studio space with backup workshop space to emerging designers. This is structured space with support from Greg and Arthur who each have over 20 years experience in the design and furniture industry. The exhibition space will also host a number of key exhibitions on a regular basis to maintain the profile of the centre and the Malthouse is participating in this years Open House Dublin. Designist on South Great Georges Street features a small range of objects with an urban feel and an affordable price-range. (Im currently coveting the Royal VKB French Carafe Set.) The Irish Design Shop, on Bow Lane East, has a great range of home-grown products. I recommend the Grafik Fabrik textiles. Each of these stores comes with its own unique take on things; different stock with a different feel. What will charm you about these shops most of all is that youre not buying from companies, but youre buying from people; people with an infectious passion for design.

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IN PRACTICE Routes to Registration by Sandra OConnell

To date this year, 22 candidates have successfully completed the RIAI-accredited Architects Register Admission Examination (ARAE) and are now eligible for admission to the Register of Architects. From this September, ARAE will take in new applicants for the 2012 examination, a route to the Register of Architects for people in architectural practice who have not attained the required academic and professional qualifications. This is an opportunity for experienced practitioners without the required qualifications to formalise their professional standing. ARAE Ltd. was established as a UCD campus company in 2009 for the specific purpose of developing this assessment route to the Register for Architects. For two of the ARAE Directors Eileen Fitzgerald and Orla Hegarty, seeing the first 22 candidates go through the process was a very positive experience. The success of this examination is not only a recognition of professional status but also a significant personal achievement for these candidates. The ARAE examination was developed specifically for people who have a considerable amount of practical experience in architecture who wish to be admitted to the Register of Architects. The examination is structured in three stages of assessment over one calendar year: Stage 1 determines eligibility, with a minimum of seven years experience at the level of an architect required. Candidates come from a broad range of practice size and type and a cross section of ages, say the directors. Stage 2 covers a wide range of topics relating to Design Competence from History and Culture to Structure and Technology. ARAE candidates are also given a week-long Design Project, which is assessed in the design studios of UCD. Academic contributors and examiners include outside staff such as architectural historians Dr. Ellen Rowley and Dr. Samantha Martin McAuliffe as well as architects Anne Gorman, Vivienne Brophy, Kevin Donovan, Will Dimond and John Parker. The final Stage 3 covers Practice Competence from Construction Legislation to Procurements and Contract with the option to attend the Professional Practice lecture series at UCD. Supports have been specifically devised by ARAE to prepare candidates for the examinations and include, for example, interview training for the oral exams. We have developed an exam that is different for people who did not have a conventional education, explain Fitzgerald and Hegarty. Competence is assessed on the basis of the EU Qualifications Directive, which defines the training an architect should have. The ARAE examination can be taken in one calendar year commencing in January 2012 with document submission, followed by written exams in May and December, a design project in June and an oral exam in January 2013. This requires a considerable commitment from the candidates and evidence shows that in the first cycle, the majority of candidates did the programme
Successful ARAE Candidates in 2011

over two years. However, the programme is flexible, allows stage payments and permits candidates to repeat individual subjects, if required. The ARAE Directors praise the candidates for their commitment and mutual support: It was great to see how the candidates came together in groups for workshops and supported each other. The course directors say they have benefitted as much from ARAE as did the students. It has challenged us as teachers and our perception of education it was inspiring seeing an alternative education process at work, say Orla Hegarty and Eileen Fitzgerald. The ARAE fees for 2012 are Application Fee e725 and Examination Fee e7,775. This includes examinations in eight subject, the week-long Design Project, the Oral Examination and on-going support through workshops, interview training, library membership and information sessions.

RIAI Technical Assessment In addition to the ARAE, practitioners without formal qualifications can seek Registration via the Technical Assessment process (Route E). Technical Assessment, defined in the Act as practical experience assessment procedures, is open to those with ten years performing duties commensurate with those of an architect prior to 1 May 2008. The procedures and criteria for the assessment are set out in the Building Control Act 2007. In summary, the applicants submission is initially assessed by a team of three architect assessors appointed by the Technical Assessment Board who interview the applicant before forming an opinion. The application and the assessors opinion are then considered by the Board. When deciding on an applicants eligibility for registration, the Technical Assessment Board considers the four criteria set out in Section 22 of the Act having regard to the opinion of the assessors. The Board is not bound by the opinion of the assessors. Additional information may be sought by the assessors and/or by the Board (though all requests must issue from the Board) during their consideration of an application. The Board may also opt to interview any applicant itself before reaching a decision. Those interested in applying for Technical Assessment are invited to call Margaret Hynds OFlanagan at the RIAI to discuss any questions they may have. Comprehensive information on Technical Assessment and the criteria for eligibility can be found on the RIAI website. The RIAI is pleased to inform that the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has approved a revised Technical Assessment fee of e4,500 as submitted by the RIAI in accordance with section 62(3) of the Act. Given the present difficult economic times, the RIAI had decided to subvent elements of the resource cost to reduce the charge from e6,300 to e4,500.
UCD design studio during the ARAE design project

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By Gerald Dawe
My connection to the Lyric goes back to the mid 1960s when, along with other friends at Orangefield School, I was involved in the Lyric Youth Theatre. In those days the group met in a church hall in Cromwell Road, a Judith-Hearne-like street just off Belfasts Botanic Avenue. In that hall we were instructed to dance by the wonderful Helen Lewis, author of the Holocaust memoir, A Time to Speak, and in theatre practise by Sam McCready, a powerhouse of dramatic proportions. With the OMalley family, the Lyrics founders, and many other local theatre people, Sam bridged the generations and linked the upcoming younger generation with the established Lyric in its then new home on Ridgeway Street in south Belfast. Nestled inside the rising redbrick streetscape above the Lagan River, and under the busy suburban thoroughfare of Stranmillis, the theatre found a home for itself nearby the College of Education, the Ulster Museum, the University and the Botanic Gardens. The Lyric in the sixties was a little out of Belfast city centres self-consciousness but it was to become a great beacon of hope and perseverance during the very dark days when Belfast plummeted into the Troubles. As bombing and gunfire and curfews and mayhem swirled around the inner city, the theatre refused to close its doors. In a sense the theatre, stage, foyer and surroundings seemed to be somewhat like a secular church, no matter what play there was in performance. The Lyric had a battle to survive not just the local violence of the times but also the struggle that all theatres experience working through difficult contemporary commercial challenges and cultural changes. When my mother and step-father moved in retirement to south Belfast in the mid seventies, my returns home often included a walk along the neighbouring Lagan via Annadale and the allotments. The Lyric sat across the river bank looking increasingly more isolated and bruised as the houses around Ridgeway Street lost their residents and turned increasingly into rented accommodation. Almost a sense of foreboding descended. Despite all the pleasure and tribulation overcome in the theatres past, the Lyric looked isolated. For a city not greatly given to civic understanding of its literary cultural legacy, never mind making much effort to promote the diverse success of its artistic community over several generations, the new Lyric that has stepped out from behind the scaffolding is a brave and defiant statement of belief in the future of the dramatic arts in Belfast. Hopefully the theatre will be able to integrate itself much more dynamically with the Belfast that is now also emerging out of the heavy industrial past. It would be great too if the new Lyric could re-establish itself firmly and coherently in its rich cultural roots in Irish theatre as well as welcoming the best of work from Britain and further afield. The Lyric, now re-imagined as a prominent light-filled outward-looking auditorium, is no longer metaphorically hidden within the rocky hillside of Ridgeway Street, but rather stands out, like the prow of a ship, with at long last a fair wind behind it.
Belfast-born poet Gerald Dawe is the author of the highly regarded portrait of Belfast, My Mother-City (Lagan Press 2007). He is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

Gerald Dawe Laughter and Forgetting The wine store has gone lilac and where the Jaffe Memorial stands in a forlorn green the Lagan glides by. A set of girl rowers scull in and out of the winter sun. Its cold enough, making your way up Ridgeway Street. The houses on both sides change hands each year broken banisters, the ancient sky light, Ireland Saturday Nights at the back of the water tank. Newspaper shops, home bakeries, a restaurant in what was some bodys front room, and the attic thats a store has initials carved on the windows leaded flashing that no one knows anything about, except maybe you walking downtown as the school kids head out to the traffic lights. Old folk sit in the Gardens among the deepening shades and over at the Bookshop set texts for the first years are piled high. Indie music blasts out from the Students Union while those unwelcome stand at the low wall waiting admission. Theres Riesling bottles down the back of the Lombard Caf and theres empty cans of Harp and flagons of scrumpy dumped in King Williams Park. Do you remember? Do you remember? Do you remember, what? The hillsides are glorious and thats as good as it gets.
Gerald Dawe Lake Geneva (The Gallery Press 2003)

Brian Friel, 2011 A new theatre can be the most exciting building in any city. It can be the home of miracles and epiphanies and relevations and renovations. And building a new theatre especially in times like these is both an act of fortitude and a gesture of faith in your community. This is your playhouse come and play with us here. Seamus Heaney I dedicate to speech, to pomp and show, This playhouse be erected for the players. I set my saw and chisel in the wood To joint and panel solid metaphors: The walls a circle, the stage under a hood Here all the worlds an act, a word, an echo.
From Peter Street at Bankside, written by Seamus Heaney in 1965 for the first Lyric Theatre on this site. Peter Street, a carpenter, built the Globe in London where many of Shakespeares plays were first performed.
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TileStyles Jewellery Box A Photographic Exhibition
As part of the PhotoIreland Festival 2011, TileStyle Irelands leading retailer of tiles, stone, wood and bathrooms held an exhibition in its showrooms of upcoming Irish photography artist Daragh Muldowney of Dlra Photography. Daraghs show Jewellery Box, Irelands Hidden Gems featured a wondrous collection of over 50 photographs focusing on the elements of nature found in rock pools all over Ireland, revealing a world that often goes unnoticed by the eye. Accompanying the exhibition is Daragh Muldowneys book of the same title. At a time when business is tough and the environment challenging, it is a great lift to everyone at TileStyle to be part of a positive endeavour such as this, said Retail Director Gerard McNaughton of TileStyle.

John Kelly from RTE and Daragh Muldowney from Dulra Photography at TileStyle

Certification for Passive House Builders Ltd.

Based in Co. Galway, Passive House Builders Ltd. recently achieved certification from the Passive House Institute in Germany for both a timber frame passive house located in Athenry and a masonry build passive house located in Oranmore Co. Galway. The orientation and solar gain from south facing PHI certified windows and the high thermal performance of these houses enables the occupants to benefit from cost free passive gains. Heating requirements include renewable energy sources. Solar panels provide domestic hot water which is stored in a highly insulated hot water cylinder and a wood burning stove provides both space heating and domestic hot water. Some key features in these projects include cold bridge free construction, u-values as low as 0.10W/ M2/K, high level of airtighness of 0.28 AC/hr, passive gains and excellent air quality using 92% efficient MHRV.

Earlier this year, the company also achieved practical completion for two semi-detached split level two storey passive houses located in Salthill Galway. This masonry build consists of a highly insulated thermal envelope including an insulated foundation system, achieving a u-value of 0.11w/m2/k, external walls of 0.10w/m2/k and roof of 0.10w/m2/k, MHRV and free from cold bridging. Construction work has commenced on a passive two-storey house in Co. Limerick. The company works losely at design stage with McMahon Conroy Architects from Limerick to establish best practice and cost effective means to achieving a passive house to stringent PHI certification standards. Construction work is progressing to schedule and we look forward to achieving another successful passive house.


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Seven Donegal Churches

By Carole Pollard Published by Gandon Editions, 2011, e33. Set of eight books with essays by Catherine Croft, Marianne OKane Boal, William Cumming, John Graby, Paul Larmour, Angela Rolfe, Joy McCormick and Shane OToole. Review by Stephen Best It is hard to believe that the two paragons of Irish conservatism, the Catholic and Presbyterian Churches, should be the patrons of some of the most progressive modern architecture in mid 20th century Ireland. Its even harder to believe that until now theres been only one book dedicated to the architect who guided and persuaded these institutions to look beyond traditional architectural tropes, and to build anew. The work of Liam McCormick surely demands more. Carole Pollards Seven Donegal Churches, the new 272-page anthology of eight slim, separately bound volumes, starts to rebalance the deficit. Designed as an easily digestible catalogue, it consists of an introduction to the architect and the artists with whom he collaborated, and seven building studies; each one dedicated to a separate ecclesiastical work, constructed on McCormicks home patch, Donegal. Pollards thoroughly researched books are descriptive rather than critical. They use a fast paced narrative and focus on storytelling. Every project is portrayed in a distinctly humanistic style, which seems to capture McCormicks strengths; his close social connections with the churches and the communities in which they were built; his ability to collaborate successfully with artists and contractors; and his undoubted charm, which he used to great effect. Here is a typical sentence: By bringing McFeely to see these churches, McCormick was showing these fresh architectural ideas to him firsthand, and convincing him that modern architecture was an authentic and appropriate design solution for churches in Ireland too. Each book concludes with a critical vignette by one of eight invited commentators, who situate McCormicks work in a broader context. The essays by Joy McCormick, Liams wife, and Paul Larmour in particular stand out. Much of the information in the eighth book, Architect + Artists, is already covered in the earlier North by Northwest (a book in which Pollard also had a hand in following her Masters thesis on the same subject); yet it is an important addition to the set, which really only makes sense when fully assembled. There is an uneasy undertone of neglect running through the books that suggests these seminal works are significantly undervalued. Perhaps this beautifully illustrated compendium might assert broader recognition of the work and inspire other attempts to re-evaluate the full cannon of one of Irelands master architects.

Studio Craft & Technique

By Miriam Delaney and Anne Gorman Published by UCD, School of Architecture, e25.

Review by Paul Kelly The initial weeks of an architects education are often daunting; the mysteries of the scale ruler and the eraser shield are expected to be understood. Studio Craft & Technique seeks to dispel these mysteries, overcoming limitations of our 1980s bible Fraser Reekie, more properly titled Draughtsmanship: Drawing Techniques for Graphic Communication in Architecture and Building (1976). Studio Craft & Technique deals with a range of topics in comprehensive detail. Equipment, building laboratory and modelmaking begin the discourse and it ends with the principles of construction and structure. Each aspect of the students career is followed and the insight of the authors experience is passed on in an open and frank manner. The highlighted tips are informative without being patronising. In the words of a respected tutor in my college career if you are not drawing you are not thinking this book places a vital importance on the craft of drawing and making models and, thereby, on the thought process. These are skills that we as a profession risk losing, as the use of computers becomes ubiquitous. Computers have their place but an architect will always be required to sketch and imagine, only a pencil and an idea is required. This book promotes an aptitude for thinking by doing. The publication is significant in its timing; we are on the cusp of an era where there are less and less architects who remember a studio without computers. Studio Craft & Technique places value on the elementary and the fundamental skills honed before the computer application. These timeless skills promote the thinking about architecture. All students of architecture should have a copy of this expansive book on their desk, irrespective of the stage in their career or the medium they choose to work in. It will serve them well.

All books are available from the RIAI bookshop

An exhibition of photographs by Flemming Rasmussen of McCormick churches is @ darcspace, 26 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1 until 14 October

70|71 Architecture Ireland 258


for Robin Lee

AI: What got you interested in architecture, where did you study and what did you do next? Robin: From the age of seven until I left school at eighteen, I attended drawing and painting classes in the Mackintosh building at Glasgow School of Art. In this way I became interested in buildings even though I wasnt conscious of what architecture was. I then studied at the Mackintosh School of Architecture and subsequently sculpture at Glasgow School of Art. I was unsure if a career in architecture was what I wanted but as I went into practice and co-founded NORD in Glasgow in 2002, I discovered it was the perfect way of channelling all my interests into a particular kind of approach to making architecture. AI: What was your reaction to winning the RIAI competition for the Wexford County Council Headquarters in 2006? Robin: Of course I was delighted. I was aware of the excellent projects commissioned by county councils in Ireland projects by Bucholz McEvoy, ABK, Heneghan Peng and others and it felt a great privilege to build in Ireland. AI: What was the most important or challenging aspect of seeing the project through to completion? Robin: The design was selected through competition in 2006 so it was very important that the design intention outlined at competition stage was maintained through the process and delivered for the client. Maintaining a

clear and singular intention from concept design to completion was perhaps the most enduring challenge. AI: What type of building would you still like to design? Robin: I think a library is one of the richest, most potent subjects for design in architecture. It touches on culture and history and as a building typology has existed since ancient times. AI: What is your favourite material or offers for you the most possibilities? Robin: The Wexford County Council Headquarters is formed largely in stone, glass and in-situ concrete. The materials were so entirely different in the possibilities they offered, but for me it was crucial to allow each to have a strong presence, whilst at the same time for the building to be experienced as a whole, not a sum of parts. AI: What exhibitions have you recently seen? Robin: Its not recent, but the David Chipperfield exhibition at the Design Museum in London in 2009 was my favourite architecture exhibition of recent years. AI: What books do you read? Robin: Currently, Ai WeiWei Architecture by Caroline Klein and Carl Andres Things In Their Elements. Both artists are intensely interested in materials, but with very different objectives in their work.

AI: In which architect-designed house would you like to spend a weekend? Robin: Villa Tugendhat in Brno by Mies. The Farnsworth is a purer manifesto piece but Tugendhat offers a richer experience spatially. AI: What has been the most memorable aspect of working in Ireland? Robin: On the Wexford County Council Headquarters we worked closely with a Dublin-based team of consultants, including Arthur Gibney & Partners, Mulcahy McDonagh & Partners, Mitchell & Associates and Buro Happold. These relationships were immensely important in the successful delivery of the project and each consultant brought tremendous skill and local knowledge to the entire process. AI: What would you have become if you hadnt become an architect? Robin: I would have been interested in continuing to work in art practice. After studying sculpture at Glasgow School of Art this was my focus for several years before coming back to architecture. We have been very fortunate at Robin Lee Architecture to have had opportunities in Ireland to work with supportive and open clients such as Wexford County Council and the National Sculpture Factory in Cork.
Neues Museum Berlin by David Chipperfield (Photo: Jorg von Bruchhausen) Sculpture by Robin Lee Robin Lee (Photo by Andrew Lee)

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