Irish buildings nominated for architectural award
TWO Irish buildings have been shortlisted for a prestigious architectural award.
Wexford County Council offices and an extension to the Mount Melleray monastery in Co Waterford have been nominated for the World Architecture Festival awards, which will be held in November.
The president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), Paul Keogh, said the nominations were testament to the high quality of buildings being completed here.
"This is a prestigious event," he said. "It's not surprising that two Irish entries are shortlisted. Given our size and population, Ireland is really punching above it's weight.
"It just shows that despite the recession here and the shortage of new commissions, we've come out of a period when we've really built an awful lot of very good buildings."
The Mount Melleray project was designed by dhb Architects, based in Waterford, and involved building a new accommodation wing. Director Fintan Duffy said the project presented particular challenges.
"Melleray is a national monument, as well as a protected structure, and there was also the challenge that it's a working monastery.
"I'd like to think this will translate into more work. We were nominated last year and it gives us a certain reputation nationally because the people we deal with have a lot of respect for the work we do."
The second project, Wexford County Council's civic offices, were designed by Robin Lee Architecture with Dublin-based firm Arthur Gibney.
"We're delighted," Mr Lee said yesterday. "We're delighted for the council as well because they were a fantastic client. The central idea is for a civic forum -- a central space for public gatherings."
Now in its fourth year, the competition attracted its highest number of entries to date, with 704 entries from 59 different countries.
The awards include entries from Tasmania to the Arctic Circle in Norway, with new countries such as Libya, Haiti and Cambodia appearing alongside the USA, UK, Australia, China, Japan and Spain.
The Universita Luigi Bocconi faculty building in Milan designed by Grafton Architects won the World Building of the Year award at the same event two years ago.
Dublin is also shortlisted to become the World Design Capital in 2014.