Top-class Cork school renovation wins architecture award

One of the country’s most audacious school renovation projects has been recognised in this year’s RIAI architecture awards.

St Angela's College, Cork, was chosen in the Best Education Buildings category in this year's RIAI architecture awards. Picture: Denis Scannell

St Angela’s Secondary School in Cork is one of two colleges chosen in the Best Education Buildings category in the awards run by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.

The ambitious €9.2m redevelopment of the historic St Angela’s College campus on St Patrick’s Hill, undertaken by the team of architects from O’Donnell + Tuomey, has already won a number of international awards.

The other project selected by the RIAI in the Education category is the Arena for Learning at UTEC University Lima, Peru by Grafton Architects in Dublin.

The beauty of the St Angela’s design has caught the imagination of students, according to school principal Pat Curran.

“We have noticed our sixth-year art students sitting in the quiet spaces around the school, capturing these views through the windows for their own art portfolios, which is wonderful to see,” he said, in advance of the RIAI awards.

This year’s RIAI architecture awards received 180 entries — the highest in five years — across various categories, with 52 shortlisted and 18 winners chosen.

The civic offices at Roscommon County Council, designed by ABK Architects, won Best Public Building while the People’s Park Pavilion in Dún Laoghaire, designed by Howley Hayes Architects, and Work Between Walls by George Boyle Designs both won an award in the Best Commercial/Retail Building category.

Public Space & Sculpture, Westport by Simon Wall, Architects Section, Mayo County Council was the Winner of the Public Choice Award. It received more than 14,000 votes — the highest ever.

Second place went to Hollyhill Library designed by Cork City architect’s department, with Mallow Urban Heritage Masterplan — Phase 1, Thomas Davis Square in third place, designed by Mallow town architect, Giulia Vallone and Cork County Council architects department.

RIAI president Carole Pollard said: “We were delighted to see such an extraordinary diverse range of projects entered into the 2016 RIAI Architecture Awards — which showcase the best in Irish architecture.

“The winner of the Public Choice award — Public Space and Sculpture in Westport — brings people together and very much demonstrates the wider contribution made by architects to our built environment as well as celebrating Westport’s win as ‘Best Place to Live in Ireland, and we congratulate Simon Wall Architects Section, Mayo County Council and Westport Town Council for that.”

See www.riai.ie.

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