Design award shortlist for Aviva Stadium

THE spiritual home of Irish international sport has been given a further boost to its already glittering reputation after being short-listed as one of the country’s top architectural designs.

The Aviva Stadium — still known by hard-core fans by its pre-revamp name, Lansdowne Road — has been given the public show of support alongside 37 other hi-tech structures.

As part of its attempt to boost the faltering building sector, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has put forward a list of what it considers to be the most eye-catching developments in the country.

Picturesque buildings at universities like Trinity College and NUI Maynooth, private projects in Limerick and Cork, and Government buildings in the south east are also in the running for the top prize.

However, the Aviva Stadium is expected to be among the main contenders for the accolade, having already gained a high profile in Ireland and abroad.

The stadium — the catchphrase of which is “built on greatness” — re-opened its doors to soccer and rugby fans last May.

Despite teething problems in terms of long-term ticket sales to soccer games, it still boasts a 50,000-strong seat capacity and — alongside the more historic GAA headquarters Croke Park — is seen as one of the key jewels in the Irish sporting crown.

RIAI president Paul Keogh said the quality of the designs is further proof of Ireland’s continued expertise in the sector.

“They [the short-listed buildings] clearly demonstrate the extremely high standard of contemporary architecture in Ireland and the value of investment in design quality.

“Design costs are a small part of the overall construction budget, but they pay dividends for many years after a building is finished.

“They also contribute to creating a built environment that can be showcased on the national and international stage,” he insisted.

Members of the public can vote on which of the 38 buildings they believe deserves the Public Choice Award category on June 13 at the website www.riai.ie.

The winner will be announced on July 11, alongside those in 14 other categories including best emerging architectural practice, best public building and the best designed leisure facility.


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