The iconic Limerick design has come in the top annual award design presented by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI).
Healy Architects, were last night presented the RIAI Public Choice Award for their canopy design which has transformed the Milk Market.
The Aviva Stadium, the Long Room Hub at Trinity College and the Humanities and Social Science Building at NUI Maynooth were among the 37 landmark buildings short-listed for the prize.
The redevelopment of the Limerick Milk Market, cost just under €2 million and came on time and within budget last year after 12 months.
Its main feature is a cone-like cover, measuring about a half acre, which is supported by a 24m high central mast.
The concept was originated by German architect Peter Peltz, who has since retired from Healy Architects.
Managing partner Michael Healy sipped a cup of tea in the company offices in Limerick’s Glentworth Street yesterday and enthused: “I am a keen racing fan and this is as good as owning a horse winning at Cheltenham.”
He said that Mr Peltz, his father-in-law, had developed similar structures in Munich for the Olympics when the city hosted the games.
Mr Healy said: “We brought in Schlaich Bergermann, specialist structural engineers based in Stuttgart to develop the actual tensile structure.”
L&M Keating of Kilmihill were the contractors.
Mr Peltz, Mr Healy and colleagues Richard Rice, Ignacio Etechevery and Eoin O’Grady worked on the project after the firm were commissioned by the Limerick Market Trustees.
Mr Healy, who also worked on the design of JP McManus’ €100m mansion at Martinstown Stud said: “This is a huge boost in these very challenging times and it is great to get this very prestigious award. It is a great boost for Limerick. The Milk Market should now act as a catalyst for the revival of the city centre, which has gone through some difficult times.”
David O’Mahony, who a member of the Market Trustees was a major driving force for the project said: “It took six years to get the project from first concepts to completion. I think the market has completely transformed the attractiveness of the city centre and it is a design which has now got national recognition and it’s only a matter of time before it gets international acclaim.”