Co Louth housing development wins RIAI's public choice award

A mixed housing development in the heart of Drogheda, Co Louth, won the people's choice architecture award.
Co Louth housing development wins RIAI's public choice award
File photo
File photo

A mixed housing development in the heart of Drogheda, Co Louth, won the people's choice architecture award.

The winning project in the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland's 2020 Public Choice Award, is located on a site in Scarlet Street where there was once a school and fire station.

The development, commissioned by the North and East Housing Association, is called Tooting Meadow and consists of 15 dwellings for families and elderly people.

Creating a sense of community and identity near the town centre was a major challenge but was achieved by having a central courtyard space.

The courtyard allows residents to socialise and enjoy a visual link to the mature trees of the neighbouring Sienna Convent apartments and parkland setting.

Tooting Meadow was one of 33 projects, ranging from major public buildings to house extensions, shortlisted for the RIAI Public Choice Award.

All of the projects, located in Ireland and abroad, were designed by RIAI-registered architects and completed last year.

Over 12,000 people voted for the project of their choice and RIAI president, Ciaran O'Connor, said the winning project by Drogheda-based McKevitt King Architects had done all the right things in supporting regeneration in the town space.

Mr O'Connor said it counteracted the sort of “hollowing out” that had been happening in towns by providing mixed family-size homes and housing for the elderly.

“The RIAI is committed to the development of quality housing that addresses the country's changing demographics while also creating sustainable neighbourhoods in our towns and villages,” he said.

“Tooting Meadow is a perfect example of this approach as it transformed a derelict site in the town centre into a mixed-unit development with the community at its core.” The interpretation project at Kilmore Abbey in Connemara, Co Galway, designed by Axo Architects, was awarded second place.

Kylemore Abbey was built by Mitchell Henry in 1867 and the project incorporated a new visitor's route, external landscaping and a re-interpretation of several rooms that were destroyed by fire in 1959.

Scoil Mhuire National School in Monivea, Co Galway, a new 11-classroom primary building on the periphery of the French estate village of Monivea, Co Galway was in third place.

The school design by SJK Architects replaces an existing 1960s structure that had reached the end of its life.

The building seeks to integrate with the play areas and the irregular shaped site by deploying a serrated ground floor edge to form sheltered outdoor teaching areas adjoining each classroom.

RKD Architects was awarded fourth place for Roe and Co Distillery – the former Guinness Power House, on Thomas Street, Dublin.

Diageo, producers of Guinness, invested €25m in establishing a new distillery in the building that had lain dormant for several decades. Production at the distillery started last year.

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