An award for conservation went to the sensitive restoration of the Swiss Cottage in Co Leitrim, by Buckley Partnership Architects.
Also in Cork, further recognition arrived in this year’s awards as Student Civitas, Lee Point Student Accommodation, by Scott Tallon Walker Architects, shared the top prize in the “living” category, along with two outstanding private homes — House for a Gardener in Northern Ireland and Baltrasna House in Skerries, Co Dublin.
Public projects amongst the winners include the renovation and retention of the original garda station building in Donegal Town by Rhatigan Architects which was a double award winner in both cultural/public buildings and the Sustainability categories.
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Architects Department’s Covid-19 response for placemaking from Blackrock to Sandycove and in Dundrum was a joint winner alongside King John’s Castle in Carlingford, Co Louth in the public space category.
- Full details of all the winning projects are available at www.riai.ie
UCC opened its Student Hub in February of this year. Europe’s long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a €100 million loan agreement with University College Cork in November 2016 ensuring the completion of the transformation of the Windle Building into a state-of-the-art student hub, according to ucc.ie.
The Windle Building had until 2011 been home to the Department of Anatomy and had been known by generations as "the Medical Building" or in its earliest days "the Clarendon Buliding".
This first phase of transformation included removing outlying buildings attached to the main limestone building. The mortuary building, ground-floor physiology laboratories and the main staircase were removed as were the 'Wellcome Rooms' research laboratories, and the old Anatomy Tea Room on the first floor, according to ucc.ie.
The Student Hub Project designed by world-renowned architects O’Donnell + Tuomey, saw the Windle Building completely remodelled to provide an area offering facilities for the students union, clubs and societies officers, and other student-led activities in one location on the campus for the first time.
The new Student Hub at UCC is adjacent to the university quadrangle, at the convergence of routes through the campus core.
"The refurbished anatomy school combines aspects of spatial change and careful conservation, transformation and renewal, according to O’Donnell + Tuomey.
"The linear plan of the 1850s building forms a baseline for a thickened wall of cellular rooms that bends around a central gathering space."
Bridges and balconies animate the gathering space, making a brick-paved "market hall" atmosphere for student societies and events.
A lantern tower of administration and student services rises over the roof-scape.
A canopy leads to an open porch and public passageway through the building.