Irish architects win recognition abroad

Thu, Jun 25, 2009, 01:00

WITH IRISH architects losing their jobs week after week, it’s heartening to find that some of their best work is winning international recognition. Latest is a 2009 Green Good Design Award for Dublin City Council’s York Street housing scheme, designed by Seán Harrington Architects.

This design accolade is awarded jointly by the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum. Hundreds of submissions were received from over 40 countries, and the winners will be exhibited next month in Athens.

York Street incorporates many sustainable design features, including energy-efficient heating systems using solar panels, glazed “winter garden” balconies, high levels of insulation, “green sedum roofs” and rainwater harvesting to irrigate the residents’ courtyard garden.

Meanwhile, the Seán O’Casey Community Centre in Dublin’s Docklands by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, is one of six schemes shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Lubetkin Prize, which is awarded for the best international scheme by institute members.

It’s up against competition from three Olympic projects in Beijing – the National Stadium by Herzog de Meuron, Beijing International Airport by Foster + Partners and the Watercube National Swimming Centre by PTW Architects – as well as the British High Commission in Colombo by Richard Murphy and Museum Brandhorst in Munich by Sauerbuch Hutton. The Lubetkin Prize is named in honour of Georgia-born architect Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990), who worked in Paris before coming to London in the 1930s to establish the influential Tecton Group. It is awarded for the most outstanding building outside the EU by an RIBA member and is chosen from winners of RIBA international awards.