Irish architects scoop international medals for school and parish centre

McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects wins for Coláiste Ailigh, Seán Harrington Architects for Malahide Parish Centre


A Donegal secondary school and a Co Dublin parish centre have won international prizes for two Irish architects, it was announced on Monday.

The medals are part of the International Union of Architects’ Friendly and Inclusive Spaces Awards, administered by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.

Dublin-based McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects won the new-building category for Coláiste Ailigh, on the outskirts of Letterkenny. The secondary school sits on a sloping site with two levels, the lower of them backed into the hill and the main elevation facing a playing field.

Michael McGarry said he was delighted with the award, which “makes architecture all the more relevant”. Speaking about the design of the school, he added that “environment matters, and we believe in that passionately”.

Seán Harrington Architects, another Dublin-based practice, won the existing-and-historic-buildings category for its work on Malahide Parish Centre, which provides meeting rooms, a nursery, a cafe and a contemplation room.

Seán Harrington said the award was a “fantastic honour” for the whole team and for Irish architecture in general.

The competition had 76 entries, spanning 28 countries across five continents; the other two of its four categories were public spaces and research.

The medals will be presented in Seoul, in South Korea, on September 6th, as part of the UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress.