Shop conversion and government buildings win Irish architecture awards

Conservation, conversion and creative thinking themes in RIAI Architecture Awards

This winners of this year's RIAI Architecture Awards include the conversion of a historic building on Dublin's Dawson Street to both residential and commercial use, the restoration of Leinster House , a coach-house renovation and a house on the Connemara coastline. A running theme was the range of talent providing smart solutions to building issues from conversion to conservation and creative thinking.

A historic building conversion by Paul Keogh Architects was the winner in the adaptation and re-use category, of a premises that extends across three buildings on the corner of Dublin’s Dawson and Duke streets. The job was to take three buildings and incorporate retail units on the ground floor, offices above and finally an apartment, set like a cherry, at the very top. The retail units are occupied by Butlers Café, Featherblade and hair salon Toni & Guy and helped to transform this part of the street. Above these are offices for FL Partners, a financial and investment services company, who commissioned the firm. The residential unit is at the top of the corner building and has its own-door entrance on Duke Street.

One block away, the restoration of Leinster House by the Office of Public Works architectural services received the top award in the conservation category for works that have preserved and protected the fabric of the Palladian building for future generations.

Grafton Architects were double award-winners in the learning environment category for their work on the Toulouse School of Economics and in the international category for Institut Mines-Telecom, outside Paris.


There were two winners in the living section, a house on the Connemara coastline by A2 Architects, one of several winning projects that have already featured in the Irish Times, and Culligan Architects, for their own new-build home and renovation of a coach house as their office in Blackrock.

Eagle-eyed readers who participated in this year’s Open House may have already enjoyed an online virtual tour of the spaces. Run by husband and wife Damien and Lee they came across the site in 2012 with construction starting in 2017. “Most of the time our two minds were in harmony,” Damien says. “With client-based projects there are timelines involved. We gave ourselves the time to do it and enjoy it.”

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors