Niall D. Brennan Associates win Holy Cross Parish Church Improvement Competition

Niall D Brennan Associates ( have won the Holy Cross Parish Church Improvement Competition. The announcement of the winner was made today, Thursday, 26 November 2009 at the opening of the exhibition of the competition entries in the Parish Hall, beneath Holy Cross Church on Main Street, Dundrum, Dublin 14. The exhibition runs until Sunday, 29 November 2009.

The RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) administered the competition on behalf of the promoters, Holy Cross Parish Development Building Committee. The committee sought ideas from RIAI Members and Fellows who had experience or were interested in ecclesiastical works to suggest improvements to the existing parish church building.

Holy Cross Church, a protected structure on Main Street, Dundrum is located in the centre of Dundrum village since the 1800s. The village has seen enormous physical change to the built environment around it in the last number of years. The physical importance of the church, as a significant part of the landscape has reduced against the new backdrop of commerce generated by Phase One of the Dundrum Town Centre, large apartment blocks and the by-pass roadway. Phase Two of Dundrum centre will have an even greater impact.

The range of issues to be addressed and the potential for conflicting solutions required skilful balance in the ideas put forward and made for challenging responses in the 23 diverse submissions received. The competition will be of considerable benefit to the Parish of Holy Cross in clarifying the brief to be prepared for works to secure innovative improvements to the church which, it is hoped, will be implemented shortly following Diocesan approval.

Commenting on Niall D Brennan Associates’ winning submission, the jury noted that the submission’s concept addressed areas of particular interest in the brief. The creation of a Welcome Area including the baptismal font would add to the enjoyment of and participation in church celebrations and sacraments. A simple glazed entrance screen incorporating images of the parish notices was considered to be very successful and movement and circulation were well considered for all liturgical events.

Other submissions chosen by the jury were:
Lawrence + Long Architects ( – Highly Commended
de Blacam and Meagher Architects ( – Commended
Deaton Lysaght Architects ( – Shortlist
Paul Keogh Architects ( – Shortlist