Opus Awards: design is good for the bottom line

ireland-opusBuildings that fit well into their surroundings and have made the most of awkward sites dominate those which have won awards this year in the 10th annual Opus Architecture and Construction Awards. Each is also a striking building, including Cork County Library by Shay Cleary Architects and BAM Contracting which the judges said “responds to the 16-storey county hall in an apparently effortless solution creating a strong sense of its own place”.

Also among the winners are two Garda stations: one in Leixlip by O’Briain Beary architects and Sorenson construction (highly commended); and the other in Irishtown, Dublin by OPW Architectural Services and Merrion Construction. Both have arresting designs and fit neatly into their sites. Leixlip, said the judges, “makes a bold civic gesture on an almost impossible site” while the judges said of the Irishtown Garda station: “The more we looked at the site context, the strict Garda requirements, the landscape planting and the detailed design, the more we appreciated the subtly and sophistication of the design.”

The Irish Times