Docomomo Ireland – ‘Rank’s Silo in the 21st Century’ Competition

DoCoMoMo Ireland presents ‘Rank’s Silo in the 21st Century’ an open design competition to develop ideas for what this building might become. The architectural ideas competition seeks to generate discussion among designers and decision-makers about the future of the Rank’s Silo Building. The competition is open to all and offers a prize fund of €6,000. The competition will be launched in February 2014 and registration will be via The closing date for the submission of entries will be 25th April 2014. The assessors will be drawn from strategic planning, architecture, culture, architectural history and current affairs backgrounds.

What will become of Rank’s Silo, one of Limerick’s most iconic modern buildings?

In recent years, Rank’s Silo has become emblematic of a certain redundancy, being a part survivor of a much larger complex of industrial buildings that stretched either side of Limerick’s Dock Road. From its acquisition in 1930 to its eventual closure in 1983 it employed thousands in Limerick and touched the lives of many thousands in the surrounding countryside. During its 53-year history it has evoked many passions – ranging from revulsion to admiration – but it is ultimately a symbol of modern Ireland, constructed with an air of defiance. As a valuable architectural contribution to Limerick City of Culture this competition seeks to encourage once more a certain disregard for convention, a quest for adventure and an exploration of possibilities.

Why have an ideas competition?

The purpose of the competition is to create a body of ideas about how the Ranks Silo might approach its next phase of life. Proposals may include, inter alia, architectural intervention(s), versions of preservation/ conservation, visualisations, functional proposals, urban proposals, and contextual imaginings. The principal aim is to re-imagine the building and its immediate surrounding environment in an innovative and exciting way. Ideas on the future use of the Silo must take cognisance of the fact that the port is to remain a working port and any potential future use of the Silo must take this fact into consideration.