Irish Architecture Awards 2009 – Public choice award

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    • #710598
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #807842
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      opera house will win one award? how much a m. sq? how many people use it a year?
      houses to hard to tell who will win…

    • #807843
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I like the flats development (Timberyard); I’ve no doubt it can be critiqued, but it’s a strong urban statement. Unlike all those boxy house extensions, which are so a la mode and nothing else. The interior of WOH is impressive, but from photographs it looks as though it bulks its way a bit too steroidily over the quays.

    • #807844
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      DeBlacam & Meagher have remained very pokerfaced on their house influencing Lady Gaga’s backdrop!

      Box extensions, however creative, are somewhat tiresome in such awards, while conservation projects really should have a category of their own. It’s unfair to have to compare such very different kinds of innovation. Indeed the creativity and foresight in conservation is often simply commissioning the job itself.

      I’m surprised the Light House Cinema stands out for me from all the projects, but it does. A wonderfully stimulating place. Timberyard a real runner, as is St. George’s & St. Thomas’s Church chic insertion. Some interesting projects have poor pictures which is a shame.

      Ulster Bank wins my restoration vote for its rare foresight and generally accomplished detailing, on what was a challenging – and many would claim unnecessary – project. They demonstrated real commitment to the public realm and the responsibility, so widely lacking, that comes with participating in streetscape.

    • #807845
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      de Blacam & Meaghers Abbeyleix library conservation project.

      Exceptional attention to detail .. finely though out project, but two major let downs…

      The ‘modern extension’ to the street side is completely disproportionate, insensitive and unnecessary IMHO. If the intention was to create a sense of an ‘external art gallery’ which its being used for, i think more creative use for the existing three arches could have been applied…. arches that have , incredibly, been partially obscured by this extension

      also, the idea to plan italian cypress trees “to compliment the building” was an erroneous one. They add simply to detach the building from the rest of the town environ. Deciduous broad leafs should have been used to compliment the existing main street……

    • #807846
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thomond Park won.

      Wouldnt have been my choice. i would teeter between Timberyard or Lake House.

    • #807847
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      I’m surprised the Light House Cinema stands out for me from all the projects, but it does. A wonderfully stimulating place. Timberyard a real runner.

      Yeah, I’d pick out one of those two also, probably the Lighthouse.

    • #807848
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      @what? wrote:

      Thomond Park won.

      Wouldnt have been my choice. i would teeter between Timberyard or Lake House.

      Were Munster rugby fans running an online campaign?

    • #807849
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      yep, i believe so.

    • #807850
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      the Limerick public have spoken so….

    • #807851
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      RIAI – Irish Architecture Awards Announced (2009)
      http://bit.ly/5RMNN
      What do you think?

    • #807852
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @garyion wrote:

      What do you think?

      Who won the Best Creative Photography award?

    • #807853
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well done to Clancy Moore I say. well deserved, that lake house is stunning.

      I cant believe that ODOS muck got best house though, and as for sean harrington the darling of the beuraucrats…….

      Overall, not a bad group of projects.

    • #807854
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.irisharchitectureawards.ie/

      Nice website, featuring all the award winning projects from the various years. What the pictures don’t show anyone though, is the deep flaws in some of the projects. Not nearly enough effort goes into post occupancy evalulation of projects in this country. There are many projects there, which are fine projects no doubt, but hardly good examples for what any architect should follow.

      The technical expertise required to pull off some of those projects, was away beyond what small boutique architectural pratices in Ireland can manage. The fact that many of the projects got done at all, was down to the resourceful-ness of our Irish contractors, and sometimes the over-bloated budgets lavished on projects. But there are sometimes awful crimes committed in how building technology was employed to make some of those projects achieveable at all. Architects need to realise this, in a recession time much more than any other time.

      We need a real discussion about getting the best value for money in this country from construction. The best way in which to do that, is to train architects to a much higher level of technical competence. This would require more post graduate study in materials and building technology. The energy centre at UCD being a good example of that.

      From the 2006 best public building awards:

      When Kildare County Council, in partnership with Naas Town Council, decided to relocate to new Civic Offices and Town Park, they determined that the importance of the Project warranted International Architect Competition. They believed that the building carried a significant level of symbolism for the Local Authority, as seat of local democracy and as statement for how the town and county sees itself and is seen.

      I am sure a statement for the town is important. But how did a place like Kildare ever get the kind of money required to build a project like its Civic Offices? A small island nation, what are we thinking? To be honest with you, I would have preferred if architects in 2006, had spent a lot more time/effort in learning how to build good buildings more cheaply. If that was the case, then the profession of architecture would not be facing the level of unemployment it now faces in this country. I think that Eddie Lee’s documentary on RTE television explained what was really happening during the Celtic Tiger. Everyone was being paid to keep their mouths shut. Architects and local authorities into the bargain.

      http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0322/howweblewtheboom.html

      I received the following comment from an observer working in the US recently.

      Under the current compensation system, design fees are calculated as a percentage of cost, difficulty, and/or complexity of the design. So there is no (economic) incentive for A/E’s to work harder to design high performance buildings or sub-systems that are simpler and/or less expensive. Under the current system, to do so would not only cost them more but earn them less: Lose-lose.

      So proponents of integrated whole system building design (e.g. Lovins & Hawken, EDR, et al) are working on ways to restructure compensation based on real-world performance.

      The reason some of the projects featured in the RIAI awards appear so wonderful – even though they are nice projects – is because none of us here, have developed a skill to assess what sums of money went into the building works. Architects are more or less blind as far as technical complexity of building works goes. There is no incentive for the main contractor to educate them either. The larger the sum goes, to the better the main contractor will do in the end. Remember, that design itself on paper doesn’t cost anything. It is nice to get your design on paper translated into reality. But most of us working in the field of architecture don’t know much more about costs, that how to balance our weekly groccery bills.

      Viewers of these awards galleries are not unable to look at the pictures and assess where unnecessary costs were accrued owing to poor technical knowledge and detailing. The architectural technologist is unlikely to blow the whistle either, as he/she is not compensated in any way, for finding a simpler or better construction detail. They are simply working by the hour. Anything more than a rushed together detail, printed on paper and posted out to the builder is wasting the architect employer money. Money that he may not recover from the job. So the incentive not to develop technical competence is embedded deep within the system. The results of which I could clearly see when visiting many award winning projects.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #807855
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Agreed that the Clancy Moore projects are painstakingly detailed, but what’s the deal with adopting the aesthetics of a Finnish crematorium?

      . . and the funnel inside the Cathal Brugha St. church looks a bit like you’re walking into an out-sized walnut coffin!

      I know these are sombre times, but this is getting a bit funereal for me!

      P.S. I’m no fan of box houses, but if there’s going to be one last box house, that Grangegorman house woundn’t be a bad one to end on!

    • #807856
      admin
      Keymaster

      I’d agree that the box house format is becoming tiresome but thought the grangegorman house was the best of the house / extension category and deserved its award …

      Ulster Bank deserve huge credit for proceeding with their restoration, any chance of their example rubbing off on the ESB ?

      @henno wrote:

      the idea to plan italian cypress trees “to compliment the building” was an erroneous one. They add simply to detach the building from the rest of the town environ. Deciduous broad leafs should have been used.

      It seems they used the buildings vague italian style as the inspiration for the Italian Cypress, wrong decision both visually & practically – they can’t stick the Irish climate and will be dead by the winter. Anyone that knows the church fronting miltown road will know what i’m talking about, 3 times they re-planted Italian cypress outside their front door before finally choosing a more suitable species, obviously money to burn !

    • #807857
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Peter Fitz wrote:

      I’d agree that the box house format is becoming tiresome but thought the grangegorman house was the best of the house / extension category and deserved its award …

      Walk up the quiet Grangegorman road and this house is extremely bewildering. It’s not bad but it’s an extremely loud building.

    • #807858
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve been trying to get a look in at that Cathal Brugha St. church for the past year, basically everytime I’m near O’Connell street. Does that church ever open?

    • #807859
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      @magwea wrote:

      I’ve been trying to get a look in at that Cathal Brugha St. church for the past year, basically everytime I’m near O’Connell street. Does that church ever open?

      Sundays 😉

    • #807860
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #807861
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @magwea wrote:

      I’ve been trying to get a look in at that Cathal Brugha St. church for the past year, basically everytime I’m near O’Connell street. Does that church ever open?

      I had the opposite experience a few months ago. I was walking past the church (mid-week), minding my own business, when I was accosted by a bunch of bubbling international evangelists and I found myself getting a tour of the church and a free cuppa coffee!

      They didn’t get my soul though!

    • #807862
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Meanwhile, I experienced the halfway house. Was wandering innocently in pre-ceremony when I skedaddled upon the sudden realised potential of a gushing embrace. I don’t do gushing embraces. In hindsight, I really should.

      Clancy Moore certainly adopt the concept in their description of their construct.

    • #807863
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      See what I’m missing out on. Now I just want to go even more.

    • #807864
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Peter Fitz wrote:

      Ulster Bank deserve huge credit for proceeding with their restoration, any chance of their example rubbing off on the ESB ?

      MN is in on the bank too that makes a triangle

    • #807865
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      annnnnyywaaaaaay…

      perhaps next year there should be a “best building utilising a pitched roof” award

    • #807866
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Of course, in my comments above I only managed to define value for money in terms of the efficiency that one can achieve through construction methods knowledge. That is not the only dimension in which we can define what value for money is.

      Other ways to define value for money, depend on the architect, planner, developer and legislator being able to understand the basics of urban land economics.

      In response no. 17 and 18 here:

      https://archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=7663

      I tried to develop that side of the value for money argument. Based on a reading of Paul Keogh’s document.

      http://www.developer.ie/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/paul-keogh-essay-on-sustainable-development.pdf

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #807867
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The clock has already struck 12 but…

      http://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/categories.cfm

      The Categories
      Completed Buildings – Transport

      The individual building types for this category are shown below:

      * Airports
      * Bridges
      * Bus and coach stations
      * Cycle facilities
      * Railway stations/Underground stations

      NEW AWARDS FOR 2009
      Future Projects

      Shortlisting in London, no limit on numbers; jury reviews these entries at WAF on Wednesday/Thursday am, and picks the best eight ideas. The winners are invited to present their projects in one of the crit rooms on Friday, winners and Project of the year winner receive their awards on Friday evening.

      * Commercial
      * Competition entries
      * Cultural
      * Education
      * Experimental projects
      * Health
      * Infrastructure
      * Landscape
      * Masterplanning
      * Residential

    • #807868
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Concrete boxes with glass anyone?

      My god 95% of those are ugly. Wheres the innovation and beauty in building nowadays? Is it all “Lets make a generic box and stick some wood on the side”. God.

    • #807869
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Chris_533976 wrote:

      Concrete boxes with glass anyone?

      My god 95% of those are ugly. Wheres the innovation and beauty in building nowadays? Is it all “Lets make a generic box and stick some wood on the side”. God.

      When you have such a small community of professionals, some very talented and intelligent people, all working in the same small area as in Ireland, with few real influences from the outside . . . this tends to happen. A design approach takes hold, and unconsciously everyone starts doing that. This wouldn’t happen so much if architects in Ireland could talk to each other. But they are afraid to do that. The pool of clients is so thin on the ground. One millimeter depth, it certainly wouldn’t wet your ankles. The TV programs tried to change the perception, and offer D E S I G N as something mainstream. As something the public could aspire to. Like rural electrification or bottled milk on your doorstep. At one stage, with all the easy credit available, that seemed to be feasible. Soon everyone wanted to dress in a snappy looking ‘third skin’. Architects reaped the benefits of that public perception change. (And credit-driven cash bonaza) But some architects mistook the work they were doing for ‘serious work’. Some architects even began to have notions about themselves. When all they are doing is providing the cash-rich customer with a bit of fun. (Sometimes that client was a public body or a banking institution) Something to get them through mid life in the Celtic Tiger era.

      But I shouldn’t mock them too much. The basic hard work in architecture is simply trying to keep a small practice going. For that achievement alone, every architect should get an award I think. Doing the basic things necessary is enough to suck the life blood out of many a hard working architect. Having managed to stay in existence at all, the usual strategy is to rattle out a few drawings quickly before the client changes their mind. The romantic image of the creative person sitting there wrestling with the problem, is an old sales gimmick that architects use to try and lure potential clients. (So it is very easy for architects to start believing their own sales pitch) But the basic task is simply keeping up with one’s work and getting anything at all built at all. There isn’t the opportunity in all of that, for the architect to think about engaging in serious concept exploration. Their future tomorrow might be bankruptcy, and that doesn’t seem very appealing. Better to keep the concepts lightweight, take on more work than you are capable of doing and move as fast as possible, to keep earning.

      There isn’t much time to meet with fellow architects and talk about design either. That is what really deflated my bubble about architecture. The education system for architects was preparing you to become that person. You could not fault the education system. It does nothing more than prepare young people for a life they will find ahead of them. It is possible though, that architects should receive special support from the state to enable them to behave more like architects or designers, like their fairy tale image would suggest. Having studied hard as a student of architecture for so long, my observation was the guys who worked the hardest and got it done succeeded. There wasn’t any second prize for creative exploration. The most valuable skill that any architect can possess is good time management. (The female brain can have a distinct advantage here) Passion and flare doesn’t help as much as is commonly believed. You can rise to the top of your profession and work for the best architectural firms in the world, if your personal time management skills are strong. Beyond that, there isn’t much more than you need, out of the ordinary. The best of luck to them I say. They choose a hard road to follow.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

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