Source Arts Centre, Thurles

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    • #708952

      Thanks to Paul for these terrific pictures of the Source in Thurles
      Almost imperceptibly, a growing collection of bold modern structures are going up around the country, with the common link of being largely government funded. This centre, the Swords county offices, the Navan arts centre, the Naas civic offices, the Tullamore civic offices are just a few examples.
      Is it just my imagination or is the most interesting architectural work in Ireland today going on outside of the main cities (specifically Dublin)?

    • #785242

      O’Donnell + Tuomey’s RIAI Gold Medal for Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School (1998-2000) was the first Gold Medal given to a building in the Dublin area since Sam Stephenson’s Currency Centre more than 20 years previously (1977-79). The last building within the canals to win the Gold Medal was Michael Scott’s Busaras (1953-55). The only other ‘real’ Dublin building to win the Gold Medal was the inaugural award to St Thomas’s Church by Fred Hicks (1932-34). 2 out of 19 medals to buildings within the canals – hardly fair?

    • #785243

      For balance:

      Of the 19 listed on the RIAI site (link above), this is the breakdown-

      1 Northern Ireland (Belfast)
      2 Dublin City
      6 RoI non-Dublin (incl 4 of the last 6- and split 4 urban, 2 rural)
      10 Dublin County (split 8 southside, 2 northside [approx])

      A jaundiced eye might surmise that the 1970s and 1980s were the decades of southside suburban awards and the 1990s was the decade of rural rebalancing- the RIAI ‘outreach’ programme? 🙂

      One other thing- was the Gold Medal not given in 1935-1937 or 1986-1988? If not, does anyone know why? If memory serves, the RIAI is not obliged to award the medal if it deems no building to be of sufficient merit- was this the case?

    • #785244

      Thanks, ctesiphon. It seems there were indeed several gaps in the early years, between the awards to Fred Hicks, Desmond Fitzgerald and Alan Hope. Don’t know why. I forgot he 1986-88 award, missing from the RIAI gallery, went to Gilroy McMahon for the College of Technology, Bolton Street, making 3 Gold Medals for Dublin city, all of them on the northside. 😮 Who’d have guessed?

    • #785245

      The source is an interesting addition to Thurles but bringing the Gold medal debate into the thread seems a little premature………

    • #785246

      It seems that there is a spate of new high quality Civic buildings completed in the last few years in the larger towns: Thurles, Naas, Navan, as already mentioned, and of course the Letterkenny Area Office, the Limerick office, the Tullamore office etc……. As a student, can I ask some of the practicising architects how such projects are 1) decided to be built and funded, and 2) how the Architect is chosen.
      As a native of Louth, I feel completely let down with the recent civic projects in Louth, particularly the Louth County council offices, the Decentralised government department in Dundalk (social welfare methinks) and the new Art gallery in Drogheda, which is nearing completion (I’m guessing).

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