Dublin's City Hall Awarded Architecture Silver Medal for Conservation
Published: Monday, April 30, 2007
Press release for release Monday, 30th April 2007
DUBLIN’S CITY HALL AWARDED ARCHITECTURE SILVER MEDAL FOR CONSERVATION
Ardfert Cathedral, Co Kerry, wins restoration award
Dublin’s City Hall conservation project has been awarded the RIAI’s (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) Silver Medal for Conservation, while Ardfert Cathedral in Co. Kerry has been awarded the Silver Medal for Restoration. The medals were presented today (Monday, 30th April) by James Pike, RIAI President, to:
- Paul Arnold Architects, in joint venture with Dublin City Council Architects for Dublin City Hall;
- The Office of Public Works (OPW), in conjunction with Shaffrey Associates Architects for Ardfert Cathedral.
These RIAI medals are awarded to recognise work in the fields of conservation and restoration and they are presented to an architect or architectural practice for projects of exceptional merit – in the fields of conservation and restoration – completed within a specified three year period. (1999/2000/2001)
The awards were assessed by David Slattery, Jill Chadwick, Mary Hanna, Des McMahon and Jack Coughlan. In their citation, the assessors described the purpose of the conservation work at Dublin’s City Hall, “The aim was to present the building as a major cultural and tourist amenity – enhancing its two tier function – a place of civic, historic and architectural significance and retaining its central function as the working parliamentary building for the City Council”.
In relation to Ardfert Cathedral, the assessors said that this “…is one of our most important ecclesiastical monuments which contains surviving elements from the 11th to the 19th centuries. The project represented a significant public-private partnership involving collaboration between a private practice of conservation architects and the National Monuments Senior Conservation Architect. Throughout every phase, extensive architectural historical research and collaboration between disciplines allowed fully informed decisions to be made”.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, James Pike explained, “The responsibility that comes with owning buildings from the past is considerable and the importance of clients who are willing to invest financially and through their time to ensure that our built heritage is protected and enhanced for future generations can not go unmentioned. In assisting Clients identify a suitable architect or practice to work with them on their buildings, the RIAI continues to develop the Conservation Accreditation System.
The system has three Grades of Accreditation, each of which signifies a different level of expertise, and the system allows RIAI Members and Practices progress up through the Grades by acquiring additional qualifications, staff and/or experience and applying for Accreditation at the higher Grade.
The RIAI Conservation Guidelines have been revised to reflect changes in legislation and current best practice. The Guidelines, whose principles can be applied to the conservation of all important buildings, including those of the 20th and 21st centuries, are designed to help develop a working approach to old buildings. The intention is to help the practicing architect develop skills in the appreciation and conservation of buildings, and making appropriate contemporary interventions in them so that they may survive to be appreciated by future generations”.
The highly commended entries for Conservation were Farmleigh House by the Office of Public Works Architectural Services and Maynooth Castle by de Blacam and Meagher Architects.
Previous Silver Medal recipients have included: the Government Buildings, Merrion Square by the Architectural Department of the Office of Public Works (1987-92), the Royal Hospital Kilmainham by John Costello (1984–86) and the Casino at Marino by Austin Dunphy (1976-86).