Ireland's most influential architect receives lifetime achievement award
Published: Thursday, December 02, 2010
(Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport presents Dr Ronnie Tallon with the RIAI James Gandon Medal for life time achievement in Architecture.
Also present in the photo are Michael Warren, Sculptor, Michael Colgan, Director of the Gate Theatre; Paul Keogh, President RIAI and Shane O'Toole, Architectural Critic all of whom gave citations and tributes to Dr Tallon and his work.) )0
Dr. Ronnie Tallon honoured by RIAI with James Gandon Medal
Dublin, 23 November 2010, Dr Ronnie Tallon, one of the most influential Irish architects of the last century, has been awarded the inaugural James Gandon Medal, a lifetime achievement award, by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI). Dr Tallon’s designs are evident all over Ireland, from the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park, Carroll’s Cigarette Factory in Dundalk; and the O’Reilly Hall, UCD to Spencer Dock Development and the Gate Theatre. Most Irish people will have worked, slept, ate, worshiped in or walked by one of his designs over their lifetime. “Dr Tallon’s impact on the landscape of Ireland is arguably greater than any other person’s of our time. Everywhere you look around Ireland, you can see evidence of his work,” said Paul Keogh, President, RIAI, at the awards ceremony.
Dr Tallon was nominated for the medal by RIAI president, Mr Paul Keogh. The nomination was unanimously passed by the council of the RIAI. The medal is the first life time achievement award that the RIAI have ever bestowed on an individual.
For part of the twentieth century, Dr Tallon and his practice were the only architects in Ireland to gain international recognition for the continuous excellence of their buildings. While Irish architecture has changed dramatically since the 1960s, Dr Tallon’s work still retains a special pre-eminence, not just for his landmark buildings of distinction, but for a large body of work of consistent and continuous quality, produced over a career spanning six decades.
Scott Tallon Walker, Dr Tallon’s practice, is one of the leading architectural firms in Europe and one of the few to have been awarded a prestigious Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Entrusted with important projects commissioned by both public institutions and large private companies, Dr Tallon and his practice has long been recognised for producing well-designed buildings of a consistent high quality.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Paul Keogh, President, RIAI, said, “What we build today, we build for tomorrow and nowhere is that more evident in Ireland than in Ronnie Tallon’s work. Throughout his career, he has delivered buildings that have stood the test of time. He is part of the identity of Ireland and Irish architecture.”
Also speaking at the awards ceremony was architectural critic, Shane O’Toole. He said, “In Ronnie Tallon’s work you can see that it is possible to build for the future. Structures he designed in the 1960s are still working and inspiring people today. His work is rigorous and detailed; he is ruthless about standards. You can see his hand on every one of his iconic buildings and it is fitting that he be the first ever recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the RIAI.”
Dr Tallon was born in Dublin in 1927 and graduated from University College Dublin in 1950. During his student years, he worked with Peppard and Duffy Architects. Dr Tallon joined the Office of Public Works in 1950, where he worked with Arthur Seymour Rice and Raymond McGrath. In 1956, he jointed Michael Scott’s practice. In 1960, he entered into a partnership with Mr Scott and Robin Walker, founding Scott Tallon Walker.
Dr Tallon is also well known as a patron of the arts. He was responsible for purchasing many of Ireland’s best known art collections such as the Carroll Collection, the Bank of Ireland Collection and the A&L Goodbody Collection.
Dr Tallon is married to Nora Vize and he has 22 grandchildren.
(James Gandon Medal, RIAI Lifetime achievement award, awarded to Dr Ronnie Tallon)