RIAI Announces Results for the Silver Medal for Housing 2011 - 2012
Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The RIAI Silver Medal for Housing is the country’s premier award for residential architecture. Awarded since 1953, the purpose of the award is to encourage excellence of design in housing by giving public recognition to architects responsible for buildings of exceptional merit. The term ‘building’ is interpreted broadly to include housing schemes and blocks of flats, both public and private groups of buildings of a single multi-functional housing/dwelling type.
Housing projects completed in 2011 or 2012 and designed by a registered RIAI Architect were eligible for entering for this award. The jury for the Silver Medal for Housing was appointed by Council in 2016 and comprised: Joe Kennedy (Chair), Andrew Griffin, Niall Rowan, Dougal Sheridan and Giulia Vallone.
Traditionally, the joint National Housing Conference has been the occasion for the presentation of the RIAI Silver Medal for Housing. However the impact of the economic conditions of the recession, coinciding with the award period of 2011-2013, was evident and the RIAI have decided that they will not be awarding a Silver Medal for this period, but are pleased to award Highly Commended and Commended Certificates to two projects:
Highly Commended – Social Housing project at Sean Treacy House
Architects: PKA Architects
The jury commended the well considered handling of the main building volume to Buckingham Street Lower and the corner to Empress Place, with a controlled and dignified elevational treatment achieving successful integration into the Georgian context without resort to pastiche or gimmick. The jury also commended the use of a courtyard typology as an appropriate response to the challenging context, creating a haven of passively over-looked semi-private space and amenity, which has a palpable sense of occupation and activity. The jury felt that perhaps a more appropriate brief and / or budget could have overcome some issues pertaining to landscape and play areas.
Commended - Somerville College, University of Oxford
Architects: Niall McLaughlin Architects
The jury commended the thorough detailng and high quality of individiual student rooms, but particularly the scheme’s highly considered and sensitive insertion and integration into the unique and historic environment of Somerville College and the emphasis placed on its role as a generating component at an urban design level within a future wider development context. It was agreed however that in a sense it was premature to assess this scheme at this stage as ultimately its success, in particular of its urban design intent, would need to be evaluated in the context of the completion of its neighbours.
Speaking at the presentation at Dublin Castle on 14 February, RIAI President Carole Pollard said: “The fall in housing completions over the early part of this decade was unprecedented. This has had an impact on the submissions for our award and regrettably we are not in a position to award the Silver Medal in 2017. However we are confident with the renewed focus on delivery of residential schemes that we will return to pre-recession levels of qualifying projects next year. We extend sincere congratulations to the commended architects who have worked hard to deliver housing during difficult economic times.”
The presentation of Certificates for the RIAI Silver Medal of Housing is sponsored by Smart Storage.