About the RIAI Awards

The RIAI Awards celebrate the work of Registered Architects, promoting good design and creating an awareness of the contribution that great architecture makes to society. Awards are made across a number of categories and timeframes, reflective of the breadth of architectural practice in Ireland while acting as a record of past and present change in the Irish built environment.


RIAI Architecture Awards

The annual RIAI Architecture Awards are intended to recognise outstanding works of Irish Architecture completed during a single calendar year by RIAI Registered Architects and practices. The RIAI Architecture Awards are Ireland’s leading Architecture Awards, recognising the contribution Registered Architects make to the built environment and raising awareness of the value that architecture brings to society – from our homes to our workplaces, from our schools to our healthcare buildings, and at every scale in our villages, towns and cities.


RIAI James Gandon Medal

The RIAI James Gandon Medal is the highest personal honour in Irish architecture. It is awarded by the RIAI every two years to an Irish Architect for a lifetime’s contribution to the advancement of architecture and the built environment in Ireland.


RIAI Gold Medal

The RIAI Gold Medal is Ireland’s top accolade for architecture. Since 1934, the RIAI has awarded the Gold Medal to a building, either in Ireland or internationally, for a design of exceptional merit by an RIAI Architect. The project must be completed within a defined three-year period and the medal is awarded several years after completion so that the success of the building can be confirmed by the passage of time.


RIAI Silver Medal for Housing

The RIAI Silver Medal for Housing is the highest award for housing design given by the RIAI. It is a biennial award made to encourage excellence of design in housing. Entries can include housing schemes and blocks of apartments, both public and private, as well as groups of buildings of a single multi-functional housing/dwelling type. The medal is awarded several years after completion so that the success of the building can be confirmed by the passage of time.


RIAI Silver Medal for Conservation and Restoration

The RIAI Silver Medal for Conservation and Restoration is awarded to an RIAI Architect or architectural practice for projects of exceptional merit completed within a specified three-year period. Entries can include works where buildings of historic importance are refurbished and adapted for contemporary use or restored as monuments. The medal is awarded several years after completion so that the success of the building can be confirmed by the passage of time.


RIAI Future Award

Awarded in association with the RIAI Journal, Architecture Ireland, the Future Award seeks to recognise new talent in Irish architecture showing exceptional skill and talent in a wide range of areas relating to architecture, such as design, practice, public engagement, research, writing, and education. This is an award for emerging architects who have been RIAI registered members for ten years or less.


RIAI Student Awards

RIAI Scott Tallon Walker Student Excellence Award in Architecture
This award is sponsored by Scott Tallon Walker Architects in memory of the firm’s three founding partners, Dr Michael Scott, Dr Ronald Tallon, and Robin Walker. The award aims to promote the study of contemporary architecture, encourage and foster architectural excellence among the student body, encourage and facilitate communications between the schools, and provide a basis for growing awareness of architecture in society through exhibitions and publications supported by the RIAI. The award seeks to recognise and reward excellence in final year architectural studies and create a platform to showcase the work emerging from Irish schools of architecture.


RIAI Rising Star in Architectural Technology Award
The RIAI Rising Star in Architectural Technology Award recognises an individual third-year student of Architectural Technology who exemplifies academic excellence and dedication to the field of architectural technology in the national context of architectural technologists’ education. The recipient shall have demonstrated a quality of performance that would be an indicator that they are likely to continue to develop into a distinguished member of their profession.


RIAI Student Award for Sustainable Design
The RIAI Student Award for Sustainable Design aims to recognise the awareness and integration of sustainable design principles by students as an inherent part of their design approach to a project or projects regardless of scale or complexity.


RIAI / Architecture Ireland Student Writing Prize
The RIAI / Architecture Ireland Student Writing Prize, offered by the editorial board of Architecture Ireland and the RIAI, is open to all students of architecture and architectural technology on the island of Ireland. The objective of the prize is to nurture and recognise the importance of writing in architecture. Students are invited to contribute an article of no more than one-thousand words on a theme of their choice.