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Concrete Design Competition - Irish Winners Announced

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Concrete Design Competition

The winning Irish entries for the 2013/2014 International Concrete Design Competition for students of architecture and related disciplines have been announced. 

The Competition, which is funded in Ireland by Cement Manufacturers Ireland (CMI) is now in its 6th cycle and is being hosted in Ireland for the first time.  Entries were received from University College Dublin, University of Limerick and Queens University Belfast.   ‘Elegance – exploring intelligent solutions’ was the brief given to students and entries were adjudicated on by a panel which included Shane Santry of SSA Architects, Stephen Musiol of Small Spaces, Cian Deegan of TAKA Architects and Alastair Hall of Hall McKnight Architects.

A week long International Workshop will take place in August in Richview, UCD , where the winning entries will be displayed, and will include a number of keynote lectures which will be open to the public. Further details are available at www.concrete.ie

The Competition proved very successful for UCD who achieved a clean sweep with the top three proposals, which explored very different aspects of the theme.

The winning project was ‘Local Aggregate, Local Expression’ by David O’Mahoney and Andreas Bakken Smedas.

The jury noted:  “This courageous entry stood out from the others for its simplicity. Instead of making a proposal that used concrete, the students have proposed that we look again at the material itself. In fact, the proposal asks us to look only at one of concrete's base ingredients: aggregate.
The images of repeated sample photographs that explore the differing character that would result from the use of locally sourced aggregates (with variation in colour and aggregate size) were very memorable. Whilst a sense of environmental responsibility and disciplined investigation underpinned the entry, its suggestion of a subtle but meaningful expression of local building character was perhaps its most important quality.
Despite some other very interesting submissions, this was a clear and unanimous winner

Emergency Lighting’ by  Eamonn Costello and Kristan Eliassen was selected in second place.

“The elegance of this proposal is found in the quiet complexity of the proposed monolith.Fibre-optic strands are cast within the concrete. Using the unique qualities of fibre-optics, light is bent around corners from the sky above towards a user of the sink within the enclosed wash space below.The result is a solid and useful object suitable for many situations where privacy, light and robustness are desired. If elegance can be understood as achieving a lot with minimal means then the tantalising suggestion that these light-transferring strands might someday replace re-bar as the tensile member in concrete is elegant indeed.”

Ruben Lopez Sanchez and Sergio Luque Lopez won third prize with ‘Whatever you want to build’.

This wittily presented project explored the idea of elegance as versatility – proposing the development of a small set of easily handled, interlocking concrete blocks that might be combined in different ways (like the Lego bricks referenced in the presentation). The jury was interested in the proposition of blocks with different performance characteristics (thermal resistance, weather resistance etc.) being used in different parts of a monolithic wall, allowing it to be a simple but highly-performing mode of construction. Several of the competition entries aspired to accessible / non-specialist versions of concrete construction, and this was felt to the best developed version of this theme.”

‘Concrete Connections – Blackstaff Square’ by James Boyd, Erl Johnston and Julian Manev from Queens University Belfast received an Honourable Mention.

In addition to receiving cash prizes , David, Andreas, Eamonn,  Kristian, Ruben and Sergio have been invited to attend the International Workshop where they will be joined by winning students from Germany, Turkey, Belgium and Netherlands.

Categories: Architecture | Competitions

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