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The Winners of the Wood Awards Ireland 2014

Published: Thursday, December 04, 2014

The winners of the inaugural Wood Awards Ireland 2014 (WAI) were announced at a ceremony in Dublin Castle on 28 November. The Overall Award went to the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Operations and Maintenance Centre at Ballyogan.

Wood Awards

Minister Hayes (left) presented the overall Wood Awards Ireland prize to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for its winning entry the Operations and Maintenance Centre in Ballyogan. With Minister Hayes are (from left) Robin Mandal, president RIAI, Bob Hannan and Andree Dargan, DLRCC Architects Department; Karen McEvoy, Bucholz McEvoy Architects; Kieran Rigney, Gem Joinery; Paul Harvey, chairman Wood Marketing Federation.Photo: Fennell Photography


Launched by the Wood Marketing Federation and supported by the RIAI, this major new biannual competition is aimed at registered Irish architects, engineers and designers who feature wood as an inherent medium in construction and design projects. The standard of submissions was extremely high and the jury made a shortlist of 18 projects from 64 entries.

Speaking at the event in Dublin Castle, Chair of the judging panel, Ciaran O’Connor said: “Who can think of any other material that is so rich in qualities as wood? It can be easily moulded and profiled. It can be both a strong structure and a lightweight external skin for a building. It is physically and psychologically warm. It is simultaneously part of nature's ecology and our collective culture. From ancient shelters in forest clearings, to traditional craft and innovative design, wood has shown itself to be a natural, authentic and ecological material capable of great pragmatic and poetic beauty.” The Chair referred to the Wood Awards as a contribution to that wood culture, adding: “The awards system is based on site visits followed by short-listing of projects. We looked at the particular challenge to be solved, the design quality of the solution, and the build quality of the executed project. The best projects not only fulfilled these criteria but exceeded them. They have the watermark of excellence.”

RIAI President Robin Mandal also spoke of the intrinsic quality of wood as material saying “wood opens up a panoply of potential for the designer. Its structural strength imbues it with endless possibilities; its colour hints at a primeval presence; its grain shows the passage of time and a record of the seasons; but its greatest character is that you can keep on replanting it, knowing that it will make the very oxygen that we breathe.” The President added: “That we now have a strong, sustainable, indigenous industry is a credit to those who had and have the vision to develop a great success storey. With the skill of the designers we celebrate here tonight, we can continue to go from strength to strength. I commend their work to you.”

Chairman of the Wood Marketing Federation, Paul Harvey expressed his delight at the partnership with the RIAI, saying it was “essential in maximising the impact of the awards, which are a collaboration between number of stakeholders from growers and manufacturers to craftspeople, architects and engineers”.

The Judges were: Ciaran O’Connor, State Architect, OPW; Dr. Sandra O’Connell, RIAI / Architecture Ireland; Pearse Sutton, Cronin & Sutton; Des O’Toole, Coillte (central judging panel). The judges were joined by advisors in categories where there was no conflict of interest: Simon O’Driscoll, O’Driscoll Furniture; Ruth O’Herlihy, McCulluogh Mulvin; Dr. Annette Hart, NUIG; Catherine Keane, CIT.

The beautiful award trophies were designed and made by the renowned Irish sculptor Michael Warren (Honorary Member RIAI), who has a long-standing working relationship with Irish architecture. The Wood Awards Ireland were sponsored by COFORD, Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine; and by the American Hardwood Export Council, AHEC.

Winners 

Overall Winner and Category Winner ‘Large-scale Public Building’

Overall Winner

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Operations and Maintenance Centre at Ballyogan
Architects: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Architects and Bucholz McEvoy Architects
Contractor: PJ Elliot, ABM Construction
Timber: European Larch; European Redwood; European Whitewood

Supplier: GEM Joinery and Weihag AG

Citation: A forward looking county council helped give a forward looking design team the support they needed to deliver a genuinely sustainable 3,700 m2 building at Ballyogan. Wood in many forms  from structure to joinery is used with both knowledge and intelligence. Larch, Scots pine and Norway spruce each play a role in a rich register of function matched with design quality. This is essence over image.

Highly Commended
Ballyroan Library - Box Architecture 

Commended
Airfield Evolution - Solearth (Lead Architects); Eunan McLoughlin (Conservation); Paul Keogh Architects (Café)


Small-scale Private Buildings

Category Winner:  Slievebawnogue Double House
Architects: Clancy Moore
Contractor: Mick Waldron
Timber: Douglas Fir, European Oak, Iroko

Citation: This house for two families is set in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. A potentially negative combination of strict planning and significant site constraints has been transformed into a positive response to both site and client brief. The disused quarry in a conifer plantation has been skilfully and respectfully altered to make a unique setting for a special building.

Highly Commended
Old House New House - James Corbett Architects

Commended
Courtyard Extension - Eamon Peregrine Architect
Cottage Cubed - DMVF Architects
Meath House - Peter Legge Associates


Restoration and Conservation

Category Winner: Dublin Dental Hospital
Architects: McCullough Mulvin Architects
Timber: American White Oak

Citation: The 'Restoration and Conservation Award' goes to the Dublin Dental Hospital for its vital and dignified new timber insertions into five protected old buildings. Creativity and respect combine with site-specific inventive thought and different levels of intervention and restoration such that the new whole is more than just the sum of its historic past.

Commended
Kilbeggan Distillery Waterwheel – Sheehan Sawmills Ltd.
Wainscoted - Lawrence and Long Architects

Furniture
Category Winner: Dell ‘Tree’
Architects: Henry J Lyons & Partners; Gensler, London
Designers/Makers: O’Driscoll Furniture
Timber: American White Oak


Furniture 

Category Winner: Dell ‘Tree’
Architects: Henry J Lyons & Partners; Gensler, London
Designers/Makers: O’Driscoll Furniture
Timber: American White Oak

Citations: The Cork Dell ‘Tree’ oscillates between a piece of furniture and an art work installation. Some 400 separate yet interconnected elements of white oak climb 15 metres in a four-storey atrium. This is a timber installation of great technical skill and bravado.

Commended
8by4 Bookcase - Eamon Peregrine and Tom Maher


Innovation Wood Award

Category Winners: Contemplation Space, Mater Hospital
Architect: Michael Goan
Designer/Maker: Garvan deBruir
Concept: Laura Magahy – MCO Projects
Timber: American Ash and American Black Walnut

Citation: The egg-shaped lattice structure creates a fishnet of enclosed space for calmly sitting and waiting in an otherwise frenetic entrance foyer. Shape, function, technology and craft production are forged into an inhabited sculptural entity.

Commended
Garden of Plenty – Eugene Boyle, Woodcollective
Pallet Open Air Theatre, Granby Park -  Seán Harrington Architects, A2 Architects


International Wood Award

Category Winner: Vessel, Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Architects: O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects
Contractor: Gem Joinery; Timber Source: Coillte
Timber: Sitka Spruce

Supplier: Glennon Brothers

Citation: This soaring installation is for the imagination. It is large yet incremental in scale. Both a place to interact and reflect. It has many layers and levels to match its imagination.

Highly Commended
Irish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2014 -  John McLaughlin Architects and Gary A. Boyd

Categories: Architecture | Awards


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