• 20 Nov 2023

RIAI Presents Honorary Awards to Architects Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch and Engineer Edith Blennerhasset

RIAI Honorary Awards were presented on 15 November in Dublin to Engineer Edith Blennerhasset and Architects Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch of Berlin-based studio Sauerbruch Hutton. On the occasion of their fellowships, Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch gave a lecture on their award-winning work to over 250 attendees at the Edmund Burke Theatre, Trinity College. The lecture was attended by Provost of Trinity College, Linda Doyle.

The RIAI Council awards Honorary Memberships to individuals from a wide range of professional backgrounds in recognition of their contribution to the built environment, and Honorary Fellowships to those with an architectural background who have influence and contribution to the practice of architecture.


LR: Peter Carroll MRIAI, Carole Pollard FRIAI, Edith Blennerhasset Hon. MRIAI, Matthias Sauerbruch Hon. FRIAI, Charlotte Sheridan RIAI President, Louisa Hutton Hon. FRIAI, David Browne FRIAI, Kathryn Meghen RIAI CEO. Photo Keith Arkins

Speaking at the event, RIAI President Charlotte Sheridan said:


“As an Institute committed to be an outward facing professional body, these awards are important to us and reflect our ambition to engender collaboration and to build and maintain outward connections.”

RIAI Honorary Fellowships for Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch

Sauerbruch Hutton is an international agency for architecture, urban planning and design, which was founded in London in 1989 by Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch and is now based in Berlin. Their award-winning work spans museums and cultural buildings, offices and mixed-use urban quarters – but central to all projects is their commitment to social and environmental sustainability. Their buildings delight through a sensual use of colour intended to stimulate the senses and transform our urban environments. In their day-to-day practice, they deliver buildings of a very high architectural quality that are first and foremost human centred.


LR Kathryn Meghen RIAI CEO, Matthias Sauerbruch Hon. FRIAI, Charlotte Sheridan RIAI President, Louisa Hutton Hon. FRIAI, and David Browne FRIAI. Photo Keith Arkins

Louisa Hutton

Louisa Hutton studied at the University of Bristol and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, following which she worked with Alison + Peter Smithson for four years. She taught at the Architectural Association and was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia and at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Louisa was a member of the Curatorial Board of the Schelling Architecture Foundation and a Commissioner at CABE as well as a member of the first Steering Committee for Germany’s Bundesstiftung Baukultur. She is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects as well as a Royal Academician. In 2015 she was awarded an OBE. 

Matthias Sauerbruch  

Matthias Sauerbruch studied at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Matthias has taught from 1985-1990 at the AA as a unit master. He has held tenure professorships at the TU Berlin as well as the Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart between 1995 and 2005. He was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (2006), the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2005-2009) as well as the University of the Arts in Berlin (2012-2014). Matthias is a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen), and was a member of the board of KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and a member of the Architecture Section of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.

To mark their outstanding contribution to Architecture, Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch were elected by RIAI Council for Honorary RIAI Fellowship.

Citation written by proposer Past RIAI President David Browne FRIAI

RIAI Honorary Membership for Edith Blennerhasset

Edith Blennerhasset, a chartered services engineer, has been a critical protagonist in Ireland’s built environment with over 30 years of experience of providing high quality building services design solutions for a wide range of projects. This is all the more impressive when one considers the dominantly male-oriented nature of the service engineering profession. 


LR Peter Carroll MRIAI, Edith Blennerhasset Hon. MRIAI, Charlotte Sheridan RIAI President and Carole Pollard FRIAI. Photo Keith Arkins 

As a young architect lucky enough to work on occasions with Edith I can espouse that Edith is passionate about her work with a particular expertise in sustainable design. Edith has collaborated widely with architectural practices, from the very small to the very large, with service solutions that are achieved through sharing of a common goal and close collaboration with architects through all stages of the design and construction process.

Edith is a recognised leader in her field and has lectured extensively in Ireland and abroad on energy efficiency and the role which good building services design can play in achieving excellent buildings. Edith, now a Director at Arup, is currently leading the mechanical and electrical design for many of Ireland’s biggest projects including The National Children’s Hospital. Representing Arup Trust, Edith was the lead jury member for the inaugural RIAI Research Award, which she contributed to with precision and insight. 

For the reasons above and to mark her contribution to Irish architecture over the past thirty years  Edith Blennerhassett was elected for Honorary RIAI Membership by RIAI Council. 

Citation written by proposer Architect Peter Carroll MRIAI

Honorary Awards were also made to three additional Honorary Members who could not attend in person:

  • An RIAI Membership has been awarded to Mary Robinson, Past President of Ireland and a Past Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, for her work in Climate Justice
  • An RIAI Membership has been awarded to Sadie Morgan, Director of dRMM Architects for her contribution as a design champion for sustainable architecture.
  • An RIAI Membership is awarded to Michael Likierman of Cap Moderne for his role in preserving the legacy of Eileen Gray and making her former residence E1027 accessible to the public.

We look forward to presenting these awards in the future.