A HOUSE in Killiney designed by O'Donnell and Tuomey Architects, and a bridge at the University of Limerick by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, each won RIBA European Awards this year. They are the two Irish projects to do so.
The Sleeping Giant house in Killiney, Co Dublin has already won awards in Ireland. RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) said the organically formed house on a spectacular site overlooking the sea introduced "to a domestic context a contemporary aesthetic more common in major public buildings . . . the apparent randomness of the shapes results from an unusually relaxed approach from architects for whom subtle control is more typical".
The bridge at the University of Limerick is also organic in shape and "appears to grow out of the landscape", said the judges. The bridge, by the British architects of the iconic Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, England - which won the Stirling Prize - was required when the university expanded across the River Shannon.
The bridge widens out above each of its legs to create places in which to sit and chat, on seats in the structure behind glazed windbreaks.
"What may have been a mere technical solution to a practical design problem has been elevated by sensitive architecture to make a poetic statement about the river which is at the heart of the campus," said the judges.
The other RIBA European Award winners include two buildings in Germany by David Chipperfield and a project in Austria by Zaha Hadid Architects.
O'Donnell and Tuomey will be heading to the 11th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice in September as part of an Irish delegation that will exhibit their work and ideas about architecture.
The Irish Times