A good few commercial developments have won prizes in this year’s Bank of Ireland Opus Architecture and Construction Awards including the Killanin Stand for the Galway races by EPR Architects; George’s Court in Dublin 2 by KMD Architecture; and apartments in Hanover Quay, Dublin docklands, and at Thornwood in Blackrock, Co Dublin, by O’Mahony Pike Architects. The heritage area did well, with the Shelbourne Hotel, Carton House Hotel and Spa and The Island Crematorium in Cork all winning awards. There would have been more commercial winners but some of them fell off the shortlist when the judges visited the schemes. The Opus judges pride themselves on actually going to see the buildings, “to find out if a building is not only a striking piece of architecture, but also demonstrates high standards of workmanship”, says chairman of the judges, Ciaran O’Connor (the other judges were Noel Dowley, FRIAI; Roger Dunwoody, CIF; Pearse Sutton, MD O’Connor Sutton Cronin Consulting; and John F (Barry) Supple, chairman of John F Supple Ltd). The judges first looked at 160 presentations with photographs, drawings and written descriptions and then selected 32 of them to visit. Of these 29 were awarded a “commended”, “highly commended” or “winner” in various categories. “The others fell by the wayside because, when we visited them, they didn’t live up to their promise. In some of them the presentation photos oversold them and in other cases the drawings and graphics oversold them,” says O’Connor.
The Irish Times