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January 27, 2009

Donaghy + Dimond Architects win West Cork Arts Centre

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The West Cork Arts Centre is delighted to announce the winner of the West Cork Arts Centre’s Architectural Design Competition is Irish firm Donaghy + Dimond Architects based in Francis Street, Dublin. On announcing the winning entry, Majella O’Neill Collins, Chairperson of West Cork Arts Centre said;”We have been overwhelmed by both the number of entries to the competition and the high standard and imaginative creativity contained in them. The architectural firms wholeheartedly embraced the challenge and their vastly different interpretations of the competition brief impressed us greatly. Along with the jury, I believe the winning design has the potential to make a significant and positive contribution to the urban fabric of Skibbereen while offering enhanced arts facilities to the people of the whole West Cork area. This is a landmark design that will attract people from far and wide to Skibbereen.”

This prestigious international Design Competition attracted a remarkable 216 entries for the design of a new Arts Centre for the West Cork region. The judges for the Architectural Design Competition were representative of the various interested bodies and brought their professional expertise and experiences to the project. They included Denis Deasy, County Architect, Cork County Council; Emmett Scanlon, Architectural Advisor, Arts Council; Maud Cotter, Artist; Patrick Creedon, Architect, Magee Creedon Kearns Architects and Ann Davoren, Director, West Cork Arts Centre. The competition entries were anonymously assessed by the jury who did not know the identity of the winners, or any competitor, until after the final decision had been made. It is now known that many of the most distinguished and well known contemporary architectural firms from Ireland, Britain and around the world submitted designs for consideration. Along with the winning firm, O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, Clancy Moore Architects and Matter Design / Office dA comprised the four shortlisted finalists.

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Competition winners Will Dimond and Marcus Donaghy of Donaghy + Dimond Architects said: “Donaghy and Dimond Architects are delighted to have been selected as winners of the open design competition for the new West Cork Arts Centre. It has been a privilege to develop a design for WCAC in the context of Skibbereen and West Cork, and we are now excited by the opportunity to realise this project to reinforce the Arts Centre as an important institution for the whole community of West Cork and beyond. We were inspired by the brief and, on our various visits to Skibbereen, were enthused by the ambition of WCAC’s programme and its significance to a widespread community. It is our aspiration to make a building that will allow this programme to flourish and expand.”

Ann Davoren, Director, WCAC and Chair of the Competition Jury commented that “the selection of the winning design is a most important development for County Cork and is significant architecturally, culturally and economically. The new Arts Centre will provide a wonderful new facility for the region. We were also extremely fortunate to have a jury consisting of dedicated professionals who unequivocally committed themselves to the task of scrutinising each and every submission to the competition until the winner was selected.”

Given the huge level of interest the Architectural Design Competition has generated, WCAC is offering a unique opportunity for the public to view all submissions to the Competition. WCAC will hold its Architectural Design Exhibition at the Arts Centre from Friday February 6 to Sunday February 22. The exhibition will be opened by John Graby, Director, RIAI on Friday 6 February at 7.00pm The exhibition will present drawings, plans and conceptual information by all entries to the Architectural Design Competition. It will also present more detailed drawings and plans from the 4 short-listed entries and models by the winning entry. Donaghy + Dimond Architects will give a much anticipated presentation on their winning design at West Cork Arts Centre at 7.45pm following the opening of the exhibition. Donaghy + Dimond Architects will give a further presentation at WCAC on Saturday 7 February at 12noon.

The WCAC building development project is funded by grant-aid from the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism’s ACCESS II Programme, Cork County Council, a philanthropic donation from Willliam and Judith Bollinger and other generous donations from the west Cork community.

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