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May 8, 2009

Hackett Hall McKnight Architects win Meath competition

Meath County Council has announced that the winner of the Masterplan & Offices for Meath County Council & Navan Town Council Competition is Hackett Hall McKnight Architects. The open, two-stage architectural competition was for the development of an indicative master plan and for the design of a new Headquarters Building for Meath County Council and Navan Town Council. It is Meath County Council’s intention to develop this site as a focal point for civic activity within the town that will serve to link the town centre to the proposed park and to the walks along the Blackwater River. Due to the current economic climate, the council is not in a position to appoint the winners of the competition at this time.

A very wide range of design and site configuration solutions were proposed in the 80 Stage One competition entries, ranging from a multi-storey tower block to a podium block covering most of the site. The jury (Tom Dowling, County Manager, Meath County Council; Eddie Breen, County Manager, Wexford County Council; Kevin O’Rourke, Head of Built Environment, Sustainable Energy Ireland; Marguerite Murphy, County Architect, Fingal County Council; John McLaughlin, Director of Architecture, Dublin Docklands Development Authority) was most impressed with the wide range of creative, high-quality, design solutions submitted for the building.

The jury selected four entries to go forward to Stage Two of the competition and they were most impressed by the quality of four designs submitted. There were different approaches to addressing the brief and all were worth consideration. After some deliberation the jury reached a unanimous agreement that competition submission number 70 was the winner.

The jury felt that the entry by Hackett Hall McKnight Architectsbest addressed the competition brief. It exhibits a civic quality through the strength of its masterplan, spatial planning, sustainability approach, and detailed design. The link established between the town centre and the new town park across the river is particularly clear. The scheme proposes two new urban spaces for the town of Navan, the second of which, flanked by the entrances to the new Town and County Council buildings, creates a civic threshold to the new town park.

The other finalists were: Raymond McGinley Architects; Murray O’Laoire Architects; and Shay Cleary Architects.

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