Holy Cross Parish Church Improvement Competition (Ireland)

The RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) is administering a single stage ideas competition on behalf of the competition promoters, Holy Cross Parish Development Committee www.holycrossdundrum.org.

Holy Cross Parish Development Committee is seeking ideas from RIAI Members and Fellows who have experience or are interested in ecclesiastical works who may have suggestions to make for the improvement of the existing parish church building. Competitors should assume a budget of €300,000. Please see the cost plan for exclusions.

A Prize Fund of €10,000 is to be awarded at the discretion of the jury.

It is anticipated that the winner shall be successful in obtaining the commission of the project, subject to diocesan approval, from planning through to its completion through the normal stages, agreed fees etc.

Holy Cross Church, a protected structure on Main Street, Dundrum is located in the centre of Dundrum village since the 1800s. The village has seen enormous physical change to the built environment around it in the last number of years. The physical importance of the church, as a significant part of the landscape has reduced in against the new backdrop of commerce generated by Phase One of the Dundrum Centre, the By-pass, large apartment blocks and the by-pass roadway. Phase Two of Dundrum centre will have an even greater impact.

These changes offer not just challenges but opportunities which the Parish Development wishes to address and to also try and create an attractive, accessible ambience on Main Street so as to establish a presence which will draw people to enter into its calm and spiritual interior.

The improvements are to ensure that the various liturgies can take place with optimum effect and involvement of the congregation and to maximize the visual character of the church.

The ideas are to relate to the church itself, the “˜mortuary’ / shop and the sacristy area. The basement accommodation is not included. Areas of particular interest include Access, Lighting, the Choir Balcony, Statuary, Shrines / Candle Display / Notices and Decoration.


The competition is open to architect members of the RIAI (MRIAI or FRIAI).
It is the function of the Registrar to decide on eligibility and equivalence.
An entry may be submitted by an architectural practice. In this case the name and address should be given and the official entry form signed by a partner who is MRIAI or FRIAI. In this context the practice is defined as; a partnership properly established for the purpose of an architectural competition or an association of architects for the purpose of entering a competition, which complies with RIAI requirements for Practice registration i.e. RIAI Members or architects eligible for statutory registration to have a controlling (51%) interest.


* Fr. Kieran McDermott, Parish Priest, Holy Cross Parish
* Paul O’Neill, Chair, Parish Development Committee
* Eddie O’Shea, FRIAI, Diocesan Representative
* Gay McCarron, MIPI, Development Committee Member
* Martin Donnelly, MRIAI, Development Committee Member
* Deirdre McCullagh Artist, Development Committee Member
* Cathy Prunty, RIAI (ArchTech) Development Committee Member


A prize fund of €10,000 will be awarded at the discretion of the jury.

Competition Programme:

* Competition Registration Opens: 3 July 2009
* Withdrawal of Registration and refund of fee: 15 July 2009
* Questions Deadline: 17 July 2009
* Answers Circulated: 31 July 2009
* Registration Deadline: 11 September 2009
* Submission Deadline: 25 September 2009
* Assessment: October 2009

How to Register:

The Registration Form is available in the Competition section of the RIAI website www.riai.ie Download and complete the registration form including payment / payment details of €121.50 registration fee (inclusive of VAT at 21.5%). Registration forms are accepted via email, fax or post.

Email: koneill@riai.ie
Fax: 00353 1 6610948 or
Post: Holy Cross Parish Church Improvement Competition, RIAI, 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland.

A registered competitor may withdraw a registration on or before Wednesday, 15 July 2009 and will be entitled to a refund of the registration fee. After that date no other refunds can be made in any circumstances whether a valid entry is submitted or not.

We accept Cash, MasterCard, Visa, Laser, Electronic Funds Transfer, Bankers Draft, Euro Cheque and Irish Cheques. Cheques/Drafts should be made payable to the RIAI.

Once we have received a completed registration form with payment, a username and password will be emailed to you. The username and password will allow you to download the competition brief from the RIAI website www.riai.ie

Submission requirements:

Competitors are required to submit one A1 size sheet of information in a horizontal format. There is no specified format for submissions but competitors are required to provide the following minimum information:

a. Plans, sections and elevations at 1:200
b. Sketches to illustrate general proposals
c. 1:20 construction details of choir balcony (if considered)

Each competitor shall submit a report, which will deal with the architectural, lighting, functional, environmental and technical factors relevant to the scheme with an Outline Cost Plan. The report shall not exceed two A4 pages excluding a one page outline cost plan.

Enquiries contact:

Karina O’Neill, Competitions Officer, RIAI, 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
Email: koneill@riai.ie Tel: +353 1 669 1480 Fax: +353 1 661 0948

Download Area:
Once you have registered, you will receive a username and password via email enabling you to download the Competition Pack.

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