Social housing and innovative private sector schemes feature on the shortlist for Ireland’s premier housing design award, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Silver Medal, to be presented next Monday. Architect Derek Tynan, who chaired the jury, said all of the shortlisted projects were “socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and demonstrate the benefits of architectural design in delivering quality housing and environments. “What we found striking was the delight of clients in what they got from good working relationships with architects, particularly at this time when professionals are under attack. There’s also a case for using the opportunity we now have to build more social housing.” Among the nominees is a “transitional housing” scheme in Donabate, Co Dublin, designed by Gerry Cahill Architects for Sophia Housing Association, with 20 two-storey houses grouped around a central space that gives it a communal identity. Paul Keogh Architects have been nominated for a St Vincent de Paul sheltered housing scheme in Gorey, Co Wexford, catering for elderly residents. Built in a backland area in the town centre, it was praised as an example of “careful place-making” in urban areas.