Swedish architects have won an international competition to design a new centre pier performance space for Galway harbour. Entitled “The Sky Pier – Unity in Duality”, the successful entry was confirmed last night as Galway marked the opening of the city’s first Open House architectural festival. The judges described the design by JM – Konrad Milton and Carl Jà¤gnefà¤lt – as “creating a compelling architectural image with a linear building along the northern edge of the pier, which then rises vertically to form a tall thin tower at the point where it meets the sea”.
“The fact that the stage is powered hydraulically from a pool on the top level of the tower adds to the delight of this scheme,” the panel said. The Swedish architects will receive a majority share of the €10,000 prize, while two Galway architects, Laura O’Brien and Faela Guiden, took first place in the student category. Their winning design was described by the judges as a “lucid and evocative response to the site, the brief, and the character of the place”.
Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland director John Graby said that the competition “shows a huge, suppressed creativity among architects, which should be used to help shape a better future for the built environment in Ireland”. Galwegians have been invited to cast their own votes on the winning entries, which will be displayed this weekend from noon to 4pm in the Centre Pier building.