Sunday 20 January 2019

Dublin architect pair win top prize

DUBLIN husband and wife team John Tuomey and Sheila O'Donnell have won top architecture award the 2015 Royal Gold Medal.

The duo, who have worked on Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School in Dublin and first made their name by working on the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar.

The winners are personally approved by the Queen and the awards marks their contribution to a number of buildings in London, including the Photographers' Gallery in Soho and the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics. They have also worked on the acclaimed Lyric Theatre (inset) in Belfast.

Previous winners have included luminaries such as Frank Gehry, Sir Norman Foster, Frank Lloyd Wright and Sir George Gilbert Scott.

The couple's company O'Donnell & Tuomey Architects early work in Ireland included schools, public housing and community building. The talented pair said in a statement that they were humbled by the award.


"We're delighted to have been chosen for this unexpected honour," they said. "We're humbled to find ourselves in such a company of heroes, architects whose work we have studied and from whose example we continue to learn."

Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) president Stephen Hodder said the duo's work was "always inventive" and "striking yet so well considered" and "beautifully crafted".

He added: "Sheila and John are at the vanguard of contemporary Irish architecture and I am delighted they are to receive this lifetime honour."

The couple, who established their firm in 1988, graduated from UCD school of architecture, have been shortlisted for the Riba Stirling Prize a record five times.

Their work also includes Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School in Dublin, Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork, and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

The couple, among the youngest recipients of the prize, will be presented with the 2015 Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony in London in February next year.


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