Released: 31 December 2007
EMBARGO: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 4pm
The Institute of Technology Tralee’s Solas Building captured the overall award in the inaugural Kerry Design & Conservation Awards Scheme, which were announced on Wednesday, December 18.
The awards, which were launched by Kerry County Council, are aimed at recognising and rewarding good design of houses and buildings, and to encourage architects, designers and builders to promote these values in future developments. In addition, the Scheme hopes to raise public awareness about what is considered good design and conservation.
The judges, which included Irish Times Environment Editor, Frank McDonald, former Cork County Architect, Billy Houlihan, and Planning Inspector with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dympna McElrae, praised the designers of the building, where the ITT’s nursing studies are held.
Calling it ‘well landscaped and integrated in its setting’, the judges also praised the use of high-quality materials: stone, timber and glass, and also commented on the manner in which the design allows daylight to flood the building.
The ‘Best Conservation Project’ award went to the Sol y Sombre Tapas Bar, Old Church of Ireland, Killorglin.
Located in a former church, the judges pointed out that the re-ordering of the interior has been sensitively carried out, with original roof beams, stone columns and stained glass windows retained and restored.
Oakwood Manor, Kenmare was recognised in the ‘Best New Housing Development’ category. The judges commended the development ‘because of its relative restraint in terms of colour and materials, as well as the simplicity of its design and quality of landscaping’.
Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Michael Healy Rae congratulated all the winners. “In common with every other county, Kerry has experienced huge pressure for development over the past decade. However, a number of developers and their architects were able to produce first rate plans and projects, which rather than detract from, contributes to our built environment.”
Michael McMahon, Director of Planning & Sustainable Development felt that these awards will help to ignite public interest in good design. “We are looking to encourage good design and architecture in our built environment, and are delighted with the quality of the winning projects.