Architecture awards build on a solid reputation for design

CELEBRATING the best in Northern Ireland architecture is the goal of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects which has officially launched this year's Design Awards due to take place in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast in May.

Sponsored for the first time by the Province’s trade body for the timber industry, Wood NI, the prestigious biennial event is aimed at promoting design excellence in the Province as RSUA president Trevor Leaker explained.

“These awards are a great opportunity for architects to highlight the exceptional standards of work in their field. I am looking forward to seeing what I am sure will be an excellent display of architectural projects. The awards present the chance to showcase the high standard of architecture and design in Northern Ireland.”

The awards will be held on May 8, with 300 guests expected to attend the event, which this year is to be presented by BBC Newsline and Lets Talk host Mark Carruthers.

Projects can be entered in a range of categories according to size and value. There are also categories for conservation and residential developments.

The awards have been established since 1998 and the last awards saw the RSUA receive entries from over 50 architects, making these awards some of the most highly recognised in the UK.

The judging panel David Evans, author of Modern Ulster Architecture, Bill Kirk, Chief Executive, llex and the Chair is Gordon Murray, the awarding winning eminent Scottish architect and partner in GM+AD Architects.

Wood NI will present the award to the project which demonstrates the best use of wood and design in construction in the form of a special piece to be designed by last year’s winner of the Wood Marketing Federation Award, Stephen Ryan.

“We are delighted to be sponsoring the awards this year and in particular I am looking forward to seeing some excellent examples of wood usage in the design and construction industries,” said Wood NI director Maurice Brooks.

“These Awards recognise those architects who strive to achieve excellence in the industry and we are delighted to be the overall sponsor of such a distinguished ceremony.”

Taking part as supporting sponsors for the event are the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The Department for Social Development, The Planning Service and The Construction Employers Federation (CEF).