Carrickfergus Castle and Queen’s University projects win top design awards

The projects to enhance the potential of Carrickfergus Castle and to ensure continued use of Queen’s University’s Lanyon Building have been awarded Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Design Awards for 2021.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 6:00 am
From left: Dermot MacRandal from the Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division, Andrew Bryce from Alastair Coey Architects and Ciaran Fox from RSUA celebrate winning an RSUA Design Award for the Carrickfergus Castle roof replacement project
From left: Dermot MacRandal from the Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division, Andrew Bryce from Alastair Coey Architects and Ciaran Fox from RSUA celebrate winning an RSUA Design Award for the Carrickfergus Castle roof replacement project

The Lanyon Building Conservation and Restoration Project, designed by Consarc, was praised for the team’s “forensic approach to the challenging repairs and reconstruction of the original zinc alloy windows and stonework”, to make it “fit for purpose in the 21st century whilst retaining all its significance and inherent character”.

The Lanyon Building project won the RSUA Conservation award.

Meanwhile, the roof replacement of Carrickfergus Castle, designed by Alastair Coey Architects in partnership with Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects, was praised for being completed in a “sustainable way with low embodied carbon and little need for maintenance, while still incorporating historic detailing, traditional materials and a high level of craftsmanship and traditional skills”.

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From left: Bronagh Lynch of Consarc Design Group, Donal MacRandal, RSUA president and Damian Toner, director of estates at Queen's University Belfast, celebrate winning an RSUA Design Award for the Lanyon Building Conservation and Restoration project

The Carrickfergus Castle project was awarded the RSUA Sustainability Award and the Department for Communities were named as RSUA Client of the Year.

Both projects will now be put forward for consideration for a RIBA UK-wide award.

RSUA director Ciaran Fox said this year’s awards “celebrate conservation architecture and acknowledge the architects’ unique skills in giving these buildings new life”.

“By awarding these accolades to restoration and conservation projects in existing buildings, we recognise the value of Northern Ireland’s older built environment – not just because of its heritage and cultural value, but because of the need for environmental and economic sustainability,” he said.

“We warmly congratulate these conservation architects whose work often goes unseen, and who are instrumental in the success of these complex and intricate projects.

“In this climate emergency we need to reconsider the value of all of our existing buildings, not just those of great historic value. Demolishing and building new should be a last resort.”