The clever operation that altered the anatomy of a Cork icon and gave it a 21st century facelift won a sought-after design award.
Adapting and reusing existing buildings is a sustainable approach to climate change and it’s also a category that has garnered a particularly strong response in the 2021 Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) awards revealed this morning.
A Conservation Award was presented to the sensitive restoration of the Swiss Cottage in Co Leitrim, by Buckley Partnership Architects.
Also in Cork, new recognition has arrived in this year’s awards as Student Civitas, Lee Point Student Accommodation, by Scott Tallon Walker Architects, shared the top prize in the ‘living’ category, with two outstanding private homes – House for a Gardener in Northern Ireland and Baltrasna House in Skerries, County Dublin.
Public projects among the winners include the renovation and conservation of the original Garda Station building in Donegal Town by Rhatigan Architects, which won double awards in the categories of cultural / public buildings and sustainability.
The Covid-19 response from the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Architects’ Department for the creation of Blackrock Places in Sandycove and Dundrum was a co-winner alongside King John’s Castle in Carlingford, Co Louth in the space category public.
- Full details of all winning projects are available on www.riai.fr
UCC opened its Student Hub in February this year. Europe’s long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a € 100 million loan agreement with University College Cork in November 2016 ensuring the completion of the transformation from the Windle Building into a state-of-the-art student hub, according to ucc.ie.
The Windle Building housed the Department of Anatomy until 2011 and had been known for generations as “the Medical Building” or in its early days “the Clarendon Building”.
This first phase of transformation included the removal of peripheral buildings attached to the main limestone building. The mortuary building, the physiology labs on the ground floor and the main staircase have been removed, as have the “Wellcome Rooms” research labs and the former anatomy tea room on the first floor, according to ucc. ie.
The Student Hub project designed by world renowned architects O’Donnell + Tuomey, saw the Windle Building completely renovated to provide an area offering facilities for student union, club and company leaders and other directed activities. by students in one place on campus for the first time.
The new UCC student center is adjacent to the university quadrangle, at the convergence of routes through the heart of the campus.
“The renovated school of anatomy combines aspects of spatial change with careful conservation, transformation and renewal, according to O’Donnell + Tuomey.
“The linear plan of the 1850s building forms a baseline for a thick wall of cell rooms that revolves around a central gathering space.”
Bridges and balconies enliven the gathering space, creating a brick-paved ‘market hall’ atmosphere for student societies and events.
A lantern tower for administration and student services rises above the roof.
An awning leads to an open porch and a public passage through the building.