Excellence in concrete design and construction was celebrated at this year’s Irish Concrete Society’s Awards, which were announced virtually on the 23rd of October 2020.
This was the 38th Annual Awards which recognise excellence in both design and construction in concrete and are adjudicated by a distinguished, independent jury of industry professionals. The main awards jury reviewed a total of forty one projects nominated in three categories of main awards – Element, Infrastructure and Building. There were also eight projects nominated for the 8th International Award, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland. In addition, the winners of the biennial Sculpture Award and the annual Séan de Courcy Student Award were announced.
Speaking of the awards Chairperson, Eamon Booth stated: ‘While we were unable to hold our annual awards evening this year, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our winners and to recognise all of this year’s entrants for raising the benchmark in quality and excellence in concrete construction through their combination of skill, ingenuity and teamwork. All nominees deserve great credit for setting such high standards for others in the industry to follow.
‘I hope to see you all in person next year and to celebrate your achievements with you’.
The Main Awards
The main awards jury consisted of Michael Moriarty (TJ O’Connor and Associates), Peter Carroll (A2 Architects), and John Keaveney (John Paul Construction).
Building Category and Overall Winner: Galway Picture Palace, Galway City
Chosen from a total of 20 building category entries and 41 entries for the overall award.
‘This deeply entwined piece of city in the form of a modern day tower house is only made possible by the mystery and thickness that in-situ concrete has allowed here.
Great caverns open and close; stairs rise and twist; light falls from on high.
This is a project of supreme dexterity and command that from the outset puts in-situ concrete construction at its core. To achieve this in the heart of Medieval Galway is all the more remarkable. This is a tour de force on so many levels.’
Project Client: Solas Galway Picture Palace Teoranta; Element Pictures Project Architect: dePaor
Project Engineer: CORA Consulting Engineers Project Contractor: JJ Rhatigan
Major Suppliers: Roadstone; Gerard Leslie Sculptor
Infrastructure Category Winner: The Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare
Chosen from a total of 7 projects entered.
‘Through the use of precast concrete elements this racecourse stand manages to produce an extremely elegant and light interior with great precision and quality.
The very high standard of concrete finish achieved is only made possible by the off-site factory finish. The under croft of the stand makes for many beautiful spaces that will be enjoyed by many into the future as Irish Racing’s spectacular new showpiece.’
Project Client: Curragh Racecourse Project Architect: Grimshaw
Project Engineer: AECOM
Project Contractor: John Sisk & Son
Major Supplier: Banagher Precast Concrete; Kilsaran
Elemental Category Winner: Grangegorman TUD Campus, Dublin
Chosen from a total of 14 entries
‘Through the use of repetition, pattern and texture of a simple concrete pavior at the new Grangegorman Campus, the resulting public realm is transformed into a high quality public surface for Technical University Dublin as it begins its new life.
Much like the way that the cobblestone is part of the psyche of Trinity College public realm, the careful crafting of surface from a modern concrete pavior makes for memorable public realm for future generations of university life at Grangegorman.’
Project Client: Grangegorman Development Agency Project Architect: Mitchell & Associates
Project Engineer: Roadbridge Project Contractor: Roadbridge
Major Suppliers: Kilsaran; Premier Paving
Winner of the 8th International Award: Shay Murtagh Precast for ‘Meridian Water Rail Station, Enfield, London’
This award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, recognises Irish companies who export product or service off the island of Ireland. The Award reflects the continued emphasis on export for Irish
construction. The Jury included Bryan O’Rourke (Architect), Ed Hanlon (Engineer) and was chaired by Donal Byrne from Enterprise Ireland.
Chosen from a total of 8 entries.
‘The judges were impressed by the quality, efficiency, and delivery of a complete railway station on programme and within budget. The success of this innovative design solution is a model for future precast concrete structures within the Network Rail Infrastructure.’
Project Client: Meridian Water Rail Station, Enfield, London Irish Export Company: Shay Murtagh Precast
Held every two years this Award scheme enables the Society to acknowledge the work of sculptors who use concrete as a medium of expression.
The Jury consisted of Jane Fogarty (Artist) and Douglas Carson (Architect).
Winning Piece: Reflectors by David Beattie
‘The coldness of the material is offset by their warm peach colour, which is somehow both at odds with and embraced by the colours of their surroundings. As the title suggests the works are reflective of their environment, incorporating elements of sound and viewfinders which frame the surrounding landscape.
‘They punctuate the walk along the river and vary in scale allowing inclusive interaction. Proportionally the works are harmonious with their environment neither towering nor diminutive. What we particularly enjoyed about these sculptures was how they subtly enhance the environment and invite engagement but are unobtrusive in their execution and we deem a worthy recipient of this prize.’
Sculptor name: David Beattie Sculpture title: Reflectors
Séan deCourcy Student Award
This is an annual award given to the best final year project on a concrete related topic from the engineering faculties of 3rd level colleges.
The award is named after the late Professor Séan deCourcy, an inspirational professor for many years at UCD, a former chairman of the Irish Concrete Society, an author and historian of note.
Winner: Cillian Collier (University College Dublin)
Project title: Characterising freeze-thaw damage in concrete
The Irish Concrete Society is a learned society founded in 1973 to support and encourage technical excellence in concrete. It is a cross-sectorial, independent, impartial, science based organisation. With membership open to all who have an interest in concrete.
The Society acts as a focal point for industry debate, research, education, standards development in the field of concrete technology, design and construction. The Society is a not for profit organisation funded by membership subscriptions and the services it offers.