The search for the best works of architecture in Northern Ireland in 2023 has been narrowed down to the final ten following a rigorous judging process by an expert panel of architects from across Ireland and Great Britain. Each of the projects shortlisted for the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Design Awards will now be visited for a second round of judging and the winners will be announced in late May.
Ciarán Fox, Director of RSUA welcomed the news, commenting “Our built environment impacts our daily lives in so many ways. Each new addition must be crafted with great care for the needs of the client and the end user but also to meet the needs of the wider community and the natural environment.”
“I congratulate the architects, clients and wider teams involved in delivering these ten projects. Having assessed this year’s submissions the distinguished judging panel has concluded that each of these works of architecture have demonstrated some element of delight, invention or ambition that deserves a more thorough examination.”
“This year’s shortlist takes in a wonderful range of project types and budgets ranging from a house extension to a £120m hospital block. I’m almost certain it’s the first time we have had an urban farm on the shortlist too.”
“It’s great to once again see the reworkings of a number of existing buildings have made the shortlist. Retaining our built heritage is more important than ever, not just from a cultural point but also from an environmental perspective.”
The shortlisted projects are:
- Ballyhackamore House by Studio idir
- Braidside Integrated Primary School by Isherwood + Ellis
- Fort House by Patrick Bradley Architect Ltd
- Grand Opera House Belfast by Consarc Design Group
- Hill House by McGonigle McGrath
- Magheracross Coastal Walkway Trailhead and Scenic Viewpoints by GM Design Associates Limited
- St. James Farm Belfast by MMAS
- The Chapel by Alskea Ltd
- Ulster Hospital Acute Services Block by Avanti Architects in association with Kennedy FitzGerald Architects
- Windmill House by Marshall McCann Architects
“The projects submitted for this year’s awards were required to have been in use for at least one year before they could be put forward so that the judging panel could better evaluate the sustainability and overall performance of these projects. This ensures the competition remains the most robust measure of the best architecture emerging from Northern Ireland. RSUA will continue to make sure that the focus is not just on the projects’ aesthetics but the full range of design considerations including crucially the environmental impact and carbon footprint.”
Throughout March all shortlisted schemes will be visited by the judging panel. The winners of this year’s RSUA Design Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Friday 19 May 2023 in the Great Hall, Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Belfast.
All of the shortlisted projects are potential RSUA Design Award winners. If they are successful, they will be in the running to win the Liam McCormick Prize – Northern Ireland’s building of the year and will be considered for a UK-wide RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will be announced in the Summer.
The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year in the UK will then be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning projects, and the Stirling Prize winner will be announced in October.
If you are a member of the press seeking more information on the RSUA Design Awards shortlist (including access to images) please email Victoria McMurray.