UL in the running for architecture award

Nigel Dugdale


Nigel Dugdale

UL in the running for architecture award

Professor Merritt Bucholz Department of Architecture pictured at the University of Limerick Picture: Brian Gavin/Press 22

THE continued development of the magnificent University of Limerick campus is receiving further international recognition with the news that the School of Advanced Medicine building has been shortlisted for the prestigious Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2015.

Initiated in 1987 after an agreement between the European Commission and  Barcelona City Hall, the €60,000 prize is the highest award in European architecture and is awarded biennially to works completed within the previous two years.

For the past 27 years, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award - has not only recognised the most relevant buildings in the EU, but has also served as a timeline of the evolution of European architecture.

The principal objectives are to recognise and commend excellence in the field of architecture and to draw attention to the important contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas and technologies and of the clients who support them.

Five Irish architects have been included in the shortlist of 40 projects on show including Grafton Architects’ School of Advanced Medicine at UL. 

Pulp Press, Kistefos, Norway by SAUL’s Peter Carroll was one of eight Irish projects nominated for this year’s award.

In total, 420 works were nominated for the award. An expert jury drew up the final shortlist and the five finalists will present their projects on May 7 before the jury decides the overall winner of the prize, as well as the Emerging Architect Prize, at a celebration that will take place at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona on May 8.

This group of university buildings by Irish office Grafton Architects, including a limestone-clad medical school and three red-brick student housing blocks, was one of the six projects named on the 2013 Stirling Prize shortlist.

Grafton Architects added the four new buildings to the main campus of the University of Limerick. 

Alongside the existing sports pavilion, world music academy and health sciences facility, the structures frame a new student plaza on the north side of the campus.

The architects selected different materials for the two types of building. 

“The language of the medical school is that of an educational institution while the student residences appear like three large houses,” they explain.

“For the four-storey medical school, we added a facade of cool grey limestone that references the local architectural vernacular. An angled colonnade directs visitors into the building, where a full-height atrium leads through to laboratories and lecture rooms.”

The three student housing buildings zigzag along the northern perimeter of the plaza. 

Each block has a brickwork exterior with recessed windows and concrete sills. As well as these buildings, the architects also added a new concrete bus shelter to the campus, with steps and ramps that negotiate the sloping ground.

The Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2015 Exhibition in SAUL FabLab, 7 Rutland Street was officially opened by SAUL Professor Merritt Bucholz at 7pm Tuesday, December 15.

Queen of Ireland movie to screen in Belltable

The Queen of Ireland will be screened this evening at 69 O’Connell St as part of the SEE for Cinema filmclub.

Created by Rory O’Neill, Panti is a drag queen, an accidental activist and in her own words ‘a court jester, whose role is to say the un-sayable’.

Over the last few years Rory has become a figurehead for LGBT rights in Ireland and since the recent scandal around Pantigate, his fight for equality and against homophobia has become recognised across the world.

The Queen of Ireland is a documentary film that follows Rory’s journey from the small Mayo town of Ballinrobe to striding the world stage. 

The film takes us behind the scenes with his alter ego Panti in the year she became the symbol of Ireland’s march towards marriage equality.

Directed by Conor Horgan (One Hundred Mornings) the film builds up a multi-faceted picture of a complex and compelling character through behind the scenes footage and interviews.

Admission is €7 plus €1 booking fee (total €8) and can be booked online at www.limetreetheatre.ie.

Carriage adds touch of romance

The addition of the Christmas with Limerick Carriage Tours to the city centre offer is a really wonderful way to get into the Festive spirit and see the magic & sparkle that is Christmas in Limerick from the comfort and luxury of a horse drawn carriage.

For those who want to make the experience that little bit more special you can choose from a menu of festive delights to savour throughout your journey. 

The Festive Delights Menu, available at additional cost, is served directly onto the carriage from the award winning No 1 Pery Square.

 The menu includes a choice prossecco and canapés, mulled wine and mince pies with brand crème or champagne and canapés with a children’s selection also on offer. The carriages are completely weatherproof and reservations are essential due to high demand. Full details can be found at www.limerick.ie/christmas.