Drake Hourigan won the title for designing Christ the King school's new autism support unit
THE designers of a school on Limerick’s northside are celebrating after they picked up a top architectural award.
Drake Hourigan Architects curated the new-build part of Christ the King boys national school in Caherdavin.
And their efforts have paid off, with the design winning the public choice award at the annual Royal Institute of Architects Ireland (RIAI) ceremony.
It beat off tough competition from a shortlist of 41 projects which included entries from Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Meath, Tyrone and Wexford, as well as London and India.
All of the projects on the shortlist were designed by Registered Architects, based in Ireland and overseas, and were completed in 2018.
Developed in close collaboration with the principal and teachers, the building at Caherdavin provides for a two-classroom Autism Syndrome Disorder (ASD) suite with a central activities space and a sensory garden, new entrance courtyard and atrium space for whole school circulation. Inclusion, compassion and flexibility of use were all cited as key drivers in the design.
The new accommodation facilitates the school and teaching staff in providing pupils with the necessary educational and social supports when starting school. By including these facilities within the mainstream school setting, children will develop social skills through participation in educational and social activities with their peers, with a view to moving to mainstream classes as they progress through their school years.