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Successors to the Traditions

>Successors to the Traditions

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has selected Irish architects as recipients of the 2015 Royal Gold Medal, one of the world’s most prestigious lifetime achievement awards for architecture. Approved personally by the Queen, the award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of architecture.

The RIBA praised the way O’Donnell + Tuomey came together in the early 1990s to combine ”Sheila’s quiet, studied ‘rationalism’ alongside John’s fluent, rhetorical ‘constructivism,’” commenting that “through their buildings, publications, exhibitions and teaching they have forged a confident new identity for Irish architecture.”

Though they are based in Dublin, the duo has a significant following in the UK architectural scene, having been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize a record five times: in 2014 for the London School of Economics Saw Swee Hock Students’ Centre.

They are among the youngest recipients of the Medal, and moreover that it is forty years since it had been awarded to an Irish practice [Michael Scott in 1975; the award was also given to Peter Rice, the Irish engineer of the Sydney Opera House and the Pompidou Centre, in 1992]. In the meanwhile Irish architecture has flourished – particularly in their generation – with a commitment to the art and the craft of building which is the envy of our more populous island.”