Home of the Year 2021 and RIAI Awards – by Nikola Lancova

The Home if the Year is a competition series where the team behind RTÉs is searching for the most unusual and architecturally stunning private houses. The desicion is based on functionality, clever design and individuality. Each week the team of three judges visits three homes across the country. They give the house score out of 10. The home that receives the highest score goes through to the finals.

This year it was the seventh season of this competition series. In this season judges visited 21 homes across Ireland. From these 21 competitors, the judges selected seven finalists:

  • David O’Brien (Cork)
  • Jennifer Sheahan (Dublin)
  • Tanya Lee Conroy and Noel Conroy (Galway)
  • Saara and Mike McLoughlin (Co Limerick)
  • Sally-Ann and Ruairí Mitchell (Dublin)
  • Kevin Desmond (Dublin)
  • Kate and Cian O’Driscoll (Dublin)

Of the above competitors, Jennifer Sheahan from Dublin won the prize. Her house is 1800s cottage in Dublin. She bought this house in 2019, it needed a lot of work, it was damp, there was no central heating and the toilet was outside. Jennifer renovated the entire house, knocked all internal walls, dug up the floor and lowered it plus added on an extra floor to make it a two-storey house. There also clever storage solutions throughout this home.

For the record these are some of the previous winners:

  • 2020 – Ethna Dorman (Dublin)
  • 2019 – Ciara Denvir (Belfast)
  • 2018 – Patrick nd Ros Walshe ( Wicklow)

RIAI Awards are given annually in categories Adaption & Re-Use, Cultural or Public Buildings, Learning Enviroments, Wellbeing, Public Spaces, Workplace, Living, International.

2021 RIAI Awards was the 32nd year of the awards and 17 Awards winners were announced. Adaption and Re-Use went to the transformation of the former anatomy school at University College Cork into a Student Hub by O’Donnell + Tuomey. Award of Conservation went the sensitive restoration of the Swiss Cottage in Co. Leitrim, by Buckley Partnership Architects. The Winner of Culture/Pubic category went to Garda Station building renovation and retention in Donegal Town by Rhatigan Architects. Thapar University – Learning Laboratory in India by McCullough Mulvin Architects won the International category.

A new extension to Scoil Ui Mhuirí by  McGarry Ní Èanaigh Architects in County Louth was given the award in the Learning Environments category. Next category is Living and the prize was given to Ryan W Kennihan Architects for theirs Baltrasna House in Skerries, but they were not the only winners in this category, they received the awards together with House for a Gardener by LiD Architecture and Student Civitas – Lee Point Student Accommodation by Scott Tallon Walker Architects. The Award winners of the Public Space Award category are King John’s Castle in Carlingford and C-19 Response Placemaking – Mobility – Liveability by DLR Architects. Then we have Research category,the award was given to Keeping it Modern by John McLaughlin Architects and Queen’s University Belfast.

Donegal Garda Station did not win just one award, they won the Sustainability award too. The Award of Wellbeing was given to The Padet Club by Healy Partners Architects. The best Workplace/Fit-Out are Fit-out for Babel Academy of English by Stephen Mullhall, nineeneighty studio and North Dock by ABK Architects. Last but not least the Public Choice Award category – Field, Stonewall, House by Taylor McCarney Architects was voted the favourite house in Ireland.

This is a guest post by our intern Nikola Lancova who has been visiting from the Czech Republic.

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