There’s A Pair Of Them In It




Some of the handiwork of Dublin architects’ architects Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey [top] who have won the 2015 RIBA [Royal Institute of British Architects] Royal Gold Medal in “recognition of their lifetime’s work”.

Shiela and John, both in their early sixties, are apparently among the “youngest recipients of the Medal” previously given to the likes of Le Corbusier , Mies van der Rohe and Frank Gehry

The citation reads:

“It is forty years since it had been awarded to an Irish practice*. 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. What marks Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey’s achievement is that very commitment.

They are, of course builders first of all: but they are writers and teachers as well as professionals, active through the Architectural Association of Ireland in whose recent revival they were instrumental, so that their presence on the Irish scene is a powerful one, and their influence as teachers and writers has been extremely important.

From top: Ranelagh multi-denominational School, Ranelagh, Dublin; the Gray family home, Howth, Co Dublin; An Gaelaras Irish Language Arts and Cultural Centre, Derry.

Fair play, etc.


O’Donnell and Tuomey win RIBA Gold Medal (AJ)

O Donnell Tuomey

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15 thoughts on “There’s A Pair Of Them In It

  1. Silmar Recruitment Consultants

    “Practice” as a noun is used by architects, doctors and solicitors as a synonym for “business”. The use is an obfuscation intended to distract from the commercial nature of operation, intimating that it would be vulgar to ask “how much will this cost”. The resonance with religious “practice” is deliberate, intended to produce a sense of awe and unworthiness in the client, and is in line with architects’ self-image as priests in their own cult (see Jonathan Meades

    1. cluster

      That distinction is not merely an ‘obsfucation’. It highlights a (maybe not always real) aspiration to be more than a business. That includes many architects & design engineers – not really the right fields to enter if your wish is to make money.

      It is also used in a number of fields as a distinction between the consulting/advisory side and ‘industry’. The term practice is not always used as a compliment.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Busaras may have looked great when it was built, but it’s one fupping eyesore now. Up there with the lasagna topped Liberty Hall for fugliness.

      I’ve always wanted a look inside that school in Ranelagh, now that is a beautiful building… from the outside anyway :)
      Fair play to the Grays!

          1. jade

            Iv been in to the reception and what I saw looked brilliant. Of course anything would be better than the freezing prefabs we used to have crammed with 4 years in one room. I do miss the Tin Church though.

      1. cluster

        I still think Busaras is beautiful even if not all the glass and interior changes over the years have been very sympathetic.

      2. ManAboutCouch

        It doesn’t look like RMDS is on the list of buildings open to the public for Open House Dublin this year (17th-19th October) but Busaras is and is well worth a visit, the top floor is quite impressive.

  2. Borg

    It’s great to see Irish Architects being recognised on the International stage. Architects have been hit incredibly hard by the economic and construction woes of late and its nice to see a “good news” story for a change. Good on them, may they keep up the good work (and hopefully start to pay their staff some good wages too :-)

  3. Kieran NYC

    This! This is how you do it!

    There is no need for the pvc pebble-dashed cubes that are almost exclusively thrown up by developers.

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