Hall Black Douglas projects dominate Ulster design awards

The studio has four schemes in the running for the Northern Irish honours – equivalent to RIBA regional awards – which attracted 20 submissions.

Residential schemes make up the majority of the finalists (see full list below) and include a pair of one-off houses by McGonigle McGrath Architects and a shipping container home built on ruins designed by Patrick Bradley Architect.

Last year half of the 10 shortlisted projects went on to pick up RSUA Design Awards with McGonigle McGrath’s Hill House in the Lagan Valley on the outskirts of Belfast named Northern Ireland’s best building of 2023.

The five-bedroom home was the only scheme in the country to be rewarded with a 2023 RIBA National Award.

Speaking about this year’s contenders, RSUA director Ciarán Fox said: ‘Our built environment has a significant impact on our daily lives. Each new architectural addition must be crafted with great care for the needs of the client and the end user, as well as the wider community and the natural environment.

Source:Joe Laverty

Barneys Ruins – shipping container home built on cottage ruins (Maghera) by Patrick Bradley Architect

‘After assessing this year’s submissions, our distinguished judging panel has concluded that each of these works of architecture demonstrates an element of delight, invention, or ambition deserving of a more thorough examination.’

Fox added: ‘Projects submitted for this year’s awards were required to be in use for at least one year before being considered. This allows the judging panel to better evaluate the sustainability and overall performance of these projects, ensuring the competition remains the most robust measure of the best emerging architecture in Northern Ireland.

‘RSUA will continue to focus not only on the projects’ aesthetics but also on design considerations, including environmental impact and carbon footprint.’

All the shortlisted schemes will now be visited by a judging panel. The winners of this year’s RSUA awards will be announced in early May.

Projects that win an RSUA Design Award will be in the running to win the Liam McCormick Prize – Northern Ireland’s building of the year – and will be considered for a UK-wide RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence.

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize will then be drawn from the National Award-winning projects, and the Stirling Prize winner will be announced in October.

Source:Joe Laverty

Gardenmore Green, urban social housing project in West Belfast by Hall Black Douglas Architects

Shortlist for the RSUA Design Awards 2023

  • Bank Buildings – major restoration work completed following Primark fire (Belfast) by Hall Black Douglas Architects and JCA Architects
  • Barneys Ruins – shipping container home built on cottage ruins (Maghera) by Patrick Bradley Architect
  • Gardenmore Green – urban social housing project helping to tackle the housing crisis in West Belfast (Dunmurry) by Hall Black Douglas Architects
  • House in the Woods/Lough Road House – one-off house built in woodland setting (Lisburn Studio) by idir
  • House on Redbrae Farm – one-off house built on rural farmstead (Ballynahinch) by McGonigle McGrath Architects
  • Longhurst -– one-off house built with views of Lagan Valley Regional Park (Belfast) by McGonigle McGrath Architects
  • Moylinney Court – social housing scheme for the elderly (Newtownabbey) by Hall Black Douglas Architects
  • St Comgall’s, Belfast – restoration of former 1930s school to community centre (Belfast) by Hall Black Douglas Architects
  • Ulster University Belfast Campus – 12-year project bringing the Jordanstown campus to Belfast City Centre (Belfast) by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with McAdam Design, Scott Tallon Walker and White Ink Architects

Source:Aidan McGrath

House on Redbrae Farm in Ballynahinch by McGonigle McGrath Architects