Drogheda housing development takes Public Choice architecture award

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has announced ‘Tooting Meadow’ housing development in Drogheda, designed by local practice McKevitt King Architects, as the winner of the Public Choice Award in the 2020 RIAI Irish Architecture Awards.

Commissioned by the North and East Housing Association, ‘Tooting Meadow’ consists of 15 dwellings for families and elderly people. The development is located on a site in Scarlet Street, which previously accommodated both a school and a fire station in previous years. A key consideration of the project was to create high quality homes alongside a sense of community and identity. This is achieved by a central courtyard space at the heart of the site, where residents can socialise and enjoy a visual link to the mature trees of the neighbouring Sienna Convent and parkland settling.

‘Tooting Meadow’ was one of 33 projects shortlisted for the RIAI Public Choice Award, all of which were designed by RIAI-registered architects and completed in 2019. The buildings shortlisted are located across Ireland and abroad, with projects based in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Louth and Tyrone, as well as London and France.

Ciaran O’Connor, RIAI President, said: “The standard of entries on the Public Choice Award shortlist is consistently high each year and we had great public interest, which reflects the valuable contribution that architects make to the spaces in which we live, work and interact socially. The RIAI is committed to the development of quality housing that addresses the country’s changing demographics while also creating sustainable neighbourhoods in our towns and villages. ‘Tooting Meadow’ is a perfect example of this approach as it transformed a derelict site in the town centre into a mixed-unit development with community at its core. I’d like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to McKevitt King Architects on this significant achievement.”

Photographer: Donal Murphy

Second place in the Public Choice vote went to the Kylemore Abbey Interpretation Project in Connemara, Co Galway (above), which was designed by Axo Architects. In third place was Scoil Mhuire National School in Monivea, Co Galway, designed by SJK Architects. Fourth place was awarded to RKD Architects for Roe and Co. Distillery – the former Guinness Power House – in Dublin 8.

Photographer: Nick Patterson

The Public Choice Award is an important element of the annual RIAI Irish Architecture Awards, now in their 31st year, which celebrate the quality of work by RIAI members at home and abroad and create awareness of the important role that architecture plays in delivering Ireland’s societal and economic infrastructure.

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