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ENGAGE with Architecture 2012


Offaly County Council announced the winning entry of 2012 Engage with Architecture 2012 project. From the Press Release: “judges would like to compliment the three schools who took part in the design competition on their dedication to the project. The project was created and mentored by Peter Lyons & Adam Hernes of Kenny Lyons and Associates, who worked with the students during a two stage process of a) Research and Education and b) Design and Presentation. The culmination of the project to date in the Court Hotel was a presentation of all the designs and resulted in an exuberant morning with ideas that were wide-ranging and inspirational. The focus varied in each school giving the wonderful array of responses, from practical, to economical to motivating designs, which were explored through mixed media from drawings to models to computer packages. While there can only be one winning design, we would hope to incorporate some of the ideas from different entries into the overall built proposal, creating a county wide solution to the competition.

Oaklands Community College in Edenderry produced a range of practical, resilient structures with careful consideration to the budget. The Octoroom thought about the exhibition space and the route through it, while the ‘Chinese Box’ style pavilion worked with an interesting layered concept. The ‘Gazebo’ style pavilions dealt with a possible cafe type space or art gallery encouraging different uses. The Movievan was admired by all judges as a unique idea and easily transported. The pavilion with the Chinese roof, allowed a passive use with its glazed walls, while the Octohut with its fold down doors was an attractive proposal. The Projecto Pod had the distinctive proposition of projecting from the pod onto external structures.

St Brendan’s Community School in Birr provided some inspirational designs with uplifting introductions from the students. Light up Offaly was well considered and the mirrored exterior which reflected the external environment was complimented by the judges. The Street Lights in Birr and Look All Around You were ambitious projects and while not within the current budget, were innovative and thought provoking responses. The Dome of Light used recycled crates and the judges particularly liked the proposal to plant the exterior of the crates with local flowers. Opening to a Brighter Future gave a passionate description for the background to their proposal and along with the rainbow description for An Cruinneachán Gaelach gave a great insight to a vibrant future.

Tullamore College produced well developed proposals with mixed media. There were a number of designs which reflected the local heritage including the Pavilion and the Cask which worked with the distilling history. The Hex worked with different materials incorporating timber and Perspex, while the Ipod Pig took a ‘fun’ idea and looked at transforming it into a useable space. The Phoenix was a vibrant sculptural response to the brief and almost reversed the concept of a pavilion in its novel design. Section 17 gave a detailed description of their well considered proposal with the addition of creating a county wide, long term proposal, the display within the floor space was admired by the judges.

After much deliberation and taking into account all aspects of the brief and the practical aspect of building the pavilion, the winning entry is The Vessel, from Tullamore College. This entry was chosen as one that had developed from an original concept, based on boating in Offaly, through detailed designs, models and computer packages. The open nature of the final design will allow for ease of use and the deep walls holding the exhibition material should create a durable solution for the display material. The design will require further development and may be able to incorporate some ideas from other entries. The next phase will involve the construction of the pavilion and the display of competition entries along with a variety of ENGAGE material. This will bring to fruition what has been a educational and energetic process. The students and teachers from each of the three schools along with Peter Lyons and Adam Hernes of Kenny Lyons and Associates are to be commended for their involvement and dedication.”

Tullamore College, Highly Commended: The Cask (Boyce Claxton, Daniel Paisley, Ethan Cox)

St Brendans Community School Birr, Highly Commended: Street Lights in Birr (Ciaran Connaughton, Evan Moylan) and Look All Around You (Cleary, Guinan, Mahon Architecture.

Oaklands Community College Edenderry, Highly Commended: Octohut (Frances Palmer, Fiona Darby, Dean Mooney, Michelle Murphy) and Movievan (Conor Williams, Mathew O’Grady, Jenifer Beegan).

Judges: Declan Kirrane (Director of Services), Sinead O’Reily (Arts Officer), Amanda Pedlow (Heritage Officer), Rachel Mc Kenna (Senior Executive Architect).

Image: Winning Entry: The Vessel Tullamore College (Jamie Nolan, Tolu Makanjula, Rebecca Lane)