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Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey have been named as the 2015 recipients of the Royal Gold Medal, the world’s most prestigious architecture award.
A tour de force in contemporary Irish and British architecture, Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey co-founded their practice O’Donnell and Tuomey in Dublin during 1988, having previously worked together for internationally renowned architects Stirling Wilford Associates and Colquhoun & Miller in London. Their new practice coupled Sheila’s quiet, studied ‘rationalism’ alongside John’s fluent, rhetorical ‘constructivism’ and through their buildings, publications, exhibitions and teaching they have forged a confident new identity for Irish architecture.
In the early 1990s, O’Donnell and Tuomey were part of the ‘Group 91 Architects’ group whose collective skill in masterplanning spearheaded the regeneration of Dublin’s neglected Temple Bar. It was the pair’s first permanent building, the Irish Film Institute (1991) that brought them profile and acclaim for its dynamic contribution to the revitalised Dublin quarter.
Their early work, from a private home in Navan to schools, public housing and community buildings, provided the canvas for them to experiment and evolve their unconventional creative approach and celebrated style. More recent projects include the modest but brilliant Photographers’ Gallery in Soho and the exceptional 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize-shortlisted Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics.
Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey will be presented with the 2015 Royal Gold Medal at a special event at the RIBA at 66 Portland Place, London W1 on 3 February 2015.
John Tuomey will gavee a special tour of their refurbish Provost’s House Stables in this year’s Open House Dublin.
photography Amelia Stein