Inspirational projects recognised at RICS Awards 2024

Exemplary and innovative schemes representing the very best built projects across Northern Ireland were lauded at an awards ceremony in Custom House, Belfast…

A diverse range of building projects in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry have picked up the top accolades in the Northern Ireland round of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2024. Held at Custom House in Belfast, the regional awards included the
Belfast projects Bruce Street (Residential Development) and Queen’s Business School Student Hub (Public Sector Project).

Sean Dolan’s GAC/Creevagh Heights in Derry/Londerry triumphed in the Community  Benefit Project category, while awards also went to the Belfast builds St Comgall’s – Ionad  Eileen Howell (Refurbishment/Revitalisation Project) and Templemore Baths (Heritage  Project). The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure, recognising outstanding achievement, teamwork and companies.

Regional winners are shortlisted for the RICS Awards Grand Final, which will take place in The Park Plaza Riverbank, London on October 4. Each project will compete at a national  level, with one of the national winners going on to win the ultimate accolade of Project of the Year.

Michael Hannaway, Chair of the NI RICS Awards judging panel, said, “These winning projects are a true testament to the hard work and dedication of industry professionals in Northern Ireland. The talent and collaborative approaches undertaken by the teams behind these projects have resulted in exemplary and innovative schemes that really do represent the very best built projects across Northern Ireland.

“RICS is delighted to recognise the hard  work that went behind ensuring these projects were delivered successfully and I wish the winning projects the best of luck in the grand final later this year.”

NI’S WINNING PROJECTS:

BRUCE STREET, BELFAST – RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

Developed by MRP and constructed by McAleer & Rushe, Bruce Street is an exceptional student accommodation scheme delivering 269 beautifully designed ensuite studio apartments for leading operator Vita Students, representing their first residence in Northern Ireland. Achieving completion within an impressive 18 months, it not only raises the bar of best-in-class student living, but also significantly enhances urban living within Belfast City Centre. From early site identification and strategic site utilisation to  collaborative planning and timely delivery, Bruce Street is a symbol of success, bustling with activity and providing a safe home for hundreds of students.

QUEEN’S BUSINESS SCHOOL’S STUDENT HUB, BELFAST – PUBLIC SECTOR PROJECT

Design and delivery of the Student Hub was led by TODD Architects, working closely with WSP’s project management/cost consultancy teams. The brief was particularly demanding,  with requirement both to ensure flexibility in its accommodation to adapt to evolving teaching and learning pedagogies for its post-graduate students and to become an  exemplar in sustainable building design. The site context was particularly challenging. The  contemporary  architectural solution acknowledges the neighbouring listed building in its form and materiality, whilst also responding to the sensitive landscape, with the building
carefully set into its sloping site, ensuring user-connectivity with the surrounding mature woodland.

SEAN DOLAN’S GAC/CREEVAGH HEIGHTS, DERRY – COMMUNITY BENEFIT PROJECT

Radius is always looking at how it can bring innovative approaches to how it develops new homes and builds strong communities. Working with Sean Dolan’s and the other organisations, Radius has built a strong partnership approach, which has been able to deliver a huge amount, including 119 exceptional homes and a first-class new sports and community facility. This project allowed a unique partnership approach which would go beyond the construction of houses or a sports facility. It delivered a high-quality, integrated community project for wider community use.

ST COMGALL’S–IONAD EILEEN HOWELL, BELFAST – REFURBISHMENT/ REVITALISATION PROJECT

An historic building in west Belfast with stunning Neo-Georgian brickwork and traditional  slated roofs, it holds immense local significance. The once derelict and dilapidated former school St Comgall’s, owned by Falls Community Council, has undergone a remarkable  transformation. Refurbishment and repair have brought new life into the building, making it a valuable asset for the local community. With its added offices, café, and versatile spaces for events and exhibitions, the Grade B1-listed building on Divis Street has been meticulously refurbished, resulting in a stunning example of first-class urban regeneration in Belfast.

TEMPLEMORE BATHS, BELFAST – HERITAGE PROJECT

The project has achieved the successful restoration of a Grade B listed building of significant architectural interest, as one of  only two Victorian baths remaining in the city and the only remaining functioning Victorian bath in Ireland. Most of the original  architectural detailing has been retained, alongside an 80% salvage rate of materials. This project is unique as the building has been restored to its original purpose, with the  transformation documented and showcased within the new interpretative space. All  stakeholders involved ensured that the architectural, historic and social interest was  captured and restored in equal measure.

 

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