By Cian Molloy - 18 June, 2017
The effort to achieve high quality standards was key to the successful delivery of the project and St Michael’s can only serve as a good practice model for the Society’s housing nationally.
A St Vincent de Paul scheme to provide permanent homes for the elderly in Foxford, Co. Mayo, has earned the Society a ‘Housing Project of the Year’ Award.
The St Michael’s Housing Project, comprising 8 one and two-bedroom houses plus a community building, was designed by the Mayo practice of John Halligan Architects.
In addition to wanting buildings that were low maintenance internally and externally, the Society’s brief stipulated that the design should help create a community atmosphere and help foster new friendships among the occupants, the first of whom moved into the new homes in April last year.
The residents have easy pedestrian access to shops and other services in Foxford town centre, thanks to a path that runs from the back of St Michael’s through the grounds of the parish church to the town centre.
The inaugural ‘Building and Architect of the Year Awards’ were held earlier this month in Dublin’s Mansion House and the judges noted that the St Michael’s scheme sits well within its surrounding landscape in a picturesque location. The homes feature natural slate roofing, frontages made of local stone, and plaster that has a permanent-colour finish. To ensure energy-efficiency, the houses have been fitted with triple glazing throughout.
“We are delighted to be involved in this award-winning project and to receive industry recognition for this social housing scheme,” said architect John Halligan on behalf of his practice. “The St Vincent de Paul Foxford committee worked tirelessly with the design team to deliver a high quality development.”
The project was funded by Mayo County Council under the national local authority housing programme, and the contractor was Clydesdale Construction.
Paula Kenny, the SVP’s national manager for social housing, said the Society was delighted to win the award, as it demonstrates “the excellent work and dedication of the Society’s volunteer members to meet a local community housing need and the quality of housing provision that can be realised through effective partnership”.
Commenting further, she said: “The members of the Foxford Conference have an immense Vincentian spirit which emanates from all their work, in particular their ongoing dedication to the tenants to ensure a sense of well-being and belonging within the Foxford community.
“The [effort] to achieve high quality standards was key to the successful delivery of the project with the strength of approach further demonstrated in the effective housing and tenant management practices. St Michael’s Scheme and the work of St Patrick’s Conference can only serve as a good practice model for the Society’s housing nationally.”
The overall building of the year award was won by ‘Elizabeth’s Tree House’, which is a new dining hall designed by McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects at Barretstown Camp in Co. Kildare.
Barretstown is a children’s charity offering free camps and programmes designed for children and their families affected by cancer and serious illnesses, supported by on-site medical and nursing care.