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St Mel’s shortlisted for architectural award

By Susan Gately - 30 May, 2015


The €30 million restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford has been shortlisted for an Architecture Award from the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI).

The restoration project was completed in December 2014, five years after a devastating fire gutted Longford’s most iconic building.

Architects Fitzgerald, Kavanagh and partners, designed the remodelled interior, which was reopened in time for Christmas last year, five years after the fire on Christmas day 2009.

The St Mel’s restoration project is one of 36 projects shortlisted for the award from 120 entries across 16 categories, including best commercial, best educational and best health building, best house, best house extension and best housing project, best public building, best international project, best sustainable project and best universal design.

The public now have an opportunity to vote for their favourite architectural project online at http://www.irisharchitectureawards.ie/public-choice/ The online voting is live from until 17 June at midday.

The awards ceremony will be held on 18 June at the Woodquay Venue, Dublin where the results will be announced and presented.

Other nominees for the Public Choice award include Dublin’s Rosie Hackett Bridge, the Dalkey Heritage Centre, the Pavilion of Light at Mardyke Gardens in Cork, the Dooling Coastguard Station in Clare, the Fire Restaurant and Lounge at the Mansion House Dublin and another church, the reinstatement & re-ordering after a fire of St Catherine’s, Meath Street in Dublin.

The RIAI Irish Architecture Awards are in their 26th year. The main focus in the Institute’s campaign is to communicate to the public the value that contemporary architecture makes to society.

The restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford has been widely praised. Speaking just before its reopening, Bishop Francis Duffy said the previous five years had been a story of “transformation from a shell to a beautiful and elegant sacred space”.

Just last weekend on 24 May 2015, a special ceremony was held in the cathedral to bless the new organ.

The event was marked by a ninety minute concert on the organ, with musical pieces specially composed for the night and an organ recital by Professor Gerard Gillen of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

Fitzgerald, Kavanagh and Partners (FKP Architects) is a Dublin-based architectural pratise. According to its mission statement, the company believes “design should seduce and evoke an emotional response, and reflect the practical and aesthetic in business. Above all, good design must serve people”.

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