Minister Quinn announces Design Competition for New Urban Primary School

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today announced an architectural design competition for a new primary school in an urban setting.

A site at Harcourt Terrace, Dublin 2, is being acquired from the Office of Public Works and the competition will be for the award of an actual commission for this specific site. The site comprises the former Garda Station at Harcourt Terrace and Irish Film Censor Building, overlooking the Grand Canal.

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The brief will be for a 24 classroom primary school, with a Special Needs Unit. The total floor size will be approximately 4,700 square metres.

Announcing this latest competition, the Minister said, “As an architect myself, I very much appreciate the importance of excellent design in providing for the learning spaces of the future.”

 “The high response rates and quality of entrants to the two previous competitions is very encouraging and highlights the fact that the competitive process is a great option for procuring school designs.”

“The site involved in this competition is a wonderful opportunity for a creative team – but it will be challenging.  So, we are proposing a two-stage process, to minimise costs for respondents and to encourage a high number of entrants.”

This latest competition will be an architect-led full design team competition. The competition jury will select a shortlist of entries to go forward to Stage 2, where more detailed design responses will be required.

It follows on from the successful 2012 competition to design a new second-level school in Kingswood, Tallaght, and last year’s design ideas competition for a primary school.

The 2012 competition, which was won by Scottish firm, ARPL Architects, attracted the highest ever number of entries for an Irish design competition, with 154 submissions. Included in this were 43 international entries from 14 countries.

Earlier this year, Minister Quinn announced Gilroy McMahon Architects as the winner of the 2013 design ideas competition for primary schools. The results will inform the future design of primary schools, and may also be used in the building of new primary schools as appropriate.

The Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland will administer the competition on behalf of the Department.

Registration will open in early September.