RIAI Honours Shane O’Toole and Dr Ellen Rowley

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), the regulatory and support body for architects in Ireland, presented two esteemed awards at its Honorary Fellowship Lectures, which took place at the RIAI headquarters on Merrion Square in Dublin last night.

Award-winning architectural critic Shane O’Toole received an Honorary Fellowship, while architectural historian Dr Ellen Rowley received an Honorary Membership. Both delivered lectures at the sold out event. Shane O’Toole spoke on the topic “When Wrecking Balls Swing” while Dr Ellen Rowley’s theme was “Women in Irish Architecture in the 1940s”.  

Recipient of the Honorary Fellowship, Shane O’Toole is an award-winning architectural critic.  A graduate in architecture from UCD and no longer practicing as an architect, Shane’s passion for the sector has transferred to the written word and he has published hundreds of articles, mostly on 20th century and contemporary architecture.  He was shortlisted twice in the 2014 CICA (The International Committee of Architectural Critics) Book and Journal Awards for contributions to Architecture Ireland and the RIAI Annual Review – Irish Architecture. 

Carole Pollard, RIAI President, commented: “We are delighted to award these honours to Shane and Ellen for their outstanding contribution to the architecture profession.  By making honorary fellowships and memberships, the RIAI recognises people who have contributed to architecture at the broadest level, including through critical engagement, promotion, outreach, scholarship and education. Shane’s chronicling of recent and contemporary Irish architecture has ensured that Irish architecture is highly regarded on the world stage, while the stories Ellen has uncovered have literally shone new light onto buildings that were forgotten and underappreciated.  Both are very accomplished in their fields and are deserving recipients of the Honorary Fellowship and Honorary Membership.”

Recipient of the Honorary Fellowship, Dr Ellen Rowley is a cultural and architectural historian, educator and writer who combines the highest academic scholarship with a critical eye and genuine passion for her work.  Since 2011, she has led pioneering research of Dublin city’s 20th century architecture for Dublin City Council and the Heritage Council, breathing life into dusty corners of architectural history.