Aileen wins architectural pavilion design competition for under 40s

02 December 2016

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) along with JP Corry, has announced the winner of a competition for young architects to design an architectural pavilion forBelfastaround the theme of ‘comfort’.

The Multi-Comfort Pavilion Design Competition 2016 was established to provide local architects under the age of 40 with an opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent. The overall winner for 2016 was Aileen McConaghie, and her pavilion design at Botanic Gardens,Belfast. The award – a luxury weekend away toLondonfor two, aWest Endshow and a visit to the Saint-Gobain Innovation Centre – was presented by honorary RSUA member, broadcaster and designer, Kevin McCloud at Architecture Night 2016 in October.

Entrants were invited to design a unique, semi-permanent pavilion forBelfast, designed around the theme of ‘comfort’, and to be situated in a busy public place inBelfast. Applicants also had to demonstrate three of the possible five multi-comfort pillars: thermal, audio, visual, indoor air and economic comfort.

Commenting on the competition, Ciarán Fox, Director of RSUA, said: “I wish to convey my congratulations to Aileen on her winning design. The Pavilion Design Competition provided local young architects with the platform to unleash their creativity and to showcase their talent. With Belfast being the only city across Ireland to have been accepted into the worldwide 100 Resilient Cities Network, we thought it would be fitting for the competition to help explore the role of the city’s built environment in addressing climate change.”

JP Corry (Ireland) Managing Director, Ciarán McConnell, added: “With buildings accounting for 40% of carbon dioxide emissions inIrelandand theUK, the challenge for architects was to create a low energy structure that provided an attractive, inspiring and joyful environment; to create a place where people want to be. The Saint-Gobain Multi-Comfort building is a wonderful example of how these issues can be addressed, with The Pavilion Design Competition representing a unique opportunity to explore these challenges in an innovative way.  

The judging panel, which consisted of Paul Crowe of Todd Architects (RSUA President), Joan McCoy of White Ink Architects (RSUA Vice-President), Stephen Moon of McGarry-Moon Architects and Chris McComb of JP Corry announced the five finalists as Aileen McConaghie, Hayden Allen, Adam Joyce, Jonathan Gannon and Tara McCloskey.

RSUA President, Paul Crowe, commented: “The competition was inspired by the annual Serpentine Pavilion inLondon’s Hyde Park and the success of the Yellow Pavilion in Kings Cross last year which was designed byBelfastpractice Hall McKnight as part of an international programme of events to showcase Irish design talent. 

“The Multi-Comfort Pavilion Design Competition is a great example of the opportunities that the RSUA is creating for up and coming, young architects who are making a name for themselves, and we hope that next year we will be able to source sufficient funding support to enable the construction of the winning design.

“Our winner, Aileen, took an innovative approach in her concept, whereby instead of adapting the environment to meeting our expectations of comfort, she suggests that we adapt ourselves to the environment.”

Whilst there aren’t plans in place in the current year for the winning design to be constructed, the competition acts as a catalyst for the future inclusion of architectural pavilions in the physical and cultural landscape ofNorthern Ireland.