Scroll →
← Top

O'Donnell + Tuomey receive the RIAI Gold Medal for The Lyric Theatre

08 December 2021

O'Donnell + Tuomey receive the RIAI Gold Medal for The Lyric Theatre

The RIAI Gold Medal (2010-2012) was awarded to O’Donnell + Tuomey for the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, on 8th December 2021. The medal was presented by RIAI President Ciaran O’Connor to Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey at a small event at the Irish Architectural Archive.

The Lyric Theatre was the subject of a design competition won in 2003 by O’Donnell + Tuomey. The Architects then engaged in an intense and extensive dialogue with client and users before being novated in 2009 to join the main contractor for a two-year construction period.

Viewed after a first decade in service the Lyric today is a deeply considered and exquisitely crafted building which responds to and engages with its physical and cultural contexts and enriches both. It combines the welcome of arrival with the drama of movement and the surprise of discovery on many levels. It integrates public functions and programmatic requirements in a generous, innovative and mutually supportive way and it serves as a focal point for the local community and the wider creative community of the city and beyond. This distinguished piece of Architecture is a very worthy and welcome addition to the ranks of the winners of the RIAI Gold Medal.”

Jury Citation

The RIAI Gold is the highest honour in Irish Architecture and has been presented by the RIAI since 1934 for a design of exceptional merit by an RIAI architect, in Ireland or internationally. The project must be completed within a defined three-year period and the medal is awarded several years after completion so that the success of the building can be confirmed by the passage of time.

There was a strong shortlist of buildings for the RIAI Gold Medal for the period 2010-2012, from which the Lyric Theatre was chosen by the Jury as the Winner:

  • Heneghan Peng Architects - Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre
  • Denis Byrne Architects - Gas Networks Services Centre
  • Donnelly Turpin Architects - Rathmines Square and Leisure Centre
  • Scott Tallon Walker Architects - The Aviva Stadium
  • McCullough Mulvin Architects - Trinity Long Room Hub
  • Robin Lee Architecture - Wexford County Council Headquarters with Arthur Gibney & Partners

The Gold Medal Jury

  • Peter Hynes FRIAI, Chair, former Chief Executive, Mayo County Council
  • Robert Bourke MRIAI, Director Robert Bourke Architects
  • Catherine Crowe MRIAI, Director Luca Architecture
  • Yvonne Farrell FRIAI, Director Grafton Architects
  • Ger Harvey MRIAI, OPW Architects
  • Bob Hannan MRIAI, Senior Architect, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
  • Sinead Hughes MRIAI, Associate Architect, MOLA Architecture
  • Joan McCoy MRIAI, Director White Ink Architects
  • John Parker MRIAI, Director ABK Architects

As a society we place enormous trust in our architects, charging them with visualising and designing the buildings which shape the environment in which we live our daily lives. Our architecture not only reflects the contemporary moment in which it was built. It also captures that moment for future generations, allowing them a greater understanding of the past from which the modern age has flowed. That is an invaluable gift to society, and a great responsibility for all those charged with the creation and construction of the edifices which define our landscapes. This Triennial Gold Medal is an important recognition of those who have excelled in this most critical field. I congratulate its winners, and commend The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland for its greatly valuable and generous work.”

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

  • Newsletter

You’d like to hear from us via:

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Website Design and Development: WorkGroup