Architects queue up to design Galway Docks development

More than 170 architects, architectural graduates, and students already have registered their interest in submitting their ideas for the redevelopment of the Centre Pier in Galway Harbour.

The Galway Harbour ‘Ideas’ competition is part of Open House Galway, where over one weekend, from October 16 to 18, Galway’s best examples of engaging architectural design open their doors to the public. The event, in partnership with the Irish Architecture Foundation, will feature buildings of quality design in the city and its environs including private dwellings, incorporating sustainable materials and innovative design, as well as commercial, public, and educational buildings.

Competitors are being asked to design a building which incorporates a public stage, retail space, marina facilities, tourist information kiosk, and commercial offices. The building should reflect Galway’s importance as a maritime and cultural city and offer a clear image and potential branding for the City of the Tribes.

There is a combined prize fund of €11,000, provided by Galway Harbour Company and the RIAI available to the winners of the competition.

Competition is expected to be fierce and Eamon Bradshaw of Galway Harbour Company says he is looking forward to seeing all of the creative possibilities in the entries. “The exciting potential and significant value to the city of the Docks area was dramatically demonstrated during the Volvo Ocean Stopover earlier this year,” he said. “I believe the results of this competition will provide us with a blueprint for the future development of this landmark location. We are really looking forward to the results of the work of so many creative minds.”

Registrations have been received from far and wide, with the west of Ireland particularly well represented. There is still time for those interested to register to take part in the competition. The closing date is September 25 with submissions due on October 2. The competition will be assessed by a panel of adjudicators and then put on public display as part of Open House Galway. Members of the jury include Eamon Bradshaw, chief executive, Galway Harbour Company; Sebastian Feldmann, senior executive architect, Galway City Council; John McLaughlin, director of architecture, Dublin Docklands Development Authority; Garry Hynes, artistic director, Druid; and Marcus Donaghy, Donaghy + Dimond Architects. For more information on the competition visit The inaugural Open House Galway architectural festival is a welcome addition to Galway’s calendar of artistic events. “Open House Galway is a wonderful opportunity to visit buildings not usually accessible to the general public and learn from the architect of each building, whether it is a private house or a public building, all about the design, lay-out and materials used,” said Patrick McCabe of Simon J Kelly & Partners, chairman of the working group that organises Open House Galway. “Galway has examples of some very interesting architectural design and Open House Galway provides the key to that architecture.”



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