A couple from Ardivaghan, Mullingar picked up the top honour at the inaugural Rural Housing Design awards ceremony held in the County Buildings, Mullingar on Monday this week.
Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Cllr Fintan Cooney, officiated at the awards, which recognise and publicise exemplars of good building design based upon sustainable principles within the county.
The purpose of the awards scheme is to promote good design practice, to increase public awareness of the value of good design in the countryside, and to highlight the importance of energy efficient approaches to design. The scheme provides for two categories: new builds, and refurbishment/ extension of existing domestic rural properties. The award winners will over time form a compilation of examples of best practice which will be used to inform future design.
Thirteen nominations were shortlisted in the competition. On October 20 2009, the adjudication board visited each property, reviewed the applications, and assessed the planning applications. Each entry was assessed on the basis of siting, landscaping, the degree to which the development responds to individual site characteristics, sustainability, energy efficiency, and design.
Both the owners of the winning properties and their respective architects were presented with an innovative piece of crystal art designed by Mullingar Crystal.
The winners of the new build category were Andrew and Jenny Fay of Ardivaghan, Mullingar and Denis Byrne Architects, 26 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1. Commended in this category were Neil and Barbara Cleary of Ballagh, Mullingar and architect Philip Ginnell, Cullion, Mullingar.
First place in the extension/ refurbishment category went to Kathleen and Joe Murphy of Ballynacarrigy and Shaffrey Architects & Associates, 29 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1. Commended in this category were Nicola Fay of Ballinafid, Multyfarnham and Denis Byrne Architects; and Caroline and Brian Boyle of Ballycomoyle, Castlepollard, and John Fleming Architects, Marlinstown Office Park, Mullingar.
The winning entries are on public display in the County Buildings, Mullingar and can also be viewed online at www.westmeathcoco.ie Westmeath County Council will seek to build upon the success of this event and continue to reward good design and sustainable practices.