Prestigious RIAI award for ‘Nano Nagle Place’ Architects

28 October 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Nano Nagle Place: Beyond the doors is a hidden gem, with restored stone buildings and a garden

Leading Cork Architects & Conservation Consultants, JCA Architects (based in the Courthouse Chambers, Washington Street) have won Prestigious Award for Urban Design and Master Planning renewal project for the former City Centre Convent now known as Nano Nagle Place, Douglas Street, Cork. The annual RIAI Awards are one of the longest running and most prestigious architectural awards in Ireland.

On the Douglas Street side: Pictured celebrating the RIAI Award win are Michael O’Sullivan, former Development Director Nano Nagle Place, Sister Bride, Presentation Sister, board member Nano Nagle Place, Jim Corr,  former Chairman Nano Nagle Place and Gareth O’Callaghan, Director, JCA Architects. The annual RIAI Awards are one of the longest running and most prestigious architectural awards in Ireland.
Pictures Gerard McCarthy Photography

In the Garden: Pictured celebrating the RIAI Award win are Sister Bride, Presentation Sister, board member Nano Nagle Place, Jim Corr,  former Chairman Nano Nagle Place, Gareth O’Callaghan, Director, JCA Architects and Shane Clarke, Chief Executive, Nano Nagle Place. The annual RIAI Awards are one of the longest running and most prestigious architectural awards in Ireland.
Pictures Gerard McCarthy Photography

Gareth O’Callaghan, Director at JCA Architects stated,

“We are honoured and delighted to receive this award for a project that has been such an enriching experience for us over the past number of years. The conservation and design of Nano Nagle Place has been one of the most memorable and career fulfilling projects that we have had the pleasure to work on. The design process was a real team effort that would not have been possible without the Presentation Sisters, Chairman and the Board of Directors at Nano Nagle Place, who were an integral part of the journey and had such clear vision from the beginning, that really steered us all forward.”

The jury of the RIAI Awards stated, “

‘Nano Nagle Place’ is an exemplar urban renewal project demonstrating how large redundant building complexes can be sensitively transformed, with a varied mix of uses to create a very attractive destination that positively contributes to the surrounding area. The success of the completed project is on many levels, the sustainable reuse of historic buildings retaining their overall character and significance, the transmission of the sites values and the continuity of the memory of the original religious community, the re-organisation of private space to make it more accessible and to provide a contemporary meeting place and the considered and multi-layered professional approach and teamwork required for successful urban renewal and place-making of sensitive heritage.”

Shane Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of Nano Nagle Place stated,

“…They have woven in the 21st Century modernist home for the UCC / CIT School of Architecture and their master plan is helping drive regeneration in Cork’s historic South Parish neighbourhood. Working with our esteemed Chairman Jim Corr and under the direction of Development Director Michael O’Sullivan, the team at JCA can be justifiably proud at securing the award. It’s a joy to come to work at Nano Nagle Place. Cork is culturally richer for such a restoration and evidence that heritage investment is investment in our shared history and in our living communities!”

About JCA Architects

JCA Architects is an established multi-disciplinary architectural practice with offices in Cork City and Dunboyne, Co. Meath. Founded by Jack Coughlan in 1985 as an architectural practice producing contemporary designs, JCA has expanded to incorporate the disciplines of architectural conservation, retail and passive house design. The in-house expertise in all these areas allows JCA to provide full design and project management services from concept stage to completion.

JCA is a vibrant practice with a broad skill base comprising architects, project managers, architectural conservation consultants, architectural technologists and graphic artists with supporting administration providing a comprehensive and rapid design and execution process.

About Nano Nagle Place

Seven years ago the buildings of the South Presentation Convent were in a perilous position. As the area around the convent changed, the need for the school complex the site housed declined and the school closed its doors in 2006. Most of the buildings, some over 200 years old, sat empty with just a few resident sisters to maintain them.

The Presentation Sisters had to plan for the future. With so many listed buildings housed upon it, the site was of little development value. What was to be done?

The Presentation Sisters decided to act, just as their foundress had done nearly two hundred and fifty years before. They set up a company, appointed a voluntary board, and put in place plans to redevelop ‘South Pres’ as a special place for the people of Cork City.

The heritage buildings have been lovingly regenerated, they now house educational charities and rooms are also available to let by community groups, charities and local businesses. The educationalists and campaigners for social justice.

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