22 September 2022
By Tom Collins
Wilson Architecture has been named as a winner at the prestigious International Architecture Awards hosted by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The leading architecture firm, headquartered in Cork, was recognised in the “Corporate Office Buildings” category for its work on JCD Group’s Penrose Dock Office Scheme in Cork City.
The world’s first and oldest annual global design awards recognise the most significant and inspirational building and urban planning projects around the world; and set a global standard for architectural achievement worldwide. This year, from a shortlist of over 450 submissions, Wilson Architecture was the only Irish winner, making the achievement even more significant.
The winning projects were honored at a special awards ceremony and Gala Dinner held at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on September 9th, which was attended by Wilson Architecture.
Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President/CEO of The Chicago Athenaeum said “This year’s winning projects show remarkable sensitivity to their surroundings and local cultures, inclusive design, and sustainable solutions. Sustainability, restoration and renovation, and eco-friendly design were paramount to this year’s selection.”
The Wilson Architecture designed €125million Penrose Dock development has a form which is based on classical proportions and which uses pilasters, spandrel beams and glazed panels to achieve a timeless elegance in the façade composition, with the adjacent listed Cork Steam Packet Building providing the inspiration for this design approach. The development embraces its historical urban quayside setting and features a considered design that not only contributes to the architectural quality of its immediate built environment, but also to the wider city centre experience.
The 250,000 sq ft project comprises two separate blocks, Penrose One and Penrose Two, seven and ten storeys high respectively, along with the refurbishment of Penrose House, an existing protected limestone faced structure on the site. Wilson Architecture was appointed to provide a full range of Architectural Services based on the RIAI Standard Scope of Services from conception to completion for the office complex. Their scope also included the Interior Design of the public areas and bespoke office fit-outs.
Commenting on the significant award win, Frank O’Mahony of Wilson Architecture and Lead Architect on Penrose Dock said “It is an honour to be recognised at the The International Architecture Awards, an aspiration of architects the world over. Our winning design embraces the historical and urban setting which includes the original Penrose House, and from which we drew our concept for the classically proportioned facades of the new buildings; and it is wonderful to see this acknowledged on a global scale.”
The quality of the design has enabled Penrose Dock to attract high-end International tenants, resulting in full occupancy of both buildings. Since opening in September 2020, Penrose Dock has been a key differentiator for attracting the best talent and high profile national and international tenants including Grant Thornton, Matheson, Sophos, Varonis, Cadence, Cloudera, IBEC and Qualcomm. The development has achieved Gold LEED Certification, with construction methods and facade materials selected to maximise off-site fabrication and meet the fast-track project schedule while ensuring world class quality that will stand the test of time.
Acknowledging Wilson Architecture’s win, John Cleary, CEO of JCD Group said “We congratulate Frank O’Mahony and the whole team at Wilson Architecture for being announced as a winner at these prestigious international awards. It is a great endorsement of the Penrose Dock development which is now 100% occupied.’’
The International Architecture Awards are open to any qualified architect for spaces anywhere in the world that exemplify design excellence and architectural ambition and deliver meaningful social impact to the public for which they serve. This year’s award winning architects include Zaha Hadid, Aedas, Kohn Fox Pedersen, Hodder and Partners etc. Projects range from significant cultural destinations such as Fuzhou Strait Culture and Art Centre and its beautifully detailed walkways in Fu Jian, China to new city infrastructure such as the elegant Eleftheria Square in the heart of Nicosia, Cyprus; from a stunning sky pool that connects two buildings in downtown London to the new Deformable Modularized COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention Hospital in Shanghai and a UNESCO cultural building in Greenland.
Last year Wilson Architecture scooped the top award in two categories at the national Building and Architect of the Year Awards 2021, including the top accolade of “Building of the Year” for their work on Penrose Dock. It also won the “Building of the Year – Large Office” category.
The multi-award winning firm has offices in Cork, Dublin and China. The company works on a range of projects from commercial to residential, and pharmaceutical to education; and includes a dedicated interior design studio. Wilson Architecture works collaboratively with clients, design teams, and construction contractors to ensure a hands-on approach to delivering successful projects.