The building which formerly housed the PJ Carroll & Company factory has now been opened as the DKIT School of Informatics & Creative Arts. The transformation has involved an investment of €38 million which according to the Taoiseach represents “a vote of confidence in the Institute’s future and will help further strengthen its capacity to drive economic regeneration in the northeast”. Located on a 45-acre site, the one-time cigarette factory is a listed building having captured national and international attention when built more than 40 years ago to designs by architect Ronnie Tallon of Scott Tallon Walker Architects who was among the distinguished guests at the official opening.
The original building became a symbol of Ireland’s emerging industrial base and the shift towards improved working environments. Having been acquired by Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) for more than €18m in 2002, almost €20m of National Development Plan funding has since been invested in refurbishing part of the building that now provides approximately 11,000 sq metres of accommodation for the Institute’s School of Informatics & Creative Arts. The Carroll’s Building now accommodates more than one-fifth of DkIT’s 6,200 third- and fourth-level students.
Scott Tallon Walker Architects led the refurbishment programme with John Sisk & Son Ltd as main contractors.
The LAMA Awards, now in their fifth year recognises excellence in construction at local, county and national level. The annual awards ceremony commends individuals, initiatives, private companies and people for their outstanding contributions and projects of benefit to the community.
The LAMA Awards were held on the 22nd of January 2011 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry.
Scott Tallon Walker Architects were overall winners in each of the 3 categories in which we were nominated.
Best Architect was awarded to Scott Tallon Walker for a diversity of public/private projects and for our contribution to the community, CSR (corporate social responsibility), sponsorship, committees, voluntary work, lectures and charities.
The National Impact Award recognises large developments from across the country that had an impact on the nation as a whole. Populous & Scott Tallon Walker Architects were nominated by South Dublin County Council for Aviva Stadium.
If Sean Lemass and TK Whitaker invented modern Ireland, it was Ronnie Tallon preimently among his peers who put shape on it.
THERE’S AN APOCRYPHAL story about a young architect who joined the staff of Scott Tallon Walker. He was given a project to draw up – it had already been designed, of course – and came to believe that the staircase was in the wrong place. So he sought a meeting with Ronnie Tallon to discuss the matter. Ushered in to the great man’s presence in his grand office on the piano nobile of 19 Merrion Square, the young architect explained his reservations about having the staircase so rigidly aligned on the modular grid of the building, and had the temerity to ask: “Why do we have to do it like this?” Dr Ronald Tallon, in his characteristic halting voice derived from an early speech impediment, simply replied: “Because God . . . is watching.” The young architect might have been in two minds about whether Ronnie was referring to The Man Above, or simply to himself as the autocratic pater familias of Ireland’s leading architects.
Talking over lunch at his modernist glass, steel and concrete brick home in Foxrock – itself an homage to his architectural hero, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whose Farnsworth House in Illinois provided the template – Tallon laughs at the story and admits that it could even be true. Because, to him, modernism is the one true religion. The flat-roofed house on a beautiful wooded site adjoining Foxrock Golf Club was built in three phases, starting in 1969, and provides a tranquil home for Ronnie and his wife Nora, both now in their early 80s. Amazingly, given its location, he recalls that they bought the then swampy two-acre site in the mid-1960s for just £2,000. Even by then, Tallon was already in the front rank of Irish architects, with two Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) gold medals – one for the RTÉ television studios at Montrose and the other for the GEC factory in Dundalk, both completed in the early 1960s. Now he has won the RIAI’s first James Gandon Medal for lifetime achievement.
At the award ceremony, sculptor Michael Warren spoke of the “exhilarating experience” of collaborating with Ronnie over the past 30 years, while Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan described him as “my most unforgettable character . . . the only man who has consistently changed my mind” – and usually got his own way, in the end. If Seán Lemass and TK Whitaker invented modern Ireland, it was Ronnie Tallon, pre-eminently among his peers, who put shape on it, with a range of major buildings that have (mostly) stood the test of time – along with his mentor Michael Scott, partner in practice Robin Walker, and others such as the late Sam Stephenson and Arthur Gibney.
Dr Ronnie Tallon has been awarded the inaugural James Gandon Medal, a lifetime achievement award, by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. Dr Tallon’s designs are evident all over Ireland, from the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park, Carroll’s Cigarette Factory in Dundalk; and the O’Reilly Hall, UCD to Spencer Dock Development and the Gate Theatre. Most Irish people will have worked, slept, ate, worshiped in or walked by one of his designs over their lifetime. “Dr Tallon’s impact on the landscape of Ireland is arguably greater than any other person’s of our time. Everywhere you look around Ireland, you can see evidence of his work,” said Paul Keogh, President, RIAI, at the awards ceremony.
Dr Tallon was nominated for the medal by RIAI president, Mr Paul Keogh. The nomination was unanimously passed by the council of the RIAI. The medal is the first life time achievement award that the RIAI have ever bestowed on an individual.
For part of the twentieth century, Dr Tallon and his practice were the only architects in Ireland to gain international recognition for the continuous excellence of their buildings. While Irish architecture has changed dramatically since the 1960s, Dr Tallon’s work still retains a special pre-eminence, not just for his landmark buildings of distinction, but for a large body of work of consistent and continuous quality, produced over a career spanning six decades.
Scott Tallon Walker, Dr Tallon’s practice, is one of the leading architectural firms in Europe and one of the few to have been awarded a prestigious Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Entrusted with important projects commissioned by both public institutions and large private companies, Dr Tallon and his practice has long been recognised for producing well-designed buildings of a consistent high quality
Two projects, one in Ireland and one in Canada, shared the inaugural ONCE prize at WAF for accessible design. They were the Aviva Stadium in Dublin designed by Populous and Scott Tallon Walker, and the West Vancouver Community Centre in Canada designed by Hughes Condon Marler Architects. All projects shortlisted at WAF were eligible to enter the ONCE awards.
Aviva Stadium was Highly Commended in the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in the Sport category.
Congratulations to all the winners. Futher information on the World Architecture Festival is available at World Architecture Festival
The best of Irish architectural design was honoured at the 11th annual OPUS Architecture and Construction Awards at Plan Expo Green in the Convention Centre, Dublin on Tuesday, 2nd November 2010.
Scott Tallon Walker Architects in conjunction with Populous won an award in the Over €20 million category for Aviva Stadium which was constructed by John Sisk & Son.
Aviva Stadium was praised for being “contextually skillful” in the way its roof rises and falls to fit into its neighbourhood. The stadium was noted as an example of how good design can transform an ordinary brief on a difficult site through a few well-chosen and strategic moves.
Scott Tallon Walker were also commended for in the Over €20 million category for the Gibson Hotel, Dublin constructed by Michael Mcnamara and in the €2million to €20 million category for Humanities and Social Science Building NUI, Maynooth constructed by Walls Construction.
The OPUS Architecture & Construction Awards were devised by the organisers of Plan Expo (Expo Events) to reflect and reinforce the symbiotic relationship between design and construction.