Scott Tallon Walker

First published: Sat, Jul 5, 2014, 01:00 Ronnie Tallon, who has died at home, aged 87, was among the greatest and most prolific architects in Irish history. “No other architect had the same stature and range of work,” said fellow practitioner Shane de Blacam. “It is the consistency, the quality and the scale of his work, as well as the strength and endurance of the practice he established that was so extraordinary. He prevailed like no other architect in Ireland. “Yet I never heard him speak in public. He was intensely modest and unassuming.” Ronald Joseph Tallon was the second eldest of eight children, four boys and four girls, born in Dublin to Michael and Jenny (née McDermott) Tallon. His father was a shopkeeper in Townsend Street. He grew up on Griffith Avenue and attended Coláiste Mhuire, while also taking night classes in the College of Art, under Seán Keating, during his last two years at school. He wanted to go on to study painting but his parents favoured a career in accountancy. Architecture at UCD was the compromise. While a student, he worked holiday periods with Peppard & Duffy on the design and construction of Ballyowen Sanatorium at Lucan. He graduated in 1950 and joined the Office of Public Works the following year, working on Drogheda post office.

In 1956 he was headhunted by Michael Scott and a partnership, Michael Scott & Associates (now Scott Tallon Walker), was established in 1959 between Scott (1905-89), Patrick Scott (no relation), Robin Walker (1924-91) and Ronnie. Patrick Scott (1921-2014) soon concentrated full time on his work as a painter. Seen from this distance, their early work – from 1960 until 1975 in particular, when Queen Elizabeth presented the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, then the greatest prize in world architecture, to Michael Scott for the work of the practice – defines the coming of age of our Republic; it appears to be nothing less than the physical manifestation of Lemass and Whitaker’s radical plan for Ireland’s modernisation. His flat-roofed, glass-fronted church at Knockanure, near Moyvane, Co Kerry, pre-dating Vatican II, was the first completely modern church in the country. The list goes on and on, from the Lisney offices on St Stephen’s Green, Dublin’s first great modernist urban infill building, to the serenely ethereal Carroll’s factory, now part of Dundalk IT, and from the daring Goulding Summerhouse near Enniskerry to the monumental Bank of Ireland headquarters on Baggot Street. He brought campus planning to Ireland at RTÉ, where he was both master planner and architect for more than 50 years. He redefined the business park, notably at East Point in Dublin, and built scores of buildings for half a dozen universities and as many hospitals. When the pope visited Ireland in 1979, Ronnie was entrusted with staging the centrepiece Mass for one million people in the Phoenix Park, the largest gathering in Ireland for almost 150 years. He created a handful of glorious houses, championed the place of art in architecture and also collaborated with Michael Warren to create the 1798 Tulach a’ tSolais memorial at Oulart in Wexford. Along the way, he pioneered radical environmental engineering concepts, memorably so at Wood Quay, where his widely emulated “open” design for the civic offices also recast the ethos of local governance.

Aviva Stadium, One of his last buildings, designed in collaboration with Populous, was the Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road. His approach to architecture was indebted to the example of both the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto, Japan, and the American works of the former Bauhaus director, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the founders of the modern movement. His RTÉ campus was exhibited in the Irish pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, devoted to the theme “Absorbing Modernity, 1914-2014”, while Biennale director Rem Koolhaas also selected the Carroll’s Factory for the international exhibition he curated with Harvard University. Ronnie was the only architect to win not just one, but two, RIAI Triennial Gold Medals while still in his thirties. In 2010 the RIAI awarded him the inaugural James Gandon Medal for lifetime achievement in architecture. His other honours include a papal knighthood and an honorary doctorate of laws from UCD, He was a trustee of the Gate Theatre. He married Nora Vize in 1953. They made a perfect pair: he tall, self-deprecating and softly spoken, she elegant, charming and a sparkling hostess. He is survived by Nora, brothers Eddie and Michael, sisters Marie, Pauline and Irene, son Michael, daughters Joan, Pat, Yvonne and Deirdre and 22 grandchildren.


UCLH’s planning application for Phase 4 was approved by Camden Council planners on March 20. Pending approval by the Greater London Authority, it means building work can start in spring 2015. Proton Beam Therapy, a new world-leading radiotherapy for cancer patients, will be provided below ground and a state-of-the-art patient facility including a short stay surgical unit with inpatient beds and operating theatres will be built above ground.

The decision is a considerable milestone for this substantial and complex project that will end the need for UK children to travel to the US for life-saving treatment and, with a sister unit at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, will treat the most paediatric patients in the world.


On behalf of University College London Hospitals, a full planning application has been submitted to Camden London Borough Council for the proposed Proton Beam Therapy Centre located at Grafton Way, London.

The proposal consists of the redevelopment of the former Odeon site and demolition of the Rosenheim Building to provide a Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) cancer treatment facility and day surgery facilities in 4 levels of basement; inpatient medical facilities and a ground floor retail unit (175 sq m approximate GIA) in a 7 storey development above ground (34,596.5 sq m GIA in total) including roof plant, a new pedestrian entrance on corner of Grafton Way and Huntley Street, a new service entrance on Huntley Street, a ground floor drop-off area off Grafton Way, and three roof gardens; and the relocation of the vacuum insulated evaporator (VIE) to University Street frontage inside a new enclosure.

The development will provide a cutting edge and significant enhancement to therapeutic cancer treatment services in the UK by providing world-leading radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. This will have clear benefits for the health of the UK population, and cannot be over-stated being a clear Central Government priority. PBT targets tumours more accurately therefore resulting in less damage to surrounding tissue and reduced side effects, and significantly improving treatment in particularly vulnerable groups such as children.

The proposed development has been designed with spare capacity for 10 years of activity growth, and so can accommodate an increase in demand for this form of cancer treatment. 165 hospital beds will be provided helping to relieve the existing shortfall in beds at UCLH. The building has been specially designed in order that it can be easily cleaned/maintained, thereby ensuring a clean and sterile environment in which particularly vulnerable cancer patients can recover. The scheme will comprise new, below ground day surgery facilities thereby relieving the existing pressure on surgery facilities elsewhere within the UCLH estate, and providing much-needed support to UCLH cancer services

The development will deliver an exceptional design using very high quality materials befitting of the world-class nature of the PBT facility housed within. This will result in a significant enhancement to the appearance of the site, the surrounding area and Bloomsbury Conservation Area.

The proposed development will meet the BREEAM ‘excellent’ standard, hence giving rise to minimal carbon emissions. This is a significant enhancement to the existing situation at the Rosenheim Building, which by virtue of its historic construction is very energy inefficient.

Aside from the clear medical benefits of the proposals, the development will make use of an urban brownfield site, half of which has been vacant for approximately 40 years, hence repairing the urban fabric with a building of exceptional quality and bringing the land back into use.

The Proton Beam Therapy Centre at University College London Hospital is designed by Scott Tallon Walker Architects in association with Edward Williams Architects & Tsoi Kobus & Associates


Associate Director Kevin Bates, who heads up the office of Scott Tallon Walker Architects in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been awarded the highest Architectural Award from Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. The RIAI Gold Medal, which is awarded every three years, was presented to Kevin by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, in November 2013.

The winning project is a set of Religious Hermitages (Postinia) located on a hillside in the Comeragh Mountains, Tipperary, in Ireland, which was completed in 2004 and designed with his former partner, Tom Maher.

The RIAI Citation included “Close to mature broad leaf trees, Poustinia is impeccably detailed and built. Every element is exquisitely considered. The rooms cantilevered off the hillside make the lightest of footprints. The cranked plan configuration with bespoke furniture and floors of local limestone entrap smooth plastered internal space to overlook a wider strikingly contrasting landscape. External walls and roofs fuse in a composition of alternating rough sawn douglas fir and smooth sawn larch strips. The contrasts of this wonderfully enigmatic project are resolved in ways which evoke its very spirit. Contradictions are synthesised in a clear and simple idea, suggesting a conjunction of the temporal and the transcendent”.


Plans for a new clinical facility in London – housing the world’s most advanced form of radiotherapy – are now open for public consultation.

The new development will start with the construction of a Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) Centre below ground. A state-of-the-art patient facility with patient beds and operating theatres will then be built above ground.

The whole facility is planned to be over 25,000 sq m with four floors below ground and five floors above ground. People will access the Centre through a main entrance at ground floor level on the corner of Grafton Way and Huntley Street.

Over the coming weeks UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) will be listening to what local politicians, residents, patients and staff have to say about the proposals for the site on Grafton Way and Huntley Street in the heart of the capital. A public exhibition of the proposals, will be taking place on Monday 7th October, 2.30pm – 7.30pm, and Tuesday 8th October, 2.30pm – 7.30pm in University College Hospital’s Atrium. The development team will be available to answer questions about the proposals and the services that would be provided on site.

The Proton Beam Therapy Centre at University College London Hospital is designed by Scott Tallon Walker Architects in association with Edward Williams Architects & Tsoi Kobus & Associates

Further information is available on the UCLH website.


The UK Government commits £250 million for innovative cancer treatment to save lives and reduce side effects.

A major new cutting edge radiotherapy treatment will be available in the UK thanks to £250 million of government funding to build two new facilities in Manchester and London, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry confirmed today.

The therapy – Proton Beam Therapy – is a particularly important form of cancer treatment as it targets tumours more precisely with less damage to surrounding tissues. This can improve the quality of life following cancer treatment, reduces side effects, especially for children and, because the NHS will be able to treat more people, it will save lives.

Currently, the NHS sends children and adults needing Proton Beam Therapy to the United States, but from 2018 it will be offered to up to 1,500 cancer patients at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London.

The Prime Minister’s commitment to increasing access to advanced radiotherapy treatments will significantly improve the experience for patients and their families who currently have to travel long distances for treatment.


The Proton Beam Therapy Centre at University College London Hospital is designed by Scott Tallon Walker Architects in association with Edward Williams Architects & Tsoi Kobus & Associates


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