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Revamped Guildhall scoops second major award

Pictured at the biannual Royal Society of Ulster Architects awards ceremony are Frank Morrison, Project and Design Manager, and Tony Monaghan Regeneration Officer, both with Derry City Council, Bronagh Lynch, Director with Consarc Design Group, Mayor of Derry, Councillor Martin Reilly, John Savage, Project Supervisor with Consarc, and Lord Mayor of Armagh, Councillor Robert Turner.

Pictured at the biannual Royal Society of Ulster Architects awards ceremony are Frank Morrison, Project and Design Manager, and Tony Monaghan Regeneration Officer, both with Derry City Council, Bronagh Lynch, Director with Consarc Design Group, Mayor of Derry, Councillor Martin Reilly, John Savage, Project Supervisor with Consarc, and Lord Mayor of Armagh, Councillor Robert Turner.

 

The Guildhall has scooped the award for Best Conservation Project at an awards ceremony staged by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA).

Derry’s revamped city hall beat off stiff competition from across the north to take the accolade.

The winner was announced at a ceremony at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, in front of an audience of leading architectural professionals and clients.

The RSUA awards aim to raise awareness of the architecture and built environment in the towns and cities across the North, and also recognize the high standard of local architectural practice.

This is the second major award for the Guildhall, with the Royal Institute of British Architects having lauded its Architectural Excellence with an accolade just a month ago.

Architects, Consarc Design Group, were the lead consultant on the £10 million Guildhall regeneration project,which has transformed the landmark building.

As well as enhancing its historical features and creating a bright and open public space, the Guildhall is now a major city centre tourist attraction with a new café, information point and exhibition area.

Consarc was tasked with the restoration of the Grade A listed building, which was built by The Honourable The Irish Society in 1887 on land reclaimed from the River Foyle, at a cost of £18,000.

Congratulating the team behind the project, the Mayor of Derry, Martin Reilly, said: “I am delighted that Consarc have been acknowledged with such a prestigious award for their work on the Guildhall project.

“They have succeeded in beautifully restoring one of Derry’s most iconic landmarks, both enhancing its original features and creating a more welcoming visitor experience for the public.

“The Guildhall can now be enjoyed and utilized in so many ways by everyone, in both its role as a busy civic hub, and an impressive building of unique historic interest.”

The restoration of the Guildhall began in 2010 and was completed in June 2013, and work included the restoration of the stained glass windows, extensive cleaning and repairing of the stonework façade, replacement of all roof finishes, accessibility improvements throughout and a complete refurbishment and remodelling of the internal accommodation.

Over its 120-year history, the Guildhall has been destroyed twice – by fire in 1908 and in bomb attacks in 1972.

The building features 23 original stained glass windows, many of which were gifted by the London companies whose money was used to build it.

The concert organ on the first floor is a major feature of the building, originally costing £2,000.

The Guildhall Clock meanwhile was installed in 1891 and modelled on Big Ben by James Richie & Co Edinburgh at a cost of £456.

To find out more about the Guildhall project go to www.derrycity.gov.uk

 

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