At Architecture Night 2019 four people received Honorary Membership of RSUA. The first was Bill Wolsey founder of the Beannchor Group who was introduced by John Busteed, who highlighted Bill’s commitment to good design in Northern Ireland. Bill was honoured for his recognition of the role of clients in delivering design quality and for his understanding that our built heritage brings economic value with inherent character and individuality. Perhaps best known for the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Bill’s belief in using design to bring buildings back into life makes him a worthy recipient of Honorary Membership.
The second and third people to receive Honorary Membership of RSUA were John Tuomey and Sheila O’Donnell, both of Dublin-based practice O’Donnell+Tuomey Architects. Amongst their contributions to the built environment locally is the Lyric Theatre Belfast, winner of an RSUA Design Award, an RIBA Award and an RIAI Award. They also designed the Gaelaras in Derry / Londonderry which won an RIBA Award and was a Stirling Prize finalist and the award winning Blackwood Golf Club in Bangor.
Our final Honorary Membership of the evening was presented to our host Mark Simpson. Mark Simpson has hosted Architecture Night since the beginning and RSUA wanted to recognise his contribution to the event and wider architecture in Northern Ireland. The presentation was made by RSUA Director Ciarán Fox at the end of the night.