Two RIBA Awards for Nothern Ireland

Fallahogey House
Kilrea, Coleraine
Architect: McGarry-Moon Architects
The design of the house demonstrates a pleasing duality on a number of levels: it is both boldly uncompromising and modestly contextual.  Its form is that of a simple barn which houses a series of sophisticated fluid spaces within.  Double-height glazing to the rear facade allows the landscape to flow inside the living spaces, whilst letterbox windows in the studio and bedrooms frame cinemascope views across to the distant hills.  Although the scale of the house is quite grand, it remains humble in deference to the dramatic views.  The rawness of some of the materials used: the rolled zinc roof supported on galvanised steel columns and the sun-bleached timber louvres and panels externally, combine to give it a rural honesty.

The Knockbreda Centre
Saintfield Road, Belfast
Architect: Penoyre & Prasad with TODD Architects This building is an impressive example of a new breed of so-called polyclinics.  Walking around, one is struck by its calmness and serenity.  Natural daylight filters through the soft organic curves of the atrium roof and bathes the focal space below. This, combined with the long views across the balconies, creates an uplifting experience in the main waiting areas. The design does not patronise nor does it alienate with an uncompromising corporate vision. Although it is early days for this building-type, the Knockbreda Centre feels like the culmination of a good deal of refining, careful consultation and planning to integrate a diverse and conflicting brief to produce a welcoming place within the community. There is a clarity about the plan which makes it instantly user-friendly.