Cork-based Jack Coughlan Architects (JCA) have been presented with the prestigious Royal Institute of Architects (RIAI) Award for the Urban Design and Master Planning of the historic Nano Nagle Place on Douglas Street.
JCA worked on the conservation and new architectural design renewal project with Nano Nagle Place for over four years, with initial engagement with the Sisters occurring as early as 2002.
The company has also worked on numerous other conservation projects in Cork including the redevelopment of Camden Fort Meagher, The Lifetime Lab at the former Cork City Waterworks, the conversion of Cork Savings Bank, Lapps Quay and the restoration of Saint Patrick’s Bridge.
Director at JCA Architects, Gareth O’Callaghan, said they were “honoured and delighted” to receive the award for a project that “has been such an enriching experience for us over the past number of years”.
“The conservation and design of Nano Nagle Place has been one of the most memorable and career fulfilling projects that we have had the pleasure to work on.
“The design process was a real team effort that would not have been possible without the Presentation Sisters, Chairman and the Board of Directors at Nano Nagle Place, who were an integral part of the journey and had such clear vision from the beginning, that really steered us all forward,” he said.
The annual RIAI awards are one of the most prestigious architectural awards in the country, organised across thirteen categories with the jury looking for projects that have produced a creative, intelligent, innovative and quality design.
Speaking about Nano Nagle Place, the jury said that it was “an exemplar urban renewal project” which demonstrated how large redundant building complexes can be sensitively transformed “with a varied mix of uses to create a very attractive destination that positively contributes to the surrounding area”.
Nano Nagle Place is an integral part of Cork heritage and is home to over 250 years of architecture and landscaping that has been carefully conserved.
The buildings are steeped in history, ranging from Ursuline convent and school buildings, built by Nano Nagle in 1771, to an 18th Century Graveyard and tomb, a Victorian Gothic Chapel and a 2016 Garden Café.
Chief Executive Officer of Nano Nagle Place, Shane Clarke, said that he is “over the moon” that JCA have been awarded.
“Nano Nagle Place aims to be a shining light for sustainable heritage and community focused urban regeneration and development.
“JCA and the wider design team took forward the vision of the Presentation Sisters and have wrought a stunning but historically sensitive transformation of over three acres of convent architecture and landscaping dating back to the late 1700s.
“They have woven in the 21st Century modernist home for the UCC / CIT School of Architecture and their master plan is helping drive regeneration in Cork’s historic South Parish neighbourhood,” he said.