'This is a big public investment in Cork city': Contract awarded for design of redevelopment of Cork's Crawford Art Gallery 

'This is a big public investment in Cork city': Contract awarded for design of redevelopment of Cork's Crawford Art Gallery 

The overall plan for the Gallery provides for the investment of €29m in the redevelopment, including design, of the 200-year-old building over the next four years.

The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin have today announced that the contract for the design for the redevelopment at the historic Crawford Art Gallery has been awarded to Grafton Architects.

The firm will be responsible for providing all construction-related technical advice and design services to the Crawford Art Gallery and the OPW in respect of the Project.

The overall plan for the Gallery provides for the investment of €29m in the redevelopment, including design, of the 200-year-old building over the next four years.

The funding for the project is being made available through Project Ireland 2040, with the Government investing a total of €460 million in Ireland's National Cultural Institutions to revamp and modernise their facilities nationally.

'Supporting Cork's regeneration'

Announcing details of the funding this morning the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “I am delighted to join you here today at the official announcement of Grafton Architects as the principal design consultants for the Crawford Art Gallery Redevelopment Project. This is a big public investment by the State in Cork City - which supports Cork’s regeneration into being a forward-thinking European Cultural City. It is an extraordinary opportunity to reimagine the Crawford Art Gallery’s potential and create a vibrant new space for art and the public to meet in the heart of the city.

“Grafton Architects are an internationally renowned architecture firm with projects spanning from Milford to Milan, and from Lima to London, and I have no doubt that they will bring their experience and skills to bear in interpreting and developing the unique characteristics of the Crawford Art Gallery.” 

Minister Catherine Martin said:“It gives me great pleasure to be here in Cork to announce the awarding of the contract for the next stage in the exciting Crawford Art Gallery redevelopment project to Grafton Architects. I am very pleased that work is progressing so well on this ambitious project.

“I would like to thank the Chair and Director and team in the Crawford for their commitment to the redevelopment project and in continuing to deliver a wonderful artistic programme, both here in the Gallery and on-line that is so important for the wellbeing of our citizens, especially during these difficult times.” 

Transfer of ownership completed 

Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Mr. Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., said that the Office of Public Works has a long history of working with the Crawford Art Gallery and has “over the past four years, in particular, been proud to provide the expertise of its Conservation Services to progress the Gallery’s renovation and to facilitate the appointment of the Design Team announced today.

“With the transfer of ownership of the Crawford Art Gallery to the OPW concluded at the beginning of the month, I very much look forward to our continued close collaboration and to seeing this ambitious project through to completion.” 

'A once-in-a-century opportunity'

Speaking on behalf of the Board and staff, Rose McHugh, Chair of the Crawford Art Gallery, welcomed the appointment of Grafton Architects as lead Designers for this major redevelopment of the Crawford.

"We are delighted to have Grafton Architects leading the interdisciplinary design team, and we look forward to working with a practice that demonstrates creative vision together with a strong collaborative ethos,” Ms McHigh said.

“Our progress in this project to date has been based on collaboration. We have strong and productive support from the Office of Public Works (OPW) and from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. We are also grateful to Fáilte Ireland for their support and for their recognition of the Crawford as a significant attraction, and to Cork City Council for their continued support.

“Now, we look forward to collaborating with the Grafton team. With their support in this redevelopment, we will ensure that the Crawford can continue to be a place of opportunity for artists and all those interested in art, education, architecture and civic discourse. This next phase of development of the Crawford Art Gallery is a once-in-a-century opportunity to enhance the architectural and artistic life of our city and region, and we look forward to the journey.” 

A spokesperson for Grafton Architects said that they see the project as “a unique opportunity for this highly regarded National cultural institution to consolidate its status as a highly treasured national, international and local institution.”

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