RIBA officially announced Irish architects Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey as the 2015 recipients of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, one of the world's most prestigious architecture awards. Awarded since 1848 and approved by the Queen of England, the Gold Medal recognizes a lifetime's work of an architecturally influential person or group.
O'Donnell and Tuomey are the third and fourth Irish citizens to receive the medal. Recent Gold Medal recipients include Joseph Rykwert (2014), Peter Zumthor (2013), Herman Hertzberger (2012), David Chipperfield (2011), I.M Pei (2010 ), and Álvaro Siza (2009). Other notable recipients are Frank Gehry (2000), Sir Norman Foster (1983), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941), and Sir George Gilbert Scott (1859).
Scroll down to read more about the 2015 recipients.
After training at the University College Dublin, O'Donnell and Tuomey previously worked together at Stirling Wilford Associates and Colquhoun & Miller in London. The husband and wife pair then co-founded their practice O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects in Dublin in 1988
While working with the "Group 91 Architects" in the early '90s, O'Donnell and Tuomey initially gained recognition in the Irish contemporary architecture scene for their first permanent building, the Irish Film Institute (1991). Since then, the pair have built private homes, schools, public housing, and community buildings. Many of their projects exhibit the couple's signature masterful use of brick and sharp-lined geometric forms.
O’Donnell + Tuomey have been shortlisted five times for the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 1999 for the Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School (Dublin, Ireland); 2005 for the Lewis Glucksman Gallery (Cork, Ireland); 2011 for the An Gaeláras Irish Language Arts and Cultural Centre (Derry, Northern Ireland; 2012 for the Lyric Theatre (Belfast, Northern Ireland); and most recently, the London School of Economics Saw Swee Hock Students' Centre (London, UK) in 2014.
The pair have also exhibited three times at the Venice Architecture Biennale and have released a number of publications. Today, they continue to teach at the University College Dublin, School of Architecture.
O'Donnell and Tuomey will formally receive the Gold Medal during a special event at the RIBA in London on Feb. 3, 2015.
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