It’s Derry’s most iconic building, and since it underwent a major facelift completed in 2013, the Guildhall has been scooping up the awards in a number of prestigious regional and national architectural and construction competitions.
So far it has been awarded ten accolades from a variety of professional bodies including learned professional societies, heritage groups and construction organisations. Derry City Council has recently been presented with award certificates and plaques from the Irish Georgian Society as winner of their 2014 Conservation Award, from the Royal Institute of British Architects as winner of their Regional Award and Regional Conservation Award 2014 and from the Stone Federation of Great Britain as winner of their National Stone Award for Repair and Restoration 2014.
Derry City Council led on the £10 million regeneration project which has transformed the Guildhall (pictured above), enhancing its historical features and creating a bright and open public space featuring a new café, tourist information point and exhibition area. The works were designed by Consarc Design Group and constructed by H&J Martin. The works were also part funded by NITB, DSD and NITB.
Since undergoing the overhaul, the 120-year-old building has welcomed over 567,000 visitors through its doors, and is one of the city’s biggest visitor attractions.
Mayor of Derry Councillor Brenda Stevenson said these latest awards were fitting acknowledgement of the improvements. “Since its refurbishment the building has become a bright and open shared space, with even more to offer visitors both as an attraction and venue space.
“This beautiful building is right at the heart of city life, hosting weddings, concerts, craft and food fairs, and welcoming thousands of visitors to our historic city. I would like to congratulate all those involved in delivering the project, and for bringing out the very best in this vital civic centre.”
Manager of the Guildhall Michelle Murray said: “The Guildhall project was a major success and it’s fantastic to see this achievement recognised in the significant number of prestigious industry awards it has garnered since its completion.
“The restoration work on the building is of the very highest standard, both enhancing and complementing the original architectural features, and reinvigorating the Guildhall as a centre of historic significance and as a civic hub.”
The Guildhall was built in 1887 by ‘The Honourable The Irish Society’ on land reclaimed from the River Foyle at a cost of £19,000, and officially opened in 1890.
Over its 120 year history the Guildhall has been destroyed twice – by fire in 1908 and in bomb attacks in 1972. The building features 23 original stained glass windows, many of which were gifted by the London companies who built it.
To find out more about the Guildhall go to www.derrycity.gov.uk/guildhall
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