Belfast Telegraph

Architecture awards: Home of Ulster rugby Kingspan is building on awards success

By Michelle Smyth

A bishop's palace, a rugby stadium and a therapeutic centre for families affected by cancer are all up for Northern Ireland's top architecture prize.

Each of the buildings has been short-listed for the finals of this year's Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards which honour the most impressive initiatives in land, property, construction and the environment. One of the most high-profile projects, the redevelopment of Ravenhill Rugby Grounds - now known as Kingspan Stadium - has been shortlisted for both the Commercial and Design through Innovation categories.

The major redevelopment, completed last April, means the impressive grounds now accommodate 18,000 people - 6,000 more than the former home of Ulster Rugby. Also on the short-list is Daisy Lodge, the Cancer Fund for Children's £3m state-of-the-art therapeutic short break facility for families affected by cancer.

Sitting at the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, the centre, opened by World No.1 golfer Rory McIlroy, is also up for the Design through Innovation prize.

The historically significant Bishop's Palace in Armagh has picked up a Building Conservation nod. The Grade A listed building was where the Church of Ireland Archbishops lived from 1770 to 1975.

Judging chairman Alistair Dunn said: "This short- list is a fantastic spread of innovative projects from across Northern Ireland that we're delighted to have in the mix for the 2015 awards. We look forward to revealing the winners in May."

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