Northern Ireland

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin wins top architecture award

The building won an Irish architectural prize earlier this year
Image caption The building was one of two in Northern Ireland to be recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects

An Irish language and cultural centre in Londonderry has won a prestigious design award.

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin is one of two buildings in Northern Ireland to be recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The £4m building on Great James Street was designed by Dublin-based architects O'Donnell and Tuomey and is in one of the city's most historic areas.

Architect Willie Carey said he was delighted.

"The client came to us with a very open mind. It was housed in a closed Georgian building and they wanted an open inviting modern building that would represent their aims and their ethos," he said.

"So we designed a contemporary building that acted as an invitation for people to enter into the building."

The RBIA's judges said the building was "a sculptural intervention featuring an intriguing vortex plan that draws the visitors inwards and upwards".

It has now been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for building of the year alongside 97 buildings in the UK and Europe.

Last year, the building picked up an Architectural Association of Ireland award.

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