A couple who helped design the new Lyric theatre in Belfast have been awarded a prestigious architectural award.
Husband and wife, Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, received the Royal Gold Medal for their lifetime of work in the industry.
They said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen for this unexpected honour”.
The Royal Institute of British Architects also commended their work.
The couple said in a statement: “We’re humbled to find ourselves in such a company of heroes, architects whose work we have studied and from whose example we continue to learn.
“We believe in the social value and the poetic purpose of architecture and the gold medal encourages us to prevail in this most privileged and complicated career.”
Dublin-based O’Donnell and Tuomey are best known for the Photographers’ Gallery in Soho and the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics, which was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.
The married couple first made their name contributing to the regeneration of Dublin’s Temple Bar area, working on the Irish Film Institute.
Their early work also included schools, public housing and community buildings.
Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) president Stephen Hodder said the duo’s work was “always inventive” and “striking yet so well considered” and “beautifully crafted”.
He said: “Sheila and John are at the vanguard of contemporary Irish architecture and I am delighted they are to receive this lifetime honour.”
Past recipients of the Royal Gold Medal have included Sir Norman Foster, who designed the Gherkin in London and Sir George Gilbert Scott, famous for the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial in London.
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Source:: BBC Entertainment