Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 13:22 UK

Architects win for Derry building

Gaeláras was designed to be 'sympathetically integrated with its urban context'

A prestigious architecture prize has been awarded for Londonderry's Irish language cultural centre, Gaeláras.

Dublin based practice, O'Donnell and Tuomey, picked up one of the Architectural Association of Ireland's special awards for the building.

Gaeláras is landlocked on three sides with a large central sky lit courtyard.

This central space is crossed by stairs, bridges and platforms providing access to classrooms, offices, social and performance spaces.

Exposed concrete, sharp angles and painted steel give the rectangular building a distinctive look.

The arts centre has been built on Great James Street in the city's Georgian quarter.

O'Donnell and Tuomey said: "The building has been carefully designed to be sympathetically integrated with its urban context and to be clearly legible as a significant cultural building within the architectural landmarks of the city."

The architects also won the AAI's top award, the Downes medal, for the sixth time this year.

The winning building was Dublin City Council's Timberyard social housing scheme in the Liberties.

The 25th AAI 2010 Awards exhibition, is at the Light House Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin 7, until 16 May.

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