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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 11 August, 2020

The Irish starchitects steamrolling ahead in Europe

O’Donnell and Tuomey won Britain’s Gold Medal last year and are now designing a university’s library in Budapest.

AT THE END of last year two Irish architects were awarded Britain’s Royal Gold Medal, one of the biggest prizes in architecture.

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey’s follow-up project has taken them into Europe, with their design of the Budapest-based Central European University’s library.

Construction began in February on the structure that will be built across five floors and include an auditorium, a café, study rooms and a range of other facilities.

16152964598_7faed3307f_z Source: CEU/Flickr

The library is part of the first phase in a redevelopment of the entire university. Currently the university is spread across private and rented accommodation, and the redevelopment will see all of its facilities consolidated into a 35,000 square-metre campus.

16154377259_fc2eb9e940_z Source: CEU/Flickr

The project is being carried out by O’Donnell and Tuomey in conjunction with their Hungarian partner M-Teampannon. It is estimated that the project will cost €34 million and phase one will hopefully be completed next year.

In total six buildings will be redeveloped.

15718125104_96af344592_z Source: CEU/Flickr

The redevelopment has had the unexpected benefit of allowing students from the CEU to carry out some interesting archaeological work. During the course of their digs, students from the university’s Cultural Heritage Studies Program found items of interest from the 19th and early 20th century.

16152965298_8ebc3580d8_z Source: CEU/Flickr

The English-language university is privately run and has more than 1,500 students enrolled from more than 100 countries. Private backing from a Hungarian financier make puts it among the wealthiest universities in Europe.

Source: Central European University/YouTube

Read: 100-year-old house? Here are a few tips for an energy-efficient upgrade

Also: Why stained-glass windows aren’t just for churches…

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