The winners of the annual Cork Better Building Awards were announced at our awards luncheon in the Imperial Hotel on Friday November 10th. Organised by the Cork Business Association, the buildings were judged on their design, maintenance and presentation, noting signage, pavement litter, planting as well as the impact of the building on the streetscape. Here is a list of the winners and reasons listed by the judges.
Best in Retail: The Cork Flower Studio, Douglas Street.
With its stunning window displays and enlivened presentation onto the street, the Cork Flower Studio rightfully celebrates 10 years in business on Douglas Street. Its colourful and cheerful shop front sets a wonderful example for neighbouring businesses to follow suit by brightening up their shopfronts, contributing to the enhancement of the entire area.
Retail Special Merit Award Azure, George’s Quay
Best Cafe/Restaurant Spitjack Rotesserie:
The judges were impressed by the way in which a vacant unit, previously in use as Cork Film Studios was sensitively renovated and changed into a vibrant new restaurant, adding to the culinary scene along Washington Street. The subtle use of colour on the ground floor shop front with replacement, timber, sash windows and painted signage overhead, compliments the red brick terrace of nineteenth century buildings, providing an attractive frontage onto the street.
As one of the city’s top tourist attractions and diverse places to shop and do business; the English Market has traditionally been accessed through its more prominent Prince’s Street entrance. However the provision of new signage and attractive painting of the Grand Parade entrance, has succeeded in highlighting the western entrance to the market, enticing pedestrians to further explore the delights of one of oldest municipal markets of its kind in the world.
Best New Development The Capitol on Grand Parade and Patrick’s Street.
The Capitol has breathed new life into the western end of St. Patrick’s Street and the Grand Parade, with the addition of new retail and office space and also the reopening of the historic Oyster Tavern. Following the closure of the Capitol cinema in 2005 with the site lying vacant for a number of years, this new development has rejuvenated the area and ensured the economic well-being of the city centre continues to flourish into the future
Best Heritage & Conservation CIT/Crawford College, Grand Parade.
Reputed to have been designed by the Pain brothers in circa 1840 as a dwelling, with a riverside annex, portico and balcony along Grand Parade, added later by another important Cork architect Sir John Benson for its use as the City Club House; 46 Grand Parade is a stunning building located at a prominent position on the Grand Parade and Southern Channel of the River Lee. As the new home of part of the CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, its careful restoration and re-purposing for this use, has ensured that this important protected structure will thrive once again and be admired by future generations of Corkonians and visitors
Best Tourism / Arts & Accommodation The Montenotte Hotel.
Following its recent stunning refurbishment, the Montenotte Hotel provides a unique visitor experience; taking advantage of spectacular views of the city and surrounds from the Panorama Bistro and Terrace, housing Cork’s first hotel, in-house cinema and investing in the exquisite sunken Victorian Gardens. The Montenotte Hotel sets a new bar for hotel accommodation, providing a destination within a destination for visitors to the city
Best Pub : Cask, MacCurtain Street.
Set in the heart of Cork’s Victorian Quarter, Cask provides a wonderful example of how stunning lighting and Art Deco-style interiors can contribute to the vibrancy of the street, attracting customers through its full-height arched windows onto MacCurtain Street. Formerly an antiques shop and part of the imposing, four-storey, former ‘Hibernia Buildings’, Cask is a unique, new cocktail bar with a cosmopolitan feel making perfect use of the seating area in the outdoor courtyard area and former carriage arch adjacent
Judges Choice St. Angela’s College St Patrick’s Hill
Opening its doors on its current location on St. Patrick’s Hill in 1888, St. Angela’s College has recently been redeveloped to huge success. Working with an extremely difficult, sloping site, the results are nothing short of spectacular. The judges felt that recognition was well deserved for this unique project because of its contribution to the continued operation of a city centre school, adding vibrancy to the area, the way in which its new build elements complement the setting, with the sensitive restoration of heritage buildings and take full advantage of its unique setting, framing diverse views of the surrounding city.