The Arts Council and the Office of Public Works are pleased to announce architect Orla Murphy of Simon J Kelly and Partners Architects, County Mayo as the winner of the Kevin Kieran Award 2009-2011. The award is a partnership between the Arts Council and the Office of Public Works, offering an emerging architect an opportunity to develop and deliver a research project worth €50,000 over two years supported by the Arts Council, and subsequently to design and run a building contract for the Office of Public Works.
The award aims to direct funding towards architectural excellence and innovation through supporting the artistic formation and career development of an architect. The recipient of this year’s award, Orla Murphy, graduated from University College Dublin in 1995. She has worked as a practising architect since this time and has been a lecturer in studio design at UCD since 1996. She jointly established the Westport studio of Simon J Kelly & Partners Architects in 2004 and has particular experience in the design of housing and educational buildings. She was both editor of the Architectural Association of Ireland’s journal, Building Material and Cavan Architect in Residence from 2007-2008.
Speaking about the award, Claire Doyle, the Arts Council’s Head of Architecture said: "the assessment process was thoroughly enlightening and it was a privilege to discuss the architects’ practices and passions with them. This is a very difficult time for architects and the Arts Council recognises the particularly acute, current need to support them in their work practices. We are delighted that Orla Murphy is the recipient of this year’s award. Orla will be researching the potential of architecture to enhance the experience of living, working and playing in the 21 century Irish town".