Waterford architecture firm, dhb Architects, was announced as winner of the Social Impact category at the Building & Architect of the Year Awards 2024 which took place last month.
The winning project, Tramore Town Centre Public Realm, is a collaboration with Tramore Town Centre Management Group and Waterford City and County Council.
The project was funded by the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), Waterford City and County Council and Úisce Eireann. This project showcased how innovative and creative design can overcome obstacles to deliver connected pedestrian friendly environments within our towns and villages.
The Tramore Town Centre Public Realm project has transformed the heart of Tramore town into a vibrant, connected outdoor pedestrianised space, where people can meet, sit, converse and connect, overlooking Tramore Bay.
Commenting on the award, Máire Henry of dhb Architects said “We were delighted to be recognised by our peers in the Building and Architect of the Year Awards, but more particularly for the social impact that the project has had on Tramore.
“The judging panel was specifically looking for a project that improved the ‘economic, social and environmental well-being of their surrounding communities’, with particular emphasis on design processes that were in keeping with sustainability best practice.
“Working with Waterford City and County Council the outcome was a design that placed a strong emphasis on pedestrians over cars, resulting in increased walking among both locals and visitors.  This has led to numerous positive outcomes, includ­ing improved physical health, a cleaner environment, and a more robust local economy.”
Morris Conway, Senior Architect with Waterford City and County Council said, “Holistically the project has brought many benefits to the community including increased footfall which has had an economic spin-off for local businesses, longer dwell time in the area for locals and tourists and the delivery of a reclaimed and vibrant town centre.
“I’d like to commend dhb Architects on their award and for bringing to life a concept that has truly made a sweeping social impact on the community.”