The RIAI announced the Universal Design Award 2023 at their annual architecture awards ceremony on June 22. The award went to Beyond the Trees: Avondale House and Forest Park by van Dijk Architects and Stöger + Kölbl Architekten.

Aideen Hartney, Director of the National Disability Authority presented the award to Cathal Fearon of van Dijk Architects. The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design has supported the award since 2013, to promote excellence in Universal Design among the architectural profession in Ireland.

Pictured from l to r: Declan Price, Jan van Dijk, van Dijk Architects, Charlotte Sheridan RIAI President, Aideen Hartney, Director NDA, Cathal Fearon, Andrew Kane, van Dijk Architects

The jury citation for the award states:

It is evident that Universal Design was integrated into Beyond the Trees at Avondale House and Forest Park, from the outset of the project. The result is an inclusive, thoughtfully considered and well-detailed scheme, which has been responsive to user consultation.  Beyond the Trees provides a wonderful experience for people with a wide range of ages and abilities to have access to nature in a unique way.

Dominick Hall by Cotter & Naessens Architects and Denis Byrne Architects was commended in the Universal Design category.