Rupert Maddock awarded Gandon Medal for Lifetime Achievement 2023

30 Nov , 2023  

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland has awarded the Gandon Medal of Lifetime Achievement in Architecture to Rupert Maddock of Waterford City and County Council. The Gandon Medal is the highest personal award given to an Architect in Ireland. 

Rupert Maddock studied at the School of Architecture at UCD and joined Waterford City Council in 1997. He has led the urban regeneration of Waterford in his 25 years working for Waterford City and Council, taking many derelict and vacant sites and transforming them into places for people in the form of pedestrian-friendly spaces, museums and gardens.

During this time, Mr. Maddock has overseen the transformation of 76% of the public realm in Waterford’s historic city into a pedestrian priority city with a well-designed and universally accessible shared public realm. These include Barronstrand Street, Henrietta Street, O’Connell Street, John Robert’s Square, Cathedral Square and the Apple Market. Smaller public spaces with historic signage include Reginald’s Tower and Greyfriars Church. At the Bishop’s Palace, a former carpark is now a popular public garden. High-quality urban design plans are also currently underway for Waterford’s South Quays. 

Rupert was also responsible for the repair and adaptation of many of Waterford’s historic buildings, ensuring their survival by identifying new complementary uses. A key move in the urban regeneration and cultural renaissance of Waterford City, led by Rupert and his team, was the relocation of Waterford Crystal into the heart of the Viking Quarter.

The RIAI Gandon Medal is awarded by the RIAI every two years to an Irish Architect for their contribution to architecture and the built environment. 

Speaking at the event, RIAI President Charlotte Sheridan said: The RIAI Gandon Medal is the highest personal honour in Irish architecture, being awarded for a lifetime’s contribution to the advancement of architecture. I am delighted to be awarding Rupert Maddock the RIAI Gandon Medal in recognition of his exceptional achievement in public practice, and the role he played in revitalising Waterford city, towns, and villages in the county. Rupert truly demonstrates the value of an architect working within public service, applying strategic thinking while also achieving tangible results at a local level, and ultimately taking the responsibility of our role as architects, making a better place for society.”

Receiving the award, Rupert Maddock said: “I am enormously proud to receive the Gandon Medal in recognition of a lifetime’s work. I think this award reflects the ongoing commitment of Waterford City and County Council to the regeneration of Waterford City’s public realm, and the re-imagining of its historic city core to create the Viking Triangle, Museum Quarter and John Roberts Square. St Mark’s Square in Venice was referred to by Napoleon as the ‘drawing room of Europe’ – and every city and town should have its own spaces where all can meet, mingle, and become venues for lively events. It is also an affirmation of the role of architects and creativity within the public sector.’

In a special message, the Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council, Michael Walsh said: “Rupert Maddock’s contribution to Waterford over the last 25 years has been phenomenal. He brought consistency, creativity and innovation to our public realm, landmark buildings and public buildings around the city. The award is truly deserved.”