CWPA Project Shortlisted for Building & Architect of the Year Award 2024

Feb 19, 2024

CWPA Planning and Architecture is thrilled to announce that its project for the design, planning, and project management of the new St. Oliver Plunkett School in Malahide has been shortlisted for the prestigious Building & Architect of the Year Award 2024, specifically in the Building of the Year: Educational category.

The new St. Oliver Plunkett School, officially opened in May 2023, stands as the largest primary school in Dublin, accommodating approximately 900 pupils and 66 staff members. This remarkable achievement was the result of a decade-long journey fraught with challenges during the planning and construction phases.

One of the defining features of the new school is its thoughtful architectural design, which prioritises both functionality and aesthetics. The footprint of the building was minimised, with a partial integration into the sloping ground to reduce overall height. Strategic placement of elements such as the entrance/admin area and classroom windows demonstrates a keen sensitivity to the surrounding environment and neighbouring properties.

Maintaining uninterrupted operations of the existing school throughout the two-year construction period was a monumental task, requiring meticulous planning and execution to ensure the safety of nearly 1,000 students and faculty members. Temporary arrangements were implemented in phases, guaranteeing minimal disruption to daily activities.

CWPA’s commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of the project, from the incorporation of high-efficiency heating systems to the collection and reuse of rainwater. The building’s design adheres to green school principals promoting environmental stewardship and energy efficiency.

Furthermore, the landscaping surrounding the school enhances its overall appeal and functionality, with new embankments and dense shrubbery providing recreational spaces for students while complementing the architectural design.

“We are honoured to be recognised for our contribution to the St. Oliver Plunkett School project,” said Fran Whelan, MD Architecture at CWPA Planning and Architecture. “This nomination is a testament to our team’s dedication to delivering exceptional design solutions that prioritise sustainability, functionality, and community well-being.”

The Building & Architect of the Year Award celebrates excellence in architecture, design, and construction, and CWPA is proud to be among the finalists in the Educational category. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Friday April 12, where industry leaders will gather to celebrate innovation and excellence in the built environment.

For more information about CWPA Planning and Architecture and their projects, visit