Sigginstown Castle

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Announcing Our Student Design Contest Winners!

Adam Byrne

Adam Byrne tied for First Place with 167 points.

His submission included minimal intervention to the site and historic buildings, adhering to the existing footprint.

See all of Adam's Designs on his own page!

Margaux Duroussay 

Margaux Duroussay  tied for First Place with 167 points.

Her addition of a curved building with a courtyard made the space feel more intimate.

See all Margaux's Designs on her own page! 

Daniel Simon

Daniel Simon received an Honorable Mention for his score of 162 points.

Daniel's submission included an innovative ceiling structure inspired by Shigeru Ban's work in the Centre Pompidou in Metz, FR.

See all of Daniel's Designs on his own page!

From September to December 2016 we ran a Student Design Contest for students at Irish universities studying architecture or related fields. The prize is 1000 Euros, and an opportunity to see the design go forward if we can implement all or parts of it.

We received 13 entries from the Wexford Institute of Technology, where the third year architecture students all entered as part of a semester's work.  As the contest had been incorporated into the university project, the students had to create a design where the castle could be used as a leather workshop, sales room and living space.  Professor Garry Miley led the students and did a great job of incorporating our project and the leatherworking industry.

Other schools were invited also, but did not participate. We learned that it was difficult for students to add an external project to their existing course load without university or professor support.

We recruited an international panel of six professionals to judge the designs. The entries were judged on  six categories worth up to nine points each with a total possible maximum (perfect) score of 324 points.  

  • Cost
  • Conservation
  • Aesthetics, Usability & Comfort
  • Ecological Impact
  • Creativity
  • Juror Elective

The jurors overall gave higher marks to Aesthetics and Creativity categories, and lower marks for Cost, Conservation and Ecological impact. 

Here are the other students who participated in the design contest with a sample of their submission.  They all had great ideas which we will consider when developing our own design over the next few months.  We look forward to meeting them all in April!

Aisling Finn

Alfonso Santoni

Amelie Lorgeoux

John Fitzgerald

Niamh Crowley

Paudi Slattery

Patrick Byrne

Rose O'Hare

Ruadhan Dunn

Wojtek Cymrys

For the contest several videos were submitted along with other formats. The videos really helped bring the ideas to life! (Not all students submitted videos).

Alfonso Santini:

Niamh Crowley

Rose O'Hare

Amelie Lorgeoux

Margaux Duroussay (tied for first place)

Wojtek Cymerys

For additional information on the contest, contact 

Contest Brief

Why run a student competition?


1) Our children are at university and we know how hard it is to get relevant experience for a resume.

2) As professionals in our own industries,  we have had many students as interns who went on to be valuable colleagues.

3) We think young people, less encumbered by experience, can have great ideas that would otherwise not be considered.

What happens next?

We will celebrate with all of the students and faculty at WIT later in the spring. We are looking forward to seeing their models and meeting them all in person! Now the hard part comes for us: we have to decide what we want to do. Since the designs were intended for a leather working business (part of the academic project), no one design was entirely suitable for our purposes. We have looked through all the designs and noted smaller elements we would like to consider. Since cost and conservation are large constraints for us, we will probably implement a more modest design using some of the following concepts:

Contrast to existing structure:

    • Breaking up of lines (implementing curves or diagonals)
    • New materials versus old (Students suggested teak, oak, polished concrete,copper, steel, glass brick, transparent harl and rammed earth)
    • Lighting (creating contracts, getting light into the tower, considering overall site, shadows and views
Private vs. Public spaces

    • Northeast entrance from the bigger road to reduce congestion, noise and allow more parking
    • Creating courtyards and paths: use of walls or offset buildings to break up spaces into smaller private areas or gardens
Tower Roof

    • Use of the height to enjoy views (daytime bird watching, nighttime star gazing)
    • Include glass skylight or walls to allow light into the tower
Agricultural Building

    • Extending the length - make it a “T” versus an “L”
    • Extending the width or offsetting it from the remaining wall
    • Creating a curved roof or curved shape