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Ireland House Tokyo Competition Winners Announced

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) are delighted to announce the Henry J Lyons Architects consortium as the winning entry for the Ireland House Tokyo design competition.

Ireland House Tokyo will be the centre of Ireland’s presence in Japan, the third largest economy in the world. It will promote Ireland’s track record as a global centre of innovation and a great place to do business within the European Union. It will be a venue to learn about Ireland and will advertise Ireland as somewhere to study, do research and to visit. It will project all aspects of Irish culture, heritage and the arts and will be the heartbeat of the Irish community in Japan.

Welcoming the announcement of the Henry J Lyons Architects consortium as the winners of the RIAI design competition, Niall Burgess, the Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated:

“The selection of this design is just the first step of this project. The new ‘Ireland House’ will support a deeper and broader partnership with Japan in the decades to come, and help drive new opportunities for Irish business in the region.

“The new flagship Ireland House in Tokyo forms part of the Government’s ‘Global Ireland’ expansion of overseas representation, hosting our Embassy; and State Agencies including IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland, and providing a superb promotional platform for Ireland.

“The winning design by Henry J Lyons architects imaginatively fulfils our vision by delivering a welcoming and vibrant symbol of Ireland in Japan.”

Kathryn Meghen, Competition Registrar and RIAI CEO, said:

“The RIAI was delighted to partner with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on this competition to design Ireland House in Tokyo and we welcome the investment by Government in architecture-led design. Architectural competitions are a demonstration of the profession’s commitment to innovation and I would like to commend all of the architects who submitted designs.
Congratulations to Henry J. Lyons Architects on their winning entry. Their design captures the essence of the brief that Ireland House should be a building that represents the spirit of Ireland, including all aspects of its heritage, culture, and Ireland’s position as a modern nation within the contemporary world. We look forward to seeing Ireland House take shape and become the central focus of Ireland’s relationship with Japan.”

An online exhibition of the winning and shortlisted designs is available at www.ireland.ie/irelandhousetokyo and a video on the winning design is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-SZed5i7aA&feature=youtu.be.



17 September 2020


NOTES to Editor

• The competition was open to architect-led design teams internationally and the brief was to design a building “that demonstrates that Ireland is at the forefront of modern international architecture, a building that captures the spirit of Ireland, including all aspects of its heritage, culture and Ireland’s position as a modern nation within the contemporary world”.

• The open competition attracted entries from architectural practices around the world and involved two stages, with the Jury selecting five projects from stage 1 to be further developed for stage 2. All entries were judged anonymously. The Jury unanimously selected the winning competition entry 2019_1642 by Dublin firm Henry J Lyons Architects.

• With the conclusion of the competition, Henry J Lyons Architects are engaging with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to turn their winning concept into a final design. Construction in Japan is scheduled to run from March 2022 to March 2024. The project to deliver the new Ireland House is estimated to cost €21.4 million, which covers design, construction and fit out.

• Japan has long provided Ireland with its largest trade surplus in the Asia Pacific region and is the largest source in the region for inward FDI investment into Ireland. Two-way trade in goods and services combined exceeded €11.3 billion in 2018. Over 6,000 Irish people are employed by Japanese FDI companies in Ireland, while almost 2,000 Japanese people are employed in Japan by innovative Irish companies.

About the RIAI: Founded in 1839, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland supports and regulates the architectural profession and promotes the value that architecture brings to society for everyone’s benefit. Follow us on Twitter @RIAIonline and Instagram riaionline.