Galway is hitting the headlines across the globe in architecture with the news that the moulded concrete Pálás cinema, built on the site of a Georgian merchant's house in the city, has been nominated in two categories in the prestigious International World Architecture Festival Awards.
The controversial multi-million euro art house cinema has been dogged by controversy over the last decade. The Charities Regulator found it recorded "no income" over a ten year period, despite receiving state money and donations from the public. Solas - Galway Picture Palace Company CLG transferred its ownership of the cinema to a private company (Element Pictures Ltd) and Sonas has since gone into liquidation.
Designed by Tom dePaor, Pálás arthouse cinema is nominated in both Culture – Completed Buildings and Use of Colour. The three-screen cinema features 22 colourful resin-coated windows, designed by Irish artist Patrick Scott.
The World Architecture Festival is dedicated to sharing and celebrating "inspiring outstanding architecture" and will take place in Amsterdam this November.
Speaking about the award, Element Cinema director Andrew Lowe commented "We are so delighted for Tom De Paor that his work on the stunning Pálás has been shortlisted by such a significant international architectural award. It is testimony to his talent and singular vision that his work, and that of the design and construction team has been recognised in this way."
"Galway is starting to get to know this most unique and iconic building, and it is a very proud day for us all that this jewel in the crown of Europe's Capital of Culture 2020 is being featured on such a high profile international architectural stage."