Team building: the GAI/RIBA Specification Awards

The awards demonstrate the immense outcomes achieved when AIs and architects collaborate well

Grantley Hall

Luxury hotels that blended heritage and modern styles topped the bill at the recent GAI/RIBA Specification Awards. 

Adare Manor hotel and golf resort scooped the Jubilee Award (sponsored by Eurobond Doors) – a special award to mark the 40th anniversary of the AI Specification Awards. Adare Manor was chosen from a shortlist of past award winners.

The hotel, housed in an 18th century building in Country Limerick, Ireland was renovated and extended, requiring an architectural ironmongery specification for around 1,500 doors across its guestrooms and facilities, maintaining the gothic aesthetic. Led by Reardon Smith Architects, with the support of Richmond International, the team appointed two ironmongery companies to the task, Harbrine Limited and Mooney Architectural. Between them, they created a suite of bespoke ironmongery, including sourcing products from Sun Valley Bronze of Idaho, USA that had to be redesigned to fit with European hardware.

Adare Manor, Jubilee Award winner

With an enormous amount of bespoke products and the requirement for a number of products to operate with the Vingcard locking system, the architectural ironmongers worked diligently to design and test the products to ensure they work perfectly in harmony with the access control requirements across the entire project.

The work, craftsmanship and ingenuity on display shows the industry is still finding new ways to deliver exciting solutions"

Douglas masterson

Winner of winners: Grantley Hall

Grade II listed luxury hotel and spa Grantley Hall in Ripon, North Yorkshire, secured the Winner of Winners Award (sponsored by GEZE) for architects Bowman Riley and architectural ironmongers Em-B Solutions Ltd.

Grantley Hall opened in 2019 as a high-end hotel and spa following decades of neglect. The project required an extraordinary level of care to ensure the seamless integration of new and old ironmongery. The new products were designed to perform to the latest standards and operate with an access control system, while integrating with the antique brass and stainless steel furniture already in situ. 

Em-B worked closely with all three architects on this major refurb/new build project. In the old buildings, Em-B worked hard to retain existing hardware where possible, mindful of the need to upgrade to fire door standards where applicable. New ironmongery was carefully matched to the old to provide a consistent design approach throughout. 

As well as organising the hand restoration and renovation of existing historic hardware such as handles and hinges, Em-B carefully adapted hardware designs and finishes throughout the building to reflect different styles and functions. Antique brass and stainless steel were chosen where appropriate to ensure that the hardware scheme worked seamlessly across the piece.

GAI technical manager Douglas Masterson commented: “Adare Manor and Grantley Hall are both truly fantastic projects, and worthy winners. The work, craftsmanship and ingenuity on display across all the categories highlight that, despite a challenging couple of years, this industry is still finding new ways to deliver exciting and interesting solutions across many sectors.”

The awards were held at London’s Leadenhall Building in May, and presented by GAI president Mario Del-Signore. “The AI Specification Awards show architectural ironmongery at its beautiful best,” said Del-Signore. “Rewarding the whole specification team, the awards highlight the importance of those partnerships.” 

Entries are judged on the effectiveness of the architectural ironmongery specification and how it enhances the security, accessibility and safety of the building, whilst also adding to its aesthetics, functionality and lifespan.” 

Cambridge Mosque, Winner of Public Health & Education Award

For more details on all the winning entries including photos and video,
visit gai.org.uk/specificationawards

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