BY CRONAN SCANLON
A YOUNG Killygordon graduate has recently won a major architectural award, been short-listed for another and had her work published in two leading industry journals.
Ms Anita Quinn (26) from Crossroads, Killygordon, graduated with a Masters Degree in Architecture, or ‘MArch’, from the Belfast School of Architecture, University of Ulster in June.
Since then, she was awarded the MArch Craft in Architecture Prize and has been short-listed for the prestigious Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) President’s Medal.
To cap off what has been busy and successful year, she took up a position in September with Gregory Architects in Belfast, and had her work featured in the latest edition of ‘The Architects’ Journal.’
For her thesis, she designed a theoretical ‘Makers’ Retreat’, or craft centre, which was to be located on a site overlooking Belfast.
It would be fair to say that her impressive design caught the imagination of the world of architecture – it was also featured and heralded as one of the “outstanding projects of the year” in the RSUA’s ‘Perspective Magazine.’
Speaking to the Donegal News this week, Ms Quinn said she was delighted to have secured a full-time job in her chosen career so soon after graduating.
“I am delighted to get the award and honoured with the nomination and, of course, the job in Gregory Architects. It’s been all go since I graduated back in June. It’s a big deal really,” she said.
Ms Quinn said she prefers to do her drawings by hand, instead of using computer programmes and is influenced by the renowned architect, Steven Holl.
‘The Maker’s Retreat’, she explained, was to be perched on a ridge of Cavehill’s Stone Face in Belfast.
“The thesis was based on the idea of bringing people from different backgrounds together through making and craft.”
Ms Quinn received her primary education at Dromore National School, Killygordon, and later at St Columba’s College, Stranorlar, before going on to study architecture at the North West Institute in Derry.
She furthered her education as an undergraduate in architecture at the University of Ulster, Belfast, spent two years working with MH Associates in Letterkenny, before completing her two-year Masters from UU in June.
“I was always into architecture, sketching houses as a child – it’s what I always wanted to do. Not many people can say the are working at something they love doing,” she explained.
“But, it has been a long road – nine years so far. It’s all been hard work, but it has paid off in the end,” she said.
A daughter of Danny and Marie Quinn, she said her main interest is in rural architecture and, one day, hopes to come home to Donegal to start her own practice.
She laments that there is not a lot of contemporary architecture in the county, but loves ‘Jeffrey’s House,’ an architectural installation in Ards Forest Park.
“It is my favourite house in Donegal,” she concluded.
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