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RIAI conference


Amanda Bone Architects

Amanda Bone



Exhibition Design

Structures and Spaces


Amanda Bone – Architect (Amanda Bone Architects), Leanne Martin –  Architect (Amanda Bone Architects), RIAI (the Client), Alan Murphy & Gerry Murphy, Event Pro. (Events Organiser), Ian O’Shea, W Display. (Exhibition installers), John Anderson, Conference Services (Audio Visual & Lighting), Noel Green, Evolve Design (Graphics). Ros Kavanagh (the Photographer), Gareth O’Hagan, O’Hagan Design (Stage Furniture).Gerard Martin, McCreery Furniture (Stage Furniture). Helen Kilmartin, Minima (Stage Furniture). SAP Landscapes (trees).John Clancy, ShowDesign (3D’s & Video).

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

In 2015 the RIAI moved their annual 2 day conference from its previous location in the the RDS, Hall 7, the Concert Hall, to the considerably larger Hall 2, the Shelbourne Hall.

The move was to facilitate an increase in the number of conference attendees, provide a direct connection with the Building exhibition (Architecture Expo) located in the adjacent Main Hall but primarily to enable the RIAI to provide a more designed setting.

The challenge of the brief was to design a fresh, inspiring & contemporary conference setting & layout for approximately 600 delegates, but located within an oversized volume that has capacity to cater for up to 3,000 people.

The intent was to provide an uplifting, bright, & intimate experience for the conference attendees with a cost effective, easily assembled & flexible design that could be reused and adapted as the conference develops and grows.

How the brief was fulfilled

The ‘Original’ concept was restricted to the conference only, located in the Shelbourne hall.

The concept proposed two large free standing and opposing planar elements – a centrally divided entrance wall and a raised platform stage/ backdrop wall – positioned to form two bookends, framing the seating area and defining a more intimate space within the vast steel structure of the Shelbourne Hall whilst allowing ease of circulation for the conference attendees, speakers
and the RIAI organisers.

Whilst these wall elements are differentiated in height and by the specific requirements of their different functions – including entrance and connection to the Building Exhibition, Architecture Expo, signage, platform, screen/display – we consistently applied straightforward and reductive detailing throughout.

The lime green color, chosen to create a bright uplifting and memorable atmosphere, was applied across all new and inserted elements, including the stage, steps and part of the flooring.
This reinforced visual unity and provided a coherent composition capable of asserting and imposing its presence within the
larger volume.

The concept for a contemporary stage and setting was augmented by the furniture specifically chosen.

For the following years, ‘Previous’, ‘2017’ & ‘Latest’ the brief was extended to include a presence for the RIAI in the Building Exhibition, Architecture Expo, in the Main Hall.

Using the same language of the conference hall, the concept expanded to include a central meeting point in the Main Hall, a fulcrum, from which all parts of the hall were connected, from the main entrance at the front to the awards area to the rear and into the conference hall and which encouraged the conference attendees to interact amongst themselves and the exhibitors.

Free standing elements of different heights and size with different functions, from the registration desks at the entrance, to the RIAI bookshop and info point in the center to the RIAI awards area to the rear of the main hall were carefully designed and positioned to relate to both each other & the conference stage and backdrops with every element visually connected by the
chosen colour which is used on all items including the carpet.

The Architecture Expo and the RIAI Conference is accessible to all.

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