Would you live in a shipping container home like this?

2024 Design Awards
Barneys Ruins, a shipping container home built on cottage ruins near Maghera, is in the running for an architectural award

A popular shipping container home in south Derry is in the running for a major architectural award.

Barney’s Ruins in Maghera, created by award-winning architect Patrick Bradley, is among nine contenders for the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) 2024 Design Awards, which will be revealed in early May.

Resting above the old stone ruins of the owner’s great-great uncle Barney’s home, dating back to 1830, the cottage within a shipping container offers luxurious accommodation overlooking adjacent farmlands.

The unique cottage is available to book from £220 a night, and has already reportedly been put up for rent for visitors travelling to The Open in Portrush next year for more than £10,000.

Barney’s Ruins - which has previously featured on the BBC’s Restoration Rescue show - sits alongside other projects ranging from the Bank Buildings in Belfast city centre, which was recently restored in a £100 million project after the Primark fire of 2018, and the new Ulster University Belfast campus, to Redbrae Farm, a one-off house built on a rural farmstead in Ballynahinch.

2024 Design Awards
Bank Buildings, where a major restoration project was completed following the Primark fire in 2018

Ciarán Fox, director of RSUA, said: “Our built environment has a significant impact on our daily lives. Each new architectural addition must be crafted with great care for the needs of the client and the end user, as well as the wider community and the natural environment.”

“I congratulate the architects, clients, and the wider teams involved in delivering these nine projects.

“After assessing this year’s submissions, our distinguished judging panel has concluded that each of these works of architecture demonstrates an element of delight, invention, or ambition deserving of a more thorough examination.”

Housing dominates this year’s short list, and again the region’s love of the private house in the countryside is reflected in the list, although two urban social housing projects are also in the running.

Mr Fox added: “Projects submitted for this year’s awards were required to be in use for at least one year before being considered. This allows the judging panel to better evaluate the sustainability and overall performance of these projects, ensuring the competition remains the most robust measure of the best emerging architecture in Northern Ireland.

2024 Design Awards
Also in the running for an award is St Comgall's in Belfast - a scheme to restore the former 1930s school into a community centre (mervyn black)

“RSUA will continue to focus not only on the projects’ aesthetics but also on design considerations, including environmental impact and carbon footprint.”

The judging panel will visit each of the short-listed schemes in March, and the winners will be unveiled at a ceremony on Thursday May 9 at The Mac in Belfast (itself a former winner of prestigious architectural accolades).

RSUA Design Award winners will then be in the running to win the Liam McCormick Prize for Northern Ireland’s building of the year, and will be considered for a UK-wide RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence.