Winner of Winners

AI Spec Awards 2019 winning team

Carrson International took home the most prestigious prize in the architectural ironmongery industry with the Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort project

The AI Specification Awards takes place every two years, in association with the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Adare Manor was shortlisted in the Commercial and Hospitality category at this year’s awards. Carrson International worked on the project alongside fellow ironmongers Mooney Architectural, Reardon Smith Architects and Richmond International interior designers. Carrson International is a division of Harbrine Limited.


AI Spec Awards 2019 podium

Up first was the Commercial and Hospitality category and we were delighted to be awarded first prize. After that, we settled in to watch the presentations of the remaining categories and congratulate the teams involved in the consistently impressive projects.

The final presentation of the day was the Winner of Winners, the most prestigious award in the industry, which recognises the finest project from the winners across all categories. We were absolutely thrilled when we were announced as the recipient of this highest of accolades.

The AI Specification Awards 2019 Winner of Winners presentation. From left to right: Andy Howland, Geze UK, sponsors of the award; Michael Rooney, Mooney AI; Richard Lewis, Carrson International; David Stacey, GAI President.

The judges noted that “This is not the type of project which you come across many times in your liftetime”. Adare Manor is a project we are very proud of and to have it recognised in such a way by the industry is quite overwhelming.


Carrson International director Richard Lewis led the architectural ironmongery on Adare Manor. As delighted as he is with the awards success, Richard has also taken the opportunity to talk about the challenges of securing such a large scale, complex project. It “requires a team of experienced and skilled professionals with the correct level of expertise to consult, understand the client’s needs, specify, negotiate, agree commercial terms, co-ordinate between trades and finally execute the logistic requirements.” In short, a great deal of hard work went into making Adare Manor the absolute best project it could be.

It was rather unusual that two architectural ironmongers collaborated on Adare Manor. Richard highlights this as one of the many positive aspects of the project. “Its success showed that when the right people come together it can be executed to the highest standards.”


The Gothic style of Adare Manor lent itself to ironmongery in a pewter finish. However, the products available in such a material/finish contradicted the designer’s brief of high durability, “built to stand the test of time”. The products selected by the architectural ironmonger for the guestrooms and public areas were from Sun Valley Bronze of Idaho, USA.

The dark patina on white bronze cast products proved to be the perfect choice for meeting both the design and durability criteria. However, their products had been designed to suit the North American market only. This resulted in visits by the architectural ironmonger to assist with the re-design of Sun Valley Bronze’s products to suit European hardware.

The door furniture was colour matched with a range of quality products: hinges from R&T, door controls from Geze, exit devices from Strand Hardware and locks from Hoppe. A bespoke design was created for the wardrobe fittings and the ballroom doors. Stainless steel products from Harbrine’s stock range were used for back of house areas and the ancillary buildings.