Shortlisted for two prestigious awards at this year’s Building and Architect of the Year Awards, O’Driscoll Lynn Architects (ODLA) are an established Wexford-based design firm who provide industry-leading architectural services to the residential and commercial sectors. We met founder / director Cormac Lynn to find out more.
O’Driscoll Lynn Architects will be to the fore at the 2019 Building and Architect of the Year Awards, where they have been shortlisted for two awards: Building of the Year – Commercial for Waters Technologies, IDA Industrial Park, Drinagh and House Extension Refurbishment of the Year for Cottage House, The Dirr, Wexford.
As well as representing good PR for the progressive and celebrated firm, being nominated in two distinct categories also underlines the flexibility and diversity that comes into play in ODLA’s projects.
“This is our maiden voyage at the Building and Architect of the Year Awards and we are particularly proud to have been nominated in two categories,” partner Cormac Lynn confirms. “This endorses our versatility. We offer our services to a diverse range of clients and we can deliver solutions on any type of building project.”
“We’ve been very busy over the past few years and kept our heads down, letting our work do the talking. We haven’t done too much PR or put ourselves out there in the media, so these awards are a great vehicle to get some coverage and we can use them as a platform to announce ourselves to a wider audience.
“We feel that our projects speak for themselves and we’ve always picked up a lot of work from referrals and word of mouth. But, having said that, it’s nice to get a bit of publicity and it certainly won’t do us any harm. We’re very serious about our business and we’re in it for the long haul. This recognition is positive and it showcases the high standards we are achieving. We’re happy to be shortlisted and just to be in the room at these awards is an honour.”
O’Driscoll Lynn Architects provide architectural services and innovative design solutions to the residential and commercial sectors, boasting extensive experience in building design, from small houses and extensions to largescale commercial developments across the pharma-medical, manufacturing, retail and leisure sectors.
The firm was founded by registered architects Brian O’Driscoll and Cormac Lynn in 2016 and they adopt a collaborative approach to their work, combining their unique skills, experience and design sensibilities to every project undertaken, careful to ensure that each building contributes in a positive way to the built environment.
ODLA believe that good building design impacts on the quality of our lives. A home or commercial building designed by O’Driscoll Lynn Architects improves the lives of all those who interact with it. They take a client’s brief and bring the residential or commercial building project to reality within budget, while maximising the potential of the site.
ODLA’s design work on residential homes has been featured in Interiors Ireland and Homes Interiors & Living. One of their largest commercial projects to date was the aforementioned expansion of the Waters Technologies manufacturing base in Wexford, which is featured in Kingspan’s global Benchmark Ideas Book and Product Portfolio. ODLA was also awarded “Best Of Houzz, 2018, Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design, based on their client reviews.
Partners Cormac and Brian have worked together on and off over the last 15 years but it was three-and-a-half years ago that they opted to establish O’Driscoll Lynn Architects. Both are registered architects with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI). The company today has a team of five, with the addition of Ibolya Walsh-Fekete as Senior Architect, Petr Byrtus as Senior Architectural Technologist and Karolina Kapusta as Architectural Assistant.
Despite being a relatively-new practice, the wealth of experience that the founders brought to the table has enabled them to hit the ground running and quickly establish themselves as the reliable architectural firm of choice in Wexford and the south east, invariably offering client satisfaction through design excellence. One of their key strengths lies in good communication with clients, which facilitates excellent design outcomes.
O’Driscoll Lynn Architects have helped shape the landscape of commercial architecture in the South East, creating well-considered, highly-efficient buildings that provide healthy, uplifting environments for users. The company’s architectural services can guide the client through a commercial building project from start to finish, including advice on the planning process, energy compliance, site selection and more, whilst delivering the design excellence and reliability O’Driscoll Lynn Architects are renowned for.
Meanwhile, O’Driscoll Lynn Architects also bring extensive experience, skill and creativity to residential architecture, their portfolio including new builds, refurbishments and extensions. At the time of writing, ODLA were working on a number of high-end residential projects, including the conversion of a notable riverfront period house in Wexford.
“We also take on work for house builders, including private housing schemes, social and affordable housing schemes and apartment schemes,” says Cormac. “We have recently designed the new depot for Wexford Bus and work will commence on site there in the coming months. At the moment, we’re predominantly working across Wexford, the South East and Dublin.”
Growth – unless organic and demand-driven – is not a key goal… “We’re happy with the size we are at, but we would be happy to grow at a sustainable level,” Cormac notes. “We don’t want to over-reach ourselves and the market here in Wexford is steady. With five in the office at present, it’s a nice size, with the ability to grow, but at the same time we are only too aware of the danger of irresponsible growth.”
“We are very focussed on forming long lasting productive relationships with our clients, and have to be selective with who we work with, targeting those who share our values in terms of quality, efficiency and integrity.”
The key to providing top-class design and architectural solutions? “You have to be a very good listener and you have to be very aware of the appropriate context of a building within its environment. It’s very important to us to put the right building in the right location and to deliver what the client needs. You need to be cognisant of the historical context and relevance of the surrounding landscape.”
What about creativity? How important is it to let the creative juices flow? “That’s what ultimately attracts us to this profession, the desire to be creative, however, the creative aspect is only one part of the overall package. There are a lot of other factors and responsibilities you have to consider in delivering a building, with regards to budget, programme, planning and contractual issues for example.
“Being creative is certainly the part that we enjoy most,” Cormac continues. “But, with any project, design is only a percentage of the overall services provided.”
To say that ODLA are passionate about their work would certainly be an understatement. “We believe it is a great honour and responsibility to design structures that will be a feature in our landscape for many years.” Cormac concludes “It’s there as a testament to your design skills and we believe that it is a privilege to contribute to the built environment. There are challenges to knitting buildings harmoniously into rural and urban environments, but these are challenges we particularly thrive on.”
O’Driscoll Lynn Architects,
Knockenhoy Business Park,
Tel: 053 9144912
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2019, Vol 5 No 10