Delivering on commitments time and time again

27 Jan , 2020  

COADY Architects is an award winning, design-driven Practice specialising in workplace, residential, healthcare and education buildings. Building Ireland learned more from the company’s Managing Director, Mark McCann.

With over 33 years in practice, COADY Architects has earned a reputation for quality design along with delivering exciting buildings and environments for forward-thinking clients.

Their expertise includes Architecture, Master Planning, Interior Design, Building Information Modelling and Sustainable Design. The practice provides Grade I Conservation services accredited by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.

The company’s Head Office is in Ranelagh Dublin, with a regional office in Galway.

Mark took time out recently to fill Building Ireland in on recent developments in the office.

“COADY was founded in 1986 by Jim Coady. Jim has since retired but continues to provide advice and guidance to the management team as a consultant,” Mark outlined.

“Today, the practice of 60 employees is managed by four directors, Mark McCann, Anne Fletcher, Tomás Sexton and Donal O’Donohue, each leading a team including Associates, Architects & Technologists.

“We have an enthusiastic and vibrant staff, and clients are at the centre of all our work which seeks full participation from all of our team here. Collaborative working is the methodology we use across all our projects.

“Our company philosophy is a shared vision of professionalism, commitment to delivering quality for our clients, taking pride in our combined achievements, designing spaces and places that people come to own and enjoy, and engendering a sense of civic collective responsibility.

For many years COADY has been part of Perspective Architectural Group, which is a network of practices across Europe who share knowledge and expertise. 

This collaboration has enabled them to bring exemplary international best practice across multiple sectors to Ireland and in turn they have provided design lead services in Europe.  They have also established a wide network of renowned international partners, all of which enable us to provide an enhanced service augmented with specialist expertise and capabilities.

In 2014 COADY began a major re-branding of the practice. The company’s reputation was built, in large part, on its work in the education sector. While they continue to deliver award winning schools and third level buildings, their portfolio in the private commercial and residential sectors has grown substantially over the last few years.  They also have a significant portfolio of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) on their books currently.

“Partnering with international practices has been a huge part of our success story here,” Mark stated. “We have a very good working relationship with a number of practices in the UK as well as in main-land Europe.”

Mark was appointed Managing Director in 2016. His own background includes a wealth of invaluable experience gained during the 25 years working with COADY.

“After qualifying from Bolton Street, DIT, I worked for a period on the design of HQ buildings for the newspaper industry in Fleet Street, London, and following this for a large commercial practice specialising in the retail sector, before moving back to work with Gilroy McMahon Architects,” he said.

“I worked with Des MacMahon for seven formative years, the majority of them on the redevelopment of Croke Park, before joining COADY in 1995”.

Since becoming Managing Director, the Irish construction industry has seen a rapid improvement and, as always, COADY Architects have endeavoured to keep up with the demand from clients.

At the moment, they’re immersed in a number of large-scale projects in various sectors, and Mark highlighted some of their current commercial and third level education work.

“This is an exciting time for the practice with significant projects across a broad spectrum of sectors. Things have definitely been improving steadily for the past two or three years,” he said.

“We managed to keep most of our key staff through the downturn, and this has really paid off in an improving economy.”

With regards to some of the company’s on-going work in the capital, Mark outlined that they extremely busy – from the Airport to the Quays.

“We’re currently working on delivering Dublin Airport Central (Phase 1) with Stewart Construction” he said.

“It involves two new office buildings opposite Terminal 2; and we’ve just completed the fit-out of NTMA’s new Headquarters at Dublin Landings on North Wall Quay, next to the new Central Bank and are currently working on a 9,000sqm three phase fit-out for Microsoft in Leopardstown, both of these projects in partnership with Perkins+Will, London.

He continued: “We have a strong track record of work in 3rd level education and have completed significant projects in many IT’s and universities around the country. Right now, we are working with our partners Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Bath office, on the new E3 Institute for Engineering, Energy and Environment for Trinity College on their City Campus. FCBS are the design team lead for the project. Central to the vision of the E3 Institute is the construction of the Learning Foundry, a state-of-the-art facility which will deliver new teaching facilities and an innovative interactive learning space for 1,800 undergraduate and postgraduate students.”

COADY are also working with the NDFA and Higher Education Authority on a third level PPP involving 6 new buildings at 6 sites in Tallaght, Dún Laoghaire, Blanchardstown, Athlone, Tralee and Cork.

COADY are leading a team of 3 architectural practices, further illustrating their commitment to the education sector in Ireland, and their approach to collaborative working and harnessing of international best practice.

In March, COADY were nominated at the prestigious Irish Construction Excellence Awards in the category for Commercial Project over €10m for Goldcrest Village Student Accommodation for the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) where we were Design Team Lead, again collaborating with FCBS. Mark and his team are extremely proud of the work they’ve completed and continue to do with NUIG.

“It is one of a number of projects being developed on the main NUI Galway campus,” he said. “A 429-bed student housing adjacent to Corrib Village – the project has been very well received by the university.

“We’ve moved on to Phase 2 now, currently in for planning, for a further 680 bed spaces. We also have two other PBSA schemes on-going, for private clients, in Galway near to the campus. In Dublin, we are just about to lodge planning for a large scheme of student housing on the DCU campus.”

Indeed, it seems there’s plenty “going on” for COADY Architects these days and, with excellent leadership and vibrant staff, you can bet this award-winning firm will be keen to keep things that way into 2020 and beyond.

Coady Architects

Dublin office:

Mount Pleasant Business Centre, 

Mount Pleasant Avenue,


Dublin 6,

D06 X7P8

Phone: (+353) 01 497 6766

Galway Office: 4 Carleycon House,

Main St, Oranmore,

Co. Galway,  

H91 T026

Phone: (+353) 091 78 8325

E-mail: [email protected]

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, September, Vol 5 No 9