The drive to do it differently

6 Nov , 2019  

Set-up in 2008, Fergus Flanagan Architects provides its clients with a full range of architecture and design services, with a focus on both domestic and commercial projects of every scale. Building Ireland caught up with the man himself recently to learn more.

Business “has been excellent” lately at Fergus Flanagan Architects and the company’s namesake and founder hopes to keep things that way as they continue to take on high end projects, namely throughout the east of the country.

It had been the original vision for Fergus Flanagan when he started up his business venture by himself 11 years ago, after having spent some time abroad in both the UK and Germany. 

Back in ’08, it wasn’t easy to get a business off the ground in this country and, as he puts it, “it took a couple of years to get going” but now they’re as busy as ever at Fergus Flanagan Architects.

The Dublin native was good enough to take some time from a current hectic schedule to tell Building Ireland all about it.

“We have bases in Wexford and Dublin and at the moment we’re employing four full-time staff,” Fergus outlined.

“I spent some time in the UK and Germany working with architects before starting up this business and unfortunately it was in a time when the recession hit here.

“It took time, but now we’re specialising in high end houses at around the €3million mark and higher and we’re very happy where we’re at as a company.”

Today the company provides a full range of architecture and design services, focusing on both domestic and commercial projects of every scale.

Through Fergus’s experience and his excellent staff, they have expertise in the residential, leisure and healthcare sectors, and broad experience in the office, education and industrial sectors.

The work at Fergus Flanagan Architects ranges from large and complex projects to small house extensions; they bring to them all the same commitment to great design and attention to detail.

At the present time, business couldn’t be better according to the Managing Director and founder, who also points out that Brexit is actually helping their cause in a certain manner.

“Business has been excellent,” he beamed. “In actual fact, Brexit has been helping us in that we’re getting hedge fund managers over here from the UK that are just looking to stick their toes in Dublin while everything is sort of up in the air.”

If this year has been good for the company, last year saw it winning awards like 2018 Architect of the Year, Most Innovative Architecture Practise in Ireland and another of the company’s designs named Best Residential Project in Ireland.

This past April saw a bungalow the company designed in south Dublin qualify for the final of RTÉ programme ‘Home of the Year’.

The exposure for the business has been huge since and it has got to the point now where Fergus is turning down a handful of projects a month.

“2018 was a fantastic year for us after winning Architect of the Year and then the two British awards we got as well,” he said.

“It has just been a heck of year for us and we’re just trying to keep small here because we’re happy with our size. That was the original plan when I came back from Stuttgart – to design for external spaces and basically stay small while doing so.”

Of course, the success hasn’t just been entirely down to one man, as Fergus has brought in a terrific design team which is led by associates Anthony Burke and Robert Cullen.

It’s very much a team effort between both bases in Wexford and Dublin and at Fergus Flanagan Architects they will always deliver excellence in both design and service.

The following words from Fergus himself on the company’s website (fergusflanaganarchitects.ie) perhaps sum it up perfectly:

“I never know what a building will look like at the start of a project. I start with a blank sheet every time, this way you do not rule out innovation.

“Every client is different, every site is different, every project has different challenges & budgets in this way every building should be different. We do not rush projects, good ideas evolve, they don’t just happen. We don’t set a time limit on any of our projects unless our client has one.

“It is ready when our client is happy and we feel we achieved the high bench mark which we set ourselves. Lastly I put my name to the practice and everything that comes out through its doors, this way I can give my personal guarantee of excellence in design.” 

So what has been the ultimate secret to the success of Fergus Flanagan Architects? How has a company which started from the ground up during a harsh economic recession grown to become a thriving business working on €3million plus projects while also winning national awards?

For the man behind it all, there are several different elements but one common denominator as well.

“I think it’s down to attitude,” Fergus put it plainly. “We do think outside the box and for us a kitchen’s not a kitchen, we have a bit of fun with it.

“We try and think differently about it the whole time, so I think it has been down to a brave attitude and not being afraid to go for it.”

That’s great to hear.

Fergus Flanagan Architects

Dublin Office:

No.5 Clarendon Mews,

Lad Lane,

Dublin 2

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +353 1 9065404

Wexford office:

Crescent Quay,

Wexford Town

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +353 539185147

Web: www.fergusflanaganarchitects.ie

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, July, Vol 5 No 7