The future of Irish architecture

30 Jan , 2020  

There are many talented architects in Ireland who skills cover the design of buildings in many different sectors.

For this month’s edition of Building Ireland, we profile one such company that is taking the industry by storm despite still being in its infancy.

Established in 2014, de Siún Architects has a wealth of experience behind it as director Mícheál de Siún and associate Florian Leavy have been involved in the industry for many years.

de Siún Architects is an architectural practice with a passion for detail and a wide spectrum of experience, based in Dublin. They specialize in architecture, urban planning and interiors with a portfolio that spans complex mixed-use developments to exquisite private residences. Currently they are engaged in a varied range of projects in a variety of sectors in Ireland.

Combining high quality deliverable design with commercial acumen de Siún Architects are widely considered to be one of the most exciting architectural practices in business at present.

The practice now enjoys a wide breadth of work including public sector, educational and arts, commercial, mixed-urban developments, and sensitive renovations of protected structures, together with one-off private residential commissions. They have a number of projects currently on-site, which are both exciting and provide opportunities to develop and implement new design strategies.

“Our practice is built upon clearly defined principles: The need to understand with clarity our clients’ briefs, the generation of a clear vision and strategy for each project irrespective of scale, a passion for design and detail, and a single-minded obsession with delivering buildings and spaces to the highest possible quality,” said Mícheál.

Despite being only five years in business, de Siún Architects are already an award-winners picking up the RIAI Best Cultural Building 2016 for the 5CUBE, which was completed a year earlier and was one of the company’s first projects.

5CUBE is a semi-permanent pavilion in Hanover Quay, Dublin Docklands, physically representing the volume of oil consumed every five minutes in Ireland.

The 5CUBE was the result of an open competition run by the EU funded ACE for Energy project which seeks to promote the uptake of renewable energy through various initiatives throughout Europe.  The competition was open to designers of all disciplines and the brief was to create a renewable energy feature which would raise awareness of renewable energy and be capable of replication and/or relocation on multiple sites.

They have also been highly commended on two projects since then, while this year they were winners of the prestigious Retail Project of the Year award for their work on Project Warehouse & Showrooms N3 at the Irish Construction Industry awards.

“We are delighted to receive this award as it’s a recognition of the diverse skills involved within a project that was very much a collaborative effort. A creative and empathetic partnership between all team members was critical to the success of these projects. This form of recognition has been rewarding to everyone involved.”

Mícheál and the team always place a great emphasis on working closely with their client as he feels it is essential give them what they want.

“We always work closely with our client and see this as the beginning of a series of future exciting projects with them.”

Located adjacent to one of the busiest motorways in Ireland, the focus was on creating a unique façade on the Project Warehouse that is seen by thousands of motorists every day.

“This was a huge step-up project for us in terms of scale. An old school friend of mine Colm McDaid owns Project and he came to me about designing their new headquarters.

“They wanted the building to reflect the direction that the business is going, reflect their optimism in the future and project their identity. From the off it was a very exciting brief and shows that they have a strong identity and from the off I was very excited by the project. Thousands of people see the building every day, but all of them are travelling on the motorway.

“Motorway noise barriers, and how they appear to change as you drive past, has always fascinated me. I wanted to reflect the motorway noise barriers achieve this effect on the building and we managed to do that through the installation of nine meter high glazed fins on the building front facade. When a motorist is passing, they are given the illusion that the building flickers orange for a while and then back to blue. and I think we successful achieved what we set out to do and the feedback to the client has been incredible. Happy clients and great affect achieved in a tight budget – that’s a successful project and more importantly the clients are happy with the end result as all was done within the budget.”

Mícheál admits that there is a great sense of satisfaction when their ideas come to reality and he added that it takes a collective effort for the work to be done.

“It is a collaboration of many people’s work that results in the end product. These projects are not possible without the input of many and that should never be forgotten.”

de Siún Architects offer a complete architectural service from inception, concept design, statutory approvals, contractor procurement, to management on-site contract admin — all the way to post completion.

“The company’s ethos is simple and sound. Each client, build and site are unique and requires us to think uniquely. Each project determines its own design solution. We can only be happy when the client is happy.

The office avails of up to date digital technology as part of the design and administration process, including computer aided designRevit technology.

“Our Clients are provided with personal and professional attention. We hold a professional relationship with all necessary consultants, structural engineers, environmental scientists, planning consultants, traffic engineers, quantity surveyors, building energy assessors (domestic and commercial) and archaeologists. All are available to our practice as required.”

So, what does the future hold for Mícheál and his team? “We want to push the boundaries of architecture and give our clients options that they may not have thought of and hopefully be involved in more prestigious projects, while continuing to offer the same level of service to our client base.”

de Siún Architects

26 Eustace Street,

Temple Bar,

Dublin 2

D02 TR98

Tel: +353 86 3874704

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.mdsa.ie

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