Innovative workplace, hospitality and retail design solutions

21 Oct , 2020  

Specialists in architecture and interior design for workplace, hospitality and retail, Jennings Design Studio were shortlisted for two prestigious awards at the 2019 Fit Out Awards: Fit Out Design Practice of the Year and Fit Out Project of the Year – Medium Office. Building Ireland spoke to JDS Principal Brian Jennings to find out more about this trailblazing, multi-award-winning architectural practice.

Voted Architectural Practice of the Year at the 2018 Irish Construction Industry Awards, Jennings Design Studio has within a relatively short space of time evolved into one of Ireland’s premier commercial architectural practices.

Established by Brian Jennings in 2009, JDS’s key skills include innovative and creative Architecture, Interior Architecture, Interior Design, Environmental Graphic Design and Project Management. Since its inception eleven years ago, the company has grown steadily, winning significant and high profile commissions, and their strategy going forward is to continue to expand as a multidisciplinary studio concentrating on workplace, hospitality and retail projects, serving a broad range of client needs within those specific sectors.

Members of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI), Jennings Design Studio have garnered many major industry awards over the years, including a prestigious RIAI first place award in 2014.

Last year, they were shortlisted on the double at the Fit Out Awards, challenging hard for both the Design Practice of the Year and Fit Out Project of the Year – Medium Office accolades, the latter for their history-making, innovative work at the Henkel 3D Print Innovation Centre.

Here, the JDS team was tasked with leading the design team, designing the exceptionally ambitious, rapid transformation of an existing warehouse into a new innovation centre, accommodating both staff and visitors whilst showcasing Henkel’s 3D printing business. This modern new space is also a collaboration space for 3D printing partners and 3D printing start-up businesses.

As 3D printing is at the cutting edge of technology advances, the Henkel 3D Print Innovation Centre building needed to reflect this. Working closely with a client specialist, Jennings Design Studio designed special 3D printed floors, walls and reception furniture – a unique solution and the first of its kind in Ireland.

The 3D-printed wall, desk and flooring pattern previews a future where building products are 3D printed in a sustainable and circular manner. The bespoke panels used are made from Henkel’s own Loctite 3D 6910 product, which contains 44% renewable materials and were printed by state-of-the-art robotic and software technology.

Concept designs were presented using Virtual Reality to assist the client’s understanding of the design and make quick decisions on this pioneering, rapid track project.

Services provided by Jennings Design Studio at the Henkel 3D Print Innovation Centre included bespoke reception desk design, office space and furniture, lighting design, environmental graphics and project management. Their concept involved designing the facility to encourage a collaborative community / collegiate feel and atmosphere, with openness and transparency.

They adapted a holistic approach, considering the complete customer journey, starting with arrival, designing a spacious, open full-height entrance that includes a showcase display of 3D-printed products and a glass-walled lab showcasing 3D printers.

Workplaces are arranged in neighbourhoods of six-eight workstations, with a mix of telephone booths, small focus rooms (for four-six people) and larger meeting rooms (ten-20 people). Break out refreshment spaces and a full work cafe are also included as well as a feature 120-seat auditorium.

The architects were careful to allow as much natural light as possible and designed appropriate acoustic solutions to ensure the former warehouse would be a comfortable workplace. Services are exposed to show the building structure, in keeping with many 3D prints designs, while water usage is reduced by a variety of technological solutions and the building insulation was enhanced to reduce energy consumption, with electrical car charging points added.

The rounded shapes that spread across the 3D-printed wall, desk and flooring pattern are a three-dimensional take on the Henkel logo, inspired by the Irish landscape. The degree of opening of the curved segments varies across the piece to reveal the larger design, while the changing intensity of the LED back lighting enhances the depth and contrast of the 3D print.

“The Henkel 3D Print Innovation Centre was a unique and challenging project and one of the highlights of 2019 for us,” confirms JDS founder and Principal Brian Jennings. “Our brief was to take a pretty non-descript warehouse in Tallaght and transform it into a sales centre showcasing Henkel’s 3D printing materials. People are travelling from all over the world to see how their materials work. There are scientists working there and it’s a very technical and modern workplace which demonstrates the capabilities of 3D printers.

“We availed of the opportunity to use 3D printing extensively in the building. This is something which has already made its way into construction in countries like Norway and China but had never been done before in Ireland as far as I know. We designed the wall, floor and reception furniture, which were 3D printed in Amsterdam. It was quite a challenge due not just to the logistics of having the furniture transported and installed but also complying with building regulations.

“The design makes ample use of the attributes of 3D printing and showcases the features of 3D printing. Realistically, this couldn’t have been done any other way. It was the obvious approach to adapt and we were delighted to work on this project as we are known for our innovative designs and also as a small architectural and design studio that punches way above our weight.”

Some other high-profile projects Jennings Design Studio worked on in 2019 included the MAD EGG restaurant, Best Menswear, Leinster House and Naas Racecourse. Jennings Design Studio also designed workplace fit outs for a USA multinational as well as a cable landing station. Their projects have often revitalised otherwise unexciting areas, enriched people’s experiences of visiting these areas / buildings and preserved iconic buildings.

They have been frequently published and commended in mainstream press and websites and the business –which started with just one employee in 2009 and now generates gainful employment for seven staff plus five support partners – is growing due to good relationships with clients, consultants and contractors as well as an excellent track record for consistently delivering high-quality projects.

At the time of writing, Jennings Design Studio were working on a variety of projects, all of which were at different stages. These included interesting work on two locations for The One Foundation, which is particularly close to Brian’s heart, a new office building in Clontarf, the new office HQ for Glenveagh Properties in Maynooth, an extension to Lucan Shopping Centre and an array of retail kiosks, restaurants and offices.

Going forward, Brian envisages further growth for JDS, albeit within the specialist areas where they have already established themselves: “Retail, workplace and hospitality are the sectors we will continue to focus on,” he concludes.

“The plan is to grow the studio in Dublin to about 15 staff. That’s about as far as we’d want to take it because small suits us and we don’t want to overstretch of find ourselves in between. We’re well known in these three sectors and we’d be hopeful that our reputation is such that we can continue to secure interesting projects. I believe that if you try to be all things to all men, then you will end up being nothing to nobody … so we’ll stick to what we are good at!”

Jennings Design Studio,

3 Talbot Street,

North City,

Dublin 1.

Tel:  01 853 5644

Email: [email protected]


This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, February/March 2020, Vol 6 No 1