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7 Of The Most Creative Irish Architects To Watch

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

When it comes to architectural talent, Ireland is spoilt for choice. The recent revival of the building sector has seen the country bursting with creatives. After rising from the ashes of the recession, these dynamic practices have played a huge role in transforming our cities.

2019 was a big year for the following firms as they continued to define a new movement in modern design.

Established in 2002 by David O’Shea, ODOS is now based in Dublin, London and New York. The company believes that buildings need to inspire their occupants and is wholly interested in “the realisation of contemporary architecture in response to various social and cultural influences”.

ODOS picked up the prestigious Architectural Practice of the Year award at the Building & Architect of the Year Awards 2018 in October. Some of their projects include Morehampton Lane Mews, Token in Smithfield, Ranelagh restaurant Host and Slack’s Dublin offices. Take a look here.

Henry J Lyons believe that buildings should be centred around people so it’s vital to collaborate with clients to fully enhance the design process. The award-winning company is one of Ireland’s leading architectural practices with expertise gained over the past 100 years in architecture, interior design, master-planning and heritage projects.

Recently completed projects include One Molesworth Street, The Central Bank of Ireland’s new headquarters in Dublin’s Docklands and MetLife’s technology campus in Galway. Central Plaza on the site of the former Central Bank and the redevelopment of the Clerys building are among Henry J Lyons’ future projects.

Led by Ralph Bingham and Michael O’Carroll, MOLA provides full architectural, interior and masterplanning services.

The company is behind 1 Windmill Lane, Zendesk’s EMEA HQ and the global headquarters of Avolon Aerospace in Ballsbridge. 2019 will see the opening of the practice’s latest design creation in Dublin – Ireland’s first ever Hyatt Centric Hotel. Located on site in the heart of the Combe, the 234-bedroom hotel is due to open in May. Planning has also been granted for Cherrywood Town Centre and the restoration of Hanover Quay Warehouse so watch this space!


Now in its eleventh decade, RKD’s roots can be traced all the way back to 1913. The company brands itself as a mix of tradition and innovation and is the brains behind buildings such as LinkedIn’s EMEA HQ, Dublin Landings, One Microsoft Place and Glucksman Library in University of Limerick.

RKD’s forward-thinking vision has propelled it beyond its status as one of the leading design practices in Ireland to become an emerging world player with offices in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Sweden, Belgium and South Africa. You can take a look at the company’s impressive portfolio here.

O’Donnell O’Neill is responsible for the design and aesthetic of some of Dublin’s most popular venues including The Stella Theatre, The Grayson, Wilde Restaurant in The Westbury and The Dean Hotel along with The Merchant Hotel in Belfast and Hidden Attic in Cork, to name a few.

The interior architecture and design studio formed by Graham O’Donnell and Ann-Marie O’Neill over 15 years ago specialises in experiential and atmospheric interior design solutions for the hospitality industry. “Design matters to us. It drives us and inspires us every day to ensure we not only create but differentiate our ideas and concepts from others. In creating designs for our clients, we realise and appreciate that we are investing in their businesses and impacting on their success”, says the duo.


Co-founded by Lauren Martin and Louise Rankin in March of this year, Dublin-based design studio North specialises in interior architecture, interior design and creative direction in both the residential and commercial sector.

The pair are currently lead designers on Just Wing It’s new flagship restaurant on Georges Street and are working on a luxury office fit out off Stephen’s Green as well as Coffee2Go’s cafés, show homes, apartments and private residentials.

North was recently nominated for Instagram of the year by IMAGE Interiors. If 2018 is anything to go by, North’s star looks set to continue to rise in 2019.

Last but certainly not least is Courtney McDonnell Studio. The Dublin-based contemporary architecture and interior design practice set up in 2017 aims to bridge the gap between the two, providing an umbrella of services under one roof which focus on reflecting their client’s personality, lifestyle and work regime.

We’re thrilled to have Courtney as part of the Iconic community, we recently caught up with her to chat about her career to date and where her inspiration comes from, you can watch the interview here.


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