Peter Carroll

Director
Born 1971 in Limerick, Ireland. Peter graduated from University College Dublin in 1995 and worked with O’Donnell + Tuomey in Dublin and Rafael Moneo in Madrid until 2005. From 2000-2002 he edited the Architectural Association of Ireland’s quarterly journal ‘Building Material’. Peter is a senior lecturer and current course director at the School of Architecture, University of Limerick. He is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, the Architectural Association of Ireland and DoCoMoMo Ireland.

CAOMHÁN MURPHY LEÃO

Director
Born 1971 in Dublin, Ireland. Caomhán grew up in Köln, Germany and graduated from University College Dublin in 1995. Practiced in Ireland and Australia between 1995 and 2005. Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Architectural Association of Ireland, Australian Architecture Association and DoCoMoMo Ireland. Currently pursuing an interest in horticulture alongside the practice of architecture.

Joan McElligott

Associate Director
Joan graduated from University College Dublin in 2003 and is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. She previously worked in Toronto, New York and Sydney and became an associate director of A2 Architects in 2009. Joan is an RIAI accredited Conservation Grade 3 Architect. She was project architect on the Lucky Lane Housing and is an occasional critic at the School of Architecture, DIT.

David McInerney

Graduate Architect
David graduated from the University of Limerick in 2013. He currently teaches at the School of Architecture in UCD and is a committee member of the Architectural Association of Ireland.

Awards

Nominated for ‘Pulp Press, Kistefos, Norway’ for European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015

Best House Extension for ‘One-Up, One-Down, One-Deep’, RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2008

Best Education Building for ‘Eurocampus, Dublin’, RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2009

Best House for ‘Seaside House, Co. Louth’, RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2011

Best Public Space / Urban Design for ‘Granby Park, Dublin’, RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2014

Award, ‘Best House Extension for ‘One-Up, One-Down, One-Deep’, Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2008

Award, ‘Lucky Lane Mews Housing’, Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2010

Special Mention, ‘Brick Thickness’, Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2007

Special Mention, ‘Eurocampus, Dublin’, Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2009

Special Mention, ‘Artists Production Space, Vienna’, Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2011

Special Mention, ‘Sheltered Space’, Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2013

Special Mention, ‘Granby Park, Dublin’ Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2014

Testimonials

Granby Park, Dublin

“A2 Architects provided a much-needed level of expertise, quality and professionalism to the development of Granby Park. We felt safe in the knowledge that the project was in good and experienced hands, however we were not to expect their level of commitment and dedication, considering the fact that their involvement was in an unpaid capacity.
The construction would not have had the same quality and design vision without them. Their flexibility, understanding and skills in communication were key to ensuring that all stakeholders (including the client, council, community, builders, engineers, volunteers & youth groups) could collaborate successfully.”

Samuel Bishop, Co-Founder of Upstart (A non-profit voluntary arts collective) www.upstart.ie

“As Chairperson of Dominick Street Lower I can speak for the residents when I say Granby Park has been a success in our area, as we are in the middle of regeneration. It has been fun, exciting, family friendly and very welcoming to all. We have enjoyed being part of it and it’s been great to look over and see it every day. Overall it has been a very positive project, thanks to the Upstart group, Dublin City Council and all the volunteers.”

Anna Brean Finnegan (Community Representative, Dominick St Lower)


Eurocampus School Building, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14

“After speaking with and reviewing preliminary plans from several architects in 2005 and 2006 for our new Eurocampus school building in Clonskeagh we chose the architects primarily because of the design. The building was intended to house both French, German and Irish secondary school students and act as a link between the existing German-Irish School and the Lycée Français d’Irlande and we wanted the design to be as original as the idea behind the building project. Furthermore, this new design had to complement the existing school buildings and meet stringent cost constraints.

The architects produced an innovative design which caught the imagination of the Boards of the two schools and that of the teachers and parents alike. Its proposed use of common spaces such as the canteen, music room, teachers common room and the new academic courtyard were key factors in persuading all parties that the building design itself would assist in the integration of the two school communities – at all times the key concern of those managing the project.

The building was completed on time in September 2008 and final result has been an unqualified success with plaudits and gratitude from all parties and, in particular, the teachers and pupils who are main users of the building. This is a building of which everyone can be proud.”

Tim Carthy, Comite de Gestion, Lycée Français d’Irlande


Gorey Community School

“A2 Architects were involved in the design and management of a three-specialist-room extension at Gorey Community School in 2011/2012. From the moment they were appointed they had a very professional attitude. They were innovative and refreshing in their ideas and a pleasure to work with. Their use of light, space, height and aspect created wonderful rooms that are a pleasure for both students and teachers. All members of A2 were a pleasure to work with. They were always available to us and when problems arose they had the imagination and creativity to find solutions that worked. I would recommend them highly.”

Frank Duke, Vice Principal of Gorey Community School, 2014


Pulp Press, Kistefos (A2 Architects with Artist John Gerrard)

“A2 Architects were in charge of the pavilion housing a site specific art work by John Gerrard. We are extremely pleased with the result as are critics, cultural leaders in Norway and the audience at Kistefos Museet. A2’s attention to detail and their ability to adapt the original concept to challenges that arose both in terms of its positioning on the water front, adjacent structures and security requirements were most satisfactory.

The firm’s experience with concrete and their ability to guide the contractors was most impressive and critical to the end result. Their sense of proportion and scale was also important to its delicate positioning in a historic landscape.”

William Flatmo, Director, Christen Sveaas Art Collection, Oslo, Norway

“The project, which in design and build took over 18 months, was a challenging one. However A2, through a most exemplary attention to all details, have achieved an extraordinarily peaceful object on the landscape, which is full of surprises. The first is the luminous scene inside the sculpture and the second is the unexpected and meditative space facing the river scene, which one finds behind the projection wall. Most remarkably, the intervention is a permanent one, to be enjoyed into the distant future.”

John Gerrard, Artist


OONAGH YOUNG GALLERY

“An empty retail space of 70sqm in 1 James Joyce Street; the brief to the architects was to design a space that fulfilled two functions within a restricted budget – the first was to operate as a contemporary art gallery and the second as a graphic design studio. The gallery was to predominate whilst allowing for a fully functioning office/studio that would be an important but less obvious feature of the design. Certain criteria had to be met for both aspects; the gallery requirements included floating walls which could hold heavy artworks should they be required, a lighting system which could be changed and altered easily depending on the exhibitions, storage space, allocated places for promotional material and a place to serve wine on opening nights. Minimalism was key and the space itself needed to ‘disappear’ once artworks were exhibited in the gallery. Requirements for the design studio included providing workspaces for 3 people, a space for old plan chest drawers and plenty of shelves. A comfortable but visually ordered work environment was required.

The architects have provided with me with all my requirements and more! The gallery space functions perfectly with the added bonus of an area which can be used for display or seating purposes. A perfectly intimate gallery space, all artworks in various media have benefited by being placed in this clean, contemporary yet sympathetic environment. It is a pleasure to work with artists who are eager to see their work in the gallery and the public who constantly admire the space, to college tutors and students who have held classes in the gallery space. The lighting system is simple and easy to use and provides all the artists with lots of options. The plugs hidden under the floating walls are a particularly favourite feature as they add to the overall sense of calm and removal of visual clutter, thereby assisting the viewer to focus on the artwork in the gallery.

The design studio is a very comfortable place to work, with everything being easily accessible. The large expanse of plywood shelves and desk, along side the old plan chest added a warmer dimension to a distinctly contemporary workspace. All of these particular features developed by the architects reflect the very essence of both the contemporary art gallery and the somewhat more personal graphic design element of the project.”

Oonagh Young, Gallery Owner


Smock Boutique

“An unused stationary shop of 640 sq feet in poor condition located at 31 Drury Street; the brief to the architects was to provide two levels within a restricted budget that were beautiful and never before seen in Ireland. Certain criteria had to be met, firstly durability. With a lease of twenty five years this was to be the one and only fit-out; the choice of materials both for their look and durability was crucial. Secondly, we needed smooth surfaces and materials that would clean well. Lighting was paramount to the feeling in Smock, including the amount of natural light on the clothes and near the mirrors. We gave the architects Smock’s personality requirements and explained, through the clothes, that we wanted feminine without the frills, New York meets Antwerp.

The architects have provided Smock with the most admired, talked about, coolest boutique in Ireland. The bar has been raised…their initial idea was to bring back the old Dublin that was sleeping in the building by exposing the fireplaces, the wooden floorboards and featuring the sash windows. The first and second floors flow, with the most magnificent steel wall opening and connecting both floors. The hanging rails, fireplace hearths, and banister are all solid steel; this keeps the look minimal and exceeds the durability request!

Smock is a very manageable workspace, it’s solid and everything we dreamt of and more. We are so proud of our boutique and still to this day stand outside at the end of day and think…wow. We are so thankful to the architects for designing, project managing and giving us our dream.”

Susan Crawford, Smock Boutique Owner


ONE UP ONE DOWN ONE DEEP
CARLISLE STREET, DUBLIN 8

“My original plan of immediate renovation was overcome by my enthusiastic indolence and this was not helped when a planning application I made in the late 1990’s was refused. I did not use a qualified architect at the time. I was not motivated again until 2004 when roof leaks caused water damage and electrical problems.

Getting Started – Having lived in the property for 10 years, I knew it’s limitations (one bedroom) and charms (private rear garden with sunny aspect and the character filled front room) Overcoming this limitation whilst retaining the charms formed the basis of my brief and I now needed an architect.

I reviewed numerous articles and websites as well as receiving recommendations from family and friends. I visited the RIAI offices and discussed the selection and costs of a full architectural service and was put in touch with two emerging young practices. Both impressed with their enthusiasm. A2 Architects were commissioned.

Final Design, budgets and planning – Numerous meetings and discussions took place over the following months with A2 Architects showing true professionalism (and tolerance) as I requested changes to the design to try and get maximum return for minimum outlay. They listened intently, explained and documented what could be achieved, delivered further designs and models and still I persisted! Once I realised that I was being naïve regarding the costs associated with my lofty plans, I chose the design that fully met my brief – this was in fact the innovative design that A2 had first presented.

A chance comment by me during the initial site visit about the almost perfect square proportions of the front room was a true sign of listening to the client when this ‘square’ was reinterpreted in the new build element. The final design was a clever use of glass and concrete spaces merging with the original building. With design and budget agreed, the project really took off with A2 making the planning process a simple, painless and ultimately successful exercise.

The Build – Construction commenced at the end of June 2006. A tricky demolition and building operation began and given that this is a terraced property with neighbours on both sides, it was extremely important that the development was properly managed and that any concerns were dealt with quickly and satisfactorily. A2 provided assurance to the neighbours, guidance to the contractors and as a result my involvement was minimal.

Some design features were presented to me during the build that A2 believed would add to the overall concept such as the exposed concrete surfaces, the polished concrete kitchen worktop and the ‘Le Corbusier’ colours. While initially I showed some scepticism, I bowed to their knowledge and experience. Allowing A2 the opportunity to complete the project as they originally envisaged was totally correct and the results prove the point. This was not a ‘carte blanche’ as I was kept in the loop at all times, but rather a belief that they fully understood the brief and that any suggestions being made were in keeping with the innovative design solution.

The Completed Product and Final Thoughts – With the project complete I look around and wonder why I did not do it earlier. The property has the additional accommodation as requested and has maintained and capitalised on its existing strengths. The front room that had become a corridor is now returned to its former glory. The garden has been introduced into the property through the use of walls of glass and an internal courtyard. The property easily flows from one level to another and the feeling of space is enhanced by light that enters the house wherever possible. Overall the result is fantastic and the wait, cost and inconvenience have been worthwhile.

I now know why I did not do this project earlier – I was waiting for A2 to arrive!”

Vincent Fagan – A satisfied client


Offices at Lad Lane, Dublin 2

“We worked with the team at A2 Architects in renovation of our offices and have no hesitation in commending their services. The work product and ability to deliver the final result was excellent.”

Barry Moore, Hanna Moore and Curley, Patent and Trademark Attorney


Various Collaborations on Protected Structures

“I have collaborated with A2 since 2006. Their architectural solutions to sensitive conservation sites are thoughtful, intelligent and design driven. Very professional and pleasant to work with.”

Deirdre Conroy, Managing Partner, Architectural Heritage Partners