Top 10 Irish Architects & Studios to Watch

Kristina Camilleri-Grygolec

New Irish architecture is becoming ever more vibrant with large-scale urban projects and modern looks that challenge the rural and suburban building style of the country. Irish architecture is largely a play on intuitive aesthetics, as opposed to the traditional conceptual approach, and this can be seen in our round-up of ten established and up-and-coming Irish architectural firms.

Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland (O’Donnell + Tuomey)

O’Donnell + Tuomey

Set to receive the Royal Gold Medal award for 2015 – the world’s most prestigious architecture award established by RIBA – O’Donnell + Tuomey stand at the forefront of contemporary Irish architecture. By carefully considering each building’s functionality, they achieve new levels of experience. For instance, a window is not just there to allow light to penetrate the building, but is formed in such a way that will give visitors a particular view to the outside. Founding their studio in 1988, O’Donnell and Tuomey have mastered a combination of rational and artistic approaches to design buildings that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Universita Luigi Bocconi School of Economics, Milan, Italy. (Grafton Architects)

Grafton Architects

Founded in 1977 by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Grafton Architects are the 2008 winners of the WAF Awards and were one of the five finalists for the 2009 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award, achieved for their Universita Luigi Bocconi project in Milan. For the design of this winning university building, Grafton Architects have gone in a constructivist direction, referencing the early 20th century Russian architect Konstantin Melnikov. Nevertheless, their overall architectural style tends to focus on making large-scale buildings approachable on a human scale. Grafton Architects were recently chosen to curate the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre

Heneghan Peng Architects

A multidisciplinary office focused on architecture, landscape and urban design, Heneghan Peng Architects was established in New York in 1999 by Shih-Fu Peng and Roisin Heneghan before moving to Dublin, Ireland in 2001. Their architecture plays with the landscape in which they build, either seamlessly blending into the landscape or creating new landscapes with their architectural forms. Among other projects, they are currently busy with designing and constructing two large scale museums including the Grand Egyptian Museum of Ancient Egyptian Artifacts and the Contemporary Arts Center in Moscow, Russia.

Clontarf Road/ Vernon Ave., Dublin


Tom de Paor is an architect and artist who opened his office straight after graduating from University College Dublin in 1991. As the first architecture practice to represent Ireland at the Venice International Biennale of Architecture, with a conceptual sculpture of a tapered cube of stacked turf blocks, de Paor seems to often combine architecture and art. While his approach is post-modernistic, he uses a minimalistic architectural vocabulary in his designs, creating works that stand out for their conceptual aspects but don’t scream for attention.

ODOS Architects

Set-up in 2002 by Darrell O’Donoghue and David O’Shea, ODOS Architects is a relatively young practice that works hard to challenge traditions and propose new and contemporary design aesthetics. Their work is eye-catching and makes you curious to dig deeper to understand the design at hand. In 2009, ODOS Architects won the Architectural Review’s International Emerging Architecture Awards, as well as exhibiting internationally such as at the 2006 Venice Biennale for Architecture.

3 Mews Houses, Dublin, Ireland

Boyd Cody Architects

Boyd Cody Architects is a design practice that was established in 1997 by Dermot Boyd and Peter Cody. Starting out with a focus on interior design, Boyd Cody Architects has an affinity for residential and often small-scale architecture projects. The interiors of their buildings are highlighted through large windows that frame the inside of the structure. Besides winning a number of awards and widely exhibiting their work, both directors hold teaching roles – Boyd currently teaches at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Cody at the University College Dublin.

TAKA Architects

TAKA Architects is a young architectural practice founded in Bangladesh in 2006 and is now based in Dublin, Ireland. Founders Alice Casey and Cian Deegan became inspired by vernacular architecture after traveling to Asia, Australia, and South and North America and now aim to design architecture that bears a distinct character. In 2008, TAKA Architects were the youngest ever Irish representatives exhibiting at the Venice Architectural Biennale as part of The Lives of Spaces exhibition.

New-Build Cricket Pavilion, Donnybrook, Dublin (TAKA Architects)

FKL Architects

FKL Architects was established in Dublin in 1998 by Michelle Fagan, Paul Kelly and Gary Laysaght. The practice works according to the idea that abstract ideas are the starting point, dictating their design mantra that “all decisions and materials reflect, reinforce and complement the primary concept.” Having curated and designed Ireland’s exhibit at the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale entitled SubUrban to SuperRural, FKL Architects focused on the topic of suburban sprawl in Ireland and its effects on urban centers.

Social Housing Project in Ballymun
Parade and Canal Square, Kilkenny, Ireland

GKMP Architects

Grace Keeley and Michael Pike began the GKMP Architects practice in 2003 and since then has designed a number of housing and public space projects, including the Parade and Canal Square in Kilkenny, Ireland. Their designs take the context of the project very much into consideration from the start and they aim to work with materials in a creative way. GKMP Architects’ project have been internationally published and exhibited such as at the exhibition Rebuilding the Republic: New Irish Architecture 2000-10, which they made part of in 2011 and took place in Leuven, Belgium.

Bucholz McEvoy Architects

Bucholz McEvoy Architects work internationally, with offices in Dublin and Berlin. Designing with a focus on sustainability, Bucholz McEvoy Architects aim for durable design that takes into account not only environmental but also social and economic issues. Stitched into its natural environment, their Elm Park Green Urban Quarter project in Dublin is a large-scale mixture of elements with different functions, comprising of a hotel, private clinic, offices, residences, conference center, dance studio, leisure studio and center, cafés, restaurant and outdoor performance spaces that are oriented toward decreasing energy use and increasing the density of people.

Elm Park Conference Centre
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.