Thanks to Brett Mahon for this beautiful picture of our Dublin studio with a few references to our Belfast studio.
We are delighted to welcome Brett Mahon to the Arigho Larmour Wheeler studio in Dublin. Brett graduated from Queens University Belfast, with First Class honours in both his undergraduate and Masters degrees during which he spent a year studying at the notable Bruno Krucker studio in TUM Munich.
With a strong portfolio in design, Brett has held various roles in international organisations such as EASA (the European Association of student architects) and NASA India. He has designed and tutored workshops across Europe, India and has been published in magazines such as Archdaily and Perspective Magazine for these designs.
Having previously worked in London for RCKa architects, Brett has experience in public mixed-use buildings and community builds. He also took lead on an award winning art installation which was commissioned by the Crown Estates in Mayfair and was featured in wallpaper magazine and AJ.
Aileen Lee of the The Irish Examner spoke to Jane Larmour about her 'Design Life' in this weeks Interiors supplement. You can read the full interview here...
What’s your background?
I studied Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast and UCD. My first job was with Hall McKnight Architects (then called Hackett + Hall) in Belfast. I moved to Dublin for my postgraduate studies at UCD and stayed to work for O’Donnell + Tuomey on the Lyric Theatre Belfast and Photography Galleries in both Dublin and London.
I set up my own practice Arigho Larmour Wheeler Architects with my partners, Mark Arigho and Patrick Wheeler, in 2016.
What’s a typical work day like for you?
We have two studios, one in Belfast and one in Dublin, and work between both.
If it’s a Dublin day I have an early start with a couple of hours work on the train before I arrive in our studio beside Trinity College. We have a beautiful space there in old banking chambers. I might be meeting potential clients or out on-site for part of the day, or at my desk drawing or making a model. We might do an in-house design charrette on a particular project to develop ideas together. It’s always different.
Tell us about a recent project or design you have worked on?
We are doing a lot of beautiful houses for clients, some in the countryside with lots of open space and gardens. We do a lot of conservation work which is always exciting as you are bringing something back to life. We are also working on some larger commercial projects which are quite different to domestic work.
What’s your design style?
We’re interested in things which have longevity and timelessness.
Robust materials, good light, spaces which have feeling and character and surfaces that you want to touch. Every project requires a different approach, but these are a good starting point.
What/Who inspires your work?
My Dad taught History and Theory of Architecture at Queen’s University in Belfast for around 40 years and all my travels with my parents as a child and teenager were to towns and cities across Europe to see the most beautiful buildings.
He also writes about Irish architecture and taught me that you often don’t have to look too far away for inspiration – I find the vernacular architecture of Ireland, and particularly the Victorian buildings of Belfast where I grew up and now live, very romantic and full of ideas to draw on.
There is nothing like really studying great architecture, looking at buildings, drawing them, and just absorbing what it feels like to be at these places. We still regularly go on study trips as an office. Last year we enjoyed a few days on Lambay Island off Malahide looking at the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens. I also went to London, Milan and New York in the last year to see buildings first hand.
What’s your most treasured possession?
I have a little brass and enamel box my Grandad made when he went back to Art College at the age of 70 after a long career as an architect.
He made it for my Grandma to keep her jewellery. I like it because it is beautiful and useful, but it is extra special to me because it was handmade by him.
Who would be your favourite designer, or style inspiration?
I have always been drawn to Japanese and Scandinavian designers, I suppose because they have an affinity with nature and tend to be quite restrained and simple, using beautiful materials, proportions and light.
Finnish architects and designers Alvar and Aino Aalto are particular favourites.
What would be a dream project for you to work on?
To be honest, any project where the client values good design and wants to make a beautiful building.
Have you any design tips for us?
It might sound obvious, but using an architect is a good start.
You may end up living or working in the spaces you invest in for a large part of your home or work life and the impact these environments have on the quality of your life is often underestimated.
Alain De Botton has a really lovely way of articulating this in The Architecture of Happiness, a book we often go back to read.
Karishma Kursukar of Small Town Big Dreams Podcast took a few behind the scenes photos of our Belfast Studio during her visit to chat with Director Jane Larmour. You can see these here...
Small Town Bg Dreams is a podcast celebrating creative entrepreneurs and telling their stories. Graeme Watson and Karishma Kursukar visited our studio in South Belfast to chat with Director Jane Larmour about architecture, design, heritage and our cross border practice between Belfast and Dublin. You can listen on the link above ... on icloud or all good podcast apps.
This project has kindly been supported by Creativity Month NI & Department for Communities and is a collaboration by Blick Shared Studios, Graeme Watson and Karishma Kusurkar.
Director Jane Larmour has been elected to the RSUA Council and looks forward to supporting the newly appointed RSUA President Joan McCoy of White Ink Architects.
Arigho Larmour Wheeler Director Patrick Wheeler has been invited to be on the jury for the International Concrete Design Competition 2017/18. The theme set for this, the 8th cycle of the biennial competition for students of architecture and design related disciplines was 'Tactility'.
The competition is organized by a consortium of European cement and concrete associations and is open to students registered in a 3 rd level educational institute in one of the participating countries. The 8th cycle of the competition will be hosted by Belgium. The competition is funded in Ireland by Cement Manufacturers Ireland (CMI).
The Concrete Design Competition aims to promote innovative design attitudes related to the use of concrete as a material and a technology. It is characterized by its format; each competition cycle is framed by a theme designating a specific property of concrete.
Nationally chosen laureates will be invited to participate in an international Master Class in August 2018 in Brussels. This Master Class will continue the investigation of the theme.
The Award is sponsored by Irish Cement Ltd. and For more information on the competition see here...
Delighted to be supporting two charities this week in both our Belfast and Dublin studios through RIAI Simon Open Door and RSUA Ask an Architect. We still have some bookings available in Belfast...see www.askanarchitect-ni.com @friends_of_the_cancer_centre #charityevent #askanarchitect #simonopendoor #professionalconsultations #architects #irisharchitects #northernireland #ireland #architecture #lisburnroadbelfast #nassaustreet
Our latest study trip, back to Italy to explore by Carlo Scarpa's masterpiece, the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona. Such a thoughtful approach to conservation and exquisite detailing. More photos on our instagram page, follow us here ... @alwarchitects
We are delighted once again to be supporting the RSUA and PLACE 'Ask an Architect' campaign.
'ask an architect' is an unique annual event which gives you something back for your charitable donation and takes place over a single week each year. During that week architects across all of Northern Ireland will offer their services free of charge giving advice to those considering a building or renovation project – all for a minimum charitable donation of £40 to The Jill Todd Trust in Partnership with Friends of the Cancer Centre. Click here to book...
Pleased to have our work included in Image Interiors feature on 'Backyard builds'.