Architects Journal review of ALWA QUB Studios

Great to see our Queen’s University Belfast Master’s in Architecture students work mentioned in the current Student Edition of the Architects Journal. Julian Manev provided a review of the school.

As always, we had another thoroughly enjoyable year contributing to teaching at QUB Architecture, through our studios ‘Street Space’ and ‘Aperture’ and in the undergraduate programme, alongside so many great colleagues, students and guest reviewers.

‘Queen’s long-held tradition of embedding technology and embracing both poetics and practice, continues to produce rigorous and thoughtful work at all stages.’ J.Manev.

Home Improvement with an Architect, Tips from ALWA

Alwarchitects Irish News

The Irish News and Royal Society of Ulster Architects asked ALWAs Jane Larmour for some home improvement tips and how an architect can help add value to your project... you can find the full article online here...

Featured projects include recent collaboration with kitchen gurus @porterandjones and photos by Ben McDonald and @roskavanagh

'Inspiring timeless designs' Irish Examiner interview with Jane Larmour

Architect Belfast Interview Design Life.jpeg

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.

RIAI Ideas for Housing in Ireland


Europan Ireland, Europan 9 | 10 | 11: A Collection of Ideas for Housing in Ireland

Published by the Royal Institute of Architects Ireland (RIAI) this book showcases innovative ideas on housing from architects across Europe for Irish sites proposed in relation to the Pan-European architectural competition 'Europan' in which we were awarded second-place in 2011.

Aimed at architects under 40, the biennial competition is launched simultaneously by several countries on a common theme. Ireland has participated in Europan 9, 10 and 11 with sites in Dublin, Galway, and Cork.

The function of Europan in participating countries is to promote urban studies and experimental projects in the field of housing and to encourage the implementation of such innovative urban processes.

Published 2015

Royal Irish Academy: Art and Architecture of Ireland Volume IV: Architecture 1600-2000


The Art and Architecture of Ireland is a five volume legacy project by the Royal Irish Academy celebrating the visual arts in Ireland.

Edited by Andrew Carpenter, Rolf Loeber, Hugh Campbell, Livia Hurley, John Montague, and Ellen Rowley, Volume IV 'Architecture from C.1600 to C.2000' provides a concise narrative of the last 400 years of Architectural history in Ireland.

Jane Larmour contributed a chapter on 'Bath houses, Spas, Lidos and swimming pools' included in "The Architecture of Recreation and Public Resort".

Volume IV is considered to be,

"The most complete survey of architecture in Ireland ever published. The essays in this volume cover all aspects of Ireland’s built environment, not only buildings but infrastructure, landscape development, public and private construction and much else. The volume challenges and expands the traditional understanding of Irish ‘architecture’, giving novel and exciting interpretations of the field and, by means of many striking illustrations, encourages us to think anew about the environment that surrounds us."

Published 2014