We treat the design process as an open conversation between designer and end user – each an expert in their own right. Through careful listening, we interpret the requirements of our clients and translate them into built form. The following are some key aspects that underpin this approach.
Imaginative and Exploratory
We use an exploratory design process to develop solutions that are imaginative, appropriate and highly-attuned to the end user. We test our ideas through drawing, model-making and research, adding new layers of knowledge as the design evolves. This iterative process applies to all stages, from helping a client to define their brief to developing construction details on site.
Robert has been refining this exploratory approach both in practice and teaching, where there is a strong crossover in thinking. He has carried out award-winning participatory design projects for the Irish Architecture Foundation and has been teaching Masters students at the UCD School of Architecture since 2013.
Whether urban, suburban or rural, the surrounding context of every site or building offers clues as to an appropriate design response. We put much thought into finding imaginative ways to connect a building to its surroundings. Through a thorough understanding of site and context, we aim to unlock the often hidden potential in every project.
We are also deeply interested in the social and environmental impact of our designs. We encourage re-use over new build, where possible, and we are committed to utilising low energy design and construction techniques. We have been members of the Irish Architects Declare environmental group since its inception in 2019, in recognition of the twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss. We aim to design public and community buildings that are inclusive and contribute to the vitality of the city.
Collaborative and Communicative
Our approach is highly collaborative and we work with engineers, quantity surveyors, landscape designers, interior designers and other design professionals, as required. This multi-disciplinary approach results in designs that are greater than the sum of the individual skills involved.
We invest much effort into communicating our designs both verbally and through drawing, model-making and digital rendering. A clearly articulated idea is one that can be easily understood by all, whether at the initial design, planning or construction stage.
Craft, Detail and Materiality
Our collaborative approach extends to the builders and craftspeople, on whose skills and expertise we depend to realise our ideas. Through open dialogue and mutual trust, details are developed that are not always apparent on the drawing board. In this way, we extract the most from any given material and building technique, ensuring a high level of craft, character and quality.
Wellbeing and Beauty
Our responsibility is to create buildings that are beautiful, economical and enhance or transform the lives of those who experience them. We are committed to good design and encourage the sharing of ideas between like-minded colleagues and potential clients. We have hosted many tours of our residential projects in the Open House Dublin architecture festival.
We have the experience and capacity to deliver complex construction projects, thanks to over 25 years of combined practical experience. Before setting up RBA, Robert worked as project architect on the award-winning £5M Marylebone School in London and as site architect on the €15M York Street Social Housing scheme in Dublin. We undertake projects from house extensions to multi-million euro public buildings. Please contact us with your enquiry!
We offer a complete suite of architectural design and project management services:
Design and Project Management
Disability Access Certificates
Fire Safety Certificates
Grade 3 Conservation
We are a member of the Royal Institue of the Architects of Ireland and are covered with full professional indemnity insurance.