Tony is chairman of Reddy Architecture, a leading architectural practice with offices in Ireland, and the United Kingdom and that has just celebrated 30 years in business. He is also a founder of the Urban Forum and a founder Director of the Academy of Urbanism. He speaks to Plan Magazine about this 30 year journey, including some bumps along the way, and where he sees it going.
What’s your feeling about achieving 30 years in business?
For our team at Reddy Architecture+Urbanism, and for me personally, there is a real sense of having achieved something significant. During the era of the Celtic Tiger our practice grew steadily and we completed many interesting and challenging projects. However the achievement of surviving the last four years is particularly significant.While we had previously experienced the ebb and flow which is normal for the architectural profession no one could have anticipated the scale of the economic crash which occurred in 2008 and the cataclysmic collapse of the Irish property and construction industry. For our practice the implications were very severe as we adjusted to the reality, from mid- 2008, that many projects were being cancelled and a number of our clients were going out of business.
We went through a very difficult period as we reduced in size from over 200 staff to 40 and experienced significant salary and overhead cuts. However by the end of 2009 we had adjusted the practice to the point where our business had stabilised and we adapted to the new reality of architectural practice in a changed world.
While we temporarily withdrew from Eastern Europe we managed to keep our five Irish offices open and in 2010 opened a London office, which is our base for UK and international work. We have slowly grown back to a total team of 52, allowing a number of colleagues to re-join us. I feel that I am privileged to be in practice with a talented, committed and professional team of colleagues and looking forward to future challenges.
Are there particular milestones during the journey, elaborate?
We have been fortunate to have completed many significant projects, particularly from the mid 1990’s, in both the private and public sectors. We value all our clients but projects which have been particularly significant include Temple Bar West End, the Eircom Building, Heuston South Quarter, DCU Postgraduate Centre, Cork Maternity Hospital, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre and McDonagh Junction, Kilkenny.
How is business at the moment?
We are fortunate at present to be working on a range of interesting projects. The main ones would be:
Educational projects including Primary and Secondary Schools, Research Buildings at NUI Galway Office Headquarters for CWU, Facility for Boston Scientific/ Stryker in Cork, offices for Ernst & Young and Google’s EMEA Headquarters ( with HLW International) in Dublin, Masterplans for Connolly Station in Dublin and Aldgate in London, Mixed Use development in Rostov, Russia.
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