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Established in 1987, Shay Cleary Architects is a design led architectural practice.  The office is involved in a wide range of building types for clients which include government agencies, local authorities, schools and colleges, cultural organisations, commercial businesses and private individuals.


The work of the office has the following aims and aspirations;


  • To provide the highest quality contemporary architecture for all projects.


  • To respond with innovation and imagination to all project requirements.


  • To look beyond current client requirements with forward looking solutions that allow for change and development in the future.


  • To provide an architecture which is responsive to context and culture in a sophisticated manner.


  • To embrace sustainable technologies as an integral component of any architectural proposal.


  • To achieve the highest standard of design and construction detailing.

  • To provide an individually tailored solution for each particular client brief.


The office has many repeat clients and has won numerous awards for excellence in design and construction which reflects our commitment to the production of quality contemporary architecture that answers our clients needs while enhancing and contributing positively to the built environment.

Shay Cleary


B.Arch Hons NUI, Fellow RIAI, MRIBA

Shay has extensive experience in the masterplanning of large scale commercial and mixed use urban developments both in Ireland and internationally, all of which are award winning at both a national and international level.  

He has been in private practice for thirty five years. Following graduation with honours from University College Dublin in 1974 he worked in Paris for Marcel Breuer and later for Candilis Josic and Woods before moving to London where he spent some time at the London Borough of Camden Architects Department. 

On his return to Dublin in 1977 he commenced private practice along with teaching part time at the School of Architecture at UCD which he continued to do until 1996.

Since 1987 he has been principal and lead designer of Shay Cleary Architects, a highly motivated design focused practice that produces architectural projects in a wide range of areas. The overriding aim of the practice is to produce sophisticated and innovative modern architectural solutions, to fully address our clients needs in a manner appropriate to our culture and context and to incorporate the latest thinking in response to the growing importance of sustainability.

Shay has wide ranging experience and expertise in the commercial office sector and has led the office team on the design of large scale developments in the city centre in the last ten years.  


He is the recipient of over 35 national and international awards for the high quality design output of the office.  

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John Dobbin


B.Sc (Arch Sc) (Hons), B.Arch (Hons) NUI, ARB, MRIAI, MIDI

John has gained a depth of experience both in Ireland and internationally as lead project architect and associate with a number of Dublin and London based practices on large scale commercial, civic and residential projects.


John completed the Bachelor of Architecture degree with honours at University College Dublin in 2008. He began working in Dublin that year and joined Shay Cleary Architects, working on a high-spec low-energy office development in Dublin city centre and the new National Conference Centre Hotel Tower in the city docklands.  As design team leader was shortlisted for the Europan-Europe architectural competition in 2009.


In 2009 he relocated to London and commenced employment with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands where he was the Lead Project Architect on the £250M Fitzroy Place masterplan and redevelopment project from competition winning scheme design through planning and to construction.  The scheme was the recipient of the Best New Public Space Award at the London Planning Awards 2017.

In 2013 John joined Squire and Partners where he was engaged in the masterplan for the £450M redevelopment of the Shell Centre on Londons South Bank . In 2014 John was appointed an Associate with the firm and led the redevelopment of a major residential redevelopment of the Grade 2 listed former Palace Hotel on a site opposite Buckingham Palace in central London for Northacre PLC and Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG).

In 2017 John returned to Dublin to rejoin Shay Cleary Architects in a senior capacity.  Since this time he has delivered successful planning applications for a major commercially led redevelopment of the Clanwilliam Court and Marine House complex, Dublin 2 for Hibernia REIT.  He has also led the development of a High Density Housing prototype which has been employed recently on a PRS / BTR development for Kennedy Wilson.

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Mark Halpin

Senior Associate

B.Arch (Hons) ARB, MRIAI

Mark is a highly experienced Senior Associate and Architect with a Bachelor of Architecture degree with honours from Dublin School of Architecture at DIT Bolton Street in 2009.


He began working in Dublin that year with Henchion + Reuter Architects on a variety of residential, community and educational projects in Dublin and Berlin including the renovation and extension of the Goethe Institute Dublin, a protected structure on Merrion Square.

In 2013 he relocated to London and commenced employment with Maccreanor Lavington Architects working on large scale mixed use, commercial and housing projects and smaller scale school projects in London. 

In 2015, Mark commenced working with Shay Cleary Architects, taking the lead on the development of the Blackpitts student housing project in the Liberties area of Dublin, which completed in 2018.  The completed scheme was recently the recipient of the 2019 Student Housing Project of the Year Award from the Irish Building and Design Awards.

Mark has been extensively involved as team leader on a number of major commercial office projects within the office including City Block 9 and The EXO building Point Square with specific responsibilities for shell and core design and facade design development.  He also acted as team lead on the planning application for the Marine House Refurbishment and Extension project in Dublin 2.

He has completed recently the feasibility design of an office development for the IDA in Kilkenny, has led the planning submission for a residential BTR/ PRS development at Sandford Close, Dublin 6 on behalf of our clients Kennedy Wilson, and a planning submission for a major residential 9 floor scheme in Newmaket in the Liberties area of Dublin.

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Shane Fitzpatrick


B.Arch (Hons) DIT

Shane has worked with Shay Cleary Architects since 2014 and is an extensively experienced  Associate.  He completed the Bachelor of Architecture degree with honours at the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2013. After graduating he participated in a volunteer community project to build a park in north inner city Dublin with the Upstart Collective.  He joined NBK Architects later in the year, working on high end residential projects and commercial renovations, including the extensive renovation and extension of the One Building on Grand Canal Street, now occupied by Stripe.

Shane has been directly involved with a wide range of projects including the luxury apartment development at Appian Way, the major City Block 9 masterplan project and the Shay Cleary Architects competition proposal to locate the European Medicines Agency in Dublin.  He has led the redevelopment proposals for a New Headquarters for the BAM Contracting organisation in Kildare.

Shane was also heavily involved in the development of the design of the EXO building in Point Square from the competition winning proposals and was a key member of the team throughout the planning submission process and detailed design to tender and GMP agreement.

He has engaged with the facade design and development for the Clanwilliam Court redevelopment in Dublin 2 for our clients Hibernia REIT.

Most recently Shane has led the detailed design and tender packages for the facade, roof and external interfaces of the Marine House Redevelopment project, a complex project involving the retention and adaptation of an existing building, stripping it back to frame and adding facade and rooftop extensions.  

Shane has also helped drive the adoption of Building Information Modelling practices within the office, and acts as BIM manager across the practice. 

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John Callan


B.Sc (Arch Sc) (Hons), M.Arch

John is an experienced Associate with both national and international experience in private practice.  John completed a Masters of Architecture Degree in the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Aberdeen in 2004. After graduating he joined Denis Byrne Architects in Dublin, working on large residential development in Navan.  He subsequently joined Emmet Humphreys Architects in Drogheda working on a mix of commercial and residential projects.

In 2012, he relocated to Canada and commenced employment with Ratio Architecture handling a variety of commercial and institutional projects including the development of a new prototype branch for a financial institution and the renovation and extension of the Provincial Court of BC in Surrey. 

John joined Shay Cleary Architects in 2016 where he has been directly involved in a number of high profile commercial office projects in the Dublin Docklands including the landmark EXO Building where he was responsible for external facade, roof and landscape design development and the planning submission for the City Block 9 office development.


More recently he has been engaged with the team on a major redevelopment of the Clanwilliam Court office complex for Hibernia REIT in Dublin 2, where he has led the shell and core and external facade design development process for the successful planning submission.

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Process + Capability

Shay Cleary Architects are a medium sized RIAI registered practice with the capacity and technical expertise to design and realize projects of large scale, demanding complexity and high profile.  The practice comprises a cohesive office organization comprising architectural, administrative and IT personnel.

The office works exclusively in a Building Information Modeling (BIM) environment and all new projects employ this software in the production of design and production information in collaboration with other stakeholders and consultants.  The practice also operates a quality control system and values its function as a management device.  An office Quality Assurance manual has been developed and provides clear parameters for staff activities, from inception to site operations and project completion.  The practice has adopted the RIAI Guide to Good Practice, which comprises a quality assurance scheme for architects with the aim of maximizing the accuracy of design and detailed specification of all projects.

The practice utilizes National Building Specification (NBS) specification software and has membership of the Construction Information Service, an online source for standards and codes of practice.  Our policy is to employ personnel of the highest caliber and our staff are encouraged to attend ongoing CPD courses which are run by the RIAI and our internal team.

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BIM (Building Information Modelling)

Shay Cleary Architects have been early adopters of BIM technology and have successfully implemented it over many projects.  The office now delivers 100% of its live projects through BIM processes and are engaging in collaborations with industry to test and develop next generation components, management platforms and analytical tools.
We recognize the technical and productivity advantages afforded by Digital Project Delivery and BIM, which allows us to more effectively and accurately, design and document buildings and control the flow of building information efficiently by creating a single accessible source of key information through design, documentation, and construction stages. 

We have invested in the software, staff training and management processes to implement Digital Project Delivery. The specific benefits of BIM Level 2 are enhanced collaboration, minimized risk and improved productivity and the collaborative aspect of BIM Level 2 drives efficiency and quality throughout the full life-cycle of a project. 

The practice is engaged in the appraisal of Carbon Quantitative software which assists in the measurement of embodied carbon in different constructional systems, with a view to promoting the reduction of embodied carbon to a limit of 500kg C02/m2 as advocated by the Zero Carbon Certification Scheme.  Enhanced visualization of projects through the use of augmented reality via individual headsets is also an area of increasing expertise for the practice.

A BIM Execution Plan (BEP) is core to develop and manage digital delivery on a project. Our BIM Execution Plan is developed in alignment with key industry standards namely: BS1192:2007, PAS1192-2:2013 and the CIC BIM Protocol. It will provide a detailed breakdown of how the Employer’s Information Requirements will be met. Roles and responsibilities, work and data segregation, co-ordination/ clash detection, collaboration process (information transfer strategies, common data environment) and BIM specific meetings will be agreed between the Employer and Design Team at the outset. 

The utilization of these technologies and adherence to a quality BIM Execution plan ensures the effective production, management and delivery of information and promotes improved coordination, a key factor in reducing risk and safeguarding quality

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Model Making

Shay Cleary Architects make extensive use of physical models in addition to digital modeling through our BIM processes.  These vary from very early stage massing studies in foam and clay to extensively detailed facade studies in timber, board and plastics for specific building elements and components.

The office has dedicated model making facilities with modern foam cutting machinery and materials to allow the rapid creation of simple study models to test the integration of a building onto a particular site.  We have also recently engaged with 3D printing processes in house to test more complex massing studies on emerging projects.

More detailed models are commissioned and produced as appropriate and as a part of the ongoing design process, including large scale internal models of specific spaces.



Shay Cleary Architects have the capacity to produce a wide range of visualization and illustrative material to comprehensively document the design process and convey the look and feel of a scheme to a wide audience.  Our visualizations are always tailored to the audience and we pay great attention to generating the intended atmosphere and environment around or within the building to convey a full impression of the proposal in use.

Early stage studies often take the form of hand drawn views and illustrations which are successful in rapidly exploring a number of options for discussion at an early stage of design.  These can progress to more detailed versions produced for planning discussions and consultations where a softness of visual image is often preferable to a highly defined and finished computer generated image.

These initial illustrations progress through the development of the BIM model to more detailed computer generated images as a design is refined and further defined.  Highly detailed realistic images can subsequently be produced with the collaboration of external visualization artists, a process simplified and made more accurate through the use of our detailed model information.



The practice has received over thirty five awards in recognition of its design quality and architectural output.

Awards include two international awards from the Chicago Athenaeum, an International Award from the RIBA and the premier Silver Medal Award from the RIAI for our Alto Vetro tower while our Cork County Hall project was OPUS building of the year in 2008.







































Blackpitts Student Housing

EXO Office Building, Point Square

Office Buildings, City Block 9

Office Building, Point Village

Alto Vetro Residential Tower

Q5 Waltrovka, Prague

Cork County Library Headquarters

Alto Vetro Residential Tower

Alto Vetro Residential Tower

Alto Vetro Residential Tower

Cork County Library Headquarters

Civic Offices Complex

Civic Offices

Central Library Headquarters & Cultural Centre

Cork County Hall Redevelopment

Office Building, Dawson Street

Liffey Trust Enterprise Centre Redevelopment

Northern Gateway Competition

Office Building, Dawson Street

Project Arts Centre

New Galleries at IMMA

Cork County Hall Redevelopment

Temple Bar Framework Plan (Group 91)


Blackrock Education Centre


Blackrock Education Centre

National Gallery, Dublin

Agriculture House, Dublin

Walsall Art Gallery

Irish Museum of Modern Art

Irish Museum of Modern Art

Temple Bar Framework Plan (Group 91)

Houses at Swan Place

Point Depot (NEC)

Mercer Street Offices

Awarding Authority


Irish Building and Design Awards

Chicago Athenaeum

NAMA / Deloitte

NAMA / Grant Thornton

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Red Group Prague & RIAI

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Chicago Athenaeum

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)



Meath County Council & RIAI

Roscommon County Council

Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Council


An Taisce

The Liffey Trust

Ballymun regeneration

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

Cork County Council & RIAI

Fundació Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

National Gallery of Ireland

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Temple Bar Properties

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI)

Award Type


Student Accommodation Project of the Year

International Architecture Award

Competition Winner

Competition Winner

RIAI Silver Medal for Housing

Competition Joint Winner

Public Building Commendation

International Architecture Award

International Award

Building of the Year 2009

Building of the Year 2009

Competition Finalist

Competition Finalist

Competition Finalist

Building of the Year 2007

Urban Infill Award

Competition Winner

Competition Winner

Regional Award


Special Mention

Competition Winner


Regional Award

Special Mention

Special Mention

Special Mention

Competition Finalist

Special Mention

Competition Finalist


Regional Award

Competition Winner

Medal for Housing Special Mention

Downes Medal


Selected Clients

A C Forde & Co

AMP Capital

Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.

BAM Property Ltd.

BNP Paribas

Bruce Shaw

Campion Properties

Convention Centre Dublin

Cork County Council

Creedon Group Ltd

Davy Group

Davy Hickey Properties


Department of Education and Skills

Dublin City Council

Dublin City University


Dun Laoghaire IADT


Ellier Developments Ltd.


GEM Group

Grant Thornton

Green Property


Hibernia REIT

Hollybrook UK

Horse Racing Ireland

IDA Ireland

The Iveagh Trust

Kendlebell Midwest Ltd.

Kennedy Wilson


Leopardstown Racecourse

Liffey Trust

Mountbrook Homes Ltd.


Office of Public Works

P.Elliott & Company

Pierse Group

Point Depot N.E.C.

Port of Cork Company

Project Arts Centre


Red Group, Prague

Ronan Group Real Estate

Temple Bar Properties

The Liffey Trust

Touchstone Healthcare Group

Treasury Holdings Ireland

University College Dublin

Walls Construction

Winterbrook Homes

WK Nowlan


Since 1987:

Cormac Allen

Pia Becker

Janine Bourke

Dermot Boyd

Lennart Breternitz

Noreile Breen

Karen Brownley

Carlus Buckley

Eva Byrne

John Callan

Peter Carroll

Andrew Clancy

Peter Cody

Philip Comerford

Ronan Costelloe

Aoife Cox

Martin Cox

Kathleen Creed

Angus Denvir

John Dobbin

Stephen Doherty

Marcus Donaghy

John Dorman

Fergal Doyle

Mark Elliott

Jennifer Fay

Shane Fitzpatrick

Michael Frain

Sam Gaine

Jonathan Garvey


Ronan Halpenny

Mark Halpin

Paul Healy

Eoin Healy

Anne Henry

Joe Hogan

Dáire Kelly

Hugh Kelly

Justin Kelly

Des Kennedy

Ciara Keohane

David King-Smith

Steve Larkin

Tom Larkin

Markus Lassan

Caroline Lawlor

Colin Markey

Nicola Masterson

Dermot McCabe

Tiernan McCarthy

Brian McClean

Eavan Meagher 

Jesmond Meli

Mark Monaghan

Colm Moore

Catherine Moran

Aisling Murray

Cornelia Murphy

Stephen Musiol

Esmonde O'Briain


John O'Callaghan

Aoife O'Donnell

Eilis O'Donnell

Cormac O'Droma

Seán Antóin Ó Muiri

Antoinette O'Neill 

Melanie O'Reilly

Eoghan O'Shea

Tim O'Sullivan

Adam Peavoy

Sinead Pickett

Natasha Premjee

Suzannah Potts

Niamh Redmond

Kate Rhatigan

Dominic Stevens

Birgit Sunkel

Peter Tansey

Seamus Thornton

Karl Tobin

Des Twomey

Simon Walker

Andrew Walsh

Brian Ward

Lesley-Anne Whelan

Elizabeth Wheeler

Sonia Webber

Kevin Woods


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