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



Graduated with honours from University College Dublin in 1974.

Worked in Paris for both Marcel Breuer Architecte and subsequently Candilis Josic & Woods Architectes (1974 – 1976)

Moved to London to work for Neave Brown at the London Borough Of Camden Architects Department (1976 – 1977)

Returned to Dublin and co - founded Grafton Architects with Yvonne Farrell, Frank Hall, Shelley McNamara and Tony Murphy in 1978.

Commenced teaching as a part-time design tutor at the School of Architecture UCD

(1978 – 1996)

Was President of the Architectural Association of Ireland in 1980.

Having left Grafton Architects formed Cleary & Hall Architects with Frank Hall

(1981 – 1986)

Established Shay Cleary Architects in 1987.

Director of Group 91 Architects, a consortium of eight like minded Dublin practices which oversaw the urban regeneration of the Temple Bar area of the city (1990 – 1998)

Has taught, lectured and been a visiting critic in schools of Architecture in Ireland and the UK and was a visiting professor to Princeton University Graduate School in 1989.

Oversees and directs the design and realisation of all projects in SCA in collaboration with a highly professional, talented and motivated team, the overriding objective being the production of sophisticated contemporary architecture of lasting quality.


The work of the practice has been widely published including a monograph published by Gandon Editions in 2001.

Process + Capability

Shay Cleary Architects is 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 has the capacity to work 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 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 will in time lead to a quality assurance scheme for architects with the aim of maximizing the quality and detailed specification of all projects.


The practice utilizes NBS (National Building Specification) 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 in all disciplines and our staff are encouraged to attend ongoing CPD courses which are run by the RIAI.


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







































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



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
Davy Group

Davy Hickey Properties

Department of Education & Science
Dublin City Council
Dublin City University
Dublin Docklands Development Authority

Dun Laoghaire IADT

Ellier Developments Ltd.

GEM Group

GSA Group

Grant Thornton

Green Property


Hibernia REIT

Hollybrook UK

Horse Racing Ireland

IDA Ireland

Kendlebell Midwest Ltd.

Kennedy Wilson Europe


Leopardstown Race Course

Mountbrook Homes Ltd.


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

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