2020’s Richard takes the Hot Seat

As partner Director and Senior Architect, Richard co-ordinates all aspects of new build projects – from concept, design and right through to construction. Richard’s remarkable attention to detail has ensured 2020 projects run seamlessly from vision to reality. 

Renowned for his meticulous detail, Richard ensures quality is maintained throughout all aspects of design and construction. Passionate about creating outstanding architecture which is of its time and place, Richard is firmly placed within 2020’s design team.  His management and aesthetic treatment of each individual project have been key to the rising popularity of 2020 architects throughout Ireland and the UK. Recently he has spent time setting up the practices sister construction company enabling the practice to offer a one-stop shop for their projects.     

  1. How would you describe the “2020 approach” to projects?

The 2020 approach to design is routed in providing architecture that our clients feel at home in, design that responds specifically to its site context while providing the necessary technical background to allow for a sustainable life cycle for the building and provide a comfortable and healthy living environment for its occupants. We take pride in designing buildings where our clients have been involved in the design process giving them a sense of ownership in the final product.

  1. Is there an iconic project which reflects your approach?

The project that we feel reflects our approach best would be our best-known project after being televised on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. The sensitive renovation of an existing 100-year-old blacksmiths forge with a modern, sustainable and super insulated straw bale and timber frame extension nestled into the contours of the site; the building draws its inspiration in form and materials from the history and agricultural heritage of both the site and its surroundings.

  1. What project has given you most satisfaction?

The project that gave us the most satisfaction would again be the Blacksmith cottage. The typical role of an architect is to design, detail and periodically inspect the building through the construction process, however on this project we were able to get our hands dirty and realise the progress of the building on a daily basis, from breaking ground through to a finished project; it was a rare opportunity to be involved both mentally and physically in a project.

“2020 Architects continually strive to be at the forefront of design and technology.”(2020 Partnering Director Richard McKinney)

4What are the greatest challenges in the industry at present?

The ‘new’ 2020 was born in the depths of the last construction recession and we are very aware of how fragile the industry is despite its recovery and recent growth. It is human nature to strive for the best deal and the lowest cost however what people fail to see is that it can be a false economy and can end up compromising on the level of design or detailed finish.

  1. How do you see the medium and longer-term future?

We have worked tirelessly over the past 4 years to build the practice and client base to what it is today however the work will continue to expand the current workload and adapt to the changes in the industry. 2020 Architects continually strive to be at the forefront of design and technology.  Our recent office renovation enabled the installation of a fully-immersive and dedicated Virtual Reality Suite that will allow our clients to fully engage in their design before a single brick is even laid.

Richard’s partner in crime Dfor, an integral figure in the 2020 office.