John McLaughlin Architects is a practice that is putting architecture in a wider and international context – from their role as co-curator and co-commissioner of the Venice Architecture Biennale to architecture, education and master-planning. There is confidence in working at a range of scales and across various disciplines, while maintaining a focus on craftsmanship, details and materials. This is not only a new practice but a studio that demonstrates a new way of practicing in architecture.
Founded in 2010, John McLaughlin Architects is a design focused award winning studio based in Dublin. We design masterplans, landscapes, buildings, houses, workplaces, public art and exhibitions, including the conservation of existing buildings. Combining openness with precise attention to detail, our work is attuned to how people experience and use their built environment.
We take a flexible and collaborative approach, valuing research, ideas and a real philosophy for practice. We draw on investigation of the cultural, social and environmental context for each project. Taking our inspiration from Irish modern architects and designers, our designs have been noted for their beauty, understated elegance, and playfulness. Our approach has led us to win a number awards including the RIAI best emerging practice award in 2015, and the Arthur Gibney Prize for architecture from the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2019.
Our approach is collaborative, and all members of the team bring unique skills and expertise to create a rich design conversation. The team holds expertise in architecture, interior design, masterplanning, art, landscape and conservation. We also have shared interests in teaching, writing and research. Prior to establishing the practice, John was director of architecture with the Dublin Docklands Authority where he was responsible for the design many of the public spaces in the docklands including the Grand Canal Harbour District.
John McLaughlin is the founder and director of JMLA. He studied architecture in UCD and graduated in 1990. He then worked on major civic and cultural projects in Paris and London before returning to Dublin in 2003 as principal architect with Dublin Docklands Authority. In 2010 he founded our practice where he drives the overall vision as well as managing major projects. He has lectured and exhibited internationally on both architecture and urban design and is often asked to advise public and private bodies. He is the senior lecturer in architectural design in UCC and a member of the RIAI where he sits on the Architecture and Public Affairs Committee and chairs the editorial board of the RIAI Journal Architecture Ireland.
Katia Papkovskaia is associate architect in JMLA. She graduated from UCD school of architecture in 2009 and from Cambridge University with a Masters in Environmental Design at in 2010. She worked in London with Marcus Beale Architects from 2010 to 2015 and then in Dublin with de Blacam and Meagher Architects until 2021 before joining John McLaughlin Architects. She brings a wide range of experience working on projects of all scales, from residential to education and protected structures, managing each project stage. She is a member of the RIAI Accredited in Conservation at Grade 2.
Tara Kennedy graduated with a Masters in architecture from UCD in 2013. Since joining John McLaughlin Architects in 2014 she has worked on various public and residential projects, including producing the Making Ireland Modern centennial exhibition in 2016. Tara brings expertise informed by her background in visual art with a BA in Sculpture from NCAD 2005 (1st Hons), and collaborative public projects engaging with a wide range of organisations and institutions. In 2008 she co-founded the practice Culturstruction, and she was also a co-founder of the community-based design organisation Commonage. In 2018 she was part of the Freemarket collective who represented Ireland at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Tara teaches architecture at CCAE.
Matthew Hand graduated with first class honours from University College Dublin in 2020. Between his undergraduate and master’s degrees he worked in Vancouver with MCMP Architects for two years. He has worked with John McLaughlin Architects since completing his masters. Within the practice he has contributed to masterplanning, residential and cultural projects, notably the Lusitania Museum on the Old Head of Kinsale, which furthered his interest in the wider discourse of architecture and landscape.
Nigel Wynne is a trained designer and architect. He holds a diploma in industrial design from IT Sligo, a bachelor in interior design from GCD Dublin and a B.SC and M.Arch with first class honours from University College Dublin. Prior to studying architecture he worked as a designer for Newman Mulligan for a number of years.Between his bachelor and masters degrees in architecture he worked with O’Donnell and Tuomey Architects in Dublin. Nigel has a strong sense of crafting space which she has applied to a number of houses since joining John McLaughlin Architects in 2020.
Ola Polak is a graduate of Cork Centre of Architectural Education, a joint programme of UCC and MTU where she was taught by John and Tara. She graduated with first class honours in 2021 and she worked with Fourem Architects in Cork before joining JMLA in 2022. During her studies she won a housing design competition that gave her an internship with Cork County Architects.
Scope of services
We offer a full range of architectural services, with an emphasis on design and meticulous attention to detail. The diverse experience of our team means that we combine strong delivery across a range of scales of project – from the implementation of large scale masterplans to the design of buildings, public art and exhibitions.
We pay particular attention to the construction of our projects and we work with a strong network of builders and specialist craftsmen to ensure the highest standards in the finished work. We combine this approach with the preparation of detailed technical drawings and specifications to ensure that the high level of quality is delivered within budget.
Our clients include The Arts Council, Culture Ireland, Dublin Docklands, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Fáilte Ireland, Irish Design 2015, Tipperary Co. Council, Blarney Castle Estate, National University of Ireland Galway, and a number of private companies and individuals.
As professional registered architects, we provide a service covering all stages of the project from initial briefing to planning and detailed design. As registered members of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, we are certified to meet a high level of professional competence and we carry professional indemnity insurance. As design team leaders we collaborate with a range of expert engineers and cost consultants to ensure that all aspects of the project are designed and managed.
RIAI Research Award 2021 – Winner
RIAI House of the Year Award 2017 – Highly Commended
RIAI Research Award 2016 – Highly Commended
RIAI Emerging Practice Award 2015 – Winner
RIAI House of the Year Award 2014 – Highly Commended
RIAI Primary Schools Competition 2013 – Highly Commended
RIAI Public Space Award 2010 – Commended
Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2016 – Special Mention
Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2015 – Award
Architectural Association of Ireland Award 2011 – Award
Irish Wood Awards 2014 – Highly Commended