Venue: Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Established in 1961, ABK Architects is a design-led practice with an international reputation for the delivery of buildings of the highest quality. It is renowned for its work in many fields including master-planning, education, healthcare, housing and the arts. The practice offers skills in architecture and related fields such as urban design and planning, interior and furniture design and is one of the leading exponents of sustainability in the field of architecture in Ireland. Implicit in the work of ABK is a search for quality, which concerns the character and atmosphere of spaces and a sense of place. Each building proposal is a unique response, integrating the general and the particular into a coherent whole.
Ahrends, Burton and Koralek, now ABK Architects, was founded in 1961 by Peter Ahrends, Richard Burton, and Paul Koralek after they won first prize in a competition to produce a design for the Berkeley Library at Trinity College Dublin in 1960. ABK was initially established in London but has had a studio in Dublin as of 1996. ABK London wound down its operations in 2012 after more than 50 years in operation while ABK Dublin continued under the direction of Robert Davys and John Parker.
Robert Davys has worked in Ireland, the UK, Canada and Russia. He graduated from University College Dublin and later joined ABK in their London office. After working from London for 15 years he returned to Dublin in 2000. Alongside his considerable design experience Robert is an Accredited Conservation Architect having recently completed Development Control Plans for both the National Museum of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin, Technology and Enterprise Campus, and Conservation reports for Cork Public Baths and Kilmallock Union Workhouse.
John Parker is a practicing architect with experience of working in a number of leading architectural practices, including Dixon and Jones and de Blacam and Meagher. He joined ABK Architects in 1998, becoming a director in 2001. John was the design leader on a range of buildings recognised for the quality of their design and execution including Kilmallock Library, Local Area Office and Courthouse, Cork City Civic Offices, and Offaly Civic Offices which received numerous awards including RIAI Best Public Building Award, RIAI Best Sustainable Building and RIBA European Award. He is a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture, University College Dublin as well as a visiting critic to a number of architecture schools in Ireland, the U.K. and Spain.
Photo credit Christian Richters