“Quality is a necessary constituent of good architecture. It has to do with the choice of materials, techniques and, through the manner in which things are juxtaposed and put together, the expression of the spirit of a work. Richness is not a factor; it is as possible, as easy, to achieve good quality with inexpensive means as to achieve it with an overabundance of riches. There is appropriate quality which is perhaps the same as a sense of propriety. To have this sense and the ability to practice it, with clarity, is the factor that particularly distinguishes the work.”
Robin Walker FRIAI, 26th June 1983, introduction to catalogue on work of de Blacam and Meagher.
Shane de Blacam and John Meagher are partners in the architectural practice they founded in 1976.
They have been joined by many younger architects over the years. Andy Richardson in 1998, Simon Noddings in 2000, and Juan Echeverria in 2005, who now play a central role in the work and life of the office and projects. In 2014 the Studio in Ibiza, Spain, was established under the guidance of Juan Echeverria. The practice has established a pre-eminent position in Architecture in Europe, working in the UK, France, Spain, Balearic Islands, Portugal and in addition in the USA, Caribbean Countries, Jamaica, Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The practice is primarily concerned with the making of simple buildings and with the employment of beautiful materials: oak, white limestone, black fossil limestone, granite, slate, stainless steel, glass, naturally pigmented paints, gold leaf, wool, linen and silk to give quality, permanence and significance to the work; it possesses particular other expertise in restoration and conservation work, interior, furniture design, exhibition design, the design of excellent new buildings. The quality of the work has been recognised here in Ireland and abroad as indicated in the list of publications, exhibitions and by the numerous national and international awards received. de Blacam and Meagher represented Ireland at the 2010 Venice Biennale as well as in 2018.
The work of the practice has been published in almost all of the serious architectural journals of the world, including A and U, Detail, Architectural Review, Architecture Today, Architects Journal, Quaderns, AMC, Bauminster, RIBA Journal, AA Files, Urbino University Publications, Archicree, Techniques and Architecture. The work has also been published in the definitive books on modern architecture including 10X10, Library Builders and the Phaidon Atlas of Modern Architecture.
The practice is a winner of The Royal Institute of Architects Awards 2007 for the Best Educational Building, Cork Institute of Technology, The Royal Institute of British Architects European Award 2007, Cork Institute of Technology, Brick Awards 2006, Best International Project, Cork Institute of Technology, The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, Gold Medal 2004 for the Library, Cork Institute of Technology, The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, Silver Medal Housing 2005 for the Wooden Building Temple Bar, Dublin, The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, Silver Medal Conservation 1990 for the Dining Hall and Atrium Trinity College, Dublin, The Europa Nostra Medal of Honour, Silver Medal 1987 for the Dining Hall and Atrium Trinity College, Dublin, The Architectural Association of Ireland, Downes Bronze Medal 1994 for the Beckett Theatre Trinity College, Dublin, Silver Medal 2019 for Abbeyleix Library, Co. Laois, RIBA Silver Medal for Housing 1999 for Castle Street.