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"The fundamental start to every project is listening to the client. And that means not just taking the brief as given but drilling into it to establish the real needs of the client"

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"Before rushing into a design process a number of issues need careful consideration such as site conditions, planning restrictions and, most importantly how to meet a client’s budget expectations"

"We design buildings; the ‘design’ itself isn’t the end product – the building both functionally and aesthetically is. Design is just the process."

"We must communicate our design solutions clearly to the client and our technical requirements at tender stage clearly to the builder; neither are mind-readers!"

"Buildings are produced by teams of Contractors and Consultants and one of the roles of the Architect is to manage that process and check that proper standards are being adhered to by those who bear responsibility for building."


Smith + Kennedy Architects is a long established architectural practice based in Dublin since the early 1960’s when the firm was set up by the late Eddie Smith. As then, the current firm is entirely dedicated to the provision of Architectural services with emphasis on high quality contemporary design and professional service. We believe in marrying good design with rigorous cost and quality controls.

A medium sized firm, we have a committed and talented team with a broad range of abilities who have a proven track record. We are experienced in leading multi-disciplined teams in complex design projects and in working closely with client bodies. The firm is fully computerized using AutoCAD as the primary drawing software and now beginning a move to Revit BIM. We have an advanced system of quality controls in terms of technical and administrative procedures. Our main office is in Dun Laoghaire with associated international offices.

In March of 2021, Smith + Kennedy architects became part of the RSK Group and now can offer a much broader integrated service to our clients.



Joe is Managing Director of Smith and Kennedy Architects and Joint Managing Director of Kompas International Architects. In addition he is Honorary Secretary of the R.I.A.I for 2015 and 2016 having served as a Council Member in 2014. He chairs the Building Control Steering Group in the R.I.A.I and is heavily involved in Building Regulatory matters.

Joe retains a direct involvement in design and delivery of projects and has extensive experience in Educational, Residential and Commercial sectors.

Architectural Education: College of Technology, Bolton Street, (q. 1979)

Qualifications: Dip. Arch., B.Sc.Arch., F.R.I.A.I., R.I.B.A.

Personal Interests: Joe is an enthusiastic painter and enjoys playing blues / jazz guitar. He plays golf badly.

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Mark is a Director in Smith and Kennedy Architects having joined the practice in 1999 after having gained experience with both Burke Kennedy Doyle and Murray O’laoire Architects. Mark has gained a wide range of experience in both the public and private sectors with developments including high end residential, hospitality and schools. Mark is a Director of Kompas International Architects and has in this capacity worked on a number of projects abroad including resort developments in North Africa, Brazil and the Czech Republic.

Architectural Education: College of Technology, Bolton Street. 1989-1995

Qualifications: Dip. Arch., B.Sc.Arch., M.R.I.A.I.

Personal Interests: Art, classical guitar, sport (spectator) and aviation.

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Martin has been a Director at Smith & Kennedy for the last 20 years and has been responsible for a variety of projects for both the Department of Education and the Department of Defence, along with commercial and private clients. Martin is also a Director of Kompas International Architects and was responsible for setting up their office in Bahrain and Brazil.

Previously Martin worked in the USA and the UK where he was a founding Partner in Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects before returning to Ireland in 2000. He is experienced in all aspects of design, procurement, project management and contract administration.

Architectural Education: University College Dublin & University of Virginia

Qualifications: B.Arch. 1982, M.R.I.A.I., R.I.B.A.

Personal Interests: Martin enjoys travelling and is an avid collector of books.

Martin and Lynda, also an architect, have two sons and a daughter.

His father was the renowned architect, Pearse McKenna

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James is an Associate director at Smith + Kennedy Architects.

James worked with Fewer McGinley & Tritschler Architects from 1977 to 1978. Having travelled extensively, he joined E.N. Smith & Partners in 1982 where he worked almost exclusively on educational projects. He has gained vast experience and expertise since and is fully conversant with the various design stage requirements of the Department of Education and Skills. He has been responsible for the preparation of numerous special room layouts and has completed a Radon Mitigation Project in several school buildings throughout the country. He worked on a number of Design Build School projects in recent years as part the Department of Education and Skills’ team representatives on projects throughout the country.

At present he is working on a number of one-off houses in the Dublin area and a number of industrial developments in the Co. Kildare.

Education: Waterford Institute of Technology
Qualifications: Diploma in Construction Studies (Architecture.) 1974 – 1977
Personal Interests: Travel

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Gerry is an Associate Director in Smith+Kennedy Architects and an excellent technician with an oversight role on any major company projects. Gerry has a broad base of experience with over 30 years in job running from inception to completion dealing with Clients and Contractors. Since joining Smith+Kennedy in 2011, Gerry has  recent Award winning project - The Waterways House, ensuring all construction documents are thoroughly detailed and compliant.

Competent in AutoCAD 2017, Sketch up, Microsoft Word and Outlook. Oversight role in introduction of BIM into SKA.


Architectural Education: Pearse College Draughtsmanship & Design Course 1984 – 1986 and RIAI Technician Entry Examinations /College of Technology, Bolton Street. 1991
Qualifications: RIAI (ArchTech) 1991

Personal Interests: Football playing and coaching with GUFC and St Anthonys FC Kilcoole Over 35 teams, Skiing, Motorbikes, Guitar, DIY.

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Isabel Beccar Varela

Isabel is an Associate Director with Smith and Kennedy Architects.

Isabel completed her degree at UBA in her home city of Buenos Aires. Prior to working in Dublin Isabel worked in London for Tegerdine Associates. She moved to Dublin in 2004 and joined Michael Collins Associates to work on projects for both public entities and private individuals. In 2007 Isabel joined Smith and Kennedy Architects to work in a prestigious high-end international hotel and residential project. 

In 2009 Isabel moved to Switzerland with her family and later to Argentina and Uruguay where she developed an independent practice designing and building unique private homes. Isabel re-joined Smith and Kennedy in 2020 and enjoys bringing her extensive international experience in design and detailing to bear on a wide variety of projects and revels in working with clients and contractors.


Architectural Education: Universidad de Buenos Aires (q. 1998)

Qualifications: B.Arch (Hons), M.R.I.A.I.

Personal Interests: Isabel enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, trekking and ‘trying’ to play golf.