Tough times for architects

With little action on residential sites and builders holding off on larger schemes, it was just a matter of time before architecture firms were forced to make some hard choices. The word on the street is that firms are “slimming down” by up to 50 per cent. Some firms contacted by Around The Block were coy about rumours that they were shedding staff. James Pike from O’Mahony Pike Architects, however, stuck his head above the parapet. In the last six months the firm has been “shrunk” by 25 people – a reduction of 20 per cent, he said. A “fall back in demand for architects is inevitable” with the slowdown in the residential market and the beginning of a slowdown in the commercial sector, he said. “We have been through this before,” says Pike, who maintains that slowdowns come in 18-year cycles. Jerry Ryan from HKR Architects says that his firm is one of the last companies in Dublin to cut staff in response to the “dysfunctional market”.

The Irish Times