Re: Re: HKR Architects

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Architects of the boom go to the wall while college points keep falling

It was the lavishness of their reception area on Schoolhouse Lane, behind Dublin’s Molesworth Street, that set HKR apart – the polished Portuguese limestone floor, the Barcelona chairs and all the rest of it. Here was an architects’ firm at the height of its power, determined to impress potential clients and others arriving for meetings in the equally well-furnished boardroom, a few steps above.

Of course, there was always a risk that clients would draw the wrong conclusion – that their architects were living it up on the fee income that was rolling in at the height of the boom. Some developers might even have reflected that their own offices weren’t half as swanky as HKR’s. What they wouldn’t have seen, however, was that the upper floors were crowded with young architects churning out plans.

And now, perhaps inevitably, Jerry Ryan and his partners have had to put the firm into liquidation. It’s not the first architectural practice that has gone to the wall – Murray O’Laoire and Douglas Wallace went before it – and it’s not likely to be the last either.

That’s why this week’s news sent shudders down the spines of so many. For whom will the bell toll next? they must have asked themselves. It’s not surprising that architecture is slipping down the scale of desirable careers.

Architecture dropped 10 points at UCD and a staggering 65 points at DIT Bolton Street.

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