Vanguard Updates

Dublin, Ireland

What heneghan.peng.architects have to say:

Since you were a part of the Design Vanguard, what has changed for your firm?
What  has changed. Well, we completed one project, Kildare Civic Offices or Aras  Chill Dara as it is now known, was completed at the end of last year. There are more of us we are now, 35 rather than 8 at the time that we were  selected for Design Vanguard. The first phase of the Grand Egyptian  Museum is onsite and we are completing DD on the remainder. We won 2 other competitions (lost a bunch of others also), the visitor centre at the Giants Causeway is in schematic design and Carlisle Pier, a redevelopment in Dublin is also in schematic design. The Hotel at Kilternan in Dublin, a 16,000-square-meter development for which we did the master plan and the main hotel design is onsite—due for completion in the middle of next year. And we are doing the master plan for the redevelopment of a prison site in Dublin. We have also had the chance to work with some great people over the past few years.

How have your design sensibilities changed since that time?
Don’t  see any significant change in design sensibilities— difficult to  step back and look, though

What future goals/plans do you have for your firm?
We need to show that we can build the competition designs into projects that have developed beyond the diagram whilst still retaining the clarity of  the diagram.

Portrait © Trevor Ray Hart/Getty Images

Image Gallery

Click for complete slideshow of projects.

Pictured: Aras Chill Dara; Photo courtesy heneghan.peng.architects

When we featured heneghan.peng.architects in the 2003 Design Vanguard, we labeled it as a firm that boldly chooses to pursue the most ambitious commissions. We stick by that label. While heneghan.peng has completed few projects, the scope of what it’s involved with is huge. For a firm less than 10-years in the making, completing a major Irish civic complex, known as Aras Chill Dara was a big deal, yet it’s the architects’ continuing work on the $320-million Grand Egyptian Museum that is really causing a stir. Scheduled for completion in 2011, this museum and cultural complex promises to be a real gateway between the sophisticated modernity of Cairo and the ancient splendor of the Pyramids. While the firm has grown to 35 people (from eight in 2003) to accommodate the immense scale of its current work, Heneghan and Peng still find time to focus on local projects, albeit not tiny ones. They’re currently working on a hotel in Dublin and a visitor’s center in Northern Ireland, as well as a prison redevelopment in Dublin. For these ambitious architects, bigger is better.

1999 in New York,
moved to Dublin 2001

Shih-Fu Peng, Roisin Heneghan

Design staff:

Peng: Harvard GSD, 1992; Cornell, 1989; Heneghan: Harvard GSD, 1992; University College Dublin, Ireland, 1978 Work history: Peng: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1996-2001; Michael Graves & Associates, 1992-96; Smith Miller & Hawkinson, 1992; Heneghan: Michael Graves & Associates, 1992-2001; Mitchell Giurgola, 1992; Deamer + Phillips, 1989-90; Mayers & Schiff, 1987-89

Key completed projects:
Aras Chill Dara

Key current projects:
Hotel, Kilternan, County Dublin, Ireland, 2007; Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, 2011,Giants Causeway Visitor Centre, N.Ireland 2009, Carlisle Pier Dublin 2010, Mountjoy Redevelopment Masterplan, Dublin