Todd Architects’ remarkable success in the Republic of Ireland was one of the reasons why the Belfast practice was chosen as AJ100 International Practice of the Year 2017
This category is based on key measures of business success such as a practice’s percentage growth in overseas fee income and the year-on-year increase in architects employed abroad.
Winner Todd Architects is a Belfast-based practice best known for the Titanic Belfast visitor centre, co-designed with the late US architect Eric Kuhne and boasting expertise in office design, education and aviation.
It was established in the city by Barrie Todd in the difficult climate of the late 1970s, and has gone on to become the biggest locally owned architectural practice in Northern Ireland, with 38 architects on its team.
While it has long worked in the Republic of Ireland, Todd has made remarkable strides in this market in the past year, acquiring new premises in Dublin overseen by principal John Keogan, a former director and co-founder of HKR Architects. Todd’s tally of overseas architects has gone up by five while its overseas fees have increased by 84 per cent. This is on the back of projects such as a new workspace in Dublin for American client Liberty and a primary and secondary school campus in the city.
Elsewhere, Todd is increasingly targeting the Middle East and has formed strategic partnerships with other firms such as Keppie Design and Stride Treglown under the 431 Architecture banner, as well as alliances with Belfast engineer AEA and a Dutch architecture practice.
The AJ100 judges called Todd a ‘genuinely entrepreneurial firm’ which had turned its relatively low overheads in Belfast to its advantage. One said: ‘Todd was set up through Barrie Todd getting out there and knocking on doors in bad times, and that ethos has continued. The practice has realised the value of design and is investing in it.
‘It’s very impressive to see what it can do for the budgets it has in the public sector, and the fact it’s now really looking to the private sector as well is very promising. This is a firm punching above its weight in a very difficult context.’
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- Deborah Saunt, founding director, DSDHA
- Max Farrell, partner, Farrells
- Peter Morris, managing director, AHMM
- Teresa Borsuk, senior partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
- Will Hurst, managing editor, AJ
AJ100 International Practice of the Year sponsored by