McKillen jnr’s Oakmount wins RIAI award for Percy Place scheme

ODOS Architects commended for providing example of how to develop brownfield sites

Number 55 Percy Place, a mixed-use development by Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan’s Oakmount, has won the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI)’s Silver Medal for housing.

Designed by David O’Shea’s ODOS Architects, the scheme was developed in partnership with London-based U+I plc on the rather constrained site of a former coal yard alongside the Grand Canal close to Baggot Street bridge. With a new public space fronting on to Haddington Road and Percy Place, the building includes double-height spaces, full-width terraces, split-level areas and central voids, with full-height windows and dual-aspect layouts employed in the apartments to maximise light and views.

The RIAI’s biennial medal – in this case, the 2015-17 prize – is awarded to projects a few years after completion to allow them and their residents to settle into their surroundings. Architect Paul Keogh, who chaired the judging panel, praised the development’s “very sophisticated response to its very challenging urban context” as well as its “skilful mix of commercial and apartment uses, its sophisticated design and handling of materials, and the example it provides for the development of the brownfield sites that exist in every town and city”.

The 12 award-winning apartments, all of which are different, are mostly two-bed units with a one-bed, a three-bed and some duplexes and penthouses, and range in size from 80sq m to 150 sq m. Designed in 2013 and completed in 2015, they were launched in 2016 at prices averaging almost €10,000 per sq m. Most sold in the third quarter of that year, with the Property Price Register recording amounts from €650,000 to €1.25 million; seven made in excess of €800,000. Since then, according to the register, only one has been sold on; number 7 sold in December 2019 for €820,000, a sizeable increase on the €704,845 its first owner paid in August 2016.


ODOS, a multi-award-winning practice with offices in Dublin and London, has made handsome shapes in residential and commercial developments around the capital, and its collaborations with Oakmount include three mews houses at nearby Percy Lane and four houses at Morehampton Lane. Architects Fiona Hughes and Darrell O’Donohoe also worked on the Percy Place development: Hughes is now with Grafton Architects and UCD, while O’Donohoe has since established ODAA.

The four-storey-over basement building at 55 Percy Place includes three office suites – occupied by the Oakmount head office, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Therabel – as well as Dime Coffee and the canalside restaurant Angelina’s, both part of McKillen jnr and Ryan’s Press Up group. The pair are busy with the ongoing apartment development at The Pinnacle, in Mount Merrion, and have other residential and hotel projects going through the planning process.

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey is an Irish Times journalist