RSUA Design Awards Shortlist

5th March 2023
Our Ballyhackamore Extension is one of 10 projects that has been shortlisted for the 2023 RSUA Design Awards. See here. We look forward to welcoming the judges in a few weeks time. We’ve had a few requests for more photos of the project, so head over to the projects tab where we have created a page for this project. Results will be announced in May.

Planning Approved in Malone

28th February 2023
We are delighted to have received Planning Approval for this speculative single-house development on a leafy site in Malone, soon to come to the market. This is what our clients had to say: ‘Thank you all so much for being such a wonderful, creative and dynamic team to work with! It has been a seamless experience from start to finish and we felt extremely confident in your hands at every stage of the process.’

57’10 Lecture Series

17th February 2023
Aisling Rusk was delighted to return to Aberdeen and present some of Studio idir’s work at RGU’s student lecture series, 57’10.  The students have painstakingly researched, created and gifted these beautiful models of a project by each weekly speaker, as a thank you gift.

Congratulations Aisling Madden!

7th November 2022
We are so proud of our very own Aisling Madden for completing the Part Three Professional Practice course to become a fully qualified architect! She has brought so much talent to our team, (not least her gorgeous sketch skills!) and we are excited to see what she accomplishes in her early career as an architect in the months and years to come.

We made the Shortlist!

24th October 2022
We are delighted to share that our entry to PPR’s trailblazing #takebackthecity competition, aiming to tackle housing shortage with and for families in housing need in West Belfast, has been shortlisted, along with some other fantastic proposals! Studio idir are the only practice from this island in the runnings.

See the shortlisted entries and have your say on the Take Back the City website or read about the competition in the Architect’s Journal. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Our proposal for community land trust choosing builds on the ethos of our practice (idir = between) and our Director’s (Aisling Rusk) PhD around creating spaces for multiple forms and levels of connection.

Duplex housing, inspired by Dutch examples, is built from lime-clad hempcrete and arranged around communal shared courtyards (for growing, relaxing and playing together) and along pedestrians street. The Forth meadow Community Greenway remains, this section becoming a linear, forgeable, edible forest. A car-free high street of local independent business is added, along with various community resources, including an integrated primary school, of course. The more we share, the more we all have.

Deconstructing the Belfast Alley Map

26th September 2022
Studio idir and Starling Start were thrilled to be asked by Your City Your Voice Belfast to exhibit our 9ft in Common work in the Urban Room at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast. We had a great panel discussion about all things alleys to launch the exhibition. On display were our Belfast Alley Map, Jonathan Brennan’s beautiful cyanotype prints of our map and our sketch design proposals. Follow us on Instagram @9ftincommon.

Re-Imagining Elderhood

30th August 2022
Re-Imagining Elderhood is a research project led by Self Organised Architecture and funded by Arts Council Ireland. Studio idir were selected, along with Islander Architects from Balbriggan and Ailbhe Cunningham from Cork, to investigate how neighbourhoods can encourage positive ageing and foster community.

Studio idir have chosen to focus on Ballyhackamore in Belfast where our office is based, and have led several workshops – we’ve loved hearing the community’s opinions on the area and ideas for the future! Watch this space to see how the project unfolds, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @re__hack.

Pay only 5% VAT for some renovations

30th March 2021
Did you know that if your house has been unoccupied for 2 years, or if you are bringing an unused barn or outbuilding into residential use for the first time, you are eligible to pay only 5% VAT on your construction works? Several of our clients have available of this scheme (VAT notice 708, sections 7 and 8), and we recently had a case study about one such project published in Self-Build Ireland, which you can read about here.

To take advantage of this, you must prove to the builder’s accountant that your property qualifies. Typically two or more pieces of evidence are required. Our clients have done this before using some of the following:

  • confirmation from an estate agent that the house has been on the market, and empty for 2 or more years, if relevant;
  • a death certificate of the previous occupant, or letter from a care home confirming the date at which they moved in;
  • a rates bill showing the property listed as vacant;
  • utilities bills showing decreased usage as it’s been unoccupied;
  • letters from neighbours confirming that no-one has been living at the property for that time.

Once the contractor’s accountant is satisfied of the evidence, the contractor can then charge you the reduced 5% for any works you carry out. This can bring a great saving. Note the reduction does not extend to certain items such as professional services, and non-fixed internal fittings and appliances. Feel free to ask us any questions and we’ll do our best to answer based on our experiences with this VAT saving. Image by Jamie Trimble.

AJ 40 Under 40

18th December 2020
We are delighted to share that our Director Aisling Rusk has been selected as one of the Architect’s Journal 40 Architects under 40, alongside fellow Belfast Architect Jane Larmour of ALW Architects, and many talented and interesting others! Check out the article on Aisling here. Illustration below by Simon Hayes.

9ft in Common

1st December 2020
An investigation about ownership, access, disruption and place. 9ft in Common is led and developed by Amberlea Neely of Starling Start and Aisling Rusk of Studio idir and supported by Necessity. This research projects seeks to uncover the complexities and share the possibilities of an infrastructure of urban alleyways, Belfast’s wild and liminal spaces. Please visit the project’s website to follow our progress as we walk, map and discover stories of the alleyways of Belfast.