Job losses that would make headlines in other sectors are happening every day in Irish architectural practices – and it’s not over yet. Architects and interior designers Douglas Wallace went into liquidation last month, and this sad news was reported in a three-paragraph “short” in the business section of The Irish Times. Had it been a factory closing down with the loss of 300 jobs, as the firm sustained in its heyday, it might even have made the front page.
Just eight months earlier, Douglas Wallace was still in expansionist mode and talking about acquiring an architectural practice in Prague.
But then, its London-based subsidiary, DWDL, went into administration, amid hopes that a buyer would be attracted by its strong client base, and save the remaining jobs there.
With offices in Ireland, Britain and continental Europe, Douglas Wallace had worked on high-profile projects for clients such as Brown Thomas, Harrods, Accor Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, Bang Olufsen and Quinlan Private. It also won awards for the G hotel in Galway and Peter Mark’s new headquarters in Dublin.