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Employment – position of Secretary / Personal Assistant currently available

Bluett & O’Donoghue  is  currently  seeking  Secretary / Personal Assistant.

We are a busy  multi-disciplinary consultancy in the Irish built environment sector working on  an   exciting range of projects.   We are currently seeking  a Secretary / Personal Assistant to join our team,  to be based at our Kilkenny office. The  candidate will  be a highly motivated person with good communication skills, have the ability to work to deadlines and have a willingness to learn. There is an attractive package for the right candidate.
Please send your CV with enclosing application letter by email to or post to Marie Flahive Financial Controller at 2 John St, Kilkenny

Official Opening of new Jewellery Academy in the iconic ‘Sessions House’, Thomastown

Officially opening of the Academy of Jewellery and Goldsmithing Centre of Excellence in Thomastown

 On 17th May 2023, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys officially opened the Academy of Jewellery and Goldsmithing Centre of Excellence in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny.

BLUETT & O’DONOGHUE acted as architects and fire & accessibility consultants on this project which was funded under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, together with a contribution from the Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and Kilkenny County Council.

The project to convert to former Court House (The Sessions House) to educational & ancillary retail use commenced in 2019. The Jewellery School of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCI) are now the end-user under leasehold from Kilkenny County Council. The building had been vacant since use by the Courts Service ceased in 2005.

The tiling was one of the few architectural features to survive the fire of 1922. Services and drainage routes were laid below the new court room floor to avoid impact on the tiling in the two entrance vestibules.

It was clear from very early in the design process that the Sessions House was too small to comfortably accommodate the jewelry school, which wanted to expand its student numbers and to offer evening classes to the wider community. But the site was very restricted, and the only feasible options were to increase the plot ratio within the existing footprint and to extend at upper level.

Ultimately, the solution was a new mezzanine within the double-height space of the court room and narrow extensions to each side of the court room block at upper level.

The new lime render to the front façade with smooth ruled and lined finish. A small number of stone indents were required.

The mezzanine screen was conceived as an object that sits independently in the double-height space of the former court room. The double-height space outside the mezzanine will function as the public gallery and retail space.

The main classroom on the mezzanine upon completion.

The mezzanine was the single most significant intervention to the building, the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the new school.
It is about half the floor area of the court room and is held 5m off the high tri-partite window to Logan Street. The curved front reflects the arched hood moulding over the judge’s bench and allows 4 of the 6 clerestory windows to remain in the double-height space.

The scale of the mezzanine allows the proportions of the court room to remain evident and in front of it, the double-height space will be a gallery & retail space where the public will be welcome and can view into the process area.



The two upper-level extensions are set well back from Logan Street (c. 8m) to avoid impact on the streetscape. The flat roofs are set in line with the eaves of the courtroom block and the external finishes are deliberately understated while also reinforcing the symmetry of the overall composition in a subtle way.



The jewellery-making process involves a series of stages, with differing daylighting requirements and eventually we arrived at a good allocation of the available spaces; old, new and combined, which satisfied the Brief and which had regard to the character of the building and the historic plan form.

The design of the conversion of the Sessions House was tailored to meet the specific requirements of the jewelry course which uses tools and implements operated by compressed air and by various bottled gases as well as small kilns and a forge. The sensitive routing of services was a key aspect of the design, and as a team, we devised service routes which were as non-invasive to the historic fabric as possible with a bespoke ‘double-decker’ means of carrying electrical, gas and air services over unitrack with the lighting and sensors.


Official Opening of Mount Congreve House and Gardens Visitor Centre

On 1st March 2023, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, officially opened the new Visitor Centre at the Mount Congreve Estate in Kilmeaden, County Waterford.

Mount Congreve is internationally renowned as one of ‘the Great Gardens of the World’, famed for its magnolias and record collection of rhododendrons. (Massachusetts Horticultural Society, 2001).

There was limited access to the gardens during Ambrose Congreve’s lifetime but his bequest of Mount Congreve to the Nation opens the prospect of it becoming a major visitor attraction. For this to happen, the visitor facilities are being greatly improved, and this project is part of that process.

The project has created a vibrant and colourful space for visitors to start and finish their tour of Mount Congreve. The interventions are deferential to the conservation of the historic fabric but the outcome is a dramatic adaptation and re-use of an underutilised service area.






BLUETT & O’DONOGHUE acted as architects and fire & accessibility consultants for this prestigious project for Mount Congreve Trust / Waterford City & County Council.

The objective was to strike a good balance between the functional requirements of the facility while also maintaining and enhancing the architectural and historical character by,

  • Using the vaulted stables and stores in the 18th century part of the east wing for ‘front-of-house’ uses to maximise public access and appreciation.
  • Minimising physical impact on the historic fabric and improved presentation of architectural features such as the round and oval windows in the north screen wall which were obscured by the 1960’s garage crosswalls.
  • Careful detailing of the new glazed roof, which is independently structured above the parapets of the courtyard outbuildings, with hip ends to complement the roof form of the House and the east wing. Using mainly tubular members, stainless steel pin connections and long-span glazing panels achieves a very lightweight frame structure which does not dominate the courtyard outbuildings or diminish their character.
  • Conversion of the row of garages to café, which has been a great success by the sheer simplicity of the idea and the quirky character endowed by the ‘spider windows’ and enhanced by the new light fittings.

    The courtyard roof is fully glazed around the perimeter and is structurally independent of the existing outbuildings.

    The paypoint in the courtyard replicates the larger Chinese Pagoda in the Gardens.

The Café forms an arcade along the north side of the courtyard.

The garages conversion to Café.

Official Opening of Cavan Town Hall Arts Space

Monday 25th April 2022 saw the official opening of the Cavan Town Hall Arts Space.

A conservation and enhancement project of the protected structure of Cavan Town Hall (formerly Cavan UDC), this facility is now used as a 220-person theatre, a visual arts centre, children’s art facility and Studios for three resident artists.

BLUETT & O’DONOGHUE served as Project Manager and Architect on this LAMA award-winning endeavour, winning in two categories in 2020, ‘Best Heritage Project’ and ‘Best Disability Access & Inclusion Initiative’.

Pictured at the official opening of Cavan Town Hall: Front row from left : Tommy Ryan, Chief Executive, Cavan Co Co ; Cllr Clifford Kelly, Cathaoirleach of Cavan Co Co ; Heather Humphries TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development ; Eoin Doyle, Director of Services for Housing, Cavan Co Co.

Back row from left : James O’Donoghue, BLUETT & O’DONOGHUE ; Vivian McCauley, JJ McCauley Construction Ltd.; Seamus McLoughlin, Housing Construction, Cavan Co Co; John Wilson, Senior Engineer, Cavan, Co Co.

Employment position for Senior architect / Conservation architect Grade 1/2

Employment position for Conservation architect Grade 1/2

Our  firm is a busy medium sized multi-disciplinary
consultancy in the Irish built environment sector. we are currently seeking the following:-

CONSERVATION PROJECT ARCHITECT (Grade 1 or Grade 2) required for our Chancery Dublin 7 office.

  • Excellent remuneration and prospects for the right candidate.
  • Our practice is an Architect-led multi-disciplinary practice with a strong emphasis on encouraging and facilitating her staff members to constantly mature and upskill professionally in the practical environment of a busy collegial multidisciplinary office.
  • We have a varied, interesting, and steady workload on conservation projects and conservation consultancy services. . It includes protected structures and settings of local, regional, and national importance.
  • Our areas of practice include Institutional, residential, commercial, industrial, and healthcare projects and consultancy work.
  • The successful candidate will have the opportunity to shape the candidate’s role in the office and build the team.
  • The role of Conservation Architect in our office is one which involves participation and leadership and collegiality on several projects in different design team configurations at any one time for public and private clients.

Please send your CV with enclosing application letter
by email to or post to Marie
Flahive Financial Controller at 2 John St, Kilkenny

Cavan Town Hall wins Gold

Cavan Town Hall regeneration (Cavan County Council)

Cavan Town Hall wins Gold as best Heritage project  2020 at the recent All Ireland Community and Council Awards presented by IPB insurance and LAMA.

The premises, built in 1909, designed by Architect William Scott is a landmark municipal building and home to Arts in Cavan. Cavan County Council commissioned Bluett & O’Donoghue  to lead the complete refurbishment of the building to secure its long term sustainability. It now serves as an important focal point for Civic life in Cavan.

Cork Criminal Courthouse receives 3 awards.

We are very proud to announce that the Cork Criminal Courthouse by OPW Architects with Wilson Architecture and Bluett O’Donoghue  received three awards at the 2019 RIAI Architectural Awards.. This is a fantastic result following tough competition from 41 shortlisted projects.

  • Winner of  the Innovation award
  • 2nd place in the RIAI Public Choice Awards
  • 2nd place Cultural – Public Building award

Congratulations to Michael O’Boyle  who lead the Bluett & O Donoghue Team.

Employment opportunities at Bluett & O’Donoghue

Currently there is the opportunity to join our team with the following employment positions available.

General practice experience for Dublin and Kilkenny Offices.

Fire Safety Design from initial design and Fire Safety Certificate stage to completion. Primary or Post Grad’ diploma qualification advantageous.
For Dublin or Kilkenny Offices.

Attractive package for the right Candidates to work on a broad range of project types. Please send C.V. and enclosing letter by post to No.2 John st Kilkenny or email to :

Irish Architectural Awards 2019

Bluett & O’Donoghue are honored to  have the Cork Criminal  Courthouse shortlisted in the  – Irish Architectural Awards 2019.

The prestigious  development  was completed in conjunction with  OPW Architects  and Wilson Architecture.

Why not vote for  this project:   link to the following RIAI site:

Voting closes at midnight on Friday, 31st May


RIAI CPD on Fire Safety Considerations For Existing Buildings

A timely 4 Hour  RIAI  CPD session on fire safety considerations  for existing buildings  took place on the 13th of June in Dublin.

The well attended event which  covered a broad range of important fire safety issues in existing buildings was chaired by Joe Miller RIAI Practice Director .   A presentation was made by Peter Bluett  in relation to Statutory Fire Safety obligations relevant to existing buildings and the significance of the Safety File and the Safety Register for existing buildings.

Presentations were also made by John Barry  of the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government in relation  to Fire Safety in Ireland – report of the Fire Safety Task Force- formed following the Grenfell fire; Owen O’Dowd,  Dublin Fire brigade in relation to the Fire Officer’s view of issues / problems that arise in relation to remedial works/legacy issues; John McCarthy in relation to  BS9999 as an alternative to TGD B for existing buildings; Donal Friel,  a Case Study: Providing a due diligence report fire for an institution/client.