About, Shane Birney Architects

Shane Birney Architects is an architecture practice based in Derry~Londonderry working on arts, education, residential and urban design projects. We are a young and energetic practice producing innovative and thoughtful work; strong on dialogue and testing ideas.

Our approach creates buildings and spaces that maintain a close relationship between the context of the project and the client's requirements. Such an approach allows each design exercise to be a collaborative effort, one that demands an intimate understanding of both Client and Brief before the design process can begin.

We aim to tackle issues of climate change from first principles, where big issues are addressed head on. In terms of technology, we prefer to use passive principles to aid building performance, and use these principles to define the premise of a building. This can be achieved whether creating spaces in which to live, work, visit or simply pass through and each project is viewed as a unique challenge requiring a unique solution.

Shane Birney

Shane Birney BSc, BArch studied architecture at University of Dundee, gaining First Class Honours, and was awarded the RIAS Silver Medal.  Prior to setting up the practice, Shane worked in Scotland and Australia on projects ranging from small scale residential to substantial projects in the Education and Arts sectors.  Shane has been a visiting critic at a number of universities in the UK and Ireland and is a director in the Forum for Alternative Derry.  He also teaches as a STEM Aware Associate and is a W5 ambassador.  Shane is also in high demand as a master pancake maker.

Michael Carr

Michael Carr graduated from the University of Dundee in 2000, gaining BSc, BArch in Architecture and subsequently obtaining membership in the RIAI. Following graduation, Michael worked in Dublin before leaving to set up partnership in Hegarty Carr Architects. In this role of partner, Michael led several large scale projects within a variety of sectors, including a number of residential and educational projects across the UK and Ireland. Michael also teaches and holds a particular interest in Product Design.

Aileen McConaghie

Aileen McConaghie BSc, Dip Arch, M Arch has worked with Shane Birney Architects since moving to Derry in 2013.  Originally from Newry, she studied Architecture at Queen’s University, Belfast and completed her postgraduate studies followed by a Masters degree at the Macintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow with special interest in 20th century Finnish church architecture.  Aileen worked for 6 years with Donnelly O’Neill Architects, Belfast where she gained experience in conservation of listed buildings and also in community projects, working with public sector funders and charities. This included the award winning Skainos urban regeneration project in East Belfast.  Aileen enjoys painting.  She has completed many commissioned pieces and regularly exhibits her work. 

Colin McCelland

Colin joined Shane Birney Architects in February 2014 after completing his Part I at Queens University Belfast. He previously worked in Berkeley, California with Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects where he gained experience working on a number of educational projects. For the last three years he has acted as Northern Ireland’s National Contact for the European Architecture Students Assembly. In his spare time he enjoys longboarding, art, and photography, and has had many works exhibited over the UK and Ireland.

What we don‘t do

Wear black polo necks
Tan easily
Trust cats
Put the milk in after
Colour outside the lines
Say ‘basically’
Enjoy rollercoasters
Eat brown sauce
Parrallel park well
Believe Towering Inferno was the architect’s fault
Drink lager tops
Hold grudges
Warm up before exercise
Like surprise parties
Speed read
Have the moves like Jagger
Warm down after exercise
Read the “terms & conditions”
Design Death Stars

Apex Housing Association
Arts Council for Northern Ireland
Beech Country House Hotel
Big Lottery Fund
Bready & District Ulster Scots Cultural Association
Cathedral Youth Group
Centre of Contemporary Art
City Centre Initiative
City Hotel Group
Convoy of Hope
Cornerstone City Church
Derry City and Strabane District Council
Habinteg Housing Association
Ilex Urban Regeneration Company
Invest NI
NI Newpin
Office for First Minister & Deputy First Minister
River City Church
St Philip Howard RC School, Hatfield
Top of the Hill Community Group
WD Art Group
World Peace Flame Foundation