Architecture & Design
Studio since 2001.
Cotter & Naessens are an award-winning architecture design studio with a reputation for innovative design, delivered with focus and attention to detail.
Cotter & Naessens
Our work encompasses diverse briefs, scales and locations: from rural houses to urban masterplans, all are underpinned by a common design philosophy that is enquiring and rigorous.
Our approach is consistent regardless of the size of project: a clear design strategy based on understanding the site in context, place and time, and understanding the client’s requirements and ambitions for the project. We pay close attention to the cultural, functional and technical performance required for the project and rigorously implement the design strategy through to the fine detail.
Sustainability underpins our work and we believe that passive energy solutions should be seamlessly and holistically integrated into design solutions. We are mindful of resources-space, materials and energy and understand we must use these resources with care and creativity-to realise an original and customised project solution.
Base in Cork city since 2001, we offer a range of skills from master-planning, urban design through to internal space planning, detailed design, project management and contract administration. We are also RIAI Conservation grade 3 accredited and are experienced in projects that have a strong landscape, mixed use, and historic context. We relish the opportunity to work with challenging briefs and sites to deliver a design solution that is feasible and appropriate.
Our close-knit team offers an exceptional level of service to our clients. Successful multi-disciplinary design realises creative solutions through teamwork that includes rigorous analysis and value management from the outset. We have recruited an experienced team of specialist consultants with whom we have collaborated successfully on many projects, demonstrating that holistic design, distinctive architecture, and environmental performance can be achieved within defined parameters. The studio output is informed by design research, through teaching and competitions. Commissions won following design contest success include the Central Library and Cultural Centre, dlrLexicon in Dun Laoghaire and most recently the FOCAS Research Institute, Technical University Dublin. Cotter & Naessens were one of 16 practices invited by the Grafton Architects to participate in Close Encounters at the Venice Biennale 2018.
The work of the practice has been nominated twice for the EU Mies Award and in 2016 dlrLexicon received the RIBA Award for International Excellence, and the RIAI Awards for Best Public Building and Best Cultural Building in 2015.
Nominated for Mies van der Rohe EU Prize 2022
AAI Irish Architecture Award 2020: Award Winner
Civic Trust Awards (UK) 2020: - Highly Commended
Irish Building & Design Awards 2019: Winner 'Architectural Project of the Year'
Property Industry Excellence Awards 2019: Winner 'Design Project of the Year'
RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2019: Winner 'Workplace of the Year'
Nominated for Mies van der Rohe EU Prize 2017
RIBA Award for International Excellence Award 2016
AAI Irish Architecture Award 2016: Award Winner
Irish Concrete Society Overall Prize Winner 2016
Civic Trust National Panel Special Award, Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design 2016
International Property Awards European Award 2016
LAMA Best Public Building and Grand Prix 2015
RIBAJ/Scheco Overall Winner and Sustainability Award 2015
World Architecture News Civic Buildings Winer 2015
World Architecture Festival 2015: Shortlist Community Buildings
CMG Building of the Year 2015
Irish Independent/KPMG Irish Property Awards Best Public Building and Overall Winner 2015
RIAI Best Public Building, Best Cultural Building 2015
RIAI Best Commercial Building 2007
RIAI Commendations 2004, 2005
AAI Award 1989
dlrLexicon, Carr Cotter Naessens Architects, Gandon Editions 2015
Becoming Gandon Editions October 2009 and edited by Dr Sandra O Connell
The New Housing 3, Royal Institute of Irish Architects 2022
The New Housing 2, Royal Institute of Irish Architects 2009
Building Design 2 pages March 1989 Jewellery Quarter AAI Awards 3 pages 1990 New Hall Mills Birmingham
Academy Editions 1 page A Decade of competitions
Architecture Ireland 2 pages Sept 2004 Despards Yard Architecture Ireland 1 page South Presentation Convent
Architectural Ireland 3 pages January 2006 Solas ITT
House: Architecture Design 5 pages Summer 2007 House in Ballinlough
Plan 2 pages September 2007 Ballinlough
Architecture Today 2 September 2007 pages Grainstore
Wettbewerbe Aktuell 3 pages March 2008 dlrLexicon
Plan 1 page 2008 Sexton St Housing Limerick
Building Better Communities RIAI 2 pages 2009 Sexton
Irish Times ½ page December 2014
Sunday Times Culture Supplement 4 pages Dec 2014
Irish Arts Review Winter 2014 6 pages dlrLexicon
Architecture Ireland Winter 2014 6 pages dlrLexicon
Architects Journal November 2014 10 pages dlrLexicon
RIBAJ 3 pages December 2014 dlrLexicon
Irish Building Magazine Feb 2015 dlrLexicon
Building Construction Design December 2014 dlrLexicon
Baunetz March 2015 I page dlrLexicon
Wettbewerbe Aktuell March 2015 4 pages dlrLexicon
Concrete Quarterly 2 pages Spring 2015 dlrLexicon
Architecture Today 3 pages April 2015 dlrLexicon
Louise Cotter is a native of Tralee, Co. Kerry and graduated from the School of Architecture University College Dublin in 1983. Before returning to Ireland in 2001, Louise worked in London with Wickham van Eyck, Colquhoun and Miller and Dixon Jones on cultural and educational projects.
Louise Cotter was the Southern Region Representative on RIAI Council from 2014 to 2021 and is a regular contributor to the Irish Arts Review and Architecture Ireland. She was an assistant lecturer at the School of Architecture, CCAE until 2019.
Louise Cotter is an assistant lecturer at the School of Architecture, CCAE.
David Naessens is a Dubliner and graduated from the School of Architecture University College Dublin in 1983. He has worked in London with Rick Mather, Branson Coates and Dixon Jones and in Boston with Koetter Kim. David is an accomplished draughtsman and artist and his work has been extensively published and exhibited.
David has extensive teaching experience in Ireland and the UK and was a unit leader in the School of Architecture, CCAE, developing an on-going interest in the planning and design of public space in Irish towns.
John Mark Vinten is an Associate Director and has played a central role in the studio since he joined us in 2017. A native of Edinburgh and educated at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, John Mark practiced in London and Aberdeen before moving to Cork with his family. He was project architect for Gardens International in Limerick and managed the design and delivery of the building envelope for the Dominick Street Regeneration Project. John Mark has experience in leading multi-disciplinary projects at an advanced level of BIM collaboration.
Ruskin is an Irish Setter and studio pet.
Our approach is consistent regardless of the size of project: a clear design strategy based on understanding the site in context, place and time, and the client’s requirements and ambitions for the project.
Sustainability underpins our work and we believe that passive energy solutions should be seamlessly and holistically integrated into design solutions.