Leading Designer Awards 2023

Leading Designer Awards 2023 | 15 LUXLIFE MAGAZINE | 17 Spring 2023 Authentic structures such as Liam’s superb classical mansion, built on the Grosvenor Estate in Belgravia, blend seamlessly with our expectations of architecture from the London of the early 1800s. The traditional construction of solid brick and lime mortar features stone window sills, ironwork balconies, and a stone portico inspired by the Tower of the Winds in Athens. The interior of the house, constructed in 1996, is no less spectacular. An elliptical cantilevered staircase with swirling iron balustrades takes centre stage. A stunning rear garden overlooked by a stone loggia and a timber dining pergola gives the house a feel of the Mediterranean. Having the ability to both fulfil a brief and have it appear as an integral part of its surroundings is no small feat. Small wonder that Liam’s vision and foresight are Liam O’Connor, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, opened his own practice in 1989. Since then Liam O’Connor Architects has designed one-of-akind structures in the UK, France, Belgium, Greece, and Switzerland. Visitors to London will almost certainly have come across examples of Liam’s inspirational work, many of which are landmarks of the capital. Before setting up shop on his own, Liam studied with, amongst others, Léon Krier. The notable architect, polemicist and theoretician best known for his master plan for Poundbury, the extension to the city of Dorchester commissioned by the Prince of Wales. The pair first worked together on Liam’s diploma project for the new Marco Polo airport in Venice back in 1987. Léon, who originates from Luxembourg, recalls how impressed he was by the “competent young English gentlemen”. In particular, by how unaffected he was by the storm of protest that his design provoked in academics and professionals alike. Léon says in the introduction to LOCA company literature: “It is in the context of a largely fraudulent art and building culture that the extraordinary competence, authenticity, internal and external, spatial, and structural consistency, in short, the beauty and outstanding competence of Liam O’Connor’s work can be fully appreciated, judged, and honoured.” Following a challenging path, Liam has never been deterred from his calling. His designs alone prove the validity of his argument for traditional yet sustainable building methods. in high demand. Wonderful examples of this aspect of his design prowess are the two contemporary villas in Regents Park that stand proudly alongside historical terraces designed by John Nash. Liam’s designs combine modern living spaces with classically appealing lines. When talking about the philosophy of his practice, Liam quotes Vitruvius, the Roman architect and engineer, who lived during the 1st century BC: “Firmness, commodity, and delight are still relevant today as guiding forces in the pursuit of architecture. The search for contemporary relevance aligned with these timeless principles is what defines the work of this practice.” LOCA combines architects, urban designers, master planners, project managers, and interior designers and puts a strong focus on the setting, landscape, fine art, and construction details of each unique project whether it be publicly or privately funded. As well as numerous house, apartment, and public building projects, LOCA’s name has become synonymous with elegant memorials in London, across the UK, and abroad. In 2007, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, HRH Prince Charles unveiled LOCA’s Armed Forces Memorial. The structure takes inspiration from ancient burial mounds known as barrows and the circular Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome. It commemorates all the members of the armed forces who have lost their lives since the end of the Second World War. The memorial is the centrepiece of the park Liam O’Connor, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, opened his own practice in 1989. Since then Liam O’Connor Architects has designed one-of-a-kind structures in the UK, France, Belgium, Greece, and Switzerland.