The Studio

Who We Are

Based in our studios in the historic Portview Trade centre in East Belfast, our dedicated team of Architects and Designers are currently working on sites in the UK, Ireland and beyond, across a multitude of sectors including commercial, residential, healthcare, and industrial and logistics projects. The practice prides itself on building close relationships with its client base, offering a dedicated design service to guide each project from conception to completion.

Rapport Architects is currently working for a broad spectrum of clients, from private sector property developers and commercial businesses, to public sector bodies such as local councils and housing associations. Our projects range from one off residential builds, to high rise urban architecture, from health centres to aerospace manufacturing facilities.

The practice is RIBA chartered and ARB registered. Our design staff are members of the RIBA and/or CIAT. Desmond Mooney is a Conservation Registrant Level Architect.

Our Story

The practice was formed in 2011 by Irwin McNeill and Desmond Mooney, who met when working together for HKR Architects, a global architecture firm founded in Dublin. The two share a strong interest in designing lean, flexible commercial and residential buildings that are inherently sustainable through their design.

Irwin and Des together bring decades of expertise to the Rapport Architects team, having worked on numerous large scale residential and commercial projects across the globe. The practice was further strengthened by the addition of Neil Drain in 2019 to lead the technical and delivery aspect of the practice. Neil’s dedication to detail ensures the practice’s projects seamlessly move from the drawing board to reality.

Practice Leadership

Irwin McNeill, Director

Irwin co-founded Rapport Architects in the Spring of 2011. He brings over 35 years of experience to the practice and has an extensive portfolio of award-winning projects across a wide variety of sectors. Irwin’s expertise has been key to the practice’s client base – providing valuable strategic advice and direction at a project’s inception stage, developing viable business cases, and leading projects to completion.

Irwin graduated from John Moores University in 1986 with a First Class Honours degree and a Distinction in his Diploma. He spent over 20 years working in BDP’s Belfast office where he led the design team that delivered the landmark Victoria Square Shopping Centre in Belfast, and the Metro Office Building also in Belfast city centre. He previously has been a Director of HKR Architects and BDP.

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA ARB

Irwin McNeill, Director

Desmond Mooney, Director

Des is a Director at Rapport Architects – leading teams on the design of projects across residential, commercial, healthcare, and mixed-use sectors. Des has been involved in the design and delivery of many medium to large-scale mixed-use urban projects including St Anne’s Square, Belfast and Abu Dhabi Plaza in Nur-Sultan – the tallest building in Central Asia.

He completed his studies at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris and Queen’s University, Belfast, graduating in 2003. He has since built his experience working in commercial architecture practices in Belfast, Dublin, and New York. He has worked on a variety of projects across the UK and Ireland, and the Middle East and North Africa.

Qualifications: BSc (Arch) B. Arch RIBA ARB Conservation Registrant Level Architect

Desmond Mooney, Director

Neil Drain, Associate

Neil joined the Practice as an Associate in 2019. He is the Practice’s Technical Design Coordinator, a role that sees him lead the technical design output of all the practice’s projects. As well as ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and standards, Neil has an extensive knowledge of construction techniques, including non-combustible façade design.

With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, developed across a variety of sectors, such as new-build, refurbishment and conservation, Neil is a highly experienced member of the team.

His diverse portfolio of projects worldwide include, aeronautics, healthcare, education, residential, commercial and cladding/façade design, for both public and private sectors, a number of which have been successful at local and national level.

Neil Drain, Associate