The Imaginary Rock Foundation* was formed in 2011 as a platform for the collaboration of two like-minded professional architects. We have a track record of working in complex existing situations, including ‘problem’ estates, forgotten and unloved bits of the city, and with organisations that have struggled historically and whose spaces need a rethink strategically,
spatially and atmospherically.
The Imaginary Rock Ltd. is composed of two experienced senior architects with an architectural assistant, who have worked for a range of practices prior to establishing the collaboration in 2011 and have both been embedded in teaching and research at University level for the past 6 years. Our experience ranges from small-scale community projects, where the evolution of the project and its delivery often relied heavily on the mobilising of voluntary
forces, labour and materials, to a current £4 million high density residential project in Hackney, which is currently at pre-planning stage. Often our skills at communicating and drawing together of people to create and deliver a design strategy were crucial in the success of the project and we take pride in our patient and detailed approach.
Both directors are registered architects since 2003 & 2010 respectively, with experience
ranging from being lead members of design-lead, competition and award-winning Dublin and London practices, to working in the field on the delivery of a competition-won community project in Argentina and in the studio of Ilya Kabakov installation artist in New York.
We outline in the following pages specific projects under the identified headings and also include a chapter describing a sample of our experience in public realm/ landscape/ cyclingrelated projects.
* the name The Imaginary Rock Foundation is a tribute to the Welsh designer John Chris Jones’ desire for innovation and equality in design.
Sebastian studied architecture in Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, graduating in 2005 with a diploma investigating the incomplete city fabric of east London. After graduation Sebastian won a design competition for the design & realisation of a sustainable forestry HQ in Argentina.
He completed Part 3 in 2010 at London Met, after working at Adams & Sutherland on a series of public realm and landscape projects. Collaborated for 3 years with VectorFoiltec, where he designed and project managed various lightweight structural projects including in a range of sensitive locations in London & desert locations, developing a new minimal ecological façade system with Fosters for MASDAR Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi.
Established the Imaginary Rock Foundation, a collaborative platform for architecture, with Aoife Donnelly in 2011, after winning the Nationwide Sustainable Housing competition. Sebastian has been a lecturer in architecture at Coventry University since 2013, engaged in research in sustainable structures for disaster response situations. In this capactiy he has participated in conferences and workshops in developing regions including Malaysia, Chile and Argentina and is currently authoring a new masters course with the university and other partners. He leads an annual build project with students at Coventry University.
Aoife studied architecture in the Dublin School of Architecture & UP6 Paris, graduating in 2000. RIAI member since 2003, ARB registered since 2007, she worked first with Grainne Hassett and later OPW, where she worked on the National Library East Wing, the award winning Joseph’s Cottage ranger base & other arts/ cultural projects. Joining the studio of installation Artist Ilya Kabakov in New York in 2003, she later moved to London and became Project Architect on a series of arts, community, education, masterplanning and public realm projects at Adams & Sutherland Architects 2004 to 2009. She was a key member of the Architecture for Humanity award winning Arnica Drying hut prototype for WWF in the Carpacian Mountains.
Aoife is a senior lecturer and leads a design studio in Kingston University FADA since 2009, since 2013 she has been the undergraduate year 1 leader and has successfully reinvented that level of the course. She also specialises in tectonics tutoring and in particular in live, full scale installation and making projects.
Establishing adA in 2009 she later formed the Imaginary Rock Foundation with Sebastian Hicks in 2011.
Aoife has been a visiting lecturer in Brighton University, guest critic at various schools including the London Metropolitan University & Chelsea School of Art.
Current projects include a range of domestic adjustments and extensions to a single terrace in Hackney and Victorian house extensions. The IRF’s Yeats’ 2015 Anniversary proposal for the Lake Isle of Inisfree is being exhibited in Sligo, December 2015 and is part of a publication just launched by the Model & Niland
Aoife is based in East London.