Helena McElmeel Architects is a design focused architectural practice with a portfolio of beautiful buildings. Our skilled team brings years of experience to ensure high quality projects and design solutions, regardless of scale or budget. We enjoy the challenges of new briefs, and designing and delivering diverse building types and spaces with a focus on proper low energy building and sustainability.
The practice’s work has featured in numerous publications, and was awarded the Sustainability Award for a Single Building or Development in Building and Architect of the Year Awards 2017.

Our Approach

We listen to our clients to fully understand their requirements and vision for the project. We work closely with them to develop the brief if necessary, and to explore design strategies and solutions that seek to surpass expectations while ensuring value and respecting budgets. Our bespoke designs come from a response to place – we study and analyse the physical and environmental context of each site, the light, the views, its history and potential. This allows us to design imaginative buildings and craft beautiful spaces that are specific to every client and every site. Many of our projects are in challenging planning environments and our planning success rate reflects our unique design approach. Sustainability is an integral part of our design process, not just an add-on. We incorporate passive design principles into all our designs. Our passion for design informs every detail of our projects, large or small, as we strive to deliver quality buildings for our clients that are elegant, durable and timeless.

  • Helena McElmeel

    Dip.Arch. B.Arch.Sc MSc.Arch.:AEES MRIAI

    Architect / Director

  • Helena founded the practice in 2011 and is the principal architect and creative director. She enjoys crafting and delivering beautiful buildings and inviting spaces, and has a keen eye for detail.
    She has 15 years’ experience and previously worked in practices in Galway and Mayo where she designed a diverse range of projects, such as the Citypoint (TK Maxx) building in Galway city, very high specification low energy private houses, and a Belltower at St. Patrick’s Church Ballina, which was commended in the RIAI Irish Architecture Awards in 2012.
    Helena began her architectural education in Dublin Institute of Technology, graduating in 2002, and was awarded a distinction in her MSc in Architecture: Advanced Energy and Environmental Studies in 2013. She is an Architect Accredited in Conservation at Grade III and has completed the RIAI SHW Project Supervisor Design Process training. She represented the Western Region on the RIAI Council from 2009 to 2011, and is currently an active member of Galway County Council’s Housing Strategic Policy Committee. She has just recently completed study for a PD Diploma in Project Management in Trinity College Dublin.
    Helena’s design work has featured in many publications and she has been invited to lecture at architectural and low energy building conferences. She won the RIAI 3Twenty10 Research competition for her work relating to housing insulation. Presently, she is an Adjunct Lecturer in NUI Galway teaching architecture and urban planning part-time. Helena has two energetic young children who keep her busy when she is not in the office.

  • Shaun Doherty

    M.Arch B.Arch.

    Part II Architect

  • Shaun is an enthusiastic and committed Part II Architect. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture in 2009 and with a Masters of Architecture in 2013. Shaun received the PLACE NI award for the best Urban Project in 2013. Previously, Shaun worked with practices in Donegal, Derry and Edinburgh, delivering a range of project types including large scale mixed use community and residential masterplans, one off residential developments and community buildings. He has a range experience of engaging closely with conservation architects, interior designers, contractors, planning consultants and landscape architects leading to a unique mix of skills and competence. He has a passion for bringing a uniqueness and identity to each project. In his spare time, he enjoys finding new places to run and explore.

  • Brian Finegan

    BSc Arch. Tech., BEng Int. Arch.

    Architectural Technologist

  • Brian is an experienced interior architect and architectural technologist with over 10 years professional experience. After graduating from Sligo IT, Brian worked with an award-winning practice in Galway, assisting in the delivery of a range of building types & interior spaces in the retail, leisure and residential sectors. Returning to college in 2009, Brian was awarded a distinction in his BSc Degree in Architectural Technology.
    Brian’s commitment to design quality rests with his passion for technical detail and aesthetic quality in equal measure. He has a keen interest in vernacular architecture and worked with the Dublin Heritage Group’s Vernacular Architecture Building Survey, collating records of vernacular buildings across County Dublin.


“Working with Helena McElmeel was a pleasure. She is a talented designer who understood and balanced our specific requirements with budget, maximising the advantages of the site culminating in a beautiful, stylish and practical home. I would recommend Helena without reservation.”

M. Crowley, Westport

“It was a joy working with Helena who has a ‘can do’ attitude. I have no hesitation in recommending her for any project large or small.”

M. Naughton, Meath & Mayo

“From initial discussions and throughout the project, Helena was utterly professional, calm and thorough. We couldn’t be happier with everything. The house is light-filled, comfortable and a perfect family home.”

D. & M. McDonagh, Mayo