Sarah Cremin

Sarah Cremin

Practice: CAST architecture
Established: 2006
City: Dublin
Country: Ireland
[email protected]

Sarah Cremin studied architecture at University College Dublin. After receiving her MArchSc degree in 1995, she moved to New York where she worked in two practices: Bone Levine Architects and Gabellini Associates. Five years later she moved to Switzerland and worked as project architect in the studio of Herzog & de Meuron. Projects included two in New York City: 40 Bond, a new-build apartment building for Ian Schrager, and conversion of a piano factory as US headquarters for Prada with an exhibition space for Fondazione Prada. Sarah also worked on a masterplan for the city of Jinhua in Zhejiang province, China, developed under the auspices of conceptual artist Ai Weiwei. In 2006 Sarah established CAST architecture with Emmett Scanlon in Dublin. Since 2007 she has taught design in the School of Architecture in University College Dublin and is currently Irish correspondent for A10 magazine.

CAST architecture

View from the family room to the garden
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Addition + Refurbishment

A 1970s A-form house in Glenageary, Co. Dublin, was reorganised and extended in order to sustain the life of the family living and working there. New rooms and a new west-facing terrace at first-floor level enable better access to the garden.

View from the family room to the garden
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How does diversity of people reveal itself at work? Having worked in Europe, America and Asia, I am attuned to the variety of cultural responses an architectural question can generate, from the pragmatic to the emotional. At CAST, we find that diversity in all shapes and forms (from the variety of our clients' projects and needs to cultural, ethnic, gender, age diversity) engenders creativity and this is something we embrace. Architecture is enriched by experience and the more diverse the participants and experiences, the richer the architecture.
Do you think our profession is diverse enough? It's worth noting that women are well represented in architecture in Ireland and many occupy prominent positions. Although architecture has occupied more space in the media in recent years, there is still relatively little public engagement with the profession. If architecture were to touch more people's lives in a more tangible way, and if the profession were more diverse, it's likely that more people would consider engaging with architects.
Who are your role models who inspire you? Irish architects Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects for the high-quality work they have realised locally and internationally. Architect Kasuyo Sejima for her light and elegant architecture. Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron for their engagement with contemporary art and artists and for the campus-like studio they have created, which encourages and inspires a creative approach. Charles and Ray Eames for their broad-ranging interests and approach to design.
If you could change one thing in our profession, what would it be? I would change how the profession is perceived by the general public. Such change must happen, in part, from within the profession. Without greater understanding of the role of the architect and of what the profession can contribute to the quality of life and to the built environment, the profession will always struggle to be essential in peoples' everyday lives.
What do you find most rewarding in your area of work? The opportunity to collaborate can be challenging, and rewarding. A previous project, the design of a new district in Jinhua, China, with artist Ai Weiwei was incredibly interesting because of his different cultural and artistic viewpoint and for the experience of living and working in China.
Seeing existing space transformed is always a surprise and a pleasure, as is seeing new space made.
How have your clients and projects benefited from your involvement? Our approach is collaborative and cooperative. With the 'Defining Space' exhibition, we had the chance to collaborate with architect colleagues, who were invited to present ideas about space to an interdisciplinary conference. In designing housing for the elderly we brought an intimate knowledge of domestic details as well as experience of other cultures and ways of living to an important social issue. In all projects, our ability to listen and collaborate allows us to realise projects to their best potential.