Niall McLaughlin was born in Geneva in 1962. He was educated in Dublin and received his architectural qualifications from University College Dublin in 1984. He worked for Scott Tallon Walker in Dublin and London between 1984 and 1989. He established his own practice, Níall McLaughlin Architects, in London in 1990, with a view to designing high quality modern buildings with a special emphasis on materials and detail. Níall won Young British Architect of the Year in 1998, was one of the BBC Rising Stars in 2001, and his work represented Britain in a US exhibition Gritty Brits at the Carnegie Mellon Museum.
Niallʼs designs have won many awards in the UK, Ireland and the US; including an RIAI award for Best Building in the Landscape and the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Award, and have featured on the RIBA Stirling Shortlist 2013 & 2015. Niall is Professor of Architectural Practice at University College London; was a visiting professor at the University of California Los Angeles from 2012-2013 and was appointed Lord Norman Foster Visiting Professor of Architecture, Yale University for 2014-2015. He acted as chair of the RIBA Awards Group from 2007 to 2009.
Niall McLaughlin has a particular interest in the complexities of designing for dementia. He collaborated extensively with the Alzheimerʼs Society of Ireland to conceptualise, design and inhabit their first new building, the multi-award-winning Alzheimerʼs Respite Centre in Dublin. Niall has given numerous lectures on the subject, including to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment in 2010, and at The University of Strathclyde Specialist Dementia Centre in 2013. He was invited to present to the All-Party Parliamentary Group at the House of Lords on Housing and Care for Older People in 2014, and was Convenor of the 2015 RIBA Research Conference on Ageing.