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HSE NVRL Covid Testing Laboratory

HSE NVRL Covid Testing Laboratory
DAFM BackWeston


The NVRL (National Viral Reference Laboratory) is the largest medical virology laboratory in the country, ordinarily processing up to 3000 respiratory samples a month. However, with the arrival of the global Covid Pandemic in February 2020, it swiftly became clear, a further testing facility was required.

As part of the programme to support the ongoing national pandemic response, the NVRL with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), consolidated Covid-19 testing at a satellite laboratory at the DAFM Backweston Campus, Co. Kildare. Demesne Architects were brought in to assist with this developing health emergency.

Acting as Project Managers, initially the existing laboratories including equipment were relocated, ensuring full coordination of mechanical and electrical services in a live active laboratory campus. It was then paramount to ensure all services were in place for the required high-end laboratory testing equipment and all associated facilities. This allowed the fitout to proceed without delay. The project was carried out within a critical time scale of 8 weeks, with completion in December 2020.

This was a project completed under extenuating circumstances, in the midst of Level 5 lockdown restrictions. Despite this, and the added challenges this brought, the project was delivered on time with thanks due to the extraordinary effort of every member of the team.

Demesne Architects were proud to be involved with this essential project, this laboratory doubled the capacity for national testing overnight at the time of opening. Delivered at a crucial point in the fight against this pandemic, testing up to 4000 samples a day by November 2021, the ability to have increased testing ultimately aided in the national effort to save lives.

Bimeda Animal Healthcare

Bimeda Animal Healthcare
800 m2

Bimeda is a leading global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of animal health products and veterinary pharmaceuticals promoting and delivering global excellence in animal health.

This project involved the complete renovation of an existing office and conversion of an existing office area to a quality control lab.

The project was completed through 2020 / 2021, during the covid pandemic lock down, whilst the office staff worked from home and the existing laboratory remained in full operation. The concept of a soft return to work influenced the scheme, the client was focused on staff satisfaction levels and retention.

We worked with the client to create a more relaxing, casual environment as a break from the harsh lighting and finishes of the laboratory & existing office spaces.

Due to nature of the work carried out by the company there are natural elements throughout the scheme.

Since the completion of this project, we have received very positive feedback from the client.

Topflight HQ

Topflight HQ 
Interior Design 
200 m2

Topflight is a fully Irish-owned, family-run travel company and a market leader in providing quality holidays, for over 40 years. Over the past decade, they have fully embedded LEAN practices into their business, and this has allowed them to massively increase productivity. Demesne have partnered with them on their journey, as the business evolves, this latest fit out represents the third remodelling of their premises.

Collaborating closely with this innovative client, Demesne designed the new office with the hybrid working model at the forefront of its concept.

Prior to the global pandemic, Topflight were already strongly embracing technology, to enable them to efficiently operate several diverse working locations. They used this project as an opportunity to continue to evolve their work practices.  All working spaces are hotdesking, with audio visual collaborative areas which aid communication with overseas branches and with the remote working network.

Hybrid working creates the need for spaces which are an antidote to the isolation of remote working.

To ensure the success of hybrid working, it is important that people will want to take the journey into work. To incentivise commutes we designed a space staff want to spend time in. It is a space that will have important social functions to encourage staff connection and offer relief from the isolation of remote working.

The project was successfully completed on time & on budget in July 2021, amid the added challenges of the covid pandemic lockdown. The client is delighted with the end result and the company is adapting to the new way of working with enthusiasm.

“It was a pleasure to work with Demesne Architects on the challenge of creating a space to support a Lean, hybrid working model for our Ireland-based staff and a cultural hub for our over 150 overseas staff. As always, we’re delighted with the end result.”

Anthony Collins – CEO

National Aquatic Centre

Sports Campus Ireland, Dublin
Full Architectural Services
16,000 m2

This spectacular facility was developed around the need for international standard swimming facilities to accommodate the Special Olympics, held in Ireland in 2003. The competition pool hall features a 50m pool with floating floors and two booms, a diving pool also with floating floor and seating capacity for 2500 spectators. There is an indoor leisure pool and a gymnasium with fitness and training suites.


The building was procured and delivered to an extremely challenging programme in order to be ready for the event.


Landmark sports venues provided for one off events can quickly become unsustainable in the longer term if a viable business strategy is not considered at the outset. National Aquatic Centre is one of the largest indoor leisure pools in Europe and has continued to be one of the country’s most popular visitor attractions right up to the present day.


Scrum Area Ocuco

Ocuco, Dublin
Full Architectural Services
1,600 m2

Ocuco are world leaders in Ophthalmic Software. They needed offices that reflected their brand and ethos, creating a vibrant atmosphere for their staff, whilst all the time embodying their LEAN principles. Since completing their flagship headquarters in Dublin, Demesne have designed offices for them in Bordeaux, Cardiff, London, Strangnas & Vancouver.


Demesne worked closely with the client to understand how the operated and how the design layout would complement this.



A concept was implemented that drew upon the refraction of light through a prism. The conceptual design was delivered within tight budget parameters by using simple yet effective ideas. In addition to bespoke offices, the fit out features meeting and conference rooms an interactive smart wall / agile meeting zone, video conferencing pods, a chill out retro room, a gym and staff facilities including dining and play areas.

Since the completion of this project we have worked with Ocuco on numerous occasions subsequently, assisting them in the design of numerous international fit outs as part of the roll out of their global business operation.

Ocuco Scrum Area

Design was the catalyst to assist the process and Demesne’s experience of Lean work flow was key to the project’s success.

“As World Leaders in Eye Care Software, we wanted our offices to reflect our vision and brand, as well as being a great place to work for our creative staff. We partnered with Demesne and their design exceeded our expectations. They worked closely with us to understand our LEAN processes and deliver a design that optimised these workflows. Our staff love working here and clients regularly comment on how great our offices are. Since delivering our Dublin Head Office, Demesne have designed offices for us in Bordeaux, Cardiff, London, Strangnas & Vancouver.”