The delightfully down-to-earth Mairead (pronounced Mah-ray-d, I found out the embarrassing way) was kind enough to show me around. The space proved to be just as striking in reality. Entering through a small courtyard, Mairead emerged through a pair of large antique doors. We headed straight upstairs to the main workspace, where the shift in natural light conditions made it all the more dramatic. With a generous lounge area, large communal table for both meetings and breakout, plus the more private "phone-call" swing, this is the kind of space that would make the daily experience of coming to work an exciting one.
Mairead shared a few stories about the pieces in the space. We chatted about the re-upholstered arm chair she found on the side of the road years ago, the antique doors she had restored and the stories behind the various artworks. Perhaps that's what makes this space so interesting for me. It raises the bar for workspaces, treating the space as a place for living and not just working.
It's clear that it took hard work and determination to get Studio Sisu to where it is today. Mairead and her partner bought the space as a run down warehouse shell seven years ago. It sat idle for five years while they furiously saved. They abandoned the original plan to convert it into their home and instead turned it into Studio Sisu, to coincide with Mairead launching her own practice. They did as much of the physical labour as they could, seeking external help for joinery and services. That's a lot of time, sweat and personal energy invested into this little studio.
Studio Sisu is truly breathtaking and I think that has a lot to do with Mairead's sharp eye, many talents, hard work and inspiring determination. If this is anything to go by, I can't wait to see what emerges from her young practice.