First Project for new Architect secures Awards Shortlisting

A new architect practice in Derry-Londonderry is celebrating its first project in the city being shortlisted for a prestigious industry award.

Gradon Architecture, which opened its doors in the Maiden City earlier this year, designed the RoCo hair and beauty salon on the prominent Derry waterfront. The eye-catching ‘eco salon’ has now been shortlisted in the ‘Salon Design of the Year’ Category in the Northern Ireland Hair and Beauty Awards.

Gradon Architecture, the venture of local architect Sean Furey, architectural technician Liam Nelis and architect Graham McDarby, worked with the team at RoCo to create a new salon after the original was destroyed by fire in March.
Architect Sean Furey said, “We’re thrilled that the RoCo Salon has been nominated for such a prestigious award despite only opening six weeks ago. It was a fantastic and creative project to be involved with and a brilliant start to our work in Derry.
“Everyone at RoCo is passionate about upcycling and sustainable architecture is at the heart of what we do, so it was a perfect match. We worked closely with the team to create a unique environment predominantly sourced from recycled and sustainable materials.
“The salon is not only great to look at but also tailored to the needs of the business, its staff and customers. We’re delighted with the finished product and the awards nomination is the icing on the cake.”

Gradon Architecture worked closely with both the RoCo team and Todd Gfeller, founder of Gfeller Specialist Joinery, to create the unique environment. Design features of the two-storey salon include recycled pallets, window frames and scaffold planks, used to create much of the interior fixtures. Hairdressers’ trolleys were created from repurposed materials sourced at a local gym. The salon also benefits from low-energy LED lighting and heating systems.

RoCo has also been shortlisted in the ‘Salon Of the Year’ category. The awards, which recognise the best in the beauty industry, will be held on Sunday September 13th in Belfast.

Gradon Architecture was originally founded by Graham McDarby in Gateshead, in the North East of England, in 2009. The team in Northern Ireland will be working to deliver excellent architecture across a range of sectors including commercial, residential, retail, leisure, health, education, private housing, master-planning, interior design and conservation. Projects in the pipeline include a number of bespoke private residential developments and a large-scale retail complex.

To find out more about the architectural services that Gradon Architecture provides, visit or follow @gradon_arch on Twitter.