Mullan Chartered Architects work hand in hand with their clients and contractors to produce outstanding buildings ranging from small domestic extensions/alterations and bespoke dwellings to large scale commercial and private developments.

We spoke to owner Manus Mullan about how he came about running his own business, the projects he is currently working on, what he particularly likes about being based at IF and his ambitions for the future of the company.

How did you start Mullan Chartered Architects?

I was made redundant after working for nine years in an architects’ practice. The company had a lot of contracts in the private residential sector and obviously the property downturn in the last decade was not good for business. It was quite a strange week as I was laid off one day and my wife gave birth to our child the following day! Luckily around that time I started to pick up a few of my own customers, so going out on my own seemed like a very natural progression.

What are you working on at the moment?

Thankfully we have a lot of work across different geographical areas and sectors. A lot of our current work is focusing on residential small-scale housing and apartment blocks with the bulk of those being social housing projects. I am also working on three different bank conversions, one for commercial purposes and two others which are being converted into residential apartments. We have begun work with an optician retail chain here in Northern Ireland are also working in the adventure/family entertainment space and have linked up with a prominent name in the sector to develop their main project here in Belfast and in other parts of the United Kingdom.

What do you like about the Innovation Factory?

At the beginning of my journey in self-employment I was stuck in an office on my own. IF provides the best of both worlds, allowing me to mix with other business owners who are in the same position as me. In fact, the last two projects we have taken on have come directly from other customers in IF. I have also availed of training and additional support that I would not have been aware of if I had not been an IF customer. There is a general social buzz that you do not get in other places.

What are your ambitions for the company?

Essentially my ambition is to grow the business further – I have already taken on two staff since I came to IF. I would really like to concentrate more on the consultancy element of the business in addition to providing drawings so I will need build up my portfolio of work further in order to make this a reality.