Born and raised in Dublin, David Collins’s childhood ambitions might have denied the world some of the most treasured interiors of the 20th and 21st centuries. Fortuitously, his family put pay to fashion designer and musician aspirations while an aversion to latin prevented a career in law. Instead, David followed in his father’s footsteps with a degree at Bolton Street Achool of Architecture.
From Dublin, he travelled to Europe, settling in London where, in 1985, serendipity would have him redecorate a friend’s home, a design that was later seen by Pierre Koffmann who enlisted David to design la tante claire. These projects were the foundations of the earliest iteration of david collins studio; at that time, a modest practise specialising in small interior architectural jobs. Chance decisions and opportunities had led David to the point where he would determinedly begin to delineate his innovative creative vision.
From those early beginnings, David and business partner Iain Watson set out to bring a new form of thinking to the design industry. The vision was clear: projects that are a sophisticated counterpoint between aesthetics and rationale. Inspired by the approach of 20th century modernist titans like Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, David and Iain envisaged a studio that employed a team covering all elements of interior and architectural practice. This multidisciplinary team facilitated a multifaceted approach ensuring an initial concept could be developed, detailed and successfully delivered through to the final stages, thereby adhering to van der Rohe’s adage that “god is in the details”.
Over the course of the next twenty-eight years, David assiduously gathered around him designers of diverse disciplines. Under his inspired guidance, the team have realised projects that redefine how we live in public and private. David’s legacy is a subtle vision that pervades the contemporary aesthetic. Each David Collins studio project across hotels, restaurants, residential and retail, is a deeply textured interior that feels simultaneously contemporary and established, rooted in the life and traditions of its location and exemplifying the studio’s extraordinary capacity to reinvent and reinterpret the past.
David being a truly gifted and inspirational man has left us with some of the most remarkable and treasured interiors. In his honour, David Collins studio have made a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support whose incredible team cannot be underestimated.
See also: Designers * Staffan Tollgard