In loving memory of David Michael O'Riordain who sadly passed away on 23rd February 2023.
The eldest son of Ray & Maura O'Riordain from Ireland who settled in East London. David was the eldest brother to Michael, Alison & Steven. After living his early years in Forest Gate, the family moved to Wanstead where David attended Our Lady of Lourdes Primary school then he graduated to ST Paul's secondary School in Woodford Green. He was a good student, although he didn't pass his 11 plus and didn't attend grammar school. He was awarded 10 O'levels and 7 A levels, won a scholarship to read English at Oxford & Cambridge Universities. However, architecture was his passion, and he chose to pursue this as a career & studied at Heriot Watt University Edinburgh instead.
Whilst studying for his A levels as a young Irish East Ender he worked as a builder's mate & got many a job labouring on building sites. Discovering first-hand the construction industry demands as grass roots.
His early years were spent getting up to mischief with his brother Mikey as they rode London buses, alone, and joined the boy scouts having adventures & often getting into bother. David and Mike were inseparable & always up to something according to Maura.
David shared stories with Kathryn of attempting to look after his baby sister, who always got to decide what was on TV, being Dad's favourite, as Dave struggled to put her hair in pig tails.
David completed his post graduate studies in America and toured Europe extensively during his years of study. David first worked in Glasgow before completing his part 1 & 2 professional architectural qualifications in Nottingham. He was part of a design team completing new housing projects and a crematorium.
He returned to London aiming to break into the competitive world of design. During David's professional career he has been called Ronin, by award winning architect Arata Isozaki, as David worked on the Qatar Education City Auditorium & Conference /Exhibition Centre.
David was always hungry for interesting, big building projects and moved from building to building. A tough industry where persistence & retraining is required consistently. David honed his computer skills & researched endlessly to stay in the industry during many recessions.
After some time, he had an extensive career in retail architecture; Blue water Kent, Soli hull, Westfield White City then Stratford led him to branch out to other designs. Are to name a few.
His interests include dance, he was an avid dance fan always at London Contemporary dance theatre where David met Kathryn, a professional dancer. Apparently, at Heriot Watt David, being 6:5 was in the basketball team and had taken classical ballet lessons to improve his elevation techniques.
David loved all types of music and was such a nerd he would research and study relentlessly becoming an expert around all cultural and creative emerging arts. Always looking for the edge, or the new.
David wore Doc marten boots and quality denim and eventually had a smart collection of ties. He had his hair cut short crop style. He would be the quiet guy in the bar watching the world go by.
Later in life David began working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia jumping around the middle east from Beirut to Dubai and Riyadh. Kathryn and David, then moved to live in KSA together often holidaying in India, Jordan, UAE and the oasis hot spots in KSA.
Nick named, 'David of Arabia', by colleagues in Dubai many who didn't like life out in rough terrain. On the contrary David adored the way the Saudi engineers took him out to the dessert for Kabsa, camping, camel beauty contests & he loved to investigate this wild strange culture.
David eventually was awarded senior design lead and the opportunity to work in the New City Neom by Tabuk. He thought it was awesome to live on a campsite with a 2-hour drive to the nearest supermarket and to be at the beginning design level of a brand-new city. Keeping company with other designers, engineers and camels.
Unfortunately, David was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer but fought this immediately and directly. He was really tough taking on 18 bouts of chemotherapy and a month of radiology. He recovered, went back to work, was putting on weight, then packed his bags for Neom. However, the laser treatment caused complications, his cancer numbers soared and so he again fought back opting for a really challenging operation.
His bravery didn't stop, he recovered again, and was doing so well learning to live without a stomach, however the toll on his body after such an operation meant further complications, too much for anyone.
We love and remember him, treasuring his remarkable spirit and achievements.