House in Donnybrook

Refurbishment and extension of a 1950s detached house.

Completed 2019

Constructed in the 1950’s, the existing house had been extended twice in the last 20 years in an ad hoc manner leading to poor spatial layout internally. Keen to maximise the potential of the house for the comfort and enjoyment of their family, the client brief called for a complete reorganisation and refurbishment of the house, along with a new extension allowing them to connect better with the garden. Our proposal sought to strip back all extraneous elements resulting from previous extensions, resolving to provide instead a more fluid and coherent organisation.

The existing ground floor layout included a north-facing conservatory and had a poor relationship with the garden.  Our proposal removes the extension, re-modelling the ground floor plan and extending it to take advantage of available daylight. A more immediate relationship is established with the garden beyond. 

A rich palette of natural materials including polished concrete, wooden floor, handmade brick and cast in-situ concrete gives each area of the house a feeling of both softness, tactility and robustness. At ceiling level, a cast in-situ concrete cornice sets a datum above which pockets of ceiling modulate, describing and defining the different spaces below. This modulating ceiling allows light from various orientations to be introduced to varying degrees throughout the day.

Typical of many homes of the period, the house had no insulation and as part of the works the clients wanted to bring the house up to current building standards. To meet these requirements our solution proposes externally insulating the house, removing all projecting elements from the façade and forming a new pitched zinc roof built off the existing structure, providing additional bedroom space within the new roof space.  

Photographs by Aisling McCoy