AR Awards for Emerging Architecture

Honourable mention



Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland

December 2006
This house is in a conservation area close to central Dublin. It replaces a cottage to provide two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, utility and living/dining spaces. Remaining largely in character with the existing properties made of brick and of a certain scale it is an ingenious response to a difficult end of terrace site, demonstrating a tendency among young architects to produce deeply rooted and specifically responsive contextual work; as explored in depth in the AR March 2006. This house uses the residual geometry of the site to help generate an unorthodox form. With tapering and curving boundary conditions, the ambition was to maximise the footprint, while anchoring the mass of the building to the end of the terrace.
Within the beak-shaped site, the building adheres to the building lines established by the terrace at the front and back of the site. On the ground floor, however, it extends to fill the site’s width, taking in the splayed and curved geometries of the boundary walls. Above this eccentrically planned plinth, the first floor emerges as an orthogonal brick box that rises to align with the eaves level of the adjacent terrace.
By excavating land, a half level has been created to make space for a more generous living area. This principal space sits about a metre below the existing ground level and benefits from a higher floor to ceiling height. The residual area against the splayed boundary neatly locates a discrete back door, and provides light into an otherwise enclosed bathroom.
On the first floor, the formal tautness and rotundity of the raised box is emphasised by crisp flush windows, each with its own orientation, giving the building a more three-dimensional emphasis, exploiting the end of terrace location. Inside, delightful spatial relationships have been established, such as the retractable screen connecting the main bedroom with the top-lit stair. R. G.

Boyd Cody Architects, Dublin
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