The project involves the renovation and extension of a Victorian terraced house in Dublin. The clients had built an extension in the 1980’s which prevented light from travelling deep into the house and made the living room a dark an little used space. Our brief from the clients was to replace the existing extension while opening up and bringing more light into the house. Our office worked closely with the clients to arrive at a design of a new sunken rear two story extension which reduced the impact of the extension on the back lands of the terrace as well as opening up the existing ground floor to the rear yard giving the feeling of generosity of space.
All existing internal floors and walls were removed which allowed for the reconfiguration of the circulation through the house as well as the introduction of raised ceiling heights where possible. The façade to the first floor level of the new extension is formed using cast insitu fair faced concrete mullions which form a concrete frieze that spans the length of the back yard providing diffused subtle light to private areas on first floor while allowing light to flood into the ground floor below though a bespoke glazed timber frame screen. A system of roof lights is also employed to top light the circulation route through the house.
A rich carefully selected palette of polished plaster, terrazzo and walnut is used for wall, floor finishes and bespoke fitted furniture elements. A new kitchen unit and a terrazzo floor tie new and old together on the ground floor. Internally we have sought to exploit the heavy characteristics of daylight in Ireland along with the shadow it creates. Levels of light combined with lining and form combine to create sensory episodes in spaces. The rich texture and reflective qualities of the internal stucco wall finish and terrazzo floor combine to hold light that enters different spaces in the dwelling while dark walnut fitted furniture elements and parquet flooring become part of shadow as time passes. This synthesis of controlled natural light, diffused reflection and blurring of shadow on surfaces and undefined threshold work to create the perception of a slowing of time evoking a sense of comfort and belonging.