The brief was to enlarge and upgrade this 1950’s family house without encroaching on the limited garden space.
We achieved this by replacing the single storey garage conversion to the side and the kitchen extension to the rear with new, two-storey additions. At ground level, the extension accommodates a new kitchen/dining area, utility room, WC and coat store. At first floor level, it incorporates a new master bedroom, en suite and family bathroom. The extension work required widening the roof, which now contains a new bedroom with dormer window. This new attic room is accessed via a staircase, tucked in off the landing.
The unusual layout of the kitchen/dining area is driven by the shape of the back garden. By making the dining space parallel with the angled back garden wall, we created a flowing series of internal spaces which connect to a large southwest-facing patio. An informal den lies to the side of the kitchen-dining area, separated visually by a timber screen. An aluminium/timber glazing system was chosen for its ability to hinge, slide or pivot to provide various degrees of connection to the garden. Bi-fold doors can be fully opened in warm weather, while smaller sections can slide or pivot to provide ventilation.
Oiled European oak is used throughout the house, including the kitchen, dining room window seat and much of the built-in storage. Generous storage is integrated in all areas to minimise clutter and to avoid encroaching on valuable living space. Oak was also used to construct a new feature staircase in the hallway complete with a sinuous bentwood handrail. An engineered parquet flooring was used on the ground floor to emphasise the connectedness of the living spaces, except for the kitchen where a light sandstone was inlaid to resist water damage.
The renovation work was extensive enough to qualify for SEAI grants to upgrade the wall insulation and install a heat pump connected to underfloor heating. A new continuous extract ventilation system with high levels of airtightness maintains good air quality and reduces heat loss. All of these measures brought the BER rating from an unpleasant E1 to a very comfortable A3 rating.
Project Type Extension & Refurbishment
Location Claremont Park, Ballsbridge, Co. Dublin
Status Completed 2020
Contractor John A. Dignam & Sons
Photography Ste Murray