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HOUSE & Garden 


This project required the complete reimagining of an underwhelming 1980s hipped roof bungalow in a quiet leafy suburb of Limerick City.

The client's attraction to the site and house was solely its location and the garden, which by todays standards was large and private.

Our approach was to remain within the language of the existing estate, with no interest in overtly upstaging the established neighborhood, while at the same time completely converting the home from an introverted, uninspiring, dark box. It was transformed to become a house of intersecting rooms that allow free flowing movement throughout the plan, both within the home and on out into the carefully arranged gardens with an engawa transitioning between inside and outside.

In the interest of reducing the carbon footprint of the project the interventions to the fabric of the existing house were minimised. All of the heads of the existing openings have been retained but the sills have been cut down to varying levels including providing doors where required to avoid unnecessary demolitions. 

One dramatic opening on the south facing corner of the main living/dining/kitchen room was reworked extensively to achieve the  necessary transformation from darkness into light.  The new work is constructed exclusively of native soft wood timber with facade panels on walls and roof in a warm colour to complement the existing brickwork. Use of full-fill insulation and airtightness achieve an A rated standard, notable given the retention of the 1980s structural fabric.

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Garden room & music studio, cork

Our brief was to extend an existing 19th century cottage on Blarney Street, Cork to accommodate facilities to support our client’s passions for organic gardening and the creation and recording of music.

The existing house with its southern views over the city was not to be compromised by the extension to the rear. Difficult site constraints led to the structural solution of constructing the entire building in softwood timber sitting on pad foundations with burnt larch cladding.

The dramatic section of the site allowed for this extension to be organised over two storeys. The plan form was devised to define outside terraced space to the existing cottage and a gateway sequence to the gardens below. The roof profile was tested in model form to analyse natural light from the west and to create an attractive form to be viewed from the first floor of the existing cottage.

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swimming pool changing pavilion, cork

This commission was to restore a 1960s pavilion beside an outdoor swimming pool and add a changing, showering, and toilet facility.

The design respects the original layout being behind the existing pavilion and accessed through a 'concealed' door.

A series of timber frames set close together makes up the structure which helps the pavilion to ‘float’ on the sloping landscape. Walls are formed by laquer red cement panels and clear or opaque glass reminiscent of the rice paper screens of japanese houses.

A new route is created between the pavilions with new landscaping of purple sandstone steps and planting for shaded woodland with colour of seasonal interest.

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House in Douglas, cork

This private house in Douglas was designed for clients with a passion for contemporary modernist design, who encouraged us to create this special piece of architecture to reflect their interests and the way of life of their family.         

This house has a compact yet sophisticated plan that draws the visitor into and through the house via a series of forecourt, courtyard and private gardens, while each room  and functional space enjoys its own atmosphere and scale. The house is predominantly single storey with all day rooms, master suite and home office at ground level. The family bedrooms are on first floor. The entrance is intentionally low and covered to create a comfortable human scale. This contrasts nicely with the jump in scale to the high level clerestory south lit family kitchen  with breakfast space and sliding doors to the kitchen courtyard garden. The living room is created as a cube 5m x 5m x 5m high, the perfect classic salon that reads clearly within the plan. 

The dining room enjoys a fireplace and gallery walls for select art works. There are doors from this space to encourage movement to and from the gardens allowing family and guests to mingle within and without in a gentle fluid fashion. 

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This typical 19th cetury terraced house, was renovated and a small extension added to the rear. The clients work in the arts and appreciated the character of the house. However it lacked a modern kitchen and was spatially diconnected from the rear garden.

Poor quality returns were removed and the fabric of the original house was restored. Lime plaster, timber joinery and hand crafted front door, returned the visual and tactile quality of the original house. 

The new room to the rear was conceived as a dining/garden room with its own generous roof profile. This makes a tall airy space that sits in a courtyard that leads in turn to the high level garden behind.

The folding screen to the south side of the room when open doubles the space for entertaining.

The form and materiality had to be of a quality that would be attractive when viewed from the upper garden and terrace. 

The overall composition completes the house within its context and within its site. The  finished product has delivered so much more than the sum of its parts.  

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garden terrace at St.Luke's, Cork


This period home built in the 1840s on a sloping site had an existing external timber and steel terrace that was in dangerous condition, and had to be refurbished. 

The timber structure was removed, while the existing steel  structure was augmented and reconfigured in the interest of creating no unnecessary waste, to provide an elegant outdoor experience for the family home.

An existing old willow tree inspired the arrangement of the elements and orchestrated the movement to and around the garden.

The upper terrace relates to the family dining/kitchen space and enjoys high level views out over the city. Leaving the upper terrace one  continues to the lower terrace via a limestone stair with a balcony landing. This balcony creates a pause to appreciate the garden and both upper and lower levels at the same time, and all within the canopy of the gorgeous old tree.  The lower terrace is a sheltered space adjacent to an existing family living room. This terrace connects in two directions via a steel link to the existing patio of the original 19th century house, and a second half level movement brings the user via sculptural concrete steps to the planted garden below.

The whole composition creates an enjoyable circuitous series of routes throughout the property linking and activating the various levels and creating spaces to be used by many and enjoyed for various activities. The balustrade of clear and sand blasted glass, was conceived as a sculptural 'veil' of crochet or lace adding to the visual intrigue of the experience. 

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