George’s Place, Dún Laoghaire

DLR Architects + A2 Architects

This development provides twelve high quality energy-efficient A1-rated dwellings on a former brown-field Council Depot site located within a 50m walking distance of many amenities including the Main Street, DART & Waterfront in the heart of Dún Laoghaire Town Centre. There is a mixture of building typologies within the vicinity including two- and three-story houses, multi-story apartment blocks and with pockets of commercial activity. Principally the scheme explores how family housing can be provided in an urban area in a way that maximises the use of valuable public land. It is a dense development that still provides a small but usable private open space.

A long-standing ambition of the County Development Plan for this area is to strengthen the links between the main street and the seafront to create greater footfall as a means to regenerate the area – achieved here by improving one traversing route along an activated streetscape on Kelly’s Avenue and another traversing route through a newly-paved Homezone via an existing gateway.

The architectural form reflects the sensitive local conservation context – the dwellings are arranged in narrow brick gable-fronted two-storey terraces and a wider fronted plastered two-storey terrace that both refer to typologies found in other Dublin city centre locations such as Stoneybatter and Portobello. All units enjoy own door access and have carefully delineated private space to both the front and back. Splayed or reduced/opaque windows at first floor minimise direct overlooking between units.

A simple palette of self-finished materials complement the character of the area and to the sensitive context of the adjoining three protected structures: flush-pointed multi-stock buff brickwork and self-coloured plaster to external walls; graphite zinc standing seam roofing; simple repeating double-casement triple-glazed window and door design; honed granite railing upstands below powder-coated railings & gates; herringbone brick paving to front threshold spaces; Ash trees are planted along Kelly’s Avenue and laurel hedging with lavender beds are added to the threshold space of each house.

The development was built using a design-build public works contract to a rapid delivery programme.