One Up One Down One Deep: Completed 2008

‘Best House Extension’, Irish Architecture Awards 2008

Award, Architectural Association of Ireland 2008

In the dense inner-city quarter of Portobello, Dublin, an existing single storey terraced cottage is remodelled to take advantage of its long plot. Adding to the diverse variety of existing typologies in the quarter as well as adhering to stringent planning conditions, a new house is made accommodating one new bedroom upstairs, one retained front room downstairs and one deep living space at the lower garden level articulated by a series of glazed screens.

The existing front room with a single window to the street is retained. From here, a new split stairs both descends to a study, kitchen and dining space at garden level and ascends to the bedroom and bathroom to enjoy views of the grassed roof and the city beyond.

Two new party-walls re-establish the width and depth of the plot. An interplay of concrete beams and soffits rest on the party-walls allowing for uninterrupted space below. Sheet plywood flooring and fittings that fold into and inhabit the house evoke the memory of the shuttering and formwork used to make the exposed supported concrete surfaces.

Sunlight is brought deep into the plan through a series of deep baffled roof-lights that further reflect the light and a glazed outdoor room at the heart of the house. Colours from Le Corbusiers’ Salubra Collection (1931) are used to accentuate the spatial layering and length of the plot, while maintaining harmony between elements.