Rathmines Road, Dublin
A four-storey return is added to the rear of a terraced Georgian house in order to provide for ancillary spaces and first-floor terrace for a three-storey house as well as a new garden level apartment. At garden level, a utility room to the main house and kitchen/dining space to the apartment are added. At hall level, a visitable toilet and external terrace to the main house are added. At the first floor, a bedroom is added and finally, on the second floor a family bathroom with views towards Dublin Bay is added. Each new space negotiates the fabric of the main house with newly formed internal apertures, notably a concave apse at first floor with a tall side window to illuminate the main staircase of the house. A number of external apertures are made to ensure natural light and ventilation to all spaces – a double-height window to a new internal staircase, a winking porthole to the utility space and a window bench to the garden level apartment are made at garden level. To upper floors a double-leaf glazed door to the hall level kitchen, a long clerestory light at terrace level to the apartment below and a number of square side windows to the upper-level rooms are made. Finally, an oculus window to the second-floor family bathroom, periscope-like in nature, enjoys views over rooftops towards Dublin Bay. Douglas fir cladding – that will ultimately fade to grey in sync with the unpainted rear plaster of the main house – wraps the tower-like return as it folds its way to the garden by means of a new external terrace. Like many returns in the backlands of Georgian housing, this rear return attempts to engage with and contribute to the characterful and nuanced fabric to be found behind the restraint of ordered Georgian terrace.