Set within the curtilage of a protected structure, riverrun unfurls around the built and natural features of the site. riverrun is an addition to the order of its place, with the primacy of the main house, the almost casual organisation of the outhouses and farmyard as secondary elements and the new house sitting in the wooded periphery, completing the composition. A new courtyard forms an entrance space while screening the garden, with its brick wall winding through the entrance hall, continuing in to the living areas. Looking up in the double height dining space trees are visible overhead.
Stepping down into the living room, moving around the pivotal fireplace, the external terrace and garden come into view.
Where the ground floor borrows light from the sky, the first floor is lit by high windows, seeking light above the trees. Here there is a sun terrace, study and master suite. Sliding shutters on the façade give privacy to the smaller rooms. Slot windows frame views to the river and park.
To the west the house opens up at both levels, with large openings addressing the natural and man-made landscape. The house exploits the remaining fragments of the boundary features of the protected structure virtually as ‘objets trouvés’ – the farmyard, an unknown outbuilding, the boundary walls and bridge structures. The new brick courtyard wall forms an elided ‘porte cochère’, the other side of which forms the pergola in the private garden.
Part of the building aligns itself to the original boundary wall, curving to form the roadway entrance. Here the building forms a boundary in a featureless façade, an arrangement familiar to rural vernacular building throughout the Irish countryside.
As this house is situated directly behind a historic house, a planning requirement stipulated that the garden wall along the street was retained. In order to get south facing light into the ground floor a high level windows run along the length of the wall with a terrace for the first floor integrated into it. The black slate first floor takes its cue from the surrounding Pembroke cottages roofs which characterise the streetscape.
House Behind a Wall Donnybrook
This small’ Granny Flat’ presented a planning was a challenge in this architectural conservation area in Donnybrook. A wall in historic brick was formed in keeping with garden walls linking the houses in the area. The first floor roof dips as low as possible and is set back. Each space inside was carefully considered to accommodate the client’s lifestyle and existing furniture.
The profile of this home follows the slope and contours of the hill, the upper living wing and lower sleeping wing form a sheltered courtyard. Views of Brittas bay were carefully considered from each of the main room. The interior of the courtyard is of white render to maximise light while the outside is of stone blending into the landscape.
Set into the hillside in Dalkey, this house is entererd on the roof where the car parking is located. A pergola leads to entrance where a lift and stairs connect to the living and bedrooms below. Stone and slate finishes anchor the building to its setting. A cut out in the roof creates a sheltered terrace from the living floor.
A butterfly roof runs the length of this extension allowing light deep into the plan and creating the roof of an outdoor space from the kitchen. The original house has elements of the arts and craft movement and the interconnecting rooms of the extension on different levels are reflective of the existing plan. The roof timbers provide a material connection. A series of decks step down to the garden.
This long infill site in Foxrock required the preservation of two mature trees. The house is modulated to accommodate them creating a series of outdoor areas as well as defining the plan. A master suite is on the first floor with the remaining rooms with varying ceiling heights following the levels.
This three storey mews in Sandymount is linked internally with a double height space. The top floor contains a master suite, the second floor two bedrooms and a study on the mezzanine. As it was built at the same time as the mews which terminates the lane, the opportunity arose to unify external finishes giving a completeness to the laneway.
This substantial extension re-orientates the existing modest house to take advantage of the view towards Ireland’s Eye. The roof over the kitchen allows in light from the south and the continuous terrace and glazing views, to the north. The polished concrete unifies the ground floor and forms the stairs to bedrooms below.
This period house had been used by an instution and had been poorly maintained for decades when RMA Architects were commissioned to begin work. The entire house was refurbished from the challenging damp-proofing of the basement to the painstaking work of cleaning and restoring the plasterwork. The qualities of the existing house were gradually brought out again leaving a light filled and calm interior. The previous oversized return from the 1960's was demoved and simple sunroom added to connect the house to the rear garden.