Dartmouth Square

rathmines — 2015

Rear Return - Improving a Protected Structure.


A Protected Structure which also sits within an Architectural Conservation Area, this house forms part of the attractive formally arranged Dartmouth Square. It sits within a red-bricked Victorian terrace with decorative brickwork and granite detailing. The house had many of the issuestypical of its type - lots of floor area but few and large rooms. When initially surveyed, the house had a poorly considered and stylistically inappropriate modern rear extension and a small fuel store annexe.


The removal of original fabric is not the usual starting point for such a project, however, The existing annexe bore no spatial relationship to the main house interior or to the stairs. A robust planning argument was successfully made for its removal - effectively taking away everything back to the main house rear wall.


From this tidied up canvas, a three-storey extension was conceived of stacked boxes - each storey an identifiable shape and function. These boxes reduce in size as they rise and shift above one another to allow rooflights to animate and draw daylight deep into the interiors. Brick and timber were chosen as the two primary external materials - similar to the original house, but used in slightly different ways.


The lower two boxes are clad in brick but with open mesh-bond panels concealing timber ventilation shutters. This creates a very crisp external look of brick with large fixed timber-framed windows. The smallest of the three boxes contains a new bathroom and is clad in vertical timber boarding. All interventions are planned around existing openings or prior interventions - no new loss of fabric is created by the proposal.


In line with conservation best practice, the additions are clearly legible as such and are fully reversible. 


Typology Protected Structure, Residential, Conservation
area Extension 55m2; retained 201m2
Status Planning Granted, Summer 2015