Willsbrook Avenue

Lucan, co dublin

Less, but Better.


Unbelievably, the South-facing kitchen in this 3-bedroom semi in Lucan was so poorly designed that the clients had to use artificial lighting during the daytime. The main living space faced North.  The rear rooms had a poor connection with the garden and space was tight for a young expanding family.


The clients set out expecting to build up to the 40m2 planning exemption limit. However, careful analysis of their actual needs matched to how they wanted to live, meant that a far smaller 24m2 extension was all that was needed. 


Having carefully examined the clients needs with a strategy of minimal intervention, a 24m2 extension was designed with a lightwell / courtyard to one of the existing rear rooms. Everything the client needed was achieved in almost half the space. This obviously resulted in budget savings, allowing some extravagances which might otherwise have been impossible. For example, the ceiling of the extension rises gradually away from the rear of the house to a 3m high pair of sliding doors. With energy-efficiency in mind these have been specified to the Swiss Minergie standard and have a near passive standard u-value.


The interior consists of carefully considered built-in furniture, shelving and a reading nook window seat. Materials have been chosen for their warmth and texture – cedar cladding, a feature brick-lined wall, birch ply fitted furniture and oak parquet flooring. The colour scheme consisted of a number of tones of grey – from a light grey background colour to a deep dark grey colour to the window seat & shelving nooks where new & old parts of the house connect.


The clients sourced some solid but dated looking varnished beech furniture that was otherwise headed for the skip – we spray-painted a table and two benches in lively shades adding a pop of colour to an otherwise muted interior palette.


This project was a self-build and was a pleasure to work on. Invested in their project in every sense, the self-build client demands and appreciates quality.



Typology Extension & improvements
area Existing Ground Floor 60m2 + 24m2 extension
completed Winter 2013