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Extension and renovation in Portobello / Donal Colfer Architects

  • 01:00 - 22 March, 2014
Extension and renovation in Portobello / Donal Colfer Architects
Extension and renovation in Portobello / Donal Colfer Architects, © Alice Clancy
© Alice Clancy

© Alice Clancy © Alice Clancy © Alice Clancy © Alice Clancy + 14

© Alice Clancy
© Alice Clancy

Text description provided by the architects. The project involves the renovation and extension of a Victorian terraced house in Portobello, Dublin 8. The clients had built an extension in the 1980’s which prevented light from travelling deep into the house and made the living room a dark an little used space. Our brief from the clients was to replace the existing extension while opening up and bringing more light into the house. Our office worked closely with the clients to arrive at a design of a new sunken rear two story extension which reduced the impact of the extension on the back lands of the terrace as well as opening up the existing ground floor to the rear yard giving the feeling of generosity of space.


All existing internal floors and walls were removed which allowed for the reconfiguration of the circulation through the house as well as the introduction of raised ceiling heights where possible. The façade to the first floor level of the new extension is formed using cast insitu fair faced concrete mullions which form a concrete frieze that spans the length of the back yard providing diffused subtle light to private areas on first floor while allowing light to flood into the ground floor below though a bespoke glazed timber frame screen. A system of roof lights is also employed to top light the circulation route through the house.

© Alice Clancy
© Alice Clancy

One of the initial client requests was to use non-standard materials internally and externally. The materials and palette used were chosen in combination after extensive research in order to create an emotion or atmosphere in the new home. Internally a rich palette of polished plaster, terrazzo and walnut is used for wall, floor finishes and bespoke fitted furniture elements. A new walnut kitchen unit and a terrazzo floor tie new and old together on the ground floor. The new internal polished plaster / stucco wall finish which was developed specifically for this project adds a softness to the internal spaces. Its’ rich texture internally is expressed by controlled sunlight entering different parts of the dwelling changing the emotion of spaces throughout out the day. The overall design creates an atmosphere of openness and generosity. This is achieved through materiality and its considered treatment that space form and light are revealed.

Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan

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Cite: "Extension and renovation in Portobello / Donal Colfer Architects" 22 Mar 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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