Lead Architect: Stephen Kavanagh
Structural Engineer: CORA
Contractor: John Punch Construction
Text description provided by the architects. In commissioning the extension and refurbishment of Stephen’s childhood home, a 3-bed terraced house in North Dublin, Dolores and Steve desired something light and spacious that would help them engage with their sizeable garden, previously hidden from view.
A large amount of glazing was employed to provide a transformative panoramic view, while also increasing the solar heat gain into the house. The old kitchen extension had been the greatest source of heat loss in the house, so it was poetic that its replacement should become a net contributor to thermal comfort.
With the extension primarily facing north, a roof light runs the length of the extension to allow sunlight to enter the space throughout the day. To counteract the clean, crisp lines of the glass, the remaining solid elements of the extension were made as warm and tactile as possible.
The timber frame was exposed internally, and timber was used for the interior finish of the window frames. The floor and walls were tiled for the most part, while even the dining table and pendants were made or raw timber and concrete.
For the exterior, the question was what material could be used that would both contrast with and compliment the plain white suburban terrace. Charred timber cladding was chosen as the material that would embody the timber construction and provide a durable, monochromatic palette.
Due to budgetary constraints, the cladding was charred on site by the main contractor, which gave it the desired roughness and tactility, while also revealing a natural sheen in the wood.
Lighting design was key to the success of the interior space, creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere for evening entertaining. Concealed LED strips illuminate the exposed timber joists, with LEDs on the kitchen units providing task lighting over the work surface.
Add to this the pendants over the dining tables, and space is typically illuminated without the need for any downlights or visible lamps. In combination, these details work together to create a cozy timber box that has transformed the lives of Dolores and Steve, providing a social heart to their home.