See how this Edwardian Dublin home was transformed

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Do you remember before Covid when we walked around other people’s homes on Open House weekend?

Every year, usually in September, historic buildings, modern architectural wonders, and private homes open to the public to foster appreciation of good architecture. It was also an opportunity for us, interior viewers, to indulge in design, perhaps to have ideas for our own homes and, in my case especially, to come across a particularly photogenic house with premium an interesting story to present on these pages.

For some visitors, it was an opportunity to step inside a house to see up close the work of a particular architect that they might have considered for their own house building or extension project.

For others looking for ideas, it could have meant stumbling across a project, so depending on their personal taste, they ended up asking the owner for a presentation from their architect.

Brick from a demolished wall is reused in the kitchen hearth around the stove and in the enclosed yard, connecting the old and new part of the house.

Something like this happened about five years ago when a young couple was shopping for a once-beautiful but decaying four-bedroom Edwardian red brick in Eaton Square in Dublin’s Terenure district.

Mature red brick houses surround the central park on Eaton de Terenure Square with falling autumn leaves.
Mature red brick houses surround the central park on Eaton de Terenure Square with falling autumn leaves.

The house was in poor condition, old fashioned with a small scullery style kitchen in the back and did not meet the needs of a modern young family with a baby. Their idea was to enlarge the kitchen space at the back, by integrating a dining area in addition to renovating the original house. It is by no means a project without ambition and requiring the right architects to design and implement it.

By a stroke of luck, Dublin architect Lucy Jones had just completed a design project for her sister’s house, also located on Eaton Square, and managed to persuade her to attend the open house weekend and open its doors to the public. .

The view from the kitchen extension includes the low maintenance garden space bordered by a mix of original stone walls and a plastered and painted section.
The view from the kitchen extension includes the low maintenance garden space bordered by a mix of original stone walls and a plastered and painted section.

To give an indication of the popularity of this event with the general public, a staggering 1,000 visitors walked through Lucy’s sister’s house this weekend, including the couple buying the house across the street. place who wanted to see what had been achieved by a neighbor. property to update it.

They were quite impressed with what Lucy’s Dublin-based company Antipas Jones had done that they decided they wanted something similar, so Lucy caught up with them for coffee and a chat about ideas.

“We hit it off and made a list of things we wanted to do,” says Lucy.

“A complete renovation was needed with an extension to join the old house, but modern and exterior with lots of light.

But typical of this type of project, it wasn’t just the exciting bit of expanding the property and discussing what finishes needed to be tackled, but also that budget-hungry, heavy, behind-the-scenes work that you wouldn’t necessarily see. in the finished product but are absolutely necessary. In this case, they included changing the roof frame and installing moisture protection.

In addition, as with any project, adjustments had to be made along the way with an initial idea for the roof of the extension being shelved due to budget constraints.

An ambitious plan inspired by the work of Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn for the 1962 Venice pavilion turned out to be too costly, but there is nothing like working on a budget to foster creative thinking and come up with a perfectly suited alternative. In this case, he saw oak beams spanning the ceiling and the inclusion of skylights.

Lighting the new space required a lot of conversation, according to Lucy, and doing it effectively isn’t always easy to achieve in a north-facing extension.

The finished structure, however, has floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows maximizing rear light; a large window on the side facing a courtyard, plus the lights from the roof and, inside, a glass door to the hallway and a window created in the wall between the kitchen and the playroom, all helping to maximize light through space.

The light in the extension has been carefully considered with large windows overlooking the garden, courtyard and inside with the inclusion of a window between the kitchen and the playroom.
The light in the extension has been carefully considered with large windows overlooking the garden, courtyard and inside with the inclusion of a window between the kitchen and the playroom.

Respect for the environment and sustainability were also at the forefront of the project.

These references make it possible to link the old part of the house to the new, as does the innovative idea of ​​putting the window in the wall between the playroom and the kitchen. And who knows, it might be handy to keep an eye out for kids arguing and call them into the kitchen for snack time.

But while the extension is all about

modern design, including a concrete floor finished in the extension to the outside so that there is a sense of continuity and the feeling of an uninterrupted flow from the inside to the outside, Lucy demonstrated discernment as to the character of the original house, its age and the importance of retaining the historic features that mark its Edwardian genes.

“We were able to take the cornice apart, repair it and refurbish it, and we tried to keep the wood floors and railings,” she says. “The customer was sensitive to the relevance of the colors. There is blue in the master bedroom and crisp white in the new extension.

A leitmotif in Antipas Jones’ projects is their approach to space planning and storage. This means that the separate toilet and the upstairs bathroom have been divided into one space. The washer and dryer are located under the stairs in what might once have been the coal house, as the guest didn’t want to hear the noise of the appliances when sitting in the kitchen.

The clean, minimalist look of the extension is softened by thoughtful, contrasting finishes in exposed oak beam ceilings, concrete floors, reclaimed bricks, and mid-century modern furnishings.
The clean, minimalist look of the extension is softened by thoughtful, contrasting finishes in exposed oak beam ceilings, concrete floors, reclaimed bricks, and mid-century modern furnishings.

The kitchen units have been custom-made so that every inch of available space is used to the fullest, including the alcoves on either side of the foyer that house rows of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry.

A nice touch that adds interest and an alternative route to the kitchen is the creation of a small enclosed outdoor space, accessed through patio doors from the playroom that would have served as a dining room once reused for life. 21st century family.

Typically the space would have been a narrow courtyard-like lane leading to the garden, but is now surrounded by the kitchen extension which runs through the back to form a charming courtyard from which there is also access direct through glass doors to kitchen and garden beyond.

Echoing the small backyards that are often found in much of our older housing stock, this is an intimate private space away from the eyes of neighbors; a place to park a cup of tea and read a book undisturbed, away from a busy community and the rest of the house.

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