C-House by Dot Architecture
and Soc-Arc


Slideshow: chunky chimneys bring natural light and ventilation inside the three adjoining blocks that comprise this dark grey house in Kildare, Ireland.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Irish architects Dot Architecture and Soc-Arc designed the walls and sloping roofs of C-House on top of the substructure of an existing house that had been irreparably damaged by flooding.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Inspired by the forms of a traditional Irish bungalow, the house has a single row of low-silled windows that create the false impression that each block has only one storey inside.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Once inside, one of the blocks is revealed to house two floors of bedrooms while the other two contain double-height living and dining rooms.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Other projects we've featured from Ireland include a mews house with protruding brickwork - see all our stories about Ireland here.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Photography is by Paul Tierney.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Here's some more information from Dot Architecture:


In August 2008 a 1980s family home in rural county Kildare lay submerged under 1m of water during three separate, unprecedented flash floods. The family devastated by the loss of their home saw the opportunity in rebuilding, to remodel the house while making it safe from possible future floods.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Alterations to the existing ground levels were essential. The existing slab and raft foundations were to be reused as much as possible to reduce costs and environmental impact.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The existing external walls were cut at cill level of the original house, filled, and used as retaining walls providing a new raised ground floor level 1.2 metres above the original.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Building material salvaged from walls above cill level was re-used where appropriate as fill below the new ground floor slab. A lower ground floor level was formed by tanking a leg of the original ground floor.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The project is a contemporary interpretation of an Irish Bungalow, answering issues of context, planning and site levels. Three blocks sit on the site connected through an interlocking knuckle hall linking the uses of living, kitchen/dining and sleeping.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The ‘light chimneys’ direct light deep into these spaces leaving an ecclesiastic glow in the space and act as mini stacks for natural ventilation of the spaces.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Additional floor area and natural light were primary drivers for the scheme, as the previous house had been dominated by a long and eternally dark corridor surrounded by a series of box rooms. The project uses both direct and borrowed light from the light funnels.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The two-storey Sleeping block is a tanked part-basement polished white concrete floor built on the existing slab, a void punched through the floor above brings light to the new hall below.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The rooms are lit by tilting/pivoting/swinging large format hardwood windows and doors using a modular size of 2.25m x 1.5m throughout.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The upper floor is supported on a cranked beam giving additional height to the first floor rooms without overly raising the ridge level and retaining the appearance of bungalow externally.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The crank in the beam returns space to the lower level bedrooms enabling the larger format windows to pull in more light at this level.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The entire first floor level is lit by the large light chimney, providing direct and borrowed light to the bedrooms and study by use of internal rooflights, screens and voids.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The living spaces in the front block can be combined by folding back two large triangular flush screens, 1.5m x 4.5m, leaving the central chimney in the round.

C-House by Dot Architecture

The kitchen/dining block is an addition to the original footprint providing an 8m x 8m square floor with pulled-in slider and overhang forming a porch between the adjoining utility and back garden. Light falls from above via the off-centre light funnel.

C-House by Dot Architecture

Floor Area: 260 m²Architects: Steven Connolly, Alan Connolly & Gráinne Daly

Quantity Surveyors: Mulcahy McDonagh and Partners (MMP)

Joinery: McNally Joinery
Dining Table and Bench: Kieran Costelloe, Furniture Restorer and Cabinet Maker
Client: Private
Location: Prosperous, Co. Kildare, Ireland Project
Size: 260 m2
Project Duration: 12 months

  • Nice. The charcoal walls and natural wood is a winning combination. It is similar to one of my favourite projects published by dezeen, the maison leguay by Moussafir architects. I wonder if it was a source of inspiration.

    • Soc-Arc

      Hi ArcAlign. Thanks for letting us know the reference, it is very interesting to see works of a similar nature to ours, we hadn’t seen this reference before.

      Alan, Soc-Arc

  • Jack

    Tham and Videgard copy?

    • Maddalena

      I'm curious to know to which project you are referring… Can you specified it?

  • Shavool

    My brain says no… but my heart says yes

    • xtiaan

      I find myself having that reaction quite a bit here, and Im not sure if its a good or a bad thing

  • Redfern

    Lovely project. Great reinterpretation of the Irish bungalow.

  • the living space is truely magical. frank lloyd wright could be proud… formed for function.

  • Des

    Looks a lot like Moore house, by Charles Moore, California 1962

  • James

    brillent to live in . James

  • very unique, love the interior lighting

  • yrag

    As a house, it makes a great office complex.

  • This project is very nice. I have no words to explain. The house interior and exterior designs are lovely. The woodwork is nice and lighting also fantastic.

  • Pluk vd Petteflet


    Soderora project. Here’s the link

    • Soc-Arc

      Hi Pluk vd Petteflet, Thanks for letting us know the reference, it is very interesting to see works of a similar nature to ours, we hadn’t seen this reference before either.

      Alan, Soc-Arc

  • alex

    So no windows upstairs except for a view of the sky, that’s a great idea. Otherwise beautiful.

  • joris

    I can’t see any wall sockets? That bathroom appears to be very creepy when it’s dark outside, with that gruesome crappy lightball at the ceiling. Must be very harsh shadows and horrible sound reflection in that empty space. Why do people like houses that look like cold offices? What’s wrong with ‘cozy’? Why does it ALWAYS have to be white, all the time, every time?

    Hanging bulbs on cables like that from the ceiling may look nice, but seems like very bad lighting at night. There won’t be a lot of book-reading going on with that lighting scheme; either it’s too dark, or either you’re blinded when you look up. Also, there’s something uncomfortably religious or even a hint of death-camp-chimney to it.

    Outside looks nice though.