Donal Colfer Architects adds concrete and
glass extension to Dublin residence

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Irish firm Donal Colfer Architects has renovated a Victorian terraced house in Dublin, adding an extension with a glazed ground floor and concrete mullions above (+ slideshow).

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

The owners of the property on Martin Street had built an extension to the house in the 1980s, which blocked out much of the light to the existing rooms.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

Donal Colfer Architects was tasked with overhauling the home. "Our brief from the clients was to replace the existing extension while opening up and bringing more light into the house," said the team.



Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

The new two-storey extension has been sunk two steps lower than the rest of the house to reduce the impact on surrounding buildings.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

Internal walls and floors that provided the previous layout were removed so the circulation could be relocated to the back of the new rectangular volume.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

The garden-facing facade of the top floor features a row of deep concrete mullions, which break up vertical panes of frosted glass.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

"Internally we have sought to exploit the heavy characteristics of daylight in Ireland along with the shadow it creates," the architects said.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

Kitchen units run along the ground floor of the extension, facing a glazed wall that looks onto the garden and draws light into the adjacent living room that also opens onto the gravel patio.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

The staircase behind leads up to a hallway and bathroom – separated by a sliding partition – then a further two steps lead up into the main house to provide access to a pair of bedrooms.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

A small skylight above the stairs illuminates the windowless side of the extension. Walls throughout are finished in polished plaster, which subtly reflects the light.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

Grey Terrazzo tiles cover the floor of the lower level, while the walnut used for the kitchen, staircase and bookshelves is used for flooring on the upper storey.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

"The rich texture and reflective qualities of the internal stucco wall finish and Terrazzo floor combine to hold light that enters different spaces in the dwelling, while dark walnut fitted furniture elements and parquet flooring become part of a shadow as time passes," said the architects.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects

Photography is by Alice Clancy.

Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects
Axonometric diagram – click for larger image
Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Martin Street Renovation by Donal Colfer Architects
First floor plan – click for larger image
  • Meh

    A bit dark, dull and drab for me.

  • dd

    Beautiful use of materials and light.