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Carlingford House- Exempt Development in Historic Village

Date: Completed 2012

Budget: Approx €106,000 Excluding VAT

Construction Period: 1 Year

Area of New Build: 39.8 meters squared

Area of Existing House (completely renovated): 78 meters squared

This building is located in the historic village of Carlingford, Co. Louth. It is designed as a large and comfortable home for one person, with space for guests and provision for lifetime use.

The client grew up in the original house, and had life- long links to the neighborhood. She approached DKAD to design a simple extension which met her functional needs, which could be achieved within a modest budget and which had some luxurious features. Due to the importance of the nearby village as a tourist destination, she preferred a design which could be built discreetly and without a requirement for planning permission.

The design evolved during the construction stage to include Mourne granite masonry and timber cladding. The stone was sourced locally, carefully selected to enhance natural colour variation and built by local tradesmen, in keeping with the type of stonework seen in the nearby village.

The Class 1 planning exemptions were the main constraints for DKAD during this design process. Within these limitations, DKAD sought to develop spaces which exploited the natural aspect of the village, which respected the materiality of nearby historic architecture, and which delivered an outstanding lifestyle for the client. The rear garden is private, and private spaces have large openings onto it. The entrance terrace is public, and the home office addresses it.

Despite the relatively small area of the building, this strategy creates a huge variety of spaces, views and types of daylight. The character of light in every space changes through the seasons and times of day. Because the client sometimes works from home it was especially important to create architecture that was rich and engaging enough to provide a constantly changing environment connected to it’s place and environment.

The project encountered several several technical challenges which were met by DKAD, the main contractor and the consulting engineers (Doherty Finnegan Kelly).

  1. New space includes high levels of insulation and an air-tightness membrane.
  2. Glazing is framed in sustainably sourced painted hardwood.
  3. The existing house was partially demolished, and the main structure was consolidated with a new steel frame.
  4. The house was fitted with a new electrical installation and heating system and plumbing.
  5. The existing house was insulated to the standards of the current building regulations.
  6. All spaces were completely redecorated.

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