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Suburban House in Deep Shade

Budget Range: Less than €100,000
Location: Rathfarnham, Dublin


Our clients were a couple with a grown up family, no longer living at home. Their home was a conventional 3- bed semi in a mature suburb of South Dublin. Their goal was to redesign their living space for contemporary entertaining, comfort and to accommodate some luxurious features. The rear of their home lacked positive aspect or orientation, as their garden was overlooked by a hill with houses on it, and a high retaining wall defined the rear site boundary. The stepping profile of the street’s building line meant that the house next door overshadowed their north facing rear garden. The original garden was shady, enclosed by other buildings and overlooked on all sides.

They desired a simple kitchen/ living extension with a layout which would help them make the most of their garden, and whatever natural light was available. To do this, we created a building design with a large roof window, in the optimal position for indoor light quality, and used limited north facing windows to frame selected views into the garden.

We used daylight analysis software to locate the best position in the garden for a patio which would have some access to direct sunlight on summer evenings, and designed the hard landscaping to create a simple elevated platform to access and exploit this one sunny location.

The construction process was relatively straightforward, with an experienced main contractor boasting a wide range of skills. We reworked many of the construction details to be achieved with the skills at the builder’s disposal, in order to achieve maximum value from the client’s budget.

Clients’s Remarks:
“The experience of working with Diarmuid and his team has been excellent. We have found him to be honest, professional, hardworking, innovative, a great team player and really good value for money. He worked with us and didn’t talk down to us. He listened to what our needs and requirements were, and then came back with options that were workable for us within our budget. He took us through what could be quite a complicated and daunting process and helped in whatever way he could. He was happy to work with all the aspects and people associated with the job, and he always made himself available to help, advise and lead where necessary. Our builder (who we provided, and had never worked or met Diarmuid before) was also very complimentary about him and said that he was a pleasure to work with and that he would be very interested in working with him again in the future.
We are delighted with the building that we have achieved. It is exactly what we were looking for and more. It started with our vision and desire for change, which Diarmuid captured and helped to turn it into a reality which far exceeded what we thought we could achieve within our budget. We are really pleased with the outcome, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Diarmuid to anyone looking for his architectural and innovative input into their prospective build or project.”

Design and Design Execution: Diarmuid Kelly, Robbie Howlett
Main Contractor: Mark Kelly and Paul Kelly
Consulting Engineers: Paul Cuddy Associates
Kitchen Production Design and Manufacture: www.DanishKitchens.ie

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