Open House

John McLaughlin, Glasthule, Dublin, 2013


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  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Cross section    
  • Long section    
  • Planimetric    

House built by the architect for his family on an infill site in a walled garden

The ground floor is open and flexible with the bedrooms and bathrooms above. Sliding timber-framed glass screens separate the inside and outside but open easily to connect the two. Because the Irish winters are so dark glazing is we maximised but the climate is quite mild so we are outside for a lot of the year – with eating on the terrace possible during summer.

Internal doors are minimised with sliding glazed screens used so that the whole ground floor can open into one big room. On a rainy day the children run around inside. Services and storage are accommodated in a thick wall along one side of the ground floor where it abuts an adjoining house.

The old and new blockwork boundary walls were rendered with a white sand render to unify the external spaces. This forms a backdrop for the plants. The house itself is constructed with a timber structural frame, with timber cladding. The timber areas provide good insulation to compensate for the large glazed areas. The work was completed slowly as funds became available, infilling around the main timber-frame structure which was made by a specialist contractor.


  • Begun: Jul 2008
  • Completed: Jul 2013
  • Floor area: 150m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £300,000
  • Procurement: Self-build
  • Address: Glasthule, Glasthule, Dublin, Ireland

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