David Leech House

David Leech Architects, Dublin, 2017

 

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The render was hand-trowelled smooth on all public faces, while the elevations within the garden are deeply roughcast 

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  • The render was hand-trowelled smooth on all public faces, while the elevations within the garden are deeply roughcast    
  • The garden is the source of the project    
  • Much of the external wall surfaces are covered in roughly trowelled render, a common local weatherproofing    
  • The existing tall hedge and boundary walls meant that a     
  • The house and garden were not conceived as separate entities, but as one    
  • The core contains the service and plumbed elements of the plant, wash closet, kitchen appliances and fireplace, as well as storage and the staircase    
  • Internally at ground level, the core divides the plan into four public rooms: a hall/library, kitchen, dining and living room    
  • A curtain of timber and glass folding doors wraps the exterior of the house    
  • View from the top of the staircase    
  • A skylight lights the core of the house    
  • An iroko timber stair leads up to a small platform-sized landing    
  • SIte plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Elevations    
  • Detail section through building envelope    
  • Window detail plan section    

A small house lies on an awkward site at the end of a line of post-war suburban semis in Dublin. 

The house is situated in a garden at the end of a short terrace of a 1940s suburban estate on the edge of Dublin. The site is bounded to the south by an existing hedge, to the north-west by the blank wall of the original terrace and to the north-east by a high wall backing onto a public lane.

The steel beams that cantilever out from the central core of this compact three-bedroom detached house enable much of the ground floor perimeter to be structureless, wrapped by glazed screens of folding floor-to-ceiling panels. The screens can be pulled back, concertina-like, to merge the two living rooms almost completely with the surrounding garden.

Much of the external wall surfaces are covered in roughly trowelled render, a common local weatherproofing. Above, a slate roof rises sharply to a thick, chimney-like structure. This one contains a skylight that lights the core of the house, as well as an extract for an MVHR system and a flue for a wood-burning stove. The slates are held and punctuated by copper grampians, the copper picked up in gutters and a downpipe that cuts diagonally across the blank plastered upper storey.

The back façade to the lane, in contrast to the garden elevations, is finished in a smoother render, solid except for a porthole which lights the bathroom on the first floor. The roofline is sliced off here, forming the shape of a gable, with the wall below animated by the traced relief of a door and window, together describing the simple figure of a house.

Internally, the rooms work around a roughly cruciform core. One thicker arm is formed by a WC and storage, while the foot of the stair, an inbuilt kitchen counter and a wall of kitchen storage backing onto the hearth form the others.

The floor surface is struck in-situ concrete throughout – left unfinished in part due to the cost of polishing – but also intended to increase the inside/outside terrace-like feeling in the rooms. The three bedrooms are lined, floored and cupboarded using Valchromat in different colours.

Data

  • Begun: Sep 2016
  • Completed: Sep 2017
  • Floor area: 120m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • CO2 Emissions: 9.48kg/m2/year
  • Address: Hollybrook Grove, Dublin, 3, Ireland

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