This article, Extended Families was published in the Sunday Times. It features the project, Light Box in Cabinteely Park, Dublin.
Done well, an addition to a house can be a life-changing experience for its inhabitants. Dara Flynn looks at five examples of annexes that enhance residents’ wellbeing
There’s far more to an extension that knocking a hole in the back of the house and adding a box. A properly conceived, architect-designed addition will improve your quality of life as much as the look and feel of your home. Do it badly, and your poorly planned extension threatens to do more harm than good: it can push perfectly decent existing rooms into architectural limbo, severed from daily circulation and abandoned in the shadow of the snazzy new space.
So with spring in the air, Room to Improve soaring in the viewership figures, and our thoughts turning to home improvements, we have selected five clever, high-functioning and beautiful extensions that show what can be achieved when an extension takes it cue from its site and aspect and brings out the best in what you’ve already got.
Everyone loves the look and feel of an expansive open-plan space, but few achieve it as successfully in an extension as Adrian Hill’s design for what was a basic suburban semi-detached in Cabinteely. He had his work cut out, since the existing layout was an odd warren-like series of rooms created in DIY-fashion by a former owner. These consisted of two side-by-side but separate self-contained units, with a kitchen each. “It was the most bizarre layout. My clients wanted to return it to one open space, so it was obvious every wall had to come out,” says Hill.
When supporting walls go, of course, something else must enter: a large steel column was created for the centre of the open-plan room, which was fashioned into an architectural and storage feature and in the new layout serves to define the two zones.
The extension was a 39 sq metre addition that essentially filled in the rest of the back elevation, and the space is terminated by one large swathe of glazing and sliding doors, made by Clane-based Martin White. “With a big space, you need big things to go in it, hence the large doors,” says Hill. “They were expensive, but the clients embraced…”
You can read the full article here.