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David-Leech Architects

David-Leech Architects



David-Leech Architects - A house in a garden

David-Leech Architects

An award winning family home

Photographs by

David Grandorge & David-Leech Architects



















Word from the architect

This house is situated on a small site in a garden at the end of a short terrace of a 1940’s estate on the edge of Dublin city. The site is bounded to the south by a suburban hedge of hazel and privet, to the northwest by the blank wall of the original terrace and to the northeast by a high wall backing onto a public laneway.
The ground floor layout is derived from the planning requirements for outdoor amenity space. To maximise the presence of the garden it takes advantage of the excellent privacy provided by the thick hedgerow. At the ground level all the supporting walls are located within an internal cross-shaped core, allowing a curtain of glass and timber folding doors to wrap the exterior of the house for direct connection and access to the garden.
Internally a cross-shaped core divides the plan into 4 public rooms: a hall/library, kitchen, dining and living room. These are located according to proportion and orientation and step in section to accommodate ceiling heights of varying dimension and intimacy. A recessed ceilng track allows the rooms to be completely wrapped in woolen curtain like a medieval four poster bed. The core contains the service and plumbed elements of the plant, wash closet, kitchen appliances, fireplace as well as storage and the staircase. A continuous loop of circulation is along the perimeter.
On fine days, the folding doors can slide back from their corners allowing the house to spread outside - reducing the house’s footprint to the structural core and increasing the area of external amenity.
The gardens are planted to provide a variety of flora, much edible, responding to light, shade, aspect and condition. A south facing terrace is located with a bench built into a new inhabited garden wall.
The first floor is laid out with three bedrooms and a bathroom off a small central landing. The landing is lit from a tall roof light contained within an extruded chimneystack and lined in timber paneling up to door height. The landing is one door wide and two doors in length. From this space, paneled doors open into generously proportioned bedrooms side lit from large windows sitting on the skirting of the opposing walls. The ceilings are draped along the pitch of the roof, falling from 4.5m above the sweep of the doorway to 2m around the perimeter. These rooms are lined in through-coloured Valchromat MDFs with a marquetry Valchromat MDF floor. Radiators, sockets, MHVR grilles, sensors and switches are framed within these MDF elaborations.
Externally, the house is treated in a manner similar but exaggerated to the immediate terrace housing. The masonry walls are finished in a pigmented off-white cementious render, deeply roughcast on the garden side and hand troweled smooth on the laneway elevation and public faces.
A heather coloured fibre cement roof is elaborated with expressed untreated copper crampions, copper guttering and tall standing seam hips. Copper downpipes are used to draw figures across blank parts of the façade reminiscent of a line drawing. Over time these elements will oxidise to a pale powder green.
Where the house meets the laneway a simple gable is projected with the image of a doorway and window set in relief.
Building Energy Rating - A2 Gross Internal Floor Area - 120 sqm Cost - 297,450 euro