Thursday, March 8, 2007

RIAI Awards Entry

ABA Architects have entered an infill house in Irishtown to the RIAI Regional Awards.

Architect’s comments:
We were approached by the clients regarding preparing an appeal for a planning refusal they received for a different scheme prepared by a technician. When we examined the design we advised that their best option would be to prepare a new design and we were thus commissioned. The driving concept for this tight urban site was to provide the private open space at first floor level with translucent privacy screens to avoid overlooking. This lead to the idea of creating the principle living space at first floor level.
The existing terrace set up the framework for the overall size of the house but we deemed it more appropriate to alter the fenestration and provide a bright self finished render instead of the adjacent brickwork. The attic bedroom was cleverly arranged open to the stairwell and with sliding glass walls revealing generous walk in wardrobe and bathroom, both neatly tucked into the front roofspace.
The ground floor has a guest bedroom behind the small lightwell with a meticulously planned external space which includes planter for tree, cat toilet and granite cat ladder built into the one non-glazed wall. With a high standard of workmanship and finishes the end result proves to be a delightful example of how to infill in the historic core of a village like Irishtown.

Client Comments:
We had an old terraced house in Irishtown with a garage at the end of the garden and rear access onto the street behind. We wanted to cut the property in two and build a new townhouse on the site of the old garage. It was a very limited site with houses adjoining it on either side.
We had applied for planning permission for a totally different design of house, prepared by a different designer, and it had been turned down. We couldn't figure out how to fit everything we needed into such a small plot - 2 bedroomed house with outdoor living space.
We then approached our architect to do a new design for us. He came up with an exceptionally clever design, maximizing the space available. The result is a totally functional house with everything we asked for, including a walk-in-wardrobe and a real fire. It is light, bright and has plenty of storage. The sitting room opens onto the roof terrace which has opaque glass screens so as not to overlook anyone.
We worked with our architect to squeeze everything into the space. The inner courtyard on ground floor has a raised planter for herbs with storage cupboard underneath for bin bags and the cat litter tray.
We even set a ladder into the wall for the cats to get to the roof garden above. Attention was also given to the flow of doors so that I could get my bicycle from the front door into the inner courtyard with relative ease.
We were also very lucky to have worked with an exceptionally good builder, who turned a great design into reality. We think it is a remarkable blueprint, perfect for tight city spaces.