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A Period Extension That Pulls Out All The Stops

‘Glass box’ extensions get a bad rap, but here’s how to pull one off with panache – this sophisticated South Dublin home has truly been opened out to the garden.

CARYSFORT HOUSE Chances are you’ll recognise Declan O’Donnell as one of the judges on RTÉ’s Home of the Year show. The award-winning architect has more than earned his place on the programme, as evidenced by the cutting-edge work he’s doing as part of his practice, ODKM.

Looking at this South Dublin extension, we adore the additional glass box that houses a mini table and chairs. So, what was the brief?

Carysfort House Interior Refurb Extension

“This is a semi-detached, Victorian house dating from the 1840s,” begins Declan. “The owners wanted a single-storey extension and refurb to achieve a larger, brighter kitchen with informal and formal dining.”

The site posed a bit of challenge for him to work around. “With a narrow plot built up on both sides, pulling in light from above was key.”

Carysfort House Refurb Extension

Other significant hurdles included underpinning the rear three-storey return and dropping the floor level to link to the existing rear formal dining area in the centre of the house.

Carysfort House Kitchen Refurb Extension

“We wanted to make a seamless connection to the rear garden, getting good vertical light into a tall north -facing rear garden property with large neighbouring properties either side.” A conservationist at heart, Declan reused brick from the older structures they removed.

Carysfort House Salvaged Brick Refurb Extension

“We created a conversation between old and new by using salvaged materials in conjunction with the extension, and rationalised the flow and function of the ground-floor areas, cascading roof light from above.” A bright idea. odkmarchitects.com

Carysfort House Exterior Refurb Extension


ARCHITECT Declan O’Donnell (ODKM)

CONTRACTOR MSVI Contractors.
KEY MATERIALS Salvaged brick from the removed structures; glass, concrete and ceramic composite. Power-floated concrete floors with a dye: cost-effective and hard-wearing. Bespoke aluminium doors with a powder-coated finish and ceramic panels, all tops and gables mitred for a seamless finish. Bespoke kitchen by Dean Cooper.

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