On a secluded square in Donnybrook we find a simple but elegant terrace of mid nineteenth century houses, all protected structures. The plastered fronts have few details apart from an arched doorway and a granite capping. The façades of the houses blend into each other as a series of well proportioned shapes cut through the mass of the white wall. The original house had been altered several times and was left with no features to speak of so we began by stripping away layers of accumulated changes to get back to the building’s core. Along the way we found many stratum of history and structure. Within just the rear room of the ground floor we had six different types of wall construction.
We love to give character to spaces through materiality and so we thought we would reveal these layers of texture and history by removing all of the wall plaster in the rear of the house. We believe it is important to weave together the old and new when we are working on houses like this rather than creating an artificial crisp divide so in this case we sought to bring the rear room and new extension together through these textures. All of the lower wall constructions were left exposed but were softened and unified by painting them together. This textured layer was then topped with a crisp and carved cap. This plastered ceiling space wraps around the rooms catching light at different times of day and bending it into the rooms through dramatic and elegant curves that were inspired by the arched doorways of the terrace. The birch veneered cabinetry and oak floors create a warm counterpoint to the world above.
Externally the extension is a collection of simple plastered volumes that was thought of as an evolution of the simple forms of the original building fronts allowing the building to have one foot in the old and one in the new. Photography by Shantanu Starick