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Home, Portobello, Dublin

A rather typical mid-terrace red-brick Portobello house is home to a growing family who love it there. They inherited an extension that was dark and low, poorly planned and disconnected from the garden. The new room is the opposite. In this project a sun-filled family room is made to provide a base for everyday family life. A thick roof and ceiling is made – like a tent. Robust materials are used but all materials have character and tactility – oak, cork, brass, ceramics, t+g boards – all combine to make a subtly rich backdrop for life. The thick ceiling, full of light, is also full of storage – the practical and the poetic living together, a sustainable architectural strategy for making homes.

“Our family life has been greatly enhanced, even transformed, by the wonderful light airy space designed for us by our architect. We now have a bright, spacious communal area where we can all live, cook, eat and play together. A long desk runs the length of the kitchen, at which the children paint and draw – there’s a length of corkboard overhead on which all their colourful artwork is displayed. The glass doors open on to a beautiful wide tiled patio, raised above the garden itself, creating an exotic poolside feel. The new extension has given us a perfectly suited family space that will also grow with us.”