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Burren House, Dublin, by Niall McLaughlin Architects

[Images + plans + credits] Private residence in Dublin

Anglesea Road in Dublin is lined with substantial Victorian terraced redbrick houses. Gardens stretch back from the houses to the River Dodder at the back of the site. High granite rubble walls enclose them. The back land space has a serene character of its own. It is a maze of stony garden enclosures. The area is given to flooding. Locals estimate that anything below the ground floor door handles is vulnerable.

The design for this house began with a conversation with the client about a persistent theme in the work of Californian architect Craig Ellwood. He prepared a significant number of designs based on the idea of a glazed truss surmounting a stone enclosure. The truss would contain a pavilion and the stone enclosure would be organised into rooms and courtyards. This arrangement brings together the two house types explored by Mies van der Rohe; The Farnsworth House, a vitrine opening out to nature and The Courtyard House, an enclosed world looking back into itself.

The form, material palette and luminosity for this house are intended to work in that cloudy, showery, maritime environment particular to Dublin.

Niall McLaughlin, practice founder, Niall McLaughlin Architects

Building profile

Living 71.3m2
Bedroom 1 55.2m2
Bedroom 2 18.8m2
Bedroom 3 18.5m2
Kitchen 17m2
Storage 53.6m2
External space 54.6m2
Garage 35m2
Self-contained unit 32.6m2
Study 30.7m2
Estimated annual CO2 emissions/m2 treated floor area 19.43 kgCO2/m2


Start on site 2004
Completion February 2009
Gross internal floor area 490m2
Form of contract Full RIAI/STD contract
Total cost £2,100,000
Cost per m2 £4,286
Client Reg Tuthill
Architect Niall McLaughlin Architects
Structural engineer Casey O’Rourke Associates
Main contractor McInerney Contracting

The Burren House in the AJ Buildings Library

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Expensive !!!

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  • Nice plan, pity it’s been altered for publication to appear solid and stereotomic like the brick house, in contrast to the tectonic screen which is actually built at the entrance steps.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Regarding comment Anonymous @ 19-Apr-2011 2:15 pm

    In case of any confusion that may arise from your comment:

    The drawings and photographs used to explain the residence are produced by the architect and the architct's photographer and have not been altered for publication.

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