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Dartmouth Square, Dublin by NEX

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Light was a key consideration in creating an extension to this terraced home accommodating a contemporary family living space

The architect’s view

Dartmouth Square, in the Ranelagh residential area south of Dublin’s city centre and the Grand Canal, is characterised by listed Victorian and Edwardian terraced and detached houses. The clients wanted to create a sense of flow though the ground and lowerground floors, while interconnecting additional living space. Part of this flow involved creating an extension to accommodate a dramatic contemporary family space that would become the social centre of their new home. The clients were also keen on highly finished concrete to complement the original exterior’s brick facade. An overarching consideration was to bring in light and visually connect the ground and lower-ground floors, solving the problem of a cramped staircase and a dilapidated structure at the back. In addition, the whole house had to be refurbished to make it habitable.

Roof lights, clerestory lighting and changes to ceiling heights opened the raised ground floor to bring in new light qualities while improving visual connections between floors. A demand for a space that could accommodate contemporary living requirements gave us the chance to re-examine the raised-ground-floor typology of the Victorian terrace and address the disconnection that occurs between the formal reception rooms on the upper floor and the kitchen area at the lower-ground level.

  • Alan Dempsey, founder, NEX

Project data

Planning permission February 2011
Completion March 2012
Architect NEX
Client Confidential
Area of extension 40m²
Value €370,000 (£315,500)
Structural engineer CORA
Cost control WMQS
CAD software used Rhino and AutoCAD
Annual CO2 emissions Not confirmed

Specified products




Bathroom glass surfaces

Matelac and Lacobel

AGC Glass Europe



Firestone single-ply membrane


External cladding

Rimex bronze stainless steel


Windows and doors




Flos, Viabizzuno





White lime washed Douglas fir





Vapour control sheeting

PDT Waterproofing




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