This new residential development, for a motorcycle enthusiast, adjacent to No.10 Grangegorman Villas, Grangegorman, Dublin 7 is an alternative reaction to the more traditional city centre infill residential projects; an unapologetic piece of architecture sitting within a strong urban context defined by both site and planning constraints. The building is essentially two living plates over a workshop connected by a vertical service and circulation core. While the character of this new structure is unmistakeably contemporary it has been designed to sit discreetly within its more traditional context, while giving the end of the terrace the strong presence it deserves.
The break up of the the buildings main elements, defined in elevation by the horizontal structural lines, help to identify the structure and functions contained behind. The building profile is further strengthened with a deliberately weighted treatment to the openings at first and ground floor level adding to the aura of secrecy as to what’s contained within. An external terrace area has been provided at the front section of the upper floor, increasing the visual and physical depth of the open plan living accommodation. This is further emphasised by the full height frameless fixed glazing sections, visible on the front and rear elevations. The external screen to the deck area has been fabricated using vertical aluminum fins to match the satin-anodised aluminium cladding to the fixed and opening sections below. The irregular spacing of these fins gives this screen a semi-transparent appearance, particularly when viewed from a westerly direction and during the evening when it is illuminated from behind. This reduces the perceived bulk of the building, depending on the viewers position and alters the appearance of the structure over a twenty four hour period. The elevations become more transparent as you move from the ground floor up terminating in the upper floor external terrace.
The building is entered under a canopy, which extends internally to create a ‘suppressed’ area inside the front door, emphasising a triple height stairwell beyond. The experience of this space is further enhanced through the introduction of a full width rooflight running the full length of the building, flooding this volume with natural light. Accommodation comprises of a second floor open plan living, dining and kitchen space linked to the first floor bedrooms and bathroom by the triple height circulation zone. This circulation volume extends down to the ground floor providing access to the lower garage area the walled back garden behind and the paved front garden facing the street. The enclosed back garden, to the rear of the property, is seen as a landscaped courtyard which opens directly into the ground floor volume and is partially sheltered by the cantilevered structure above.