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K House, Dublin, Ireland


The site of this copper-clad house is located to the rear of an existing period house facing onto a cul de sac, offering views west to the dome of Rathmines church and indirectly north to the grand canal. Views and light to the east and south were restricted by site constraints and city council planning policy.

The clients are greatly informed and deeply interested in architecture. There were lengthy discussions with their total involvement in the project. We collectively considered idea's of comfort as not just to create a stable thermal environment or reproducing the known and familiar but as the capacity or disposition of the occupants to experience different situations with regard to light and shadow, to space that may bear the between, to use, to views of and to the urban context, to views of the sky, to exterior and interior reflections held within and to colour change in developing a minimal tough simplicity to be carried out with 'exactitude'.

The house takes the form of a curved cocoon or inhabited light scoop, to provide spaces for refuge and prospect and extends between two outside rooms, a ramped entrance court with a small water pool to slow and dissipate the city and a roof terrace, a place to perch and capture sunsets and the local city skyline.

At once without and within, forming the kitchen and dining mezzanine on second, living and study on first, bedrooms and bathrooms on ground and clad with untreated copper and lime washed maple.

It is held between rendered piered walls, with niches and voids that house kitchen, wardrobes, wall beds, storage cabinets, library, toilet and natural/artificial lighting.

Flamed Limestone is laid throughout the ground floor and entrance court with sliding clear/ opaque glazed partitions defining the bedrooms and bathrooms. Sapele strips are laid on the roof terrace mezzanine and ceiling to first floor.

Design Winter 2004

Complete Winter 2015

Area  104sqm

The client's response: 'This is a small house which wonderfully transcends the limitations of its awkward urban site. It is a work of genius and genius is never easy. Living in No 6, The Kearney House, is both an adventure and a delight. The adventure is in discovering new ways to inhabit its unusual and versatile spaces, which work as well lived in by a retired couple as when they accommodate a party of sixty! The delight is in being constantly amazed by its ever changing beauty both inside and out, as it responds to varying light and points of view.'



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