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Monkstown cottage extension, Ireland

Bone O'Donnell Architects

This project is for the refurbishment and extension of an 1870’s single storey gardener’s cottage. While the works involved the complete refurbishment of the existing house, the focus of the intervention lay in the copper clad extension and its relationship with the existing house and garden.

The core of the clients’ brief was to transform the dark internal layout and provide distinct and spacious living areas with a connection to the west facing side garden.

The entrance porch and a chimneystack were removed and two small rooms at the garden end were opened up and lowered to provide a living area.

The extension is positioned so as to maximise the potential of the site and the existing house in terms of the orientation, garden, privacy and rationalisation of the internal layout. It contains a new kitchen and dining area and is connected to the existing house through a glazed timber clad link with sliding screens creating a flexible open plan space. This link sits unobtrusively underneath the roof of the existing house, provides a new entrance, circulation area and connection to the garden.

The entrance area is lowered to provide for higher floor to ceiling levels in contrast to the existing house. The stone floor is carried through from the exterior to the interior and out again in a continuous plane to form a new external terrace to emphasise the sequence of entrance, hallway, living space, terrace and garden beyond.

The extension holds back from the granite garden wall and is angled to provide a generous entrance and dining area whilst emphasising the focus on and opening out to the west facing garden. This is further expressed through the contrasting elevations. The section allows for high level north light while acknowledging the slope of the pitched roof of the existing house.

Copper cladding envelopes the extension externally and internally, clearly identifying the new from the old while simultaneously fitting in and contributing to the surrounding context.

These elements of the granite wall, copper clad extension, glazed link, lowered floor levels, large sliding screens and flush floor surfaces running through from exterior to interior to exterior, in conjunction with the refurbishment of the existing house, are used to maximise the impression of transparency and spatial fluidity within the house and into the garden.



Private dwelling
Completion date: 


Type of building: 
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
Bone O'Donnell Architects

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Nick Hay

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