The site area is 5,904 sqm and comprises the rear garden of a large Victorian villa, formerly home to one of Dublin’s merchant families. The steeply sloping site faces north over Dublin Bay with distant sea views.
The new buildings, 15 houses and 9 apartments, are set within the garden to form a new synthesis of building and landscape. The buildings are pavilions amongst planting and trees and have been designed to maximise exposure to the south and the sun, whilst providing controlled views to the north and the sea. Many of the existing trees within the site are retained and these are augmented by a careful and extensive planting programme.
A line of new terraced mews houses spatially demarcate the limits of the villa from the remainder of the site. Advantage is taken of the natural slope of the land to allow the buildings nestle into the hill using efficient semi-basement areas accommodating bedrooms and the smaller service rooms. This allows the visible above-ground built forms to emerge from the landscape as relatively small volumes. These contain the main living areas and are large light-filled, airy spaces with access to the adjoining external private terraces.
The new buildings are composed of natural materials (brick, timber, lead) and are ‘settled’ into the hill by the continuity of these materials into the new landscape.