House in Dublin
Amanda Levete Architects were commissioned to design a house in Dublin for two art collectors. The commission includes all the furniture to be designed as one off pieces. There will be just one art work. The driving concept for the house makes dramatic use of daylight to animate what is a very deep space. A softly curved roof surface, perforated with multiple windows of varying diameter, wraps around the house creating a tree-like canopy and filtering dappled light into the interior. In contrast the external walls are simple in their austerity. The space is penetrated by an elliptically shaped courtyard. Concept: The proposed scheme, to replace an old garage that originally served the adjacent terraced house, is a sensitive and at the same time contemporary site response, which has arisen from close study of the existing site massing, contemporary living requirements and future flexibility, and the desire to design a building whose environmental performance is closely integrated with its form and materiality. Despite the challenging heterogeneity of the immediate context, the development of this site represents an opportunity to realise a scheme according to the intentions of the local development plan, acknowledges its context through its form and massing but reinvigorates the typology of the modest urban mews house, aiming to highlight the potential of Dublin’s mews lanes. Primary concept of the scheme is a softly curved roof-shell surface, perforated with multiple double glazed windows of varying diameter, which will provide a dramatic filter for dappled light into the interior and contrasts with the simple austerity of the external walls. The composite roof panels will be manufactured off site and lifted into place in large sections, while the continuous skin acts as funnel for rainwater collection. The deep plan is penetrated by a courtyard in the middle of the building, providing high levels of daylight and natural ventilation to all of the internal spaces, and a discreet external private space that receives a high level of sunlight. This courtyard will be planted with a mature weeping Higan Cherry tree. Although the clients are art collectors they have chosen not to show any art in the house. This gave us the freedom to make dramatic use of sunlight and daylight. The house will provide a comfortable living environment using passive design and low energy systems, minimising the building’s carbon footprint. Principal components of this energy efficient design are natural ventilation, maximised day lighting and a ground coupled heat pump system. Our ambition is that this scheme will become an exemplar in terms of quality of contemporary design, construction and environmental performance, and so make a contribution to the broader debate on high quality design in traditional mews lanes and challenging urban situations in general. Completion is planned for 2010 Architect : Amanda Levete Architects Project team : Amanda Levete, Manuel Irsara, Alvin Huang, Max Arrocet, Filippo Previtali, Alan Dempsey, Andreas Schoen, Pil Won Kim Structural Engineer: AKT Services Engineer: Caterday Quantity Surveyor: WMQS Lighting: Isometrix Landscape: BBUK Planning: Manahan Planners


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