Roof works

Roof works

A third storey attic store and rear terrace converted to living accommodation, with a dormer to the front and an extension to the rear terrace.

For this project’s design team – and especially for the main contractor – the challenge of carving out and extending living space on the third floor of a terraced house, on a site with no construction access to the rear, and facing straight out on to a public lane to the front, was no mean feat. Another challenge was having to create useable living space in a building originally constructed as office accommodation. A front dormer with views over the Georgian rooftops to the south, and a west-facing rear terrace extension, added an extra storey of living accommodation in this city centre townhouse.

When we look at the final photographs of a ‘completed’ project, or read the accompanying architect’s report, we may not consider some factors fundamental to the successful resolution of the project. The myriad issues that can hinder a project’s success – planning constraints, the contingencies of access, construction feasibility – may not always make it in the project’s final description. And without judging projects on their available budgets, we can sometimes do a disservice to those working with more limited means, but with no less ambition.

Some buildings we consider to have successful architectural or design elements may have begun life as more standard construction – or speculative – ventures. Those aspects we latterly consider special may have been only elicited through a careful negotiation of the relationship between client, architect, engineer and contractor, as was the case in this project. Other projects may have their own opportunities squandered, resulting in something less than the sum of their parts. Small works projects are at the forefront of all these negotiations.

Client comments

“…Everyone that has seen the extension has been floored by the views and open glass concept. We have also had comments from a number of people about how the front facade is impressive without disrupting the Georgian mews style…

The extension is spectacular! It is a showcase room.”

Project Details
Project: Roof works
Location: Dublin 2
Client: Private
Structural Engineer: Niamh O’Reilly
Completion: August 2019
Main contractor: Iona Carpentry & Renovations Ltd.
Glazing: McGoldrick Fabrications Ltd.
Photography: Paul Quinn, Stephen Mulhall