Howth,
Dublin

The clients had been living next door in a Victorian villa, a house of many rooms; they wanted a convivial living space which more loosely accommodated contemporary family life.

Area: 280 sqm
Completion: 2003

The idea for the new house started from an introductory conversation held with the client on the site. Looking out to sea, with the sun on our backs, we discussed our shared preference for facing north, watching the effect of the light on the landscape, without the glare of the sun in your eyes – the quiet of standing in the shadow and looking at the light. Half way up the hill of Howth, overlooking the harbour, the site lies sandwiched between houses, blinkered by its boundaries and mesmerised by the outline of the island of Ireland’s Eye.

A straightforward three part plan and sectional organisation grew out of the site conditions. The house was designed from the inside out, or from the sense of being within the site looking out, and each development in the form was designed from first principles. A long wall is aligned between two trees which fix diagonally opposite corners of the plot, the body of the house turns to focus on the island, the walls bend to cup the space that flows between them.