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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,

01 5585205

Award Wining Architects based in Monkstown, Co.Dublin and working in all surrounding counties.

Specialising in sensitive contemporary design for domestic extensions, renovations, new-build houses and interior design.  We also design and build custom joinery.

RIAI registered architects, project managers & interior designers

Dublin Architecture Blog

Hofler Architects Dublin  - Our Blog of our news and views.

Filtering by Category: Protected Structure

What a Weekend: The Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall

Paul Mulhern

The Port Eliot Festival is an annual celebration of words, music, imagination, ideas, nature, food, fashion, flowers, laughter, exploration and fun.

An incredible array of performers have appeared at Port Eliot since the festival started over a decade ago, all drawn together by the festival’s laid-back approach and inspirational atmosphere. They include the likes of Dominic West, Kate Winslet, Martin Parr, Anna Sui, Anita Pallenberg, Barbara Hulanicki, Ralph Steadman, Jarvis Cocker, Jacob Dylan, Suggs, Julian Cope, the Hemsleys, Beth Orton, Stephen Jones, Jack Stein, Nathan Outlaw, Angela Hartnett, Thomasina Miers, Suzy Menkes, Edmund de Waal, Sarah Waters, William Dalrymple, Hanif Kureishi, Hannah Rothschild and Gavin Turk.

Our Favourite Stage:  Hole & Corner

Hole & Corner magazine is dedicated to celebrating craft, beauty, passion and skill. This year, the pages of the magazine will come alive at Port Eliot Festival, as we invite you to wander (and wonder) through our world at the ‘Makers’ tent.

In partnership with Affinity With Plymouth University, we will be curating a series of daily talks, live demonstrations and workshops from some of the finest designer-makers in the world.

We firmly believe that the route to happiness is making something with your own fair hand: or at the very least having a brew and watching the experts at work. Come in, learn a new skill or hone an old one; reconnect with Mother Nature or just have a mooch, a coffee and a chat.

There will be music from 5-7pm every evening at the Hole & Corner / Moshi Moshi stage… and look out for a number of special exclusive events taking place throughout the weekend

Wood Workshops with Benchmark, Sebastian Cox, Driftwood Surfboards and England’s last clog maker, Jeremy Atkinson.

Leather Workshops Belt and guitar-strap making with leatherware designer Bill Amberg Leather steaming + workshops with Tortie Hoare

Textiles  Dyeing workshops with artisan Aboubakar Fofana

Ceramics Workshops with Jacob Bodilly, Billy Lloyd and Stephie Buttle

Paper & Print Woodblock engraved printing with Robin MacKenzie  & Paper sculpture with Zoe Bradley

Hole & Corner/Moshi Moshi stage, 5pm – 7pm daily

From bands including: Oliver Coates, Meilyr Jones, Sweet Baboo and Seamus Fogarty + DJ sets from Amateurism & Pete Wiggs (St Etienne)

Hofler Architects.  6A Carrickbrennan Road, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.

Alterations to a Terraced Protected Structure, Dublin 6

Paul Mulhern

There are three main elements to this protected structure renovation project:

1. The addition of a projecting bath ‘oriel’ to the side wall of the rear return at first floor level. This zinc-clad element to the rear of the house facilitates proper access to the rear room of the return. The rear room is not currently useable as a bedroom as it can be accessed only through the bathroom. The oriel and the changes to the positions of partition walls in the return will result in a useable third bedroom. The only external materials to be used are standing-seam zinc and hardwood (windows and underside).

2. The attic has been converted to accommodate frequent-use storage space. The existing space is largely unencumbered by structural timbers but is slightly below the height standards to be used as a habitable room.  A contemporary hardwood stair with built-in storage below has been  installed to rise from the existing landing area. A rear-facing dormer window is proposed to provide natural light, ventilation and an increased area of headroom. As with the bathroom oriel, the external materials will be zinc and hardwood. The right-hand window sash (when viewed from the rear) has clear glass and is openable. It has been recessed by 340mm in order to blinker the view out and limit any possibility of overlooking. It looks out only over the roofs of the rear returns.  The left-hand window sash is non-openable and has opaque glass installed to allow light in but prevent views out.

3. The original roof coverings to the main house and return were removed and replaced by a previous owner with artificial slate. The works undertaken include removal of the artificial slate and replacement with natural Welsh slate on new battens and breathable felt. This significant improvement to the roofing materials is the only element of the works to this protected structure visible from the street.

RIAI Protected Structure Information Link.

Talk to SPACIOUS Architects to arrange a free, no-obligation initial consultation for your project.

[Completed while Paul was a partner in his previous practice].

What is an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA)?

Paul Mulhern

Under the Planning and Development Act 2000-2010, a planning authority must include an objective in its development plan to preserve the character of a place, area, group of structures or townscape if it is of the opinion that its inclusion is necessary for the preservation of the character of that area.  Such an area is known as an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) and it is defined as a place, area, group of structures or townscape that is of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest or contributes to the appreciation of protected structures. 

Reasons for Designating an ACA

An ACA is designated in recognition of the special character of an area where individual elements such as building heights, building lines, roof lines, materials, construction systems, designed landscapes, public spaces and architectural features combine to give a place a harmonious, distinctive and special quality which merits protection.

Protecting the special character of such areas is important as this serves to reinforce the identity of areas, local towns and villages, recognises our cultural and architectural heritage and contributes to the attractiveness of these areas as places in which to live and work. From an economic perspective, Ireland’s heritage is a key element of the tourism experience. It draws visitors here and is a significant part of what they enjoy once they are here.

In acknowledging the architectural and historic significance of our towns and villages throughout the county by designating Architectural Conservation Areas, the primary aim is to provide for change while protecting character. In this way it is accepted that Architectural Conservation Areas are not open-air museums but living communities that will inevitably continue to develop and change.

The aim of the planning process in managing development within ACAs is therefore to focus on ensuring that future development is carried out in a manner sympathetic to the special character of that area.This is achieved by giving particular consideration to the impact of proposed development on the character of the ACA, in order to achieve a balance between the need for change and the objective of retaining the special qualities for which the area was designated. 

Bessborough Parade, Rathmines, Dublin 6 - We have completed two extension & refurbishment projects to protected structures on the street

Bessborough Parade, Rathmines, Dublin 6 - We have completed two extension & refurbishment projects to protected structures on the street

What needs planning permission?

The protection of an ACA relates to the external appearance.

As an ACA includes the rear of buildings and the open spaces most works to the outside of a building or structure in an ACA will need planning permission.

If, for example you proposed to build a small extension, change the roof materials or windows, install a roof-light or satellite dish, form a parking space, strip off plaster, or erect signage you will probably need permission.

Planning permission will not be needed for works to the interior unless it involves a change of use.  Normal repair and maintenance work will not require permission, unless it uses materials or details which are not appropriate to the structure. For the avoidance of doubt, detailed advice can be obtained from the Planning Authority in relation to details, methods and materials in advance of work starting.

Links to PDF guidance documents:

Contact us with any queries:  SPACIOUS Architects, DUN LAOGHAIRE, Co. Dublin

Protected Structure, Naas - A Domestic Extension & Renovation Project.

Paul Mulhern

Glauneaven House is an attractive and well and well designed suburban house dating from the first decade of the twentieth century. It was built at the edge of Naas’ historic core by a local merchant, during a period or relative prosperity prior to World War I, and stands among a small group of similar houses. Glauneaven House is remarkable in the degree to which it has not been altered or modernized. The only alterations appear to be the installation of a very basic electrical system during the early 20th century, and the installation of a cast iron bath during the 1970’s. Otherwise, the house stands virtually as it was built and provides an excellent example of home of an early twentieth century Naas merchant’s family.

To more closely integrate the house and its sizeable rear garden, a new single storey extension has been carefully designed. This extension has been designed with two main elements:A lounge close to the northern boundary wall, and a jewel-like informal dining room.  These two spaces are linked to the house by a glazed corridor. The architectural language used for the extension will be cleanly contemporary, but is intended to sit comfortably with the rich materials and traditional massing of the Protected Structure.

The Lounge will serve as a casual family room, with views and connections to the rear gardens and patio. It has been placed behind the house and near the side boundary wall to allow it to receive direct sunlight from the east and south, while not blocking light into the east side of the original dining room or taking space away from the inner rear garden. Its west wall will replace an existing concrete garden wall, and will have a delicately detailed bay window looking into the northern side garden. The west elevation will be faced with salvaged brick and will help to screen the extension when viewed from the front. The flat roof over the lounge is to be planted with sedum to reduce rainwater runoff, and to soften the Lounge’s appearance.

The Informal Dining Room has been conceived as a garden pavilion. It will be sited behind the existing shed-roofed kitchen pantry, where it will receive direct light from the east and south, and project into the landscaped inner garden area.  Glazed Corridors will connect the Lounge and Informal Dining Room to the original house.

The extension will form a new element in the original historic setting of the house, at least when viewed from the rear. Two of the house’s rear windows will be converted to doors to provide connections between the house and extension.The extension has been carefully designed to enable the house to be better integrated with its sizeable gardens to the north and east. The extension has been subtly scaled by breaking it up into distinct elements, preventing it from overpowering the original house. The design of the extension is contemporary, and avoids historical pastiche. It has been designed to site comfortably with the rich materials and Victorian design.

Contact Hofler Architects, Dublin, to discuss your project.

We are also preparing designs to replace the existing two-storey outbuildings of about 100 Sqm to provide a contemporary space for guest accommodation, an artist’s studio, storage and plant equipment associated with the planned solar thermal roof panels (to be located on the south-facing roof of the outbuildings) and wood chip or pellet boiler.

The house itself is to be sensitively renovated throughout to retain the character created by room proportions and detail elements such as staircase, window and door joinery. Measures to improve thermal performance of the house will be carefully considered in relation to impact on the original fabric. Certain environmental upgrade works are inappropriate to Protected Structures such as Glauneaven despite their thermal and financial benefits. Where this is the case, we seek to employ or compensate with other less invasive or visible changes to improve the houses’ performance.

[Completed while Paul was a partner in his previous practice].