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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: Transform

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].

Redevelopment of Dún Laogharie Baths

Paul Mulhern

The DLR Dún Laoghaire Area Committee last night approved a public consultation on new plans for the redevelopment of Dún Laogharie Baths, which have been an eye sore and a terrible waste of waterfront space, since they became derelict in the mid-1990s.

The proposed scheme will—

refurbish and secure the existing Baths Pavilion and open it to the public,  remove dilapidated structures on the sea-side of the pavilion,  create a new pedestrian route on the sea side, connecting at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the People’s Park,  provide facilities for sea swimming and access to the water’s edge for other marine activities,  open a new café with an open-air terrace,  include publicly-accessible and wheelchair-accessible toilets,  allow the public to access a wonderful new amenity.

The issue of Dún Laoghaire Baths has been stagnant for many years because of difficulties with a foreshore licence that would allow the Council to carry out the necessary works. The convoluted application process started in 2012, when the Council sought permission for the works, from the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government. ‘Approval in Principle’ has now been issued by the Minister of State with responsibility for foreshore licences.

The original Baths east of the East Pier, were constructed in 1843 by John Crosthwaite and named the Royal Victoria Baths. In 1896 Kingstown Urban District Council purchased the baths site and the firm of Alexander Fraser was engaged to build the new baths on today’s site. The works were completed in June 1908 and can mostly still be seen today. The baths were improved and extended in the 1930s and were in use in various forms, including Rainbow Rapids, until they were closed in the early 1990s.

Read more about the history of Dún Laoghaire Baths on,,,

One of the great features of the site of Dún Laoghaire Baths is that it is on an elevated spot, with great views towards Dún Laoghaire Harbour, Scotsman’s Bay and Dublin Bay, Newtownsmith, Sandycove Harbour, the Forty Foot, and the James Joyce Martello Tower, and it’s great potential to connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the People’s Park.

However, the location also means that it is on a slope with a north-easterly aspect that receives limited sunshine and can feel exposed when windy or when seas are rough.

Under the scheme, the existing Baths Pavilion will be retained and refurbished for use as artist workspaces, a gallery café and for the provision of public toilet facilities. Existing dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion will be removed to permit the creation of a new route and landscaping that will connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the People’s Park, and it is proposed that the existing saltwater pools will be filled in, creating new enhanced facilities for sea swimming and greater access to the water’s edge by means of a short jetty.

The existing Baths Pavilion together with a smaller outbuilding will be retained, weathered and secured while the remaining dilapidated outbuildings to the rear and side of the Pavilion will be removed.

It is proposed to fit out the Pavilion to accommodate studio space for artists and to provide gallery and café facilities, with the original entrance on Windsor Terrace being restored and an outdoor ‘café terrace’ being created and linked to the new café. It is also proposed to create new public toilets facilities at street level, which will also be accessible for wheelchair users. Footpaths along Windsor Terrace will be upgraded and new street trees planted as part of the process.

With the removal of derelict buildings on the sea-side of the pavilion, there will be a new pedestrian route to connect the walkway at Newtownsmith with the East Pier, at a level that will create a safe and secure walk with panoramic views over Scotsman’s Bay and places to sit.

The land adjoining this walk will be re-graded to create grassed areas which will thematically link the Park at Newtownsmith to the Maritime Gardens that currently lead to the East Pier, and the small, historic gazebo situated along this route with be refurbished.

A new jetty and a changing area will be created to provide enhanced access to the water for sea swimmers and to provide a landing point for kayaks and canoes and other small marine craft. This jetty will be linked by new steps to the ‘café terrace’ at the Baths Pavilion and to the pedestrian crossing point leading to the People’s Park. It is also hoped that jet water fountains could be installed in the area next to the pedestrian routes, between the Baths Pavilion and the sea.

Images from DLRD Architect’s Report here.

Hofler Architects, Monkstown, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Positive Feedback

Paul Mulhern

Its always great to get valuable feedback from a satisfied client and to know that they would happily recommend their architect to others. Author Deirdre Purcell comments below:

Claremont Court, Glasnevin, Dublin 11.
“As an architect, Paul Mulhern took on a very tricky project for me at the above address, a Seventies terraced house on a long narrow site in a housing estate. This was a house that had been lived in wisely for a while but latterly not too well.   
My brief to him was to illuminate what had become a murky, dark, cramped and very dilapidated property by creating a space filled with light and air. I also wanted him to bring it up to modern standards of insulation, wiring and plumbing, and thereby making snug what had been damp and cold.   On such a site, the brief seemed impossible and when I led him into the property in its original condition, I expected him to be daunted, even to refuse to have anything to do with it, but his reaction was immediately to see it as a challenge.   And how brilliantly he overcame that challenge! While remaining aware of my relatively limited budget, the design he produced involved gutting the entire house and opening it up to light from the roof, via three voids. The result is the fulfilment of my own dream, the testament to which is the steady stream of neighbours arriving on various pretexts but with the obvious aim of being invited in.   Throughout the construction vicissitudes (and there were many, none of his making) he remained steadily supportive to me in what was a very difficult and long process. I cannot praise him highly enough for his tenacity, his concentration on what was best for the house and for me as a client - and not least for his calm tact when things fell apart, as they frequently did.   His professionalism and collaborative spirit are outstanding but overarching all of the above, his creativity and vision were and are superb”.