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54 George's Street Lower
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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

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Filtering by Tag: Dublin 6

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