Balkill Road - housing development


The goals with these two houses were to (a) make them appear to be modest in size and almost identical in appearance form roadside, (b) conceal their larger size and surprising differences to rear, (c) ensure that no other neighbour could claim to be overlooked in any way, and (d) chose an architectural language that harmonised with the surrounding Edwardian villas.

Planning demanded that both houses have their `rear´ garden on the north side, away from Balkhill Road. The natural tendency for the smaller house was to design (as private) a garden (as possible) facing south. The larger house has a long narrow garden stretching north towards a superb view of Ireland’s Eye. The north elevation of the livingroom wing reflects this. This house also has east and west facing gardens.

Sliding timber panels, naturally coloured `Eternit’ cement cladding boards and white render, dormer windows and simple rectangular volumes make up the visual language of the scheme.

In the larger house, the hallway stretches from sunroom facing south to the split level of the open plan dining and livingroom. The stairs spilling into the hallway lit from above provides a moment of drama. The north end of the livingroom rotates around the fireplace to align itself with the long narrow garden and Ireland’s Eye beyond.

Three of the four bedrooms are at dormer level, all doubles having ensuites. The bedroom facing south gets a large balcony. As many rooms as possible in the houses get light from two sides enlivening the rooms.

Clean lines, simple geometries and material changes update the dormer bungalow typology.