Mountjoy Square

This house on Mountjoy Square was built towards the end of the 18th century, and used as tenements in the 20th. The scheme proposed (along with two mews houses planned amidst the ruins of the original ones) an apartment per floor - five in total.

There was minimal external alteration, a staircase carved out of the area to bring additional light to the basement and a garden inserted in the room over the stairs on the top level, but internally, the original architecture was retained without absolute adherence to its function and circulation. Certain doors were blocked, leaving others open for use. Within that envelope, the new kitchens, bathrooms and risers - covered in mirror, in slightly varying hues of clear and bronze - formed their own abstract order across the plan, generating a three-way exchange between each other, the existing space and its scoured and damaged surfaces. The design was not uniform; idiosyncrasies were accepted, not ironed out. Where the plan changed at second and third floor levels, the secondary staircase was to be carefully dismantled, moved forward and reinstalled to allow passage behind it, leaving the line of the original stringer on the wall.

The scheme aimed to be systematic about the requirements of fire and access, with separation between levels and an extract system in the staircase hall. However, the requirements to seal behind lath and plaster walls and ceilings proved impossibly expensive and the scheme was abandoned, underlining the need for lighter solutions to common problems.

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