Z Square House

This small one and two storey house is located on a square (13m x 13m) site in the rere garden of a large Edwardian house in South Dublin.

Our design arranges the accommodation around external garden courts inset within a regular enclosure. From the outset concrete was our material of choice, both as a structural system and an expressive aesthetic. The internal space is free flowing under an uninterrupted in-situ concrete soffit, which spans between perimeter blockwork walls and asymmetrically supports the first floor – allowing uninterrupted views and access to the gardens. Deep upstand support beams are used to form rooflight openings, which bring light to the ground floor.

Different kinds of spaces are located in the external gardens, each visible from one another and drawn into the house by a series of opening screens. We viewed the roof as another landscape - planted, with upstanding rooflights and an upper storey containing a bedroom and bathroom. External walls are formed in coursed granite and cedar cladding. There is a basement room in one corner, which is lit on two sides by external courtyards.

Sustainability was an essential part of the client requirement. The concrete slab acts as a thermal store, charged by light from the glazed screens and rooflights, and insulated by the green roof above. The living space has glazing to the east, south and west, which provides shifting light and shadow throughout the day.

    • Awards: 
      • 2013 Concrete Society Award - Shortlisted
      • 2011 AAI Awards 26 - Special Mention

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