- “Our client was keen that the house was future-proofed and would meet the latest standards with regard to environmental standards.”
- “The role of the client is vital in any architectural project.”
- “The original house has been completely renewed and the original detailing has been reinstated.”
McCann Moore Architects are a practice based in Dublin for almost 10 years, their sole focus over the years has been residential design. This practice specialises in creating contemporary, practical and elegant homes that their clients love to live in.
They take the time at the outset of every project to truly understand their clients’ needs and agree on a vision of how to turn your project into the perfect home for you. This practice loves to be the heart of the whole process from initial concept right through to the design and overall completion of your home.
Here, Seán McCann discusses an extensive extension and renovation project…
My client bought the existing property at the end of 2018. The property was in poor condition but retained many of the original period features. They were also attracted to the fantastic location and superb private garden which was full of plants and fruit trees etc. Over the years the property had ad hoc work done to it. Much of this was very poor and there were clear signs of damp and poor workmanship. Our brief from our client was to return the original house to its former glory whilst adding a significant two storey extension to accommodate their growing family, said Seán
“Our client was keen that the house was future-proofed and would meet the latest standards with regard to environmental standards. Probably the greatest challenge we faced was to bring the original property up to current building regulation standards, in relation to thermal performance.
With the period detailing on the outside of the property we decided to dry line the internal walls. We had to carefully remove much of the detailing on the internal walls such as cornicing, skirtings, picture rails and window panels.
These were reused where possible or used as templates for any new replacement work.
“With regard to the extension of the property, our client was keen to incorporate a modern design which contrasted with the period architecture of the original house.
The new extension was primarily to accommodate a new open plan family space which would include the kitchen, sitting room and dining area. This space would open directly into the new landscaped back garden.”
As to whether or not the project ran smoothly?
“Once the scheme design had been established we moved through the planning stage quite quickly. In general the project did run quite smoothly. However, during the build, we did uncover problems in relation to rising damp and poor foundations which would not be unusual in a property of this age. As we had a full design team in place these matters were resolved quickly and did not unduly delay the build.
“Overall we are delighted with how the scheme turned out. The original house has been completely renewed and the original detailing has been reinstated. The refurbished hallway and new staircase with views down through the open plan family area and on to the garden is breath-taking,’’ he added.
“The role of the client is vital in any architectural project. Without a client that is prepared to back their architect’s design the proposal would never leave the ‘drawing board.’ In this project we were very lucky to have a client that believed in our vision for this house, and they must take much of the credit for the final scheme.”
When it comes to advice he would offer anyone who may be about to embark on a similar style project?
“My advice to anyone taking on a similar project is to find an architect who specialises in residential work and has the experience and design flair to deliver your vision and then surround yourself with a full design team that shares this vision.
Make sure to take their advice on board throughout the design and build phases of the project. Working on old buildings is not straightforward and invariably extras will occur.
Therefore you must allow a good contingency in your budget to allow for these ‘unforeseens,’ you will inevitably encounter along the way. Finally make sure you take your time to make the right decisions, lean on your architect and don’t and don’t rush into any design decisions without consulting them – even the smallest decision can have a knock on effect and your architect often is the only one who sees the “big picture”.
The process from scheme design through to construction drawings and contracts etc can seem long and daunting but it is always worthwhile in the long run,’’ finished Seán McCann.