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The hottest things in Irish architecture at the moment are opening the doors of their own home for this year’s Open House Dublin. O’Donnell and Tuomey earlier this year received the 2015 Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects, 40 years after it was awarded to the last Irish recipient, Michael Scott.
This residence, by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, is the architects’ own home, involving the conversion of a three-storey late Georgian terraced house. A number of changes have been made. When first purchased, the building was empty of detail, having been divided into flats. It is an otherwise normal six-roomed terraced house with just one special aspect: the chimney stacks are freestanding from the party walls.
In a slow process of subtraction and addition, beginning decisively with the removal of one of the middle floors, and more gradually adapting the original structure to suit an evolving family life, the centre of the house has been opened up and the living rooms connected out to the back garden.
The couple set up O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects in 1988 having previously worked together in London for Stirling Wilford Associates and Colquhoun & Miller, after graduating from the UCD school of architecture. In the early 1990s, O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects were part of the Group 91 consortium of architects who drew up the masterplan for Temple Bar in Dublin. Their first major project was the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar. Other recognisable projects include the Glucksman Gallery at UCC (2005) and Belfast’s Lyric Theatre (2011).
Images: Alice Clancy