Located on the outskirts of South Belfast, the original dwelling was set in a garden with established boundaries.
It was surrounded by mature tree cover that provided privacy and scale.
In addition, it had been specifically designed to meet the requirements of the family who commissioned it.
But the house had been rented for several years, and the dwelling and gardens had become tired and neglected.
Our client family's requirements were much different from the programmatic of the dwelling they purchased.
Much more connection to the garden from the everyday living spaces was desired, and the requirement for an outdoor living and entertainment space for both children and adults.
Natural light was also a critical element that needed to be incorporated.
The external appearance of the dwelling was very symmetrical, but internally that symmetry was lost within the dramatic hallway.
The proposal was to break through existing walls and chimneys to extend the symmetry of the dwelling through the existing building.
This would lead to a heavily glazed kitchen/living/dining space fully integrated with the garden.
The large roof lights also bring natural light to the space.
This provides the other utility and pantry spaces within the existing footprint, allowing the KLD to be filled with light and providing that sought-after connection to the garden.
An existing triple garage was partially converted into a gym. In addition, an entertaining kitchen area is now better served by an ample covered external space.
The kitchen now enjoys a large table, sunken seating, fireplace, TV, hot tub, and BBQ area, enclosed in raised planters, opening into the garden and connecting with the dwelling.
The newly created social space is designed to be used all year round, providing shelter from the elements.
Reconfiguring the existing first-floor layout to our client's requirements resulted in only a modest extension being required to the master bedroom in the form of a glazed box also overlooking the garden.
Originally the dwelling was finished in exposed brickwork with reconstituted sandstone windows sills.
However, this was rendered over, and plasterwork detail was added to provide relief and texture to the exterior.
The initial internal hallway that served as the access for the first floor was dramatic.
Still, the fixtures and finishes were underwhelming and did not suit the scale of the space.
All door heights were raised, while the heights of skirting, architraves, balustrading and depths of cornicing were all increased.
The windows were replaced with hardwood framed windows and wall panelling and window boxes incorporated.