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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Renovation station: A 1930s semi-d finally sees the light

Each week, we focus on a makeover of an Irish home into a wonderful living space.

THE 1930s WAS a growth period of residential building in Dublin city’s closest suburbs – it was this decade that saw the creation of the garden estates of Marino in Dublin 3, and expansion into already-established areas like Glasnevin in Dublin 9.

This week’s featured renovation is of a 1930s semi-detached home in Glasnevin, which was extended and reconfigured to make it a more light-filled, useful space.

Architect Stefan Hoeckenreiner, who designed the refurb, explains some of the work that transformed the property:


The front garden was excavated and small retaining walls put in place to make room for more parking space, while keeping some of the higher garden level. The natural slates on the roof were salvaged and used across the original building and the extension.

Source: Ambient Architecture


Two small rooms and a bathroom in the original floor plan gave way to create a generous hall and craftsmen-carved curved walnut staircase. Spot the drop in level at the rear part of the hall to lead into the lower-level extension and back garden.

Source: Ambient Architecture

Rear extension

The full-height glazing screen gives an uninterrupted view into the garden. While almost open-plan, the living area is tucked up on an elevated area and the kitchen-dining space is to the right.

In this instance, the homeowner bought in the kitchen units themselves, but Hoeckenreiner says that he does source and design hi-spec kitchens at affordable prices.

Source: Ambient Architecture

Source: Ambient Architecture


Source: Ambient Architecture


Source: Ambient Architecture

From the garden

To mitigate the height impact on the old building and neighbouring homes, the ground and first-floor rear extension was lowered in relation to the front rooms.

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Source: Ambient Architecture

Upper Hall

This view shows that the opening up of the downstairs space pays further dividends for light flooding from the upper level rooflight down into the entrance hall.

Source: Ambient Architecture


The master bathroom uses natural stone tiles and mosaic, a custom-made pedestal for the sink basin. A handy tip – the large mirror raises all the way to the edge of the overhead rooflight reflecting the light back into the room.

Source: Ambient Architecture

The downstairs shower room is in the rear of the original house – because this part of the house had its level lowered, it gave increased ceiling height in here, leading to a lovely airy space. It has natural stone tiles, a flush floor shower and underfloor heating.

Source: Ambient Architecture

See more of Ambient Architecture’s projects on their website here>

About the author:

Sally O'Regan

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