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Renovation station: Reviving a 1950s terracotta-tiled beauty

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

HOW DO YOU really preserve the character of a 1950s home while creating a more modern living space?

Architects GKMP created one of the most stunning – and welcoming – rear extensions we’ve seen in a traditional semi-detached by going back to the basic materials of the house, and using them to build something entirely fresh.

The ‘Terra-Cotta’ House in a Glenageary estate in Dublin makes wonderful use of, unsurprisingly, the humble terracotta tile to mirror the existing features using the material at the front of the house:

Alice Clancy Alice Clancy

Architect Michael Pike tells that the tiles were chosen, both to reference the front of the house, but also because of their warm colour.

“The same tiles are used internally on the kitchen floor and externally on the walls and terrace, in order to make a visual connection between the inside and outside,” he says.

Alice Clancy Alice Clancy


Alice Clancy Alice Clancy

Warm wood and clean white storage units and worktops anchor the kitchen at the centre of the extension.

Alice Clancy Alice Clancy

Alice Clancy Alice Clancy

The ground-floor rear wall was removed to open up the house to the south-facing garden. The walls that lead to the garden now make the build interesting to look at from the outside space – they are cranked and faceted to enclose a new dining area, create shelters for new external terraces, but also create niches for benches and seated areas within the thickness of the new walls.

The roof of the extension is also covered in sedum perennial plants to really integrate the look into the outdoor space (especially when viewed from the upper floor of the original house).

Alice Clancy Alice Clancy

  • You can other projects by the Dublin-based GKMP Architects here.
  • Architectural photographaper Alice Clancy has more of her work on view here.

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