DMVF – NOMINATED for the International Design & Architecture Awards

DMVF Architects are delighted to have been nominated for the 2020 design et al awards.

Due to the pandemic, these awards have been rescheduled to take place in April 2021.

Voting opens from 5th of February for 6 weeks and a ceremony will be held in London in June 2021.

You will find us in Section 13 and can cast your vote HERE

Our Crafted Courtyard project has been selected from our portfolio for this award. 

design et al

The Crafted Courtyard House is a DMVF, project completed in 2019 – Director and Architect Colm Doyle lead the team on this project, assisted by Senior Architect Amanda Bate. We interviewed Amanda and explored her thinking behind some of the design elements on this fantastic property.

The brief:

The Crafted Courtyard House is a DMVF Dublin project that was completed in 2019. The clients had purchased a striking 340 sqm Arts & Crafts house built by the eminent G & T Cramptons which they wished to remodel to create a new family home. It was to include an open plan space for their young family, but one that would not feel stark and impersonal. The brief was to include a master suite comprising master bedroom, walk-in-wardrobe and en-suite, 4 additional bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a formal living room, a music room, a study, a bootroom, a utility, a pantry, a guest WC and an open plan living space to include the kitchen, dining area and family room. As the original house is a Protected Structure, we decided to keep most of the original rooms and proportions intact. We employed best conservation practices to restore many historic features including brickwork, timberwork, fireplace, a three-storey central staircase, windows and stained glass.

What is the key aspect of this project or your Favourite aspect about it.

A key aspect of the project is the courtyard as it allows light to reach the old part of the house whilst separating the new extension from it. This was particularly important as there are a set of original French doors to the rear elevation of the house that required space to be enjoyed. The angles of the roof extension are carefully designed to allow sunlight to reach the courtyard throughout the day. Lastly the courtyard sets up a poetic visual inter-play between the old and new parts of the design enhancing the experience of the user as they enjoy the house.

Why does the design work so well?

The objective was to re-interpret the sentiment of the Arts & Crafts style of the original house in the new modern extension. This ensures that the extension doesn’t feel stark or separate, but rather that it fits in naturally with the original house. The spaces created however are modern and dynamic in order to suit the young family who live there.

How do you feel the design integrates into the wider environment?

The original house is one of a set of houses on the same street built in the same style. As the design of the extension is in-keeping with this house, in terms of hue, craft, materials etc. it is also in-keeping with the rest of the street. In a world where the ‘new’ can feel impersonal and separate, the design of the extension is grounded in the history and meaning of the house, providing an emotional connection for the home owners. Lastly, the design contributes positively to climate change through improving the fabric of the original house and its thermal efficiency and by building the extension to the highest environmental standards.

What specialist or artisan skills were involved in the making of the project? (if any)

In the old part of the house, specialists were appointed for re-pointing brickwork, restoration of lime ceilings, restoration and replication of cornicing, restoration of fireplaces, windows, timber floors and the original staircase. In the new extension, specialist were appointed to create the ornamented brickwork, copper roofing and bespoke joinery.

Final thoughts or any other information

The Crafted Courtyard house is an example of a project where we have tried to ‘craft’ a home, rather than simply build it, by taking into account the historical context, the environmental context, the needs of the family and the many meanings the original house and the new home have for them. We feel this approach to Architecture could be universal and we’d like to share it.

Amanda Bate, Senior Architect with DMVF Architects


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  • Written by:: Amanda Bate