The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Am I the only one who can’t stand these (laminate veneer/ wallpaper?) wood effect walls? Keep seeing them in houses and can’t for the life of me understand the attraction.
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Please don’t tell me this is a thing people do in the real world… It looks like it’s come straight out of the mind of Deirdre Barlow. :sick:


Where is the TV :smiley:


For your information they were blocked in order to avoid a window tax.

The window tax was a property tax based on the number of windows in a house. It was a significant social, cultural, and architectural force in England, France, Ireland and Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries. To avoid the tax some houses from the period can be seen to have bricked-up window-spaces (ready to be glazed or reglazed at a later date). In England and Wales it was introduced in 1696 and was repealed in 1851, 156 years after first being introduced. France (established 1798, repealed 1926) and Scotland both had window taxes for similar reasons.


The features on the curved colonnade of BoI College Green aren’t windows blocked up to avoid window tax, they’re blank niches. They were a design choice; they could be used to house statuary or to give the impression that once there was statuary to be found there. It’s a common motif in classical and neo-classical architecture, as seen on the Powerscourt Townhouse.


This looks like good value … n-1326765/


What do pinsters make of 2500 infill sq ft for €1.25m in D6?


Not a fan of that exterior finish… what is that dark material? Painted render? Look at a similar shaped mews on a lane in D4: … se-dublin/

Much more interesting and attractive exterior, although all that glass doesn’t come cheap and it may not be possible in some mews locations due to overlooking issues. That might well be the case here, given the apparent lack of windows.


^ Not sure that’s a valid alternative comparing Niall McLaughlin Architects to an RTE celebrity architect from “Home of the Year”? Wouldn’t like to see what a Niall McLaughlin designed and finished house would cost.

The pictures of the house on myhome are still only renderings obviously but yeah there are far better designed and finished houses slotted in to far more awquard urban spaces around if that is what you are after (imho).


Not saying it’s a like-for-like comparison - my point is just that a rendered finish is incredibly boring (and that colour is terrible IMO), which I think is fair enough to say based on those renderings because they are indicative of the final exterior finish, even if the interior is very changeable. Without having to be a multi-award winning architect, you could still propose cladding it in a gorgeous green copper, or corten steel panels, or glass panels, an interesting brick, a stone finish, a mix of any of these, or anything really other than a dull black rendered finish.


The McLaughlin one is definitely nicer, but I’ve got to say I’m a fan of the random mishmash of buildings found on mews lanes. It seems to be almost the only context in Dublin where any design creativity is permitted. I kind of like that Rathgar one.


Sure. I hear you. Having a finish like that and blurbing about “the unique opportunity to own a future classic” is a bit of a funny one alright.

Just thought the alternative you posted was in a completely different league with the OP. Niall McLoughlin gets up to this sort of thing (below) and the other one goes around the country judging peoples interiors.


That’s more than a bit unfair. Not only is Niall McLoughlin (and his architecture practice) about twenty years older than Declan O’Donnell’s, but he is blessed with significantly larger project budgets. I remember that McLoughlin house being built at the height of the boom and if I’m right, it was meant to double as an art gallery. No expense was spared. (Reminds me of how an Irish property developer offered Peter Zumthor an unlimited budget to design his home. Zumthor - being typically Zumthor - wasn’t interested.)

Then again, I’m pretty biased here. I’m very happy to support anyone who is helping to raise the profile of good design in this country, whether that is in architecture, product design, gardening or love-making (I’m looking at you, voiceover person from First Dates Ireland!). We accept so much architecture that is utterly bland and non-descript, that it is refreshing to see something that at least aims high. Only last night, councillors in Fingal voted against a development plan proposal to provide safe walking and cycling routes to new schools at the same time the schools are being planned. Good design be damned!


How did they get planning permission? Here in west the planners seem to love making all houses look the same and slap down anything “out of the ordinary”


I think that they have done a decent job on that Rathgar house with obviously only shipping containers as components to work with to create that structure. :slight_smile:


Sure. I agree with you re the comparison and that’s why I pointed it out in case it was misconceived that the Niall McLoughlin house was a valid substitute on a similar budget. Nothing against the chaps work and clearly his practice is at a far earlier stage of development and good for him that he chooses to develop a profile for it / design via RTE.

Re raising the profile: I am not sure whether he is part of the New Horizon architecture group or not but these would be more the practices that I would take a keener interest in but they clearly won’t receive the same exposure as being on RTE. But yeah it is great that it does raise the profile of good design (and the more affordable the better). Saying that though I am sure the real home of the year is a complete mess with doors and furniture wrecked and kids everywhere and not judged on how many eames chairs you have. Just find the program a bit cheesy. Sorry! :slight_smile:

Would love to see a Zumthor designed abode somewhere deep and very isolated in rural Ireland. I have the perfect site unfortunately not the funds :slight_smile:

New Horizon stuff and raising the profile of Irish Design / Architecture.

#397 … n-1684872/
Sweet jebus - the kitchen/sitting room is painted neon yellow


Perhaps, they are from La Boca, Buenos Aires:


my eyes! the goggles… and so forth.


Wow, it’s like an episode of Only Fools and Horses.