My house is a normal suburban style house built by the Guinness Brewery for their workers in Dublin in the 1950s. There are 3 bedrooms upstairs. The original house had just a living room and kitchen downstairs, but about thirty years ago was expanded by the addition of a flat-roofed kitchen and bathroom extension: the original kitchen now serves as a dining room/workspace. The extension also continues on the left hand side joining the coal shed which serves as a utility room. The house and its neighbours all have very long narrow gardens – around 50m long, 5m wide. These unusually long gardens were intended by Guinness to facilitate their workers in being self-sufficient. The garden is north facing and the part closest to the house remains shaded for most of the day.
Even though I have a very long garden with potential to build further from the house, I did not want to go down that avenue. Anyone who lives in Dublin would know that the necessity of walking even 50 meters or so on a cold wet evening down the garden is not an exciting prospect. In addition, a development further down the garden would also create more complexity (and cost) in terms of the provision of services, heat, light, sewerage etc.
For all of these reasons, building close or connected to the house was an essential starting point. With this proviso, the brief to the team was to provide a design for the most cost effective way to add an extra room to the house. My vision for the room is as an extra living/sleeping or working space – my thinking on its precise use is still fluid at this time.
I am quite open to any suggestions re construction materials and would be happy to experiment with alternative options without increasing my carbon footprint excessively.