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Category Winner


Castleknock House


ODKM Architects

Declan O'Donnell



Residential Interiors

Structures & Spaces

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

A new house, on a tapering site set amidst existing mature landscape – the challenge from the outset was to create a light filled family home set amongst various pinch points in both plan and section. We believe that constraints provide opportunity for creative thought and process through construction. The mature boundary was a key feature from the beginning, and one brought into the heart of the scheme through elongated expansive glazing to the East, captured in 2 interlocking double height spaces. For a dense sub-urban setting, our intent was to solely allow views externally of the land, the tree-tops and the sky…which was achieved. Despite its location as part of a busy cul-de-sac, form inside, the owner feels at one with nature. The idea of ‘home’ was central to this idea. Secluded. Peacuful. Safe. Calm.

How the brief was fulfilled

Set at the end of a well established residential cul-de-sac, this new house is tucked away from view, and is seen as an example of contextual modernism. The material palette of the surrounding houses is replicated (brick, slate, render, timber) in darkened form, to create a silhouette effect of a house that may or may not be original to the streetscape. Behind this facade is a light filled contemporary home full of surprises. The brick continues to the interior, now painted a chalky off-white, and features 2 internal double height voids that form the feature staircase, and main kitchen area. A sunken seating area sits centrally in the ground floor plan. Towards the garden, the dining area cantilevers over the ground plane to appear as floating when viewed from the rear. Balancing this play in ground plane, the kitchen sits in a double height space that reaches up to first floor ceiling level, capturing a large East facing window to flood the centre of the plan in natural light. A gentle curve in ceiling plane, becomes wall plane and offers soft, diffuse light across teh entirety of the floor plan at the. A central staircase also features large reaching elongated windows to bring the existing mature landscape directly into the interior of the house. Designed from the inside out, the result is a new secluded family home that is enhanced by it’s skewed boundaries, not restricted by them.


This is a great project. The materials, textures and colors of the interiors prevent this modern home from feeling cold and sterile



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