Annesley Gardens

Ranelagh, Dublin

Annesley Gardens in Ranelagh sits in a former light industrial site surrounded on all sides by protected 19th Century period housing. The terraced street nestles into the surrounding urban grain and successfully tackles contextual sensitivities such as overlooking and visual impact through careful design and site planning.

In contrast to housing norms in London, the recommended separation distance between buildings in Dublin is typically 20 metres, a challenge on this particularly tight site. This was achieved through acute configurations of first-floor terraces and cut-backs. The scheme accommodates two key house types, each responsive to the peculiarities of the site with individual variances.

A regular rhythm is articulated across the terrace with a language of projecting bay windows, recessed entrance thresholds and individual ‘light chimneys’ all serving to identify individual homes within the streetscape.  This project also features careful brickwork detailing throughout, with eye-catching sawtooth detailing to the façade and perforated brickwork to the rear terraces.

Overall, the attention to detail in the brickwork has provided a contemporary reference point to the surrounding Victorian vernacular and integrates the project within its sensitive context.

The homes, ranging in size from 145m2 to185m2, feature a double-height dining area with a naturally lit curved staircase rising through the centre of the house. Two brick colours (red and buff) reflect the front and rear elevations of the surrounding period homes with Alu Clad Carlson windows selected to match the brick colour. The project achieves a relatively high-density at 41.5 dph delivering on the government’s aspiration to build 40 per cent of new homes within the built-up footprint of existing settlements with existing services and transport links. Annesley Gardens also meets the latest sustainability regulations for thermal efficiency by achieving a BER of A2, as a result of using the latest heat pump technology and high levels of insulation.

Team: Áit Urbanism and Landscape (Landscape architect) / CORA (C&E Engineer) / Dynamic Design Consultants (M&E consultant) / MGM Partnership (Quantity surveyor / Project Management) Doyle Kent Planning (Planning supervisor) Sunlight and daylighting consultant (Integrated Environmental Solutions

Jonny McKenna, Director at Metropolitan Workshop’s Dublin studio:

“Annesley Gardens demonstrates how carefully modelled schemes can bring forward characterful places on backland urban sites. Increasing densities close to existing services and transport links delivers on the government’s aspiration to build 40% of new homes within the built-up footprint of existing settlements”.