WINNER Civic Trust Award 2023, Building & Architect of the Year, RIAI Award 2022 (Living Catergory)

Annesley Gardens

Ranelagh, Dublin

Metropolitan Workshop’s recently completed housing project at Annesley Gardens, in the 19th Century suburb of Ranelagh, has transformed a highly constrained backlands site. Sitting amongst no fewer than 58 protected structures this new street delivers 20 modern family homes. The contemporary architecture of the new street successfully integrates into the surrounding urban grain while tackling contextual sensitivities such as overlooking and visual impact through careful design and site planning.   

The scheme accommodates two basic house types, each with individual variances responding to the site constraints. For example, appropriate separation distances between the new houses and their neighbours were achieved through acute configurations of first floor terraces and cut-backs. This strategy also allowed us to provide a variety of rear garden conditions and move away from the ubiquitous 22 meter back-to-back requirements more often associated with this type of housing.  

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. A shared surface street ensures quality of life takes precedence over vehicular movement.  

The homes, ranging in size from 145m2 to 185m2, 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 percent 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

Status: Completed

"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"

Jonny McKenna, Director at Metropolitan Workshop’s Dublin studio