Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The stunning Carysfort dwelling was originally a simple, one-bedroom flat in Dublin, Ireland. Contemporary architecture studio ODOS (Office of David O’Shea) designed a new addition to the home, which was completed in 2009.

The Carysfort expansion started with space, available space that is, which dictated where the structure could be extended. Nestled within an intimate block of traditional residences, the Carysfort expansion was not without its challenges. The small-scale nature of the existing building prevented an overlarge or out-of-place design. Tasked with this design in light of the existing conditions, ODOS looked outward, in to the courtyard garden, and conceived of a simple form that prioritises context and connectivity.

The new wing of the Carysfort residence is a linear form that stretches out to the courtyard, connecting the remaining outdoor space with the existing dwelling on the ground floor. The new wing is a simple form: a cube that rises to meet the roofline of the main house beyond. At the rear, the form features a wall of glazing; a massive window which opens the entire home to the backyard garden. A window at the top of the new structure, nestled in the space adjacent to the sloped roof of the original home, floods the interior with natural light from above. Comprised of cast concrete, the expansion adds significant space to the home without feeling out of place with the original structure or neighbouring flats. There is such an elegance in the simplicity of this ODOS design. Of course, this comes as no surprise to fans of minimalist architecture, as we know that some of the greatest design moves are born from a place of simplicity.

Neutral colours, black, white, and grey, define the interior of Carysfort. The addition, which holds the living room on the ground floor and a small study above, features stained concrete floors and clean white walls. A fireplace in a simple, rectilinear design is prominently featured on a wall in the living area. The kitchen sits beyond the expansion and has been renovated in keeping with the new design. White cabinetry and stainless steel countertops lend a sleek, contemporary air to the room. Outside, the cozy garden promotes a low maintenance assortment of light-coloured rock and a small planting.

Carysfort truly checks all the boxes of great design. It meets the needs of its owner, adds a contemporary layer of design, and does not feel out of context in its locale. Overall, ODOS has provided a minimalist design that is as thoughtful as it is beautiful.

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