Part of the RIAI Network

1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012

Brooke Heussaff Residence - Library

  • Architect:
    NJBA Architects and Urban Designers
  • Award Type:
    Regional Award 2005
  • Location: Dublin
Brooke Heussaff Residence - Library


Dublin Under €300,000

Architect’s Comment
Gifted by patient clients and concerned craftsmen we managed to realise a small work that yields to the changing nature of work, repose and reverie. While small it draws upon the sun, orientation and place to manipulate time and space for the enjoyment of the occupants.

The new structure sits in the elbow of the building defined by the original Victorian house and the extension of more recent vintage. The building is framed in timber, insulated with sheep’s wool, floored in recycled pitch pine, windowed in cedar, clad in pre-patinated copper and fitted out in white oak. In addition to emphasising the use of "natural" materials this strategy allows for the removal and recycling of the building at any stage in the future.

The artificial lighting strategy provided for the 3 distinct zones of activity, library, desk and seat.  Each of these areas can be lit separately or in combination. The windows are determined by their relative relationship to various external influences, views and relationships.

Clients’ Comment
With 150 sq m of existing living space, we thought it shouldn’t be difficult to find or make a small well-lit and comfortable office in our Victorian house. But the front room was already in use as an office; the double apex roof prevented building into the attic; and we didn’t want to break up the lovely proportions of the main bedrooms or living room, or to lose the use of the patio or small rear garden.

After much patient discussion, our architect came up with a design, which was both unexpected and inventive, to use, a small space extending from the living room onto the patio. He turned the irregular shape of the space to advantage, so that the areas of the desk and window seat, both with a low ceiling, feel cosy and private, and the central area of the room, with a high ceiling, feels spacious and airy. We could hardly believe it when we found that the light levels in the living room had actually increased rather than reduced, because of the wonderful light box he designed for this central area. The new room is entirely contemporary and yet flows seamlessly from our traditional Victorian living room, both inside and from the outside. We’re also delighted with the many elegant details of the design, for example the wood frames holding the light fittings and the copper facing on the exterior walls.

The dead space between house and return, transformed with a quirky, ecologically sound, extension.  Providing a stimulating and intriguing light filled study / library space