House on Mount Anville / Aughey O’Flaherty Architects

House on Mount Anville By Aughey O'Flaherty Architects-01-Marie-Louise Halpenny
 House on Mount Anville  

The Dublin-based practice Aughey O’Flaherty Architects has replaced a 1970s bungalow with an ‘energy efficient’ home in Mount Anville on the outskirts of the Irish capital. Its beautiful combination of materials, use of sunlight, and for integrating ecological elements so seamlessly into such a contemporary design.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny

Measuring 250 square metres, this new house replaced a Twenties bungalow and was a response to a brief for an energy-efficient home that made the most of its site. It’s a re-imagining of the Georgian vernacular that populates Dublin, with varying ceiling heights according to the importance of the room and a recessed entrance porch that’s a twist on the Georgian entrance. The house is orientated east west and is kept tight to the north boundary to open up the house to the sun.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny 

The client wished to rebuild his house in an affluent suburb of Dublin in a vaguely historical style. The architects listened to the client’s requirements and came up with a modernist house that also has a feeling of great familiarity and ordered formality. They have made best use of the sun and views, and created three distinct external spaces. They have also detailed the interior beautifully and made an extremely energy-efficient house, with a series of separate rooms each with a different aspect.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny 


  • The living spaces open directly onto a sunny courtyard garden to the south of the site, while large openings maximise solar gain. The team went for traditional materials – brick, timber and concrete – but opted to build using the latest pre-fabrication construction technologies. The super-insulated, airtight timber framed structure was precision-made off-site, then wrapped in brickwork and timber.
  • All the rooms – a kitchen dinner, two reception rooms and four bedrooms – are accessed from a double height circulation space at the centre of the house, which utilises the stack effect to naturally ventilate the building.
  • To maximise solar gain the south facade, which has full-height triple-glazed windows and sliding screens, has been opened up to the sun, with the house constructed tight to the site’s north boundary.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny

  • Built with a super-insulated prefabricated timber structure, the two-storey house is clad in brick and timber and sits on a polished concrete plinth.
  • The bold form and layout of this brick house have considered the best principles of sustainable design and performed a building with an ‘A’ energy rating.
  • The brick envelope is carefully detailed and well constructed employing an interesting brick banding detail at first floor and roof level.
  • The courtyard, (outside room) belongs to the overall brick form and connects effectively with the interior spaces.
  • The house has a timeless quality. It is as reminiscent of Arts and Crafts as it is of mid 20th century modernism. It is slightly outside of current fashion, and all the better for it.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny

Aughey O’Flaherty Architects

A low energy A-rated tailor made home:

Key to this design was the client’s requirement for his new house to be energy efficient, cheap to run and to make the best of his site. The form, layout and detail of the house result from these requirements and were guided by best principles of sustainable design. The house is orientated east west and is kept tight to the north boundary to open up the south facade of the house to the sun.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny

The south façade has then been composed using full-height triple-glazed windows and sliding screens to maximize the solar gain. The east, west and north façades are exceptionally thermally efficient. The house is a combination of the best of both new and traditional construction technologies. The super-insulated, airtight timber framed structure has been precision-made off site. This hi-performance structure has then been wrapped in beautifully crafted traditional brickwork and timber.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny

  • The design process began in April 2009, planning permission was granted in Dec 2009, tender documentation was issued in June 2010 and the construction started on site in October 2010. The house was completed in September 2011 after an 11 month construction period.

© Marie-Louise Halpenny© Marie-Louise Halpenny

 Project Data  

Project name: House on Mount Anville
Location: Mt Anville Rd, Dublin 14, Ireland
Coordinates: 53.297097,-6.219713

  • Type By Characteristic: Green & Sustainable House, Contemporary House
  • Type By Site: Countryside / Suburb House
  • Type By Size: Medium House – (201 sqm – 450 sqm)
  • Type By Structural: Brick House

Project Area: 250 sqm
Project Year: 2009 – 2011
Construction Year: 2011
Status: Built
Completion Year: September 2011


  • 2013 – Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards – RIBA European Awards – RIBA National European Award – Winner
  • 2013 – The Royal Institute of The Architects of Irland (RIAI) Awards – RIAI Irish Architecture Awards – RIAI Public Choice Award – Shortlisted
  • 2012 – Brick Awards (The Brick Development Association) – Best International Project
  • 2012 – Grand Designs Awards – Highly Commended
 The people  

Client / Owner / Developer: Kevin O’flynn
Architects: Aughey O’Flaherty Architects – 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Principal: Max O’Flaherty
Project Architect: Joseph Kevin Mac Mahon
Specialist Brickwork Contractor: Smithcon Building Contractors
Brick: Ibstock Brick Ltd – Birtley Olde English Buff
Text Description: © Courtesy of Aughey O’Flaherty Architects
Images: © Aughey O’Flaherty Architects, Marie-Louise Halpenny

 Location Map  

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