The client wanted to remodel an existing dark house to create a harmonious space tailored to their needs on a budget and in a tight timeframe. They especially wanted it to be light-filled, eco-friendly, and welcoming.


Our open dialogue with the client was critical to the exceptional beauty of the end product. The client understood how the budget was going to be used at every step of the process while our challenging of the brief averted possible wrong turns.


Our design concentrated on the rear ground and first floors of the house. A full-width sliding door dissolves the boundary between kitchen and garden. The rear of the house connects in an uninterrupted volume to the front of the house on the ground floor. Daylight reaches this space through a double-height lightwell, a device that creates interest at first floor level with a balconied studio suspended over the kitchen.


Dark timber elements contrast with the ceiling and warm south light in unexpectedly delightful ways. The play of dark and light fascinates, opening up the comparatively small space and making it feel generous and welcoming.


The clients love the light and sense of surprise friends have when they first visit. “They stop in their tracks, open-mouthed! Thank you so much for your time, patience and sensitivity.

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Project credits


  • Associate: Eoin O'Leary
  • Architect: Andrea Ruffilli


  • Structural Morph Structures
  • Building Control Head Projects
  • Party Wall Alexander Elliott


  • Structural: Fluid Structures
  • Building Control: Head Projects
  • Party Wall: Alexander Elliott Ltd

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