Location: Sallynoggin, Co Dublin (Ireland)
: Dún LaoghaireRathdown Council Architects Department
Year: 2016


  • HRIAI Awards-Sustainable Project (2017)

Building description

Rochestown House comprises two separate blocks built in the 1960s as well as a small terrace of single storey houses in the walled garden of Somerton House in Sallynoggin (Dublin).

The location provides a much loved and tranquil setting for elderly residents that are close to shops, bus services and open space. Because of these advantages, it was decided to run a programme of re-using and re-adapting the existing buildings. The originally cramped, cold and damp social housing block has been completely transformed thanks to a deep energy retrofit inspired by passive house principles.

In addition, a process of densification is taking place with additional units currently under construction. The local community will strengthened with the introduction of additional residents, which will help to sustain on site services. The project will also maximise independent living options within the complex for residents as they age, through variation in housing types.

The site was regenerating by omitting all existing bedsits; upgrading fabric and building performance; enhancing the sense of community throughcareful design; providing units that could adapt with the tenants needs;and providing units that would be a viable option for existing tenants.

The subject of this entry is a two-storey building of 34 units, mainly bedsits that have been remodeled. It also provides nurses stations, communal laundry facilities and a communal room. An additional floor was added to provide one bed-units suitable for the elderly. The next phase of the project will provide an additional 14 passive house dwellings to the site.

The building has undergone a deep retrofit to achieve the EnerPHit standard – the passive house certification standard for existing buildings. Despite being highly designed for energy efficiency, the architectural language of the project responds quietly to the context of the walled garden, where new elements are expressed in  simple forms and built with brick and timber to create warm comforting textures.

Donal Murphy Photography

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