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Belfort House Apartments

Deaton Lysaght Architects were appointed to develop an existing apartment block and extend it, with very good results. The scheme is, in essence, a four-storey design, layered on a three-storey design, layered on the two-storey existing building. The original building is represented by its brown brick walls, the three-storey design by white rendered walls and the fourth-storey penthouse (added in at the client’s request, after construction had started) by the copper cladding.

There is interplay between these materials to add to the composition. A substantial set-back was introduced to minimise the presence of the fourth storey on the residential road, thereby leaving generous roof terraces, which adds to the amenity of the building. The client’s reaction to the new building: “When beholding Belfort House Apartments’ layered brown brick, white render and copper clad form it is difficult to imagine the original humble 1980s apartment building from which it grew. It was initially thought it would be more practical to demolish the building and build a new one but the Architect advised to retain and extend it in the interests of sustainability and the result is a truly unique apartment scheme. Designing out and up from the original building created a great variety of apartments with 6 different types within the 8 units. This no doubt made things more complicated for the Architect but is desirable for the residents. The residents are especially fond of the large bright living spaces on the garden side of the development whose south-facing aspect and dramatic views of the Dublin mountains are maximised by the array of balconies and roof terraces. It is a fitting testament to the scheme that in the latter stages of construction, site personnel were regularly approached by interested passers-by, drawn by the buildings distinctive copper penthouse, inquiring as to when the apartments would be on sale. This development takes its rightful place as a high quality and distinctive apartment building in the flourishing town centre of Dundrum.” The development was completed in 2005.