Q&A with Marvin Architect’s Challenge Winner Dave Lennon of Project Architects


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I spoke with Dave Lennon, Practice Director, of Project Architects who is responsible for one of the more unique winning homes in this year’s MyMarvin Architect’s Challenge competition. Located in Ireland, this 19th century stone school and chapel called Tynte Park Lodge became a home back in the 1970s, but the current owner wanted more space. Lennon answered his client’s challenge by creating a new two-storey addition that included a kitchen/dining area, sitting room, and disabled-accessible shower on the main floor, and a master bedroom, dressing room, and office on the second story. So, how did he justify this new extension with the original residence? Let’s find out:

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How did you maintain balance between the original stone structure and the renovation and addition?

Once we had decided on a two-storey extension to the property, the link between the two structures became critical. It had to contain the stairs and rise from single storey to first floor. The client also required high ceiling levels.We achived this link by allowing the roof line of the two-storey extension to run down to meet the framed roof of the link. The change in scale is softened, and I feel a balance is achieved between new extension and original building.

What are some of the challenges in working with a 200-year-old building?

From a design point of view, the lack of light in original building was a challenge. We attempted to solve this problem by glazing the link building fully on the side of the internal courtyard, which carried natural daylight into heart of original building.

What were some of the features and materials of the original structure that were kept?

The original building was only renovated internally. A new bathroom was installed and an old fireplace was removed to create more space in the dining room. The link between the two buildings allowed us to internally expose some of the  stone work of the original building. The external features and finishes of the original building were maintained. The window frames were replaced with new hardwood frames but original leaded lights were reglazed into frames.

Were there any new features added that were made to look original?

Once a decision was made to add the extension, it was agreed with the client that we would not try to match the finish of original structure but that we would use similar materials such as natural stone and granite and introduce modern features such as corner windows and double-height glazed feature windows at stairs to reflect clients desire to have a modern light-filled extension.

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What was your favorite part of this particular project?

Working with the client who was clear about her needs and also the opportunity to work with stone masons who enjoyed the scale of new build.

What are some of the best ways to make an old, stone home (such as this one) feel warm and inviting?

The use of glazing [windows] to provide natural light in new build. Also, the selection of the right location to position windows to maximise natural light and surrounding views is key to a warm, bright and friendly home.

If you’re ready to make your dream home come to life, enter Marvin’s Smart Performance Promotion, where one lucky homeowner will win $5,000 toward the purchase of beautiful,energy-efficient Marvin windows and doors.

Photography by Paul Sherwood Photography, courtesy of Marvin Windows and Doors.


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