At first glance the 3 Mews complex in Dublin seems to match the industrial character of its surrounding neighbors, but upon closer inspection you will see glimpses of gardens and trees peeping out through the building's louvered slats. Designed by ODOS Architects, the three-unit building is at once sturdy, impenetrable, mysterious and delicate, all while hinting to a secret garden hidden behind the walls.
Before these homes were built, the area located on an industrial laneway in Dublin 8 was not known for its residential buildings and was basically devoid of life. Rather than building a traditional residential structure, ODOS Architects opted for something that could help ease the transition from an industrial aesthetic to a cozy place to call home. From the outside, the homes are fortress-like and features a cantilevered upper section built from powder coated metal industrial flooring planks arranged in a structural steel frame. The slatted exterior creates a sense of privacy without blocking views or light. Foliage and treetops are visible from the street and bring a piece of nature to the area.
Inside, the homes are like a zig zag of rooms and feature a unique layout not common to most residences. The layout does however afford each space with easy access to the adjacent room as well as plentiful light and fresh air. This woven floorplan creates a strong spatial dialogue and a welcome contrast to interior spaces.
In addition to the use of air and light, the homes makes use of an air-to-water heat pump and a boiler for energy-efficient heating and cooling. Rainwater is collected from the courtyards and recycled into a grey water system that is used to irrigate all the courtyards and to supply water for the bathrooms and washing machines.
Images ©ODOS Architects