Canal House Galway

Excavation and Integration

This extension to a 1920s townhouse remakes the retaining wall edge that bounds Eglington Canal while its excavated stepping floor levels and folding roof-planes re-negotiate a relationship to the canal and city beyond. The descending living areas punch a large hole through the wall while elsewhere the roof folds up to give a discreetly elevated vantage point over the wall.

Continuous interior and exterior spaces are fused into a single topography with changes of level and surface related to the tectonics of the canal and its shifting edge conditions. This creates generous and open spatial definitions that expand the perception of a confined site. In situ concrete was used in this semi-subterranean extension to materially engage and physically connect the civil engineering works of the canal and the mass concrete structure of the existing house.

Excavating down to the level of the canal is through a series of retaining walls that inform the extension with a complex geometry generated by relationship with canal. The retaining walls are expressed with board-marked concrete exposed internally and an external power-hosed finish to canal wall.

Irish Concrete Society Award 2016

Photography by Brian Cregan

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Canal House Galway