Extending homes into a new world of design
While many experienced architects steer clear of designing extensions, one practice has dedicated itself to small domestic jobs. As with many architectural practices, the people behind Extend began with extensions but then grew into two commercial firms and thought that they would leave small domestic jobs behind. “But people kept phoning up and asking for extensions,” says Johnny Bennett of Bennett McCleary Architects which shares an office space in a redbrick hall in Dundrum with Brennan Brown Architects, and the two practices also run Extend. “We decided to treat extensions like bigger jobs, running a number of them at the same time and combining site visits, seeing about six projects in one day in the same area. We also employ a full-time engineer and quantity surveyor.” They have 100 extensions on the go – designed by a dedicated team – some of which they are seeing through from design to build while others are structures they designed only. They have tried to eliminate the “unknowns”, says co-director Liam Brennan, by coming up with a realistic fee for an all-in package that is unlikely to change.
The Irish Times