When the owners of this west Dublin house commissioned an architect to design them an extension, they were not only improving their own home but also offering their daughter a valuable lesson. Ruth Condren, who is in her fourth year of studying architecture at DIT Bolton Street, could now put the theory into practice. She sat in on consultations with architect Ronan Rose-Roberts from the start and once the structure began to go up, “suddenly the structures lectures started to make sense. I understood the principle from what I had been learning at college but it really began making sense”. She also got an insight into the process from the client’s point of view: “Especially in your own house, you are a bit blinkered by the way things are. We had been living here for 16 years and you are so used to the way you use the space it took someone like Ronan to come in and open our eyes to different ways of looking at our own home. “It was also interesting seeing the process Ronan went through and how the design developed from concept to built reality.” The first thing that strikes you on seeing the finished garden room, to the rear of a two-storey pitched and pebbled dashed house, is its similarity to architect Mies van der Rohe’s 1951 Farnsworth house, in Illinois. That floating, glass, rectangular building is both a distillation and paradigm of the International style.