The Grange is a mixed development of 502 quality apartments and 4166 sqm of commercial offices with planning permission for an as yet un-built nursing home, medical centre and crèche. The 4.58 hectare / 12 acre suburban site has extensive frontage onto one of the busiest commuter routes into Dublin city with excellent public transport options and close proximity to national motorway links. Previously occupied by an office building set in mature gardens, the large number of mature trees on this site helps to mitigate overlooking and overshadowing of adjoining low rise housing on the southern and western boundaries.
One of the principle design strategies was to consign all vehicular movement within the site under-ground in order to preserve the secluded character of the site, create a pedestrian friendly public realm and maximise the benefits of the heavily landscaped open spaces and courtyards. Accessibility to all parts of the site was made possible by modifying the ground levels to incorporate level changes with shallow gradients.
Five apartment buildings varying in height between three and six storeys and located on the eastern boundary are separated by intimate courtyard gardens. A further four eight storey apartment buildings are situated around a large central open space with an areas reserved for the planting of additional trees. The five storey office building is accessed from a new plaza which faces the adjoining main road.
There is a wide range of spacious apartment types offered, all designed to a high quality specification with generous balconies and extensive full height glazing. Orientation, daylight, private outdoor space and internal layouts are given particular attention in each of the residential buildings. Common circulation areas receive daylight and cores are designed to minimise corridor lengths.
The majority of apartments enjoy dual aspect which also enables good cross ventilation of the dwellings. Quality site lighting, good clear signage and the introduction of natural light in the basement car park to mark the entrances to the buildings above, all contribute to making The Grange an attractive residential environment.
Pre-fabrication and off-site construction of most of the building elements in the scheme enabled a shortened programme, greater quality control, improved Health and Safety issues, reduced local impacts and created less waste in manufacture. The buildings are clad in reconstituted red sandstone concrete panels with the extensive use of glazing and timber panelling.
A crèche for circa 80 children is provided in the existing woodland at the south west of the site. Five home-base rooms are arranged around a central activity space / hallway. Play areas are located at ground level among the existing trees and on the first floor “play roof
An 80 bed nursing home (designed by Duffy Mitchell O’Donohue Architects) is provided in the northern part of the site which is set apart from the main part of the development by two existing belts of mature trees. This gives a particular sense of security and seclusion to the nursing home and its future occupants. Built over three storeys, the building wraps itself around a landscaped courtyard space. Bedrooms face both in to the courtyard and out towards the woodland. A range of familiar building materials is used throughout including brick, render and hardwood cladding, helping to give the building a contemporary and yet still domestic feeling. Due to the economic downturn, parts of this development remain incomplete.