His design work is heterogeneous, ranging from housing and commercial buildings to objects and displays.

Tom de Paor (London, 1967) founded his studio in Dublin in 1991. His design work is heterogeneous, ranging from housing and commercial buildings to objects and displays. His architectural projects have in common a traditional visual language revisited in plan and section. This characteristic is seen clearly in three examples, all in Ireland: Sydenham Mews House (Dún Laoghaire, 2006), Clontarf Road (Dublin, 2007) and Cinema Pálás (Galway, 2018).

The Mews House rises in a typical Irish setting of brick houses with pitched roofs in Dún Laoghaire, a town in the county of Dublin. Here, de Paor brings the roof to extremes, turning it into a fake superstructure of good architectural quality. On top of the square-plan house, he sets a truncated pyramid roof made of slate, spanning the garden walls, to allow the aggregation of a nine-squaremetre attic wedged into saturated urban fabric, taking advantage of the vertical dimension.

For the arthouse cinema Pálás, de Paor again shows his ability to design new shapes based on the limits given by the city block. He breaks with symmetry in plan and elevation for the windows, which are sunken deep into a smooth concrete box, a stylistic choice reminiscent of work by James Stirling from the early 1970s.

Also for Clontarf Road/Vernon Avenue, a municipal building set on the foundations of an outdated pumphouse facility on Dublin Bay, we see de Paor take on the layout of an urban setting predetermined by the lot, here an intersection of two streets. The works include parking, street furniture, public lighting and the construction of an in-situ concrete “pavilion” containing the pumps for waste water and an electrical substation. The plan of the pavilion is a trapezium, while in elevation it is an interlocking mass of canted walls and roof slabs, an interpenetration of two volumes. One is cladded in shingles of pre-oxidised copper; the other is shot-blasted concrete.

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