Monday, 24 May 2010

Number 31

If you thought all that Irish architect Sam Stephenson was good for was replacing Georgian buildings and Viking excavations with brutalist blocks (ESB Building on Hatch Street and Dublin Civic Offices, Wood Quay if you feel like brushing up) then I suggest you visit Number 31. Now a luxurious guesthouse serving "probably the best breakfast in Dublin" - their words, and Georgina Campbells too, for that matter - Number 31 Leeson Close, just off Leeson Street is a stunning mews that Stephenson converted and made his family home in 1958. Structurally and stylistically, everything in the mews is as Stephenson designed it, from the mirrored bar to the iconic conversation pit (above). For someone long-associated with architectural brutalism, Stephenson used his materials, the wood panelling in particular, to great effect, lending a warmth and homeliness to the sleek interior. Infinitely cooler than anything you'd expect from 1950s Ireland, possibly cooler than a lot of present-day conversions, this place is super sweet and well worth a visit.

(Images courtesy of Number 31)