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The Hidden Room venue was City Assembly House, 58 South William Street, Dublin 2. The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster an interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. City Assembly House was the first purpose built public art gallery in either Britain and Ireland.

The guest speaker was Christine de Baan, the discussion was chaired by Grainne Hassett, and the DCC client was Philip Maguire. A full list of participants is below.

The group explored the following issue:

New developments on brownfield sites in the city should be designed to increase and optimise residential densities. But how can we increase and optimise residential densities within the city’s existing housing stock of 3-4 bedroom private family homes?



As demand for housing in Dublin is increasing, household size is decreasing: 50% of housing need in the future will be for 1 or 2 persons.

While some of this future demand may be accommodated in new residential developments, large swathes of the existing city are characterised by low-rise 3-4 bedroom family homes, in suburban and inner suburban areas like Clontarf, Sutton and Marino. Many of these homes are now occupied by elderly parents.

How can Dublin develop a housing model that encourages residents of these dwellings to make better use of existing underused residential space in the city? Could better incentives be created for residents to rent rooms to accommodate friends, family or students in their homes (and provide them with additional socio-economic benefits)? What would encourage more empty nesters to downsize and sell their homes to households or families in need of larger accommodation? How could it be made easier for residents with larger gardens to develop mews dwellings or other independent dwellings on site? Or to sub-divide or extend their homes to provide additional independent accommodation for rent? What could be piloted in 2015?


Devise a 2015 pilot initiative that demonstrates how we can increase and optimise residential densities within the city’s existing housing stock of 3-4 bedroom private family homes.

Please see the group’s key slide plenary session presentation below.


Adrienne Eacrett

Aideen Elliott

Cllr Andrew Montague

Bryan Ward

Christine de Baan - Guest Speaker

Ger Craddock

Grace Maguire

Grainne Hassett - Chair

John Casey

John O’Hara

John O’Shea - Visualiser

Jonathan Bevan

Madeleine Lyes

Micheal O’Mara

Órla Keane

Philip Comerford

Philip James

Philip Maguire - DCC Client

Robin Mandal

Rosi Leonard

Thomas Legge


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