This design for a mews house for a mid-terrace site at the rear of Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin offered the challenge of how to cater for contemporary living within the historical urban fabric. Avoiding pastiche, the aim was to reinvent the banal box typology of some mews schemes in the city, opting for four interlocking, offset vaults to create a dynamic series of outdoor and indoor spaces flooded with natural light. The vaults – inspired by the dominant stone arch on the lane – allow for an enfilade of grand rooms surrounded by a series of gardens and patios, despite the house being only 130m². The movement through the house has been imagined as a journey, with a series of spatial sequences articulated with various thresholds; low and high spaces, compressed and released moments, short and long views, the whole orchestrated with natural light. Bedrooms are at ground level and look into individual private gardens, while the living room, kitchen and dining areas are upstairs – led into through a winter garden reminiscent of the Victorian orangerie – a true piano nobile floating between the treetops.