Lockdown ushered in a new status symbol - a photogenic home office to serve as the perfect backdrop for countless Zoom meetings. Indeed, an entire nation bristled with envy at a photo Bryan Dobson tweeted of his remote working set-up for Morning Ireland: a wall of fitted bookcases behind his vast dining table to accommodate Picador and James Joyce classics.
When it comes to home offices, the late architects Peter and Mary Doyle were decades ahead of their time. The husband-and-wife team set up their practice in their Georgian townhouse on Percy Place in Ballsbridge in the early 1970s, and when they entered quasi-retirement in the early 1990s, they purchased a modernist gem under the shadow of what is now the Aviva Stadium and extended it to create a studio with plenty of fitted shelves.
The three-bed,1,415 sq ft mews at 115 Lansdowne Park, which has just been put on the market by their daughter Claire, was one of a pair designed in 1979 by Derek Kilfeather, who had been an architecture student under Peter Doyle.
Peter and Mary were "part of the architecture scene in the 1960s and 1970s", says Claire. "All of these modernist architects were very international and very interconnected. I remember them being close with Michael Scott, for instance."
In the 1960s, Scott's Dublin office turned to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - one of the pioneers of modernist architecture - for inspiration. After graduating in 1959, Peter Doyle moved to Chicago to work with Mies. When he joined Mary Doyle at Scott's office, he brought back a wealth of knowledge of Miesian architecture.
After striking out on their own in the 1970s, Peter and Mary Doyle worked on projects such as St Brendan's Community School in Birr. In 2018, the school won €124,000 as part of a €1.5m Getty Foundation grant designed to help the conservation of modern buildings around the world.
When 115 Lansdowne Park came up for sale in 1994 - around the time Scott Tallon Walker designed four mews houses on the same lane - the Doyles were drawn to how it prized function over form. "The simplicity of the design was very important to them as architects - it wouldn't date because there were no frills or ornamentation," says Claire.
As architects who were "obsessed with light and space", the pair designed and built a sunroom in 1994 for the rear of the terraced property. An arched skylight allows natural light to flood the sunroom, as do the wrap-around windows to the back of the space.
This bank of glazing incorporates double doors that open out to the southeast-facing back garden. And, naturally, the sunroom has a wall of bookcases, drawers and shelving.
The brick-fronted mews is set behind tall gates and a cobble-locked front driveway. The entrance hall leads to a guest WC and a cloakroom/utility area. The main room is the large living/dining room, which has solid oak flooring, a gas stove and a central spiral staircase.
This space is separated from the sunroom by pocket doors that cleverly slide into the masonry behind a wall of floor-to-ceiling bookcases.
Unusually, the kitchen/breakfast room is situated to the front of the house. The spiral staircase leads up to a large upstairs landing with stained and varnished floorboards. On the first floor, there are three double bedrooms and a family bathroom. The master bedroom spans the entire width of the property and comes with new shutters, a large walk-in wardrobe, and an ensuite with walls adorned in panelling, mosaic, and mirrors.
Peter Doyle never got to spend much time enjoying the fruits of his labour; he died in 1995, and Mary passed away five years ago.
"I've been here five years and lived with their memories," says Claire. "It feels like it's the right time to make new memories."
Viewings are by appointment.