The Working-Home

The Working-Home proposal explores how vacant and derelict commercial properties in towns and cities can be repurposed for residential accommodation while still maintaining a commercial presence on the street.

In our post-pandemic world, the trend toward hybrid-working, work-from-home and the increasing shift to digital retail, has increased the pressure on commercial streets and will most likely lead to higher vacancy rates as businesses deal with reduced pedestrian footfall.

The Working-Home is an alternative proposal where underused ground floor commercial space is used for residential accommodation allowing for larger two and three-story townhouses that provide several benefits compared to above-the-shop apartment living.

Our proposal illustrates a 1:1 model of the shopfront of Nr 5/6 Dublin Street, one of many vacant shops in Carlow town, which like many Irish towns, has a typically high vacancy rate. The exhibit demonstrates both the challenges and the potential for these types of buildings that are critical to the success of Irish urban settlement. In doing so, it aims to provide an alternative model and another solution to vacancy, urban density, and ultimately housing supply problems.


The Working-Home could yield 8,000 potential housing units nationally.

Project Team

EWA Architects




Carlow County Council
Leonard Hanley

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