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Connemara Tour

  • Galway City Museum Spanish Arch Galway City (map)

Connemara is one of the most visited parts of Ireland’s geography. This Architecture at the Edge tour will focus on the subtle relationship between the built environment and the historic and changing context of the landscape in which it forms a part.


1.        Leagaun House

Beginning with an Architect led tour of a new farmhouse for the Galway countryside, we meet an owner who has embraced contemporary rural living as an alternative to the suburban style of many new homes in the open countryside.

The design of this house begins with the vernacular Irish farmhouse typology, and while it adopts the simple volumes and courtyard based organization of this robust typology, it evolves a new expressive tectonic language. The house sits quietly in a field adjacent to Lough Corrib, familiar and yet distinctly unique.

Architect: Ryan W. Kennihan Architects
Winner of a 2014 Architectural Association of Ireland Award
Highly Commended in the Best House Category of the 2014 RIAI Awards

2.      Kylemore Abbey

It then travels through the scenic Inagh Valley on to Kylemore Abbey where architect Michael Horan will describe the design challenge for a new roof level extension to Saint Joseph's Hall at Kylemore Abbey, overlooking Pollacappul Lough, for the University of Notre Dame.

This simple rectilinear form which resulted is set back from all facades to diminish its volume and presence against the established Abbey buildings.  The green glass plane reflects the natural environment of Kylemore to assimilate the building into its natural landscape and setting.  The scale, form, relative positioning, restrained palette of materials and lightweight appearance of the new level combine to create a visually sensitive response to the established setting of Kylemore Abbey.

*The tour will pause here for lunch. The usual access charge to the site will be waived. However, lunch is not included in the ticket price.

Architect: Axo Architects

3.     GMIT Letterfrack

Connemara West,  a community-owned development organisation and owners of the site which included a former industrial school in the Centre of Letterfrack village commissioned O’Donnell & Tuomey Architects to develop the site to include new buildings and the refurbishment of the former industrial school to accommodate Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology’s furniture degree courses, a conservation workshop, radio station and spaces for a wide range of community-let projects.

Guide Janet O’Toole will describe how importance it was that the campus should have a contemporary, forward-looking identity, and how that the new use and new architecture would combine to transform the obsolete nineteenth-century institutional building into an open educational and working resource for the 21st century.

Architect: O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects
Shortlist – Mies Van der Rohe Award for European Architecture 2003
AAI Downes Medal (Premier Award) 2002

RIAI Award 2001

4.      Marconi Station at Derrygimlagh

For this Wild Atlantic Way, Signature Discovery Point, Denis Byrne Architects in association with TTT, thirtythreetrees, created a 5km looped walk, visitor experience at the Marconi Station, (1907-1922), and landing site of Alcock & Brown's historic first non-stop transatlantic flight (1919). A series of ‘Hides’ have been installed, forming compact shelters containing interpretative content.

The tour will end here with a tour  led by Architect Denis Byrne before returning to Galway City for 6pm.

Architect: Denis Byrne Architects in Association with TTT (thirtythreetrees)
RIAI Irish Architecture Awards - Place of the Year, Winner 2017

Architectural Association of Ireland Awards, Special Mention 2017

Irish Building + Design Awards, Shortlist 2017

Booking and Tour Information

Coach departs Merchants Road (opposite Dockgate) at 9.45am sharp.
Cost: Full day tour €15 for adults/€10 Children/Students. 
Booking: No tickets are issued, your booking is confirmed on receipt of payment auto reply. Your guide will have your name and number of places on the day.
Cancellation policy: Unfortunately, we are unable to refund or transfer bookings if you choose to cancel them. If we have to cancel the tour due to unforeseen circumstances, we will offer you a full refund or the opportunity to book onto another tur.
Please note: All tours go ahead rain or shine.
This tour is based outdoors, so please bring suitable clothing.
Accessibility: Restricted

Later Event: October 1
These Islands Film Screening