Much of the Irish landscape has been devastated in recent years by indiscriminate bungalow development. This house, situated approximately three metres from Brandy Harbour, an inlet of Galway Bay on the west coast, could be read as a retrospective essay in what might have been.
The design of this house attempts to understand the materials of the Irish countryside, the form of traditional architecture, while also creating a contemporary response to both landscape and lifestyle.
Internally, entrance is made at a slightly lower level where there is also a study/guest bedroom. A large family room dominates the centre with sliding glazed doors opening directly onto a terrace looking out to Brandy Harbour.
Connected by sliding panels at first floor is a living room with disappearing corners to the windows with a view to the sea, while at the other end, reached by a bridge, is the master bedroom which looks north to another view of the sea. Unusually, the bathroom is also connected to the main space with a sliding panel to allow conversation between a bather and others in the kitchen, below, or the living space, across.
The ruin of a previous house forms a walled garden and a re-roofed barn completes an informal enclosure with the new house.
The house was completed in 1997.
Architects: Richard Murphy Architects
Awards: 1999 RIAI Regional Award
Type: Private Residence
Booking required for the architect-led tour on Friday the 29th.
Other access is on a first come, first served basis.
10am - 1pm Friday September 29 (architect-led tour)
2pm - 4pm Saturday September 30
11am - 1pm Sunday October 1