28.12.2015

House in Wexford

This new family home occupies a one acre site on farmland close to the sea in the south-east of Ireland. The house is oriented to the view of the last remaining Norman tower of Ballyhealy Castle to the south-west and to the ruins of St. John’s Church to the north. The building is conceived as a single compact form; it takes pleasure in its compactness.

We have deliberately sought to enclose the biggest volume in the smallest surface and to recognise the formal virtue in this intrinsic economy. In this way we aim to make the best use of the available land; to achieve an appropriate relationship to the surrounding landscape; and to intensify and animate the interior life of the house. The house has a simple and direct appearance externally, establishing a resonance with the vernacular structures in the locality. It has a pyramidal slate roof and lime-rendered walls. The form is slightly asymmetrical to respond to its context and the roof is then cut to set up the entrance.

The pyramid roof is made by four large-span timber beams that meet at the apex. These are supported by blockwork walls. The structure gives a freedom to the interior space that is then loosely arranged around a central birch plywood stairs. The living areas are on the west and south side enjoying the view to the Castle. The bedrooms are on the east and have staggered corner windows to open up to the morning sun. The house has a deep overhang on the south and west to create a threshold and a sheltered external space.

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