This rural site is situated in a mature landscape and site of a vacant cottage to the east of the town of Macroom. The brief included the demolition of the cottage which was situated close to the road, with the new dwelling sited on higher ground to the rear of the site. The dwelling is orientated south to maximise solar gain, natural light, and views across the large body of water called The Gearagh (Irish: An Gaorthadh – a submerged glacial woodland and nature reserve) and the rural landscape beyond. The long narrow plan form is reminiscent of vernacular building types such as agricultural or residential buildings located in the surrounding area. The choice of materials and detailing was also influenced by the vernacular architecture – clipped barge and eaves details to negate fascia’s and soffits, natural slates on the steeply pitched roof, and a white render finish. Contemporary materials and elements were used including anthracite zinc on the dormer and bay window, the large rooflight to the internal gallery/lobby, and native untreated Douglas Fir slats laid over polycarbonate sheeting to enclose the carport.

Internally light enters the ground floor from double-height spaces with roof lights above. A minimalist approach was taken in the internal design, in terms of the use of colour and fixtures & fittings. The addition of an external deck above the carport, accessed from the main bedroom (and through carport below) allows panoramic views to the south and a framed triangular view of the sunset to the west. The construction methodology was informed by the client’s request for a low energy dwelling, a fully insulated raft insulation system was used for the ground floor slab, a locally sourced timber frame (2 km’s from the site) and a ventilated rendered fibre cement system to the external facade acting as rain screen cladding.

Project Type: Dwelling house

Project Architect: Kane Architects Ltd.

Structural / Civil Engineer / PSDP: Lynch & Associates Consulting Engineers

Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: DKP Consulting Engineers.

Quantity Surveyors: Karl Slyne Quantity Surveyors Ltd.

Main Contractor: McSweeney Brother Construction Ltd.

Timber Frame: Cygnum Timber Frame Ltd.

Location: Ummera, Macroom, Co. Cork, P12 YA29.

Project Status: Completed 2019.