Ardkitt, Co. Cork

This house arises from a desire for durable construction, intelligent detailing and an architecture that is founded on abiding architectural principles and the ideas and traditions embodied in similar sized vernacular buildings which have themselves endured.

A two-storey longhouse turned perpendicularly to the slope, is located at the centre point of its site in order to align with a neighbouring farmhouse. A number of ground floor annexes added to the house in the form of a sitting room and anchoring chimney stack, utility room and external storage area make intimate sheltered spaces to the exterior. A ground floor kitchen/living/dining space at the centre of the house is made possible by a pair of large expressed precast concrete beams that allow dual orientation to the east and west. An exposed painted timber soffit then spans this space from beam to beam. A sheeted timber staircase rises to the first-floor bedroom accommodation and a first-floor terrace with views to the landscape beyond.

The simple architectural form is accentuated by its simple exterior of plaster, stone and natural slate roofing. Window openings, much like local farm buildings, are articulated with expressed precast concrete lintels overhead. The repeat first-floor window heads are purposely brought in close contact with the roofline in reverence to vernacular farmhouses in the area. Soffit and fascias are purposefully paired back to strengthen the architectural form but also to ensure minimum maintenance over time. Rainwater gutters and downpipes are furnished in unpainted galvanized mild steel directly fixed to a plastered wall.

By exploring and building upon local material and structural strategies of the local vernacular this house attempts to be wholly of its place.