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House at Castlequarter

  • Architect:
    Healy & Partners Architects
  • Award Type:
    Regional Award 2003
  • Location: Munster
House at Castlequarter

Citation

Western Under €300,000

This sensitive insertion into this wooded County Clare hillside responds well to the site’s topography and orientation.The plan is delicately balanced between the white masonry bedroom cube and the glazed living box,which extends to the West facing deck.

Architect’s and Client’s Comments
The design principals of the project were to develop a proposal that responded to the sites assets and typography,achieved maximum advantage from natural light and to use the opportunity to explore the use of alternative materials and systems for the project.

The brief we developed for the site was to be modest and reflect our needs as a family.The view from the site very much dictated that the living areas would orientateto the front of the house (due West).This decision made it easy to set out which uses took over the front of the house and those organised to the rear (east).The design developed in a way that organised the 4 bedrooms,bathrooms and utility into a rectangular white masonry cube to the east.The living areas were expressed differently in that the living,dining,kitchen and family were essentially all in the same room covered with a sloping roof /ceiling,which achieves morning,midday and evening sun for the living areas.The decision to have an open plan living space was instant for both of us,and 10 months into living in the building is one which has not been looked back on.The uses are subdivided by a screen wall (giving privacy to the bedroom block)and the cube in the centre of the plan which contained the kitchen.

These elements in the ‘room ’ allowed the different uses of the space to define themselves.The design extended the living areas out onto a timber deck via 3 large sliding glass screens.With the decking at the same level as the floor,the summer use of this area is seen very much as an extension of the internal space.The deck is raised up on steel stilts which,on approaching the house,exaggerate the sloping nature of the site.The deck also provides the function of screening the car parking area from view from the living areas of the house.

The construction of the house has been kept simple to reflect traditional construction methods,with a raft foundation &suspended timber floors.The ‘living areas ’ form was constructed off 5 steel portal frames at 4 metre centres.The glazing was detailed to be fixed directly to the frame,with solid wall panels finished in red cedar panels.