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A Weekend House

  • Architect:
    John Dorman Architects
  • Award Type:
    Regional Award 2001
  • Location: Connacht
A Weekend House


Western (under £100,000)

A marvellous re-interpretation of the Irish bungalow in the landscapewhich introduces a particular lightness and feeling for scale and detail; evidence that ‘bungalows’ and ‘architecture’ are not mutually exclusive.

Clients Comments
We wanted our holiday home to feel different to our family home. We wanted an air of calm in a flexible space, while at the same timemaximising our beautiful views, with an ability in winter to create a snug and cosy space.  The main space is for cooking and eating good food and enjoying fine wine (a special interest) with views north, south and east from the table. Reading by the stove (which doubles as an oven and hot plate), while listening to our eclectic selection of CD’s is another joy.

Our open space, divided into areas by zoned lighting, different ceiling heights and furniture placement, works very well - it is open, airy, spacious, easy to clean, in contact with nature; but it can also be reduced to intimate cosy spaces with wood panelling and matching sliding doors.  We also really like the sleeping arrangement - master bedroom with distinctive ensuite bathroom (and music) at one end and flexible sleeping spaces at the other end for children and visitors.

Architects Comments
The house was designed for clients seeking a weekend refuge from the rigours of city living, an informal house maximising space, light and views, comfortable for two, the family or a party of guests, its layout responsive to seasonal changes, its form and finish respectful of the surrounding landscape.  The dwelling is low-lying, derived from the typical single volume rural house. A stepped ramp rises from a hidden yard to the entrance leading directly into the south facing central living space; bedrooms radiate east and west, storage areas along the north, the garage tucked below.

The living space is wrapped with light plywood paneling. Sliding timber screens open on warmer days, light and space flow freely; at night and winter days as western winds howl without, the screens slide shut, the hearth a blazing stove within. Internally apertures are cut to allow particular vignettes at different locations;... the lichen and moss covered granite outcrop from the bath... distant blue peaks of the Twelve Bens on an afternoon nap....dry stone walls and the scattered islands of Ballyconneely bay....a scraggy hill ....a flooded field....crooked lines of meandering telegraph poles..... 

Externally a natural slate roof, ever changing in wind and rain, on plain white walls; behind a row of light steel columns, the timber clad living space set back, the inside coming out to a sheltered veranda where moonlight shadows play. Surrounding the house, the scars of building heal, the landscape, wild with bramble, heather and flag lily, returns...