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Galbally Social Housing

  • Architect:
    O'Donnell + Tuomey
  • Award Type:
    Regional Award 2003
  • Location: Munster
Galbally Social Housing


Western Between €300,000 and €3,000,000

Two modest terraces of social housing, arranged along the contours of a complex, sloping site, bring fresh definition to the scale and urban pattern of this well-preserved town, planned in the 19th century. The primary materials used pigmented render,, hardwood windows and slated roofs - ensure a sense of continuity with the existing vernacular of rural Irish architecture. Common identity is provided by the monolithic, angled roof, while the deep modelling of façade and threshold creates generous possibilities for individualised expressions of home .

Architect's Comment
Galbally is a nineteenth century planned town with a consistent urban character. Limerick County Council selected a sloping site close to the village square to locate a phased development of social housing.

The first phase of building comprises six 3 storey family houses and five single storey houses designed for ease of access for old people.

The site layout takes advantage of the slope and the views toward the village and the mountains beyond.

The new houses were considered to be an extension of the existing urban form, two sloping terraces, rendered and slated in traditional materials in compliance with planning requirements.

While each house steps from the next, the overall building line slopes with the contour of the site. The entrance to each house has been designed to provide a seat, planting box and threshold cast in terrazzo within a recessed porch, an in-between social zone between house and town. Earth coloured porches identify each house within the terrace.

Clients Comment
The Galbally housing development is part of the 4 year Capital Housing Programme 2000-2003 for County Limerick which is funded by the Department of the Environment & Local Government.

The site is a sloping site with difficult ground conditions to contend with and special details of foundations were required. The first phase of the development consisted of the design and development of 6 No. three bedroomed terraced houses and 5 No. two bedroomed terraced houses. The architects made maximum use of the contours in providing an overall design of the complete site. Very strong cognisance was taken of the existing roof slopes and external finishes to the existing adjoining buildings in the Square in Galbally. Galbally is a former winner of the National Tidy Towns award and has a very interested local community who wished to express their views and make submissions which were acknowledged by the architects during the development. The innovative design is a welcome extension to the village of Galbally.