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Sheltered Housing and Hostel

  • Architect:
    Paul Keogh Architects
  • Award Type:
    Best Housing (More than 1 Unit) 2005
  • Location: Leinster
Sheltered Housing and Hostel


Eastern Over €300,000

Architect’s Comment
This project comprises the conversion of a former Christian Brothers monastery into a hostel for the elderly, and development of grounds to the rear as sheltered and social housing for the town.
The site is located at the centre of an expanding provincial town; it is a classic example of a vacant urban backlands site.

In the tradition of almshouses, the housing and hostel common room face into the garden, which becomes the focus of the scheme; an existing statue of the Virgin Mary and a mature silver birch have been retained in a raised lawn.The sheltered housing is ancillary to the hostel, and residents will use its facilities for dining and socialising.

The housing consists of terraces along the site boundaries; the single-storey terrace contains old people’s accommodation and the two-storey terrace consists of family social housing units.  The pavilion-like form of the two-storey houses allows sunlight to penetrate into the courtyard, even in mid-winter.  

The finances of social housing determined the language of the scheme: an economic palette of rendered walls, wooden windows and metal roofs create an expression of calmness and simplicity.

Clients’ Comment

The Local Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has a long tradition in the provision of social housing in the town of Gorey. This work is carried out by an extremely dedicated group of Vicentian Volunteers with the generous support of the local community and Wexford County Council. Under the National Homeless Forum, the need to provide a hostel for homeless men and sheltered housing for the elderly is an extension of this work

The design emphasises the making of a calm sheltered open space, which provides a very pleasant and secure communal garden for the residents.

The quality of the finished work is high.The architectural strength of the scheme on the site is evident and relates to our briefing requirements. It is very satisfying for us, as the clients, to realise the design of our initial aspirations to the built project on site

This is a delightful sheltered housing project which creates an environment that is safe and relaxing. The care and attention to the architectural detailing to the porch areas encouraged social interaction which in turn makes a community work on every level. The scale and proportion of the housing and the materials and colours chosen show a fluency of style which adds value to this community project.