This year will be the 9th year that Isabel gives her time for free to the Simon Communities of Ireland.
The Simon Communities of Ireland work with people who experience homelessness and housing exclusion in Ireland. Simon has a vision of society where no one is homeless. All people who are homeless, or at risk of facing homelessness, are given every opportunity to realise their potential to live fulfilled lives in appropriate homes of their own.
The annual RIAI Simon Open Door event takes place May 14th to 20th 2018.Members of the public can now book a consultation with a RIAI Registered Architect by signing up at www.simonopendoor.ie. The donation of €90 will go directly to the Simon Community of Ireland as all Architects are giving their time and expertise for free.
Monies raised through the Simon Open Door campaign will go directly to assist some of the most vulnerable people in our society, those without a place to call home.
A €90 donation could go towards:
Providing 9 people with a warm bed for the night.
5 Counselling Sessions.
Providing Simon’s rough sleeper team with 4 emergency packs for those sleeping on the streets.
Providing a home starter pack for those who are moving to their own homes.
6 weeks of art/literacy classes.
You can sign up for an appointment with Isabel Barros Architects directly here, or with other registered Architects at www.simonopendoor.ie.
Shaolin cottage is a gem hidden near New Ross, County Wexford. The existing house retains the original character enhanced by the labor of love of its owners. The cottage is surrounded by mature trees in an extremely private setting. The owners’ brief included additional accomodation and a proper kitchen and bathroom. Attention to Feng Shui principles was also one of the initial requirements.
The basis of Feng Shui is that energy (chi) flows from one entity to another.The chi energy you take in from your environment influences your needs, emotions, physical energy and, over time, your health, Chi energy is carried through the environment by wind, water, the sun’s solar energy, light and sound. It flows in and out of buildings mainly through the doors and windows. The basic aim of Feng Shui is to enable you to position yourself where this natural flow of chi energy helps you to realise your goals and your dreams in life.
Everything in the world can be seen in terms of two kinds of energy: passive and active, or yin and yang, which is one of the fundamental principles of Feng Shui.
The Five Element Cycle
The Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – are one of the special tools Feng Shui uses.
From the very start our design aimed to keep the chi energy flowing gently throughout the house. This influenced the overall layout, the location of the windows and the orientation of the rooms. Symmetry was also an important concept used to achieve balance and harmony.
The curved shape was designed to complement and interconnect with the existing rectangular shape (cottage) with a view to achieve a yin-yang relationship. Yin and yang are complementary and integrated with each other. Both are mutually indispensable and feed each other while at the same time they cannot be separated.
We always felt the character of the existing stone cottage was there to be respected and we did not want the new design to compete with the old.
However, the required floor area was more than the existing area. This imposed the challenge of creating a new volume that would not dominate the site. We feel the new design, by its simplicity and contrasting volume, achieves the required balance and retains the old house as the main focal point.
The selection of the materials also followed the yin-yang principle by re-using in the new curved element the existing stone that matches the original house. The ‘five elements’ principle was also completed by introducing the element metal – zinc cladding – in the new extension.
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Isabel Barros Architects - Wexford is driven by a passion for creating high quality contemporary Architecture. Our goal is to make good design available to the general public while maintaining a strong focus on the energy efficiency and sustainability of our designs.
A graduate of Lusíada University in Lisbon, Portugal, Isabel is a Senior Architect with over 20 years experience. She is a registered member of both the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Portuguese Association of Architects. Isabel is also Accredited in Conservation at Grade 3.