Isabel Barros Architects - Blog

design + energy + excellence

Tag: Extension (page 1 of 2)

Extension to Stone Cottage Over 180 Years Old

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.

 

See more animations here.

Do you have a similar project? Talk to us today!

 

River House – Kilkenny

 

 

There is something magical about being so close to the water.

From the very first visit we felt this was a unique location and we wanted to make the most of it. The brief asked for additional accommodation to meet current lifestyle demands.

 

 

 

The site presents a number of challenges, including a house over 150 years old, the proximity to a Special Area of Conservation (River Nore),  the existing topography, and so on…

 

 

Early in the design process a strong direction was identified as being the one that would respect the existing wood while taking full advantage of the river views.

 

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The proposal calls for an adaptive reuse of the existing house. The new volumes create an amicable relationship with the old house, mimicking it in a contemporary way.

A new axis is created to link the different elements. This axis regulates the space by creating a clear circulation path that works like a journey of discovery around the house. The light and views are captured and framed to enhance the all experience.

The main living space offers a full open view to the river. Framed views of the surrounding landscape are provided by projecting windows that puncture the main structure.

The concept resolves the complex constraints on site by designing a house that is in harmony with the site and with the existing old house, which dates back to the early 1800’s or possibly late 1700’s.

 

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The main living space offers a full open view to the river.

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Framed views of the surrounding landscape are provided by projecting windows that puncture the main structure.

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See more animations here.

Do you have a similar project? Talk to us today!

Extension to House Over 100 years Old in New Ross, Wexford

Note: This post was previously titled ‘Extension to 1950’s House in New Ross, Wexford – SketchUp Animation’. During works we discovered the walls were not what we expected and some investigation confirmed the original house was built between 1888-1913! (The owners were not aware of this.)

We feel that our proposal is like the missing piece to complete this house puzzle.

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The original house used to be a Council house and it was built in the 1950s. The owners had already built different extensions to the house but they left a big problem unsolved: the entrance and the circulation and flow of space within the house.

They approached us to get a bigger kitchen more suitable to their lifestyle. We listened and we were sensitive to all energies we could capture. We proposed a holistic approach that embraced the existing house, respecting it and making the all space a much better place to live in.

We like to think the new entrance works like the “spinal column” of the house, supporting it, organizing it and allowing the spaces to flow naturally from there.

From the entrance a new wall – the “shoulders” – is built to hold the two new extensions – the “arms” – that will hug and embrace the existing house respecting it in a complacent manner.

 

 

We felt the existing black and white palette needed a different material/texture to make it more interesting and with a warmer feeling. We propose to cover the two “arms” with timber cladding. This is a type of cladding found elsewhere on this site and it has the beauty of being a natural and environmentally friendly material that easily blends with the landscape.

Working with an existing house with a number of (more recent) extensions is always a challenge. We are often restricted by a number of factors and it requires years of experience to turn them around in our favour. We are delighted with the result and we cannot wait to see it built.

See what our clients had to say:

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See more animations here.

 

Do you have a similar project? Talk to us today!

 

As featured in the journal.ie

 

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