The site presents a south-facing slope offering open views in a rural landscape. A big tree dominates the northern boundary of the site and the design is strongly related to it.
The neighbouring buildings are dwelling houses with one or two storeys and gable roofs. There are also some farm buildings with corrugated metal near the site.
The design aims to create a contemporary composition using traditional forms. The proposal is inspired by the rural location and the traditional single-storey farmhouses with extended layout.
Our proposal is for a house that is shaped around the site contours to respect its topography and reduce the visual impact. The proposed gable roofs follow the traditional shapes whilst establishing a visual relationship with the neighbouring houses.
The house is modest in scale and exhibits the simple and functional form of vernacular buildings in Ireland. The projections to south also emulate the traditional lobby-entry protruding from the main house.
A simple palette of materials is proposed – white rendered surfaces and grey/terracotta corrugated metal. The materials aim to connect cultural values with a contemporary built environment.
The house aims to be a ‘Nearly zero-energy building’ (nZEB), this means a building that has a very high energy performance.
The preliminary specifications indicate a
Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 corresponding to an Energy Value of 46.64
KWh/m2/yr. The calculations show an energy
performance coefficient (EPC) of 0.273, and a carbon performance coefficient
(CPC) of 0.278.
The house is designed and orientated to maximise passive solar gain and natural lighting.
Rhythm refers to any movement characterized by a patterned recurrence of elements or motifs at regular or irregular intervals. […] Rhythm incorporates the fundamental notion of repetition as a device to organize forms and spaces in architecture.
Francis D. K. Ching
Bodegas Ysios by architect Santiago Calatrava
Rhythm is a state of equilibrium which proceeds either from symmetries, simple or complex, or from delicate balancings. Rhythm is an equation; Equalization (symmetry, repetition) (Egyptian and Hindoo temples); compensation (movement of contrary parts) (the Acropolis at Athens); modulation (the development of an original plastic invention) (Santa Sophia). So many reactions, differing in the main for every individual, in spite of the unity of aim which gives the rhythm, and the state of equilibrium. So we get the astonishing diversity found in great epochs, a diversity which is the result of architectural principle and not of the play of decoration.
There is something very contemplative about looking back at the reasons why we wanted to be Architects and what guided us throughout our Architecture Education.
The text below dates from 1993, it is a translation from an interview or lecture (?) by renowned Portuguese architect and professor Fernando Távora. It was never meant to be secret but it has been hidden in a folder for 25 years – it is now time to share it as reminder to young (and maybe not so young) Architects.
The awareness of an Architecture of excellence, of quality, must always be present in every project. The Architect cannot take insecure positions, the Architect must be aware of his/hers responsibility as creator of a space that it is wanted with quality.
All Architecture must be a construction with quality, a construction of quality spaces because these spaces will shape the human behaviour.
From here we can discuss the education of the Architect; what shall this education consist of for Architecture students…Fernando Távora argues the education of an Architect, or future Architect, cannot lack PASSION, CONFIDENCE and INTENSITY. With wisdom these 3 characteristics must not be abandoned, and this will not be an easy task.
The Architect must be passionate about the projects s/he creates, be tireless, and always endeavour that they satisfy the required needs without compromising their quality.
Confidence must be the starting point, the Architect must create roots, must sustain deep reasons about what s/he does, must make sense, not be carried away with the easy success to satisfy the less affirmed taste of his/hers clients.
The intensity is linked to the other two characteristics… the Architect must deliver him/herself intensively to his/her project, and not passively!
Fernando Távora participated in several Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) and Team 10 meetings, he became a key person in the modernization of the Porto School. Two of his former students, Álvaro Siza (who also worked in his architecture office) and Eduardo Souto de Moura, have been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
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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.