One thing we can take it from granted when we visit a rural site in Ireland – green pastures!
On our first visit to this site we were greeted by our young clients and Bel, the sheep.
It was easy to get lost in the stunning open views of the hills but Bel reminded us this was a working farm.
This site in North Wexford has a gentle south-facing slope and it offers the ideal location for our farmer client to build his future family home.
Re-inventing the traditional farmyard layout
The proposal was strongly inspired by the rural location, the farm environment and the close proximity to existing farm buildings. The traditional farmyard layout (see no. 1 below) was the starting point for the new scheme.
The existing site contours are used as the regulating lines for the new layout. They shift the smaller volume until it is stopped by the 2 storey volume (see no. 2 above). The result is a layout that easily meets the current lifestyle of its occupants while reflecting cultural values of the traditional farmyard layout.
The main living spaces open up to south to enjoy the best views and passive solar gains. The windows frame the views to the surrounding farmlands and hills. The bedrooms face east to enjoy the morning light. The living room connects to an outside space that is sheltered from the weather and can be used all year around.
A palette of natural and man-made materials is proposed. Stone walls feature throughout the house recalling the character of agricultural buildings. The zinc has a strong agricultural feel that balances the composition whilst connecting the traditional gabled volumes. This is contrasted with the stone and white render which act as contemporary, yet rural materials.
The layout optimises the use of solar energy and aims to achieve an A3 BER rating (50 kWh/m2/yr).
Located in the heart of County Wexford in Ireland, the site enjoys beautiful landscape views. The client’s brief sought a simple residence with lots of natural light and a good connection with the landscape. The farm complex is quite dominant and sits interestingly on a different direction than the original farm house.
Our proposal was carefully designed to respect the site history while introducing a more contemporary volume.
The two main directions on site are the starting point for our proposal. The memory of the old house being replaced remains present. This volume is intersected by a lower, more contemporary, volume.
The new house respects the immediate surroundings either by the materials selected or the shapes and scale used.
The fenestration to North is reduced to the minimum to improve energy efficiency. The living spaces of the house are located to South enjoying most of the solar gains while creating a strong connection to outside.
Being aware of its rural location, the house is conceived as two simple volumes that mark each other by carving out a new relationship. The openings are treated as clean incisions that provide optimum views of the surrounding landscape.
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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.