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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,
Ireland

01 5585205

Award Wining Architects based in Monkstown, Co.Dublin and working in all surrounding counties.

Specialising in sensitive contemporary design for domestic extensions, renovations, new-build houses and interior design.  We also design and build custom joinery.

RIAI registered architects, project managers & interior designers

Dublin Architecture Blog

Hofler Architects Dublin  - Our Blog of our news and views.

Filtering by Category: Development

TRADITIONAL BUILDINGS ON IRISH FARMS

Paul Mulhern

ALTERNATIVE USES FOR OLD FARM BUILDINGS

Traditional long, narrow, single-storey farm buildings on the slopes of Knocknafreaghaun. Image via www.geograph.ie

Traditional long, narrow, single-storey farm buildings on the slopes of Knocknafreaghaun. Image via www.geograph.ie

A publication by the Heritage Council.

"Built by local builders, or the farmer himself, of readily available local materials and are truly vernacular architecture – We might even say that farm buildings of this type were sustainable before the concept was even considered".

A farm building reuse project we are working on in Carlow.

A farm building reuse project we are working on in Carlow.

ALTERNATIVE USES FOR OLD FARM BUILDINGS

The current focus on rural development provides an opportunity to see old farm buildings as an asset in finding alternative income for farm families.  A range of small-scale uses for old buildings may be possible without substantial alteration.

  • Unoccupied houses in working farmyards may be inhabited by a member of the family rather than converted to agricultural use
  • Old farmyards can be converted for craft workshops or tourism and self-catering; this may be especially viable in suburban areas or close to tourist or walking routes
  • Small-scale manufacturing industry, such as cheese- making, small-scale engineering, furniture making, and car maintenance offer other possible uses
  • Extending dwelling houses by incorporating adjoining farm buildings is sometimes possible without undue removal of cross walls and other elements of the buildings
  • Use of converted outbuildings for dwellings, holiday and self-catering accommodation may be permitted by the planning authority depending on the policies in the development plan.

Guidelines for the Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Buildings and Farmyards:

Ballinacarrig Farm Proposals, Carlow  - Hofler Architects

Ballinacarrig Farm Proposals, Carlow  - Hofler Architects

Consult your local authority conservation officer for advice on the repair of ‘listed’ farm buildings (those included in the RPS) and any grant aid available for such work.

Continue to use old farm buildings where possible

Avoid ‘gutting’ old buildings as this erases much of their historic value

Carefully site new buildings so as to avoid damaging an old yard

When repairing old farm buildings, like for like should apply.  Therefore similar materials to those used historically should be employed. These include stone, lime plaster and lime mortar, clay/mud, thatch, stone slates or flags, corrugated iron (round profile)

  • Retain old roof structures – these are all too easily lost during re-roofing
  • Retain old windows and doors
  • Protect buildings from fire by ensuring that electrical installation is to modern standards
  • Keep all stone walls in good repair, using stone similar to that in the wall if it needs to be repaired, and lime mortar with flush or recessed finish. On older buildings, it is generally not a good idea to use cement-based mortar or render to repair or plug gaps in old walls
  •  Retain cobbled floors and yard surfaces where these survive
  • Maintain and repair old timber and iron gates along with their piers and flanking walls
  • Keep old farm machinery under cover to protect it from the elements
  • Use traditional colour schemes and roof forms to help new buildings fit more easily into the overall complex
  • Keep corrugated iron roofs and claddings in good order by painting with appropriate paints
  • Keep a good source of water close by for dealing with fire
  • Keep all wells and springs free of pollutants 

Download the Heritage Council publication "Traditional Buildings on Irish Farms"

National Rural Network - "Conservation of Old Farm Buildings" - Ireland

Contact Hofler Architects to discuss conservation and alternative uses for your farm buildings here - Hofler Architects

Read about the Rock Farm Straw Bale Project here

Ireland's Largest Strawbale Building!

Paul Mulhern

The Lime House guesthouse featured on RTE Nationwide.

The Lime House guesthouse featured on RTE Nationwide.

Ireland's largest strawbale building designed by Paul Mulhern of SPACIOUS Architects is nearing completion at the Rock Farm, Slane Castle, Co. Meath.  The project was featured on tonight's Nationwide program on RTE (12 mins in). Finishing touches are being put to the eco guesthouse in preparation for the weekend's concert.  The program is available to view on RTE's Player for the next 20 days.

Rock Farm site plan at Slane showing all six straw bale buildings.

Rock Farm site plan at Slane showing all six straw bale buildings.

The Lime House is the Rock Farm Slane’s 2-storey, 6 bedroom eco guesthouse, which has been built out of straw bales and clay plaster with lime on the outside to provide healthy, environmentally-sound eco-tourism accommodation in the Boyne Valley. This guesthouse has been designed to the highest environmental construction standards, and in sympathy with the woodland, organic farmland and architecturally-protected parkland of Slane Castle just over the river from the development.  The Lime House is named after the adjacent stone ruins of a lime kiln which now forms a centre-piece of the new courtyard space to the front.

The Lime House and five other straw bale buildings including a rental cottage, worker's cottage, farm office and a family house for the owners were all designed by architect, Paul Mulhern.  The guesthouse, farm office and yurt camping are all now complete.

The rear of the Lime House, facing the farm.

The rear of the Lime House, facing the farm.

Elevation drawing.

Elevation drawing.

Side Elevation.

Side Elevation.

Perspective drawing of the Lime Home.

Perspective drawing of the Lime Home.

Strawbale, lime plaster, recycled timber materials.

Strawbale, lime plaster, recycled timber materials.


[Designed while Paul was a partner in his previous practice].

An Bord Pleanála approves Dún Laoghaire urban beach project

Paul Mulhern

The type of facility Dun Laoghaire's Urban Beach is to be modelled on.

The type of facility Dun Laoghaire's Urban Beach is to be modelled on.

The €2.75 million urban beach and barge pool project proposed for Dún Laoghaire harbour has been given the go ahead by An Bord Pleanála.

The beach, modelled on Berlin’s Badeschiff project, is to include a cafe and artificial beach at the East Pier, alongside a floating barge containing a swimming pool with heated, treated seawater.  The 250sq m swimming pool on the floating barge will heat seawater to 26 degrees. The beach is to be about 240sq m in area.

Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company said the project would attract more than 150,000 visitors a year and pull in €1 million in admission charges.  Figures for the annual running and staff costs have not been released.

It is expected to be open for summer 2016 and will be open for six months of the year, from April through to September.

A Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company image of the proposed new building and pool.

A Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company image of the proposed new building and pool.

The plan includes a floating swimming pool containing heated and treated seawater, utilising a converted river barge which will be located within the Harbour.  The Urban Beach will include toilets, changing rooms, a café, a wind-protected cafe seating and lounge area, where patrons can relax on a deck chair and enjoy views of the iconic harbour. The facility is designed with a sustainable and environmentally friendly ethos. Materials include the use of a recycled river barge, long life timber cladding, recycled rubber sand effect flooring and recycled timber decking. The pool will use treated sea water which will be heated by extracting heat from the seabed. Low energy technologies will be promoted throughout, and Dun Laoghaire Harbour prioritise energy supply from renewable sources.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company website

Architect's rendered image of actual the proposed building and pool.

Architect's rendered image of actual the proposed building and pool.

Above and below:  The design team's rendered images of the proposed pier buildings to accompany the new pool.  (Compare with the previously published images).

What do you think?  Comment below.

Hofler Architects, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.

On the Boards: New Infill Apartments for Dun Laoghaire

Paul Mulhern

Sketch Elevation Study Showing Materials.

Sketch Elevation Study Showing Materials.

Hofler Architects are currently working on a new scheme of 15 apartments and 2 town houses on a prominent infill site in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.  The new dwellings are being designed to the highest environmental and space standards to surpass all current regulations.

New retail units are to be provided at ground floor to enliven the street.  All new apartments will have generous south-facing balconies stretching to their full widths.  High quality materials are being selected such as Portland stone, contemporary brickwork and zinc cladding.  Elements of brighter colour are injected with built-in planter boxes.  Further colour is to be visible within the depth of the balconies where the dividing walls are to be highlighted.

Two new town houses are to be provided to the rear of the site, on the far side of an exciting, landscaped residents courtyard.  This outdoor space opens itself up to the west to make the most of afternoon sun.  It is to be heavily planted and provided with play equipment for children.  The town houses will form the backdrop to the courtyard and will be exceptionally private with all of their main spaces looking into their own private outdoor spaces.