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Use the form on the right to contact SPACIOUS about an initial consultation or email us at:  hello@spacious.ie

 

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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: Rural House Design

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

On the Boards: A New-Build Costal Eco House

Paul Mulhern

We have received planning permission for a new family dwelling in a beautiful costal setting overlooking Strangford Lough.  The site benefits from spectacular views through a 270-degree sweep.  Designing for a location as beautiful as this is difficult. We are not trying to do design gymnastics. We are fully considering what it is our clients want for their home and realising that through design excellence.

Site Plan of Proposed House & Boat House - Courtyard Opening to the Views and Sun.

Strangford Lough - Site Setting.

Strangford Lough - Site Setting.

Proposed South Elevation - Sheltered Courtyard.

Our approach is based on:  Awareness of landscape; A simple palette of natural materials; Subtlety; Respect for rural built forms;  Withholding of views, affording glimpses on approach, finally revealing the full dramatic views;  Creating wonderful internal spaces with unexpected height & light; Forming a series of differing outdoor spaces which are protected from winds but yet avail of views; Considering orientation and sun position throughout the day;  Incorporating all appropriate sustainability measures to exceed all current requirements and to future-proof this new eco house.

We have included a level of richness by providing a play-loft, a second ‘short-cut’ stair which also functions as a bookcase, a study (computer) den for kids which is within view and has an eye-level slot window, creating a thickened wall that houses both indoor and outdoor fire-places (or barbeque), designing a master bedroom suite which has complete privacy, spectacular views, its own terrace, yet is adjacent to two children’s bedrooms;

Proposed Ground Floor Plan.

First Floor Plan - Planted Roof Over the Living Room.

West Facing Elevation.

Architectural Model for Client Discussion.

Architectural Model for Client Discussion.

Contact Hofler Architects to discuss your project.  We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation.