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54 George's Street Lower
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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

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Filtering by Tag: Reuse

75% Grant Now Available to Refurbish Old Farm Buildings

Paul Mulhern

A new scheme to grant-aid the conservation of traditional farm buildings on GLAS farms, has been announced.  The new scheme builds upon the success of the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme which operated under REPS 4 from 2007 to 2013 and ensured that more than 350 traditional farm buildings throughout Ireland were conserved.

Some of the old farm buildings I have worked on - Check the links below.

GLAS is the new agri-environment scheme for Irish farmers, to which nearly 40,000 farmers have already signed-up, and this new element to that scheme will help ensure that small traditional farm buildings and other structures, which are of significant cultural and heritage value, are restored and conserved for renewed practical agricultural use.

Key Details

  • Open to GLAS farmers only
  • Grants awarded will not exceed 75% of the cost of the works
  • Maximum grant of €25,000
  • Minimum grant of €4,000
  • The first tranche opens immediately
  • Deadline for completed application forms Friday May 6, 2016.

“These building have been an integral part of our agricultural heritage for generations, and their contribution to the character and beauty of the Irish landscape cannot be overstated,” Minister Coveney said, adding that it was his intention that as many as possible of these buildings should be conserved and returned to practical agricultural use.

Approved works

Grants will be made available to GLAS participants to carry out approved conservation works to traditional farm buildings including:

  •     Roofs.
  •     Outside surface of walls.
  •     Windows and doors.
  •     Grants will also be available for other related structures.
  •     Historic yard surfaces.
  •     Landscape features around the farmyard such as walls, gate pillars and gates.

To be eligible for the scheme, buildings and other related structure must have architectural or vernacular heritage character and make a contribution to their setting.

“This is not about creating museum pieces”, the Minister said.

“These buildings can and should play an ongoing role in the economic life of Irish farms, as well as helping to enhance the landscape, the environment and local biodiversity.”

The scheme is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the European Union and will be administered by the Heritage Council on behalf of the Department.

The first tranche opens immediately and completed application forms must be returned to the Heritage Council before 5pm on Friday May 6, 2016.

Further applications will be invited at regular intervals throughout the Programming period to end December 2020.

The application form and all other documents on the new GLAS Traditional Farm Building Scheme can be downloaded from the Heritage Council website www.heritagecouncil.ie or by contacting the Heritage Council directly at Church Lane, Kilkenny. Phone +353(0)56 777 0777.

Some informative links to previous blog articles & projects:

Contact us for an initial discussion about the grant scheme or options for your farm buildings.  

SPACIOUS, Co. Dublin.

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New Rural House Design, Oldcastle, Co. Meath - Project Update

Paul Mulhern

I have been working on a new one-off house on the site of an intriguing old ruined farm just outside of Oldcastle in Co. Meath.  The stone ruins form two semi-enclose courtyards to the north and south and the existing site levels vary by over three floors with huge stone retaining walls forming boundaries to the adjoining fields.  There is also a detached ruined farmhouse to the west, an old orchard field and a nearby stream.  We are planning to salvage and reuse the stone for the main elevations.

 

 

The nature of the site makes for a challenging and interesting project.  We are proposing to build on the site of the existing main structure so are not introducing new buildings into the landscape. Due to the differing levels we've ended up with a three-storey design that places the living spaces on the top floor.  This allows us to benefit from the beautiful views in all directions while hiding most of the volume of the house.  Only the uppermost floor of three is visible from the main vantage points outside of the site.  Placing the living spaces up top also allows us to create bright and open accommodation with exposed chunky oak roof trusses supporting the natural slate roof.  Views to the north are framed with by a large glazed opening that slides open to a narrow step-out balcony.  A large raised terrace is located to the south and this is on top of part of the master bedroom.  The terrace connects with steps down to the main semi-enclosed courtyard garden at the rear.

The two double bedrooms and their en suite bathrooms are located on the middle floor.  The master bedroom has large windows and a glazed door leading out to the south courtyard with its beautiful enclosing retaining walls.  We'll be designing bespoke joinery for the rooms including a deep window seat here.

The ground floor entry level is below ground level to the south and east.  As well as the entry hall and W.C. this level will contain generous storage space and room for plant equipment for heating, solar panels, heat-pump and rainwater recycling.

The staircase will be an impressive design element linking all three floors.  It will feature stone from ground to first floor and then change to lighter hardwood above where it will wrap around the walls an include a walkway with views up and down.  Light will filter down from the numerous openings above creating a bright and inviting space.

The project meets all criteria of Meath County Council's Rural design Guide and is due to go in for planning permission.  We'll post progress updates here on that process and the continuing work on construction drawings and the full interior design scheme.


Read our earlier post on the reuse of farm buildings here.

Read about Paul's previous work at the Rock Farm Straw Bale Project here

Here's a link to Meath County Council's Rural Design Guide.

Contact SPACIOUS Architects to discuss any queries or potential project HERE

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