House at Goleen by
Niall McLaughlin Architects

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A simple uniform of Irish blue limestone dresses these four mono-pitched extensions to a rural cottage on the south coast of Ireland by London firm Niall McLaughlin Architects (+ slideshow).

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

To recreate the character of the single-storey cottage, the architects mirrored its sloping roof profile for the new buildings, creating a staggered row of gables that step gradually down the sloping site.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The existing residence has white-painted exterior walls, so the dark limestone of the extension relates more closely to the slate that covers its roof.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The architects explain how the limestone "weathers over time to match the geology of the surrounding cliffs," and also "becomes highly reflective when wet."

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Semi-enclosed courtyards fit into the gaps between each of the buildings, finishing with an east-facing terrace overlooking the coastline, which the architects say "reveals spectacular views of the cliffs, the sea and the islands of West Cork."

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Glass walls and large windows frame more east-facing views from the dining room, living room and study, which occupy two of the new buildings.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

House at Goleen was completed in 2009 but hasn't been widely published.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

See more residential extensions on Dezeen, including a Corian-clad addition to a house in London.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Photography is by Nick Guttridge.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Here's some more information from Niall McLaughlin Architects:


House at Goleen

Client Brief

The existing house had suffered the abuse of the local climate and haphazard development over a period of years resulting in a fragmented plan and disjointed appearance.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The clients brief was straightforward; to retain part of the original structure and to provide additional accommodation and landscaping fit for the quality of the site.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Existing Site

The site is located in an area of exceptional natural beauty. Sea views and rugged yet lush landscapes combine with fast changing skies and wild deep blue seas. The site faces the sea to the east.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The existing house was set between a steep rock face to the north and a small stream to the south. The access road winds down the cliff from the west to the house. To the east a long gently sloping lawn stretches seaward towards the rocky coastline.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Planning Constraints

Outside of the local development boundary and set just below one of Europe’s most scenic roads, the character of the views and the landscape seen from the land around the house and the sea had to be maintained.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The local design guide proposed traditional or vernacular forms as acceptable but was clear that designs of exceptional quality with an emphasis on energy efficiency offering diversity in design would be acknowledged.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Design

The house is formed of a series of linear pavilions set parallel to the original house. The pavilions step down the 1.6m fall of the site creating a meandering path through the house from the entrance on the west to the living space and sea views to the east.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The form of the existing cottage influenced the design of the new structures and its ridge was used as a datum that defines the heights of the new buildings. A series of pitched roofs are staggered across the site creating pockets of space forming semi-enclosed courtyards.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

At the end of the journey a large terrace reveals spectacular views of the cliffs, the sea and the islands of West Cork.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Guest bedrooms are located in the refurbished cottage. Visitors pass through a glass link into the first of the limestone buildings, the first of which accommodates the master bedroom and bathroom.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The second limestone pavilion contains the dining room and kitchen.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

The final pavilion is broken into two parts, one for the living room and the other a freestanding study, accessed via stone doors and a small bridge over the cascading pools.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Materials Method of Construction

The existing house is roofed in natural slate with rendered white walls. New structures are clad in Irish blue limestone. This natural material weathers over time to match the geology of the surrounding cliffs. The stone becomes highly reflective when wet. The loads of the stone to the roof and the walls are supported by a reinforced concrete structure providing thermal mass that regulates temperatures and stores heat.

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Project: House at Goleen
Location: ‘La Finca’, Spanishcove, Goleen, Co. Cork, Ireland
Compeltion: July 2009
Area: 300 sq m
Project architects: David Hemingway, Tilo Guenther

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Site plan - click above for larger image

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Ground floor plan - click above for larger image

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Section - click above for larger image

House at Goleen by Niall McLaughlin Architects

East elevation - click above for larger image

  • LORNE COOK

    Monumental!

  • http://www.render-arquitectura.com/ Raul Alfaro

    Classic forms with modern and actual solutions. Crazy and risky game of forms and volumes. Very good use of materials, colors and textures with class and design. Beauty outside and inside, specially the terraces and the main saloon. The enviroment is incredible.

  • Donkey

    Quite delightful. Would like to see pics of the site and original building as it was before.

  • Brian Gallagher

    Great to see some Irish architects featured here, such a rare event!

  • the_Dude

    Simply stunning! Really well put together between form, plan and detailing. Nice to see. Cost?

  • 3DD

    What a beautifull piece of architecture.

  • Arefeayne

    Really nice architecture.

  • sultony

    Great design, with fine geometric landscaping and detailing marrying the old with the new. My only criticism is that the interiors seem too hard and are screaming for some softness and colour, especially at night when all that glass turns black.