Carnivan House, Fethard on Sea
by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

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Rough walls of locally sourced rubble surround this house on the south coast of Ireland by Dublin studio Aughey O'Flaherty Architects (+ slideshow).

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

The single-storey Carnivan House overlooks the sea from a cliff-top vantage point in Fethard on Sea, so Aughey O'Flaherty Architects designed the residence with floor-to-ceiling windows and a rooftop terrace.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

The building features an L-shaped plan with a square lawn on the eastern side, where it can benefit from morning sunlight but is also protected from the prevailing south-westerly wind.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Narrow terraces are tucked into recesses along three different elevations. Framed by polished concrete and with glazing behind, these inserts exaggerate the thickness of the exterior walls.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

The entrance to the house is at the outer corner and leads through to an open-plan living and dining room in the southern wing, or to four bedrooms in the eastern wing. An indoor staircase ascends to the roof, where the private terrace is screened behind a parapet wall.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Other recently completed houses in Ireland include a seaside residence with two wooden halves and a rural cottage with four limestone extensions. See more Irish houses on Dezeen.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Photography is by Marie Louise Halpenny.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Here's a project description from Aughey O'Flaherty Architects:


This project is a new house on a site by the sea in Wexford. The site is located on a headland, Baginbun Head, a protected scenic amenity area. It contains a Norman wall and is bounded on three sides by cliffs and sea. The challenge was to deal with the potentially conflicting objectives of creating a home that was sensitive to this beautiful landscape and that also made the most of it.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

The form of the house is a simple L shape. This is a response to function, the path of the sun through the day and to the wind.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

The living accommodation is located in one wing, which is dual aspect and avails of the east-west orientation. The bedroom accommodation is located in the other wing and avails of the north-south orientation. The entrance and services are located in the intersection of the two wings. This square intersection has a low ceiling height to enable a roof terrace, positioned above. This is open to the sky and concealed within the roof profile.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

The building is kept low and the L shape plan is rotated to avoid the prevailing winds, regularly wild, from the sea to the west. The two wings protect and shelter a south-facing garden which completes the square.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Three external covered spaces are cut into the L, in the form of niches, of varying depth. The entrance porch is located in a recess on the more public, northern side. A south-facing terrace opens the bedroom wing to the garden. A long west-facing covered porch opens the living room wing to the wonderful landscape and the views of sea and sunset to the west.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Above: site plan - click for larger image

The building was designed to be energy efficient and cheap to run. The house is a combination of new and traditional construction technologies. The house is a super insulated air-tight prefabricated timber structure, slowly wrapped in a local random rubble, sitting on a polished concrete base. Its layout and detail were guided by the principles of sustainable design.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Above: floor plan - click for larger image

The use of natural light is integral. There are tall ceiling heights and large areas of full-height-glazing and sliding screens located to maximize the solar gain.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Above: section one - click for larger image

The east, west and north façades are exceptionally thermally efficient. It was designed with a marsh grass roof to increase thermal efficiency and link it with the ground.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Above: section two - click for larger image

The house is 260m² in size. The design process began in Jan 2008 and the house was completed June 2012.

Carnivan House by Aughey O'Flaherty Architects

Above: section three - click for larger image

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    It is elegant in its simplicity. I could live there in a heartbeat.

  • Sam

    Beautiful. I love the contrast of the rendered/clean lines of the entrance points against the local stone. Also, for some reason the first image in the slideshow really gives me a sense of nostalgia.

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    Are those cacti? The Wild West of Ireland! Such purity of design too.

  • Subtract

    Southeast Ireland. The only part that’s regularly sunny :)

  • http://www.triumphmodular.com Janet Field

    Love the combination of prefab components with local rubble. Also really like the design and floor plan, given the strong winds in the region.