Three sandstone wings protect an inner courtyard from fierce coastal winds at this seaside house in Ireland by Tierney Haines Architects.
Located 30 metres from the seafront, House in Blacksod Bay is surrounded by countryside, so Tierney Haines Architects drew inspiration from the local architecture to create three gabled buildings that reference traditional farmhouses.
The family that occupies the house spend most of their time in the two-storey eastern wing and the large central kitchen, which can be separated from the guest suite to the west by a series of moving partitions. "The client asked for a stone house that would make the most of the site and that could be divided in two for winter and summer use," architect Stephen Tierney told Dezeen.
The rugged dry stone walls were constructed using local Lacken sandstone, which will naturally weather with age but also protect the house from intense weather. "When there are storms there can be seaweed on the roof," said Tierney.
Window sills and lintels are also made from roughly cut stone, while slate tiles cover the steeply pitched rooftops.
Inside the house, oak-framed windows set up views of the surrounding landscape. "You drive into the protected courtyard and there are glimpses through the blocks of the distant mountains, you enter the hall door and a distant view of the open sea is framed, then as you move further into the house the views open up one after the other," explained Tierney.
"There is a real pleasure standing in the large window openings framed by 700-millimetre thick walls and see the Atlantic storms several centimetres from your nose but not feel them," he added.
Photography is by Stephen Tierney.
Here's some more information from Tierney Haines Architects:
House on Blacksod Bay, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
This family home on Blacksod Bay in west Mayo takes its inspiration from local farms and the small courtyard enclosures they make. The house faces south to the sea that is a mere 30 metres away, the courtyard form provides shelter in a location where it is difficult to use planting. The dwelling's heavy stone walls anchor the building in its rugged setting and give protection against the severe weather.
This is a house for large family gatherings with the kitchen at the heart of the house. In the winter the two storey block can be closed off for the immediate family while in summer the house expands for the many visitors. Access from the courtyard and circulation through the house are orientated with constant reference to the views of the open sea, islands, beach - a two hundred degree panorama.
The materials selected mirror the qualities of the site and were chosen to weather and age, sandstone, limed oak, zinc. The local Lacken sandstone is as hard as granite, has a warm variety of tone and brings continuity from exterior to interior. The rough drystone wall is refined by cut stone lintels and sills which lead to the use of a similar finish internally on both walls and floors.
Above: site plan
The internal spaces are varied in section and make use of quieter textures and a limited palette of colours and materials. The deep window reveals are lined with limed oak. Curtains are made from undyed linen. Externally, rough sandstone masks the window frames focussing the viewers attention on the landscape beyond. As one moves through the quiet interior, views of the wild landscape are composed through generous glazing.
Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image
The house is BER A rated for energy using 320mm cellulose insulation, HRV ventilation, geothermal heating and taking benefit from its south facing aspect.
Above: first floor plan - click above for larger image
Area: 450 sqm
Project Stage: Completed
Design: 2009 - Completion: 2012
Above: section AA - click above for larger image
Architects - Tierney Haines Architects, Stephen Tierney, James Casey, Gabriella Regina, Sandy Rendel, Alex Doran.
Contractor – Vincent Naughton Builders, Vincent Naughton, Rory McGinty, Diane Naughton
Engineer – EDPM, Frank Endicott, Alan Guildea
Service Engineer – Fergus Doran
Lighting Design – Contemporary Lighting Solutions, James Hornsby
Above: section BB - click above for larger image