Q: WE live in an old stone-built house (1890s) and are currently planning a new extension to it. Keeping the existing house warm in the winter is becoming increasingly difficult. What options are available to us in terms of insulating our home? And what materials should we consider for the new extension?
A: When thinking of your home, consider it your second skin. Your skin is breathable and carries out several functions so why shouldn’t your floors, walls and roof be doing the same for you? In dwellings this can be translated into the right choice of materials.
On our island, moisture is one of the biggest features of our climate so let’s embrace it instead of fighting it. Old buildings are great teachers for learning about naturally breathable and moisture-regulating materials.
A house on lnis Oirr in Co Galway has just been showcased at the BAU fair in Munich.
For many. the idea of an Irish vernacular architecture conjures images of John Hindeesque stone cottages, preferably thatched and with a picturesque donkey or two outside.
More recently the landscape has become peppered with dormer bungalows that seem somehow more suburban than rural. Completed in 2013, Brigid Keane’s lnis Oirr house, which has just been showcased at the BAU building and architecture fair in Munich is an excellent example or what a new generation or architecture might look like.
A County Galway home on the island of Inis Oirr has been showcased at a leading international architecture fair.
The three bedroom house was designed by Tipperary based architect Patti O’Neill and featured at the BAU fair in Munich last month.
The home takes advantage of the wild ocean views surrounding the site and encapsulates the surrounding rugged landscape of Inis Oirr.
On the Aran Islands on the west coast of Ireland an energy-efficient family house was constructed which withstands the harsh conditions and creates a healthy interior living environment. Responsible is for this is mainly the wall-building material that was used.
Inisheer is one of the Aran Islands and is a small island west of the Irish mainland. Idyllic conditions prevail here but at the same time so do harsh weather conditions. Living and housing conditions have to be therefore adapted perfectly. The architect Patti O’Neill addressed these challenges in the planning of a new and modern single-family home on the island.
In this project we applied a Zero Waste concept. The idea originates from efforts to reduce defects in the Japanese manufacturing industry. They force attention onto the whole life-cycle of products, which encompasses design, waste reduction, reuse and recycling. We sought to translate this approach by specifying natural. recycled and recyclable materials for this house extension.
Realising the potential of this charming stone cottage, the owner has introduced character as well as comfort to transform it into a light-filled modern home.
Article on O’Neill Architecture’s ‘Island Dwelling’ project. This article featured in the European Journal of Masonry – Mauerwerk June 2013.
This book, ‘Placing Architecture’ sets a new direction for architecture which changes the way we live with our environment. It is an intuitively-led methodology useful to students, architects, landscape architects, designers and artists in achieving more connectivity to our immediate surroundings and here and now.