The basis for the design of this house was derived from the site's heritage. Originally, the site was part of a larger estate on the outskirts of the village and was granted by the landowner to a loyal servant in the 19th century. This grant, or gift, is legible in the name of the townland and is an 'island' in the midst of a larger townland. Through the years, the site continued to be given, never purchased or sold - it has always transferred ownership as a gift. Finally, in the early 2oth century, the site was given again to an ancestor of our client, and, through inheritance, it has become the property of the clients along with its existing farmhouse and agricultural outhouses.
We found this 'gifted' aspect of the site very thought provoking and unique, particularly following the frenetic climate of 'land as commodity' that we have witnessed in Ireland as part of the Celtic Tiger and chose to base the concept for the house design around this idea of the site as 'a gift'.
We conceived of the house as a series of layers that choreograph movement and exposition. The house is designed to act as a filter or 'wrapping', which controls access to the vast views from and through the site. This is carried out by means of layering walls and the internal spaces so that the house, its context in the landscape and the lives within the spaces are increasingly revealed the further you move through the spaces. This 'choreography' of the spaces is also set around the functional requirements of the house as a home so that the prosaic needs of the clients are enhanced and accommodated as part of this movement.