The existing circa. 1940’s cottage situated on an exposed site in Co. Tipperary was in dilapidated condition and was used primarily only at weekends by the client. The intention was to refurbish and extend this cottage to become a functional living environment so the client could greatly increase the quantity and quality of time spent here. The proposal involved the demolition of the existing rear extension and the addition of three new elements, a living block, glazed link and shed.
The new living block is a simple linear form, located and orientated to tuck behind the existing cottage while affording a view of the loch and flood plain to the North. The new living block accommodates an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area, while the sleeping accommodation is housed within the original cottage. Large glazed joinery elements and an extensive wall-to-wall rooflight allow penetration and movement of natural light within the living block while light is drawn into the original cottage via folding glazed doors and rooflights. The existing windows to the front of the cottage were retained and preserved.
A lightweight steel structure and planar glazing system links the new and original domestic elements, creating a delicate but dynamic connection. A more agricultural building, sited to the East of the cottage serves as a stable, utility and garage. Modern forms and materials combine with vernacular forms and characteristic materials, appropriate to the agricultural surroundings of the site. The internal polished concrete floors abut concrete lintels laid as an external paving material. The lintels were sourced for a local manufacturer and new copper rainwater goods were sourced to match the original. High quality hardwood joinery is used for both the new domestic and agricultural buildings and the shed is detailed to create a refined modern interpretation of an agricultural vernacular.
The glazed link functions as a transitional buffer space between the new and old buildings and the placement of the new elements forms a courtyard sheltered by the built forms it sits between. The triple-slider allows the new living space to open fully to the courtyard and the concrete lintel paving reinforces the sense of connection between inside and outside. The large picture window at the end of the living space provides uninterrupted views to the field behind while the tall narrow window at the opposite end provides a snippet view past the corner of the original cottage to the front and the flood plains beyond.
A wall of walnut veneered built–infurniture runs the full length of the new living block beneath a rooflight, incorporating the stove, desk and kitchen in one unified element and focusing the occupant’s gaze towards the views to either end. The unit doors conceal a desk with a horizontal slit window that provides a view to the side garden when seated. The master bedroom in the original cottage has wall to wall folding glazed doors that allow access and views through the glazed link. A bespoke furniture piece, also inveneered walnut, doubles as a bookshelf and bed-head that shields the bed from view.
A number of sustainable technologies were incorporated to improve the efficiency of the building. The fabric of the original cottage was preserved as much as possible and all the external walls were dry-lined throughout. A wood pellet boiler and wood pellet stove meet the space heating requirements and solar panels mounted on the southwest face of the pitched roof assist water heating. High quality hardwood joinery is used for both the new domestic and agricultural buildings and high performance glazing contributes to the efficiency of the building. The project now protects the occupant from the harsh external weather conditions while providing views and a sense of connection to the surrounding landscape.Location: Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland Architect: Box Architecture Project name: Loug Derg
Program: Refurbishment and extension of cottage
Site area: 0.75 ha Built-up area: 130 m2
Architecture Study: 2004-2005
Construction Date: 2006-2007
Client: Loug Derg
Principal designer: Gary Mongey (Project Architect)
Design team: Gary Mongey, Ashlene Ross
Contractor: C&B Building Contractors Ltd.
Text: Courtesy of Box Architecture
Photographer: Paul Tierney