Archive for the ‘Allan Curran News’ Category

Ran Mor Close, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

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RanMor Close

The latest phase of the Rann Mor housing development, the A3 energy- rated Rann Mor Close has now been completed and all the homes are occupied. These GDC (Ire) Ltd. homes, designed and certified by us, were sold off the plans and were comparable in price to older, much less energy- efficient houses on the Letterkenny market. The house designs are not compromised by energy saving devices, and for those who missed out, there’s already huge interest from buyers in the new Rann Mor Meadow phase which has just gone on site. These new homes will also meet A3 energy rating standards. For more details see

Testimonial – Daniel Doherty, Managing Director of George Doherty Construction (Irl) Ltd says “ The overall Rann Mor Development has been remarkably successful in the last few years. This is in no small way due to the high quality of the design and the professional service provided by Allan Curran Architects Ltd and I look forward to completing the next phase of the development at Rann Mor Meadow to the same high standard. ”

Le Corbusier

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When the Swiss architect Le Corbusier sat down to design the Notre Dame du Haut chapel at Ronchamp in eastern France in 1950, it is unlikely that he was thinking about farm buildings in Donegal. He may or may not have known that he was about to create a masterpiece, but he was sure that he wanted to move away from traditional church designs. Instead, he drew inspiration from nature and primitive building types.ronchamp1

The shed at Stranorlar

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The shed at Stranorlar could be called a primitive building type, as it was built using local knowledge, building materials and labour, and was (is) very functional. Windows and doors are only where they need to be. At the same time, the shed has to do with ideas of growth and harvest, summer and winter, shelter and the order and routine of life that is dependent on nature. It is this spirit that Le Corbusier wanted to capture at Ronchamp. Perhaps the random nature of the windows, set in the frame of the heavy, solid walls, allowing light to penetrate the darkness inside, expresses this best.

It is interesting that the renowned Derry architect, Liam McCormick, was very influenced by the chapel at Ronchamp, and we can see the effect of this in his well- known chapels at Burt and Creeslough. Indeed, the windows to the side of the main door at Creeslough are very similar in shape to those at Ronchamp, and every bit as beautiful, albeit on a much smaller scale. At least we can be sure that Liam McCormick was aware of our local farm buildings when he sat down to design the chapel at Creeslough. Because of this, we can trace a circle from our simple farm building in Stranorlar through arguably the greatest building of the twentieth century, and back again to one of Donegal’s finest pieces of architecture, in Creeslough.

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Shed at Illstrin, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

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This little shed catches the eye for so many reasons- it proudly states its importance by standing its ground, making an otherwise straight road defer to it. It is angled towards the passer- by, uncompromisingly meeting your gaze. While the rest of the road is in shadow, this shed has a place in the sun.Shed - Illistrin

The red corrugations of the tin cast shadows that give the roof depth and texture. These shadows change as the hours go by, which gives the roof an organic, natural look that contrasts beautifully with the smooth- plastered walls below. Indeed the curving ridge, grain of the corrugations and frayed lower edge of the roof could almost allow it to be seen as a brightly- coloured leaf amongst all the background greenery.

Below, the dark void is mysterious- what is inside? At a primitive level, it draws you in and provides shelter and storage. There is a very fine visual balance between the solid of the walls and the void of the openings, while the roof appears to barely touch the walls below. Meanwhile, the shed directs you to the house alongside.

When the passage of time (changing seasons, changing weather, and changing light) is added, we find ourselves with a rich visual treat. All this in a small shed on the side of a local country road!Shed - Illistrin

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