Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Irish Intercounties Surfing Championship – 50 year anniversary

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This weekend sees the 50 year celebration of the Irish Intercounties Surfing Championship at Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal and while I didn’t arrive on the scene until year four I have great memories of the event and of its founder, the late Brian Britton.

I had known Brian and his brothers since we were kids playing in the sand dunes in Rossnowlagh but we drifted apart during school and university years.  We got together again in 1972 when Brian led a small army of European surfers up from County Clare where he had organised Ireland’s first hosting of the European Surfing Championships.  We had a shared passion for surfing that took us around the world representing Irish surfing as competitors, managers and organisers.  Brian’s boundless energy, efficiency and his attention to detail took him on to become President of the Irish Surfing Association, President of the European Surfing Federation and Vice-President of the world’s governing body, the International Surfing Association.

I shall attend his memorial dinner next Saturday at the Intercounties and will no doubt, with many others, recall the great times we had on the world’s beaches from Lisbon to Lahinch, from Sydney to Strandhill and from Rio back to Rossnowlagh and the Irish Intercounties.  His passing is not only a great loss to his family and friends but to the world of surfing.

Roci

Image 1 – Lorraine Quinn, (nee Walls), with Quarterdeck playing in the Surfers Bar at the Intercounties early in the 1980’s.

Image 2 – Brian in full flow welcoming the world’s surfers to an Irish Party in Rio de Janerio, 1996.

 

 

Quaterdeck, Surfers Bar

1. Quarterdeck, Surfers Bar

Brian Britton, 1996

2. Brian Britton, 1996

Allingham Arms Hotel, Bundoran

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Under the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) we have been trawling through old files, before committing them to the shedder and we came across this old photograph of the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran as it was back in the 60’s and 70’s.

It reminded us of the exciting times we had working with the late Sean McEniff.  He was a man of seemingly boundless energy and a drive to move forward, at speed.

Original Allingham Arms Hotel 1960-1970's

Original Allingham Arms Hotel 1960-1970’s

In the late 1980’s we were engaged with Sean in adding to his hotel in Letterkenny, the Mount Errigal (previously the Ballyraine).  During design discussions he announced that he had just purchased the Allingham Arms and asked us to work with him on the development of the hotel.  From the start there was opposing views on the best way to commence that development.  One option was to refurbish the existing building and to extend it, thereby getting an income stream started in the shortest possible time.  The option we favoured was the demolition of the existing and the erection of a new hotel set on the front of the site as close to the sea as possible.  As architects, we also wanted to showcase our skill by creating an extension to the wonderful Bay View Terrace, but in a modern format.  We lost the argument and photos below show the early 1991-92 development.

Bay View Terrace

Bay View Terrace picture from Twisted Limbs & Crooked Branches

 

Allingham Arms Hotel 1990's

Allingham Arms Hotel 1990’s

Allingham Arms Hotel - Dinning Room

Allingham Arms Hotel – Dining Room

Allingham Arms Hotel - Cafe Bar

Allingham Arms Hotel – Old Cafe Bar

Ironically the hotel proved so popular that we have been adding to the building ever since and in 2006 we finally got to build an extension to the hotel on the seafront to make use of those magnificent views.

We were delighted recently to see that the success of the hotel under Peter, Elizabeth and family has brought it to four-star status.  It’s come a long way since 1991.

Allingham Arms Hotel

Allingham Arms Hotel

Allingham Arms Hotel - Cafe Bar

Allingham Arms Hotel – New Cafe Bar

Refurbishment and extension to family dwelling, Co. Leitrim

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One of the most enjoyable aspects of our work is witnessing architecture make a family fall in love with their home again. This was our experience of a recent refurbishment and extension to a family dwelling in Co. Leitrim.

Everything about the pretty village of Leitrim, that attracted them twelve years ago, still appealed to our clients. They had simply outgrown their first home. Family visits from Donegal were now an expanding entity in themselves as cousins for their two girls arrived along.

Entertaining family was never going to be compromised by this pair, so they came to us seeking to expand and open up their kitchen-dining space and to find a way to incorporate a snug sitting area.

Although the site is narrow we were able to add on a small extension to the side. We flooded the new extension with light from above, as well as improving access to an existing patio garden directly from the kitchen, with the addition of new glazed doors.

Reconfiguring the existing internal layout created a transformation of the boxed, defined spaces too often the property developers’ layout of choice. The look of the new space is contemporary, a light filled soothing palette of whites and blue greys with pops of colour in the soft furnishings.

Now at the end of a busy working week our clients like nothing better than to avail of the stunning amenities Leitrim has to offer and return home to the space that more than ever is the heart of their home. We know they are sure to maximise their new kitchen over the holiday period. We wish them and all Allan Curran clients and friends a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Our clients wanted to open their house up to create more room for entertaining family and friends, and although the site is narrow we were able to add on a small extension to the side. We also removed a few walls inside the house, so that with contemporary finishes, fittings and furniture the whole look and feel of the house has been transformed. Our clients are delighted with the light- filled Scandi- feel of their new kitchen, dining and living areas and are sure to make good use of them over the holiday period.

Co. Leitrim Before

Co. Leitrim After 1

Co. Leitrim After 1

Co. Leitrim After 2

Co. Leitrim After 2

Co. Leitrim After 3

Co. Leitrim After 3

Co. Leitrim After 4

Co. Leitrim After 4

 

 

Co. Leitrim After 5

Co. Leitrim After 5

Co. Leitrim After 6

Co. Leitrim After 6

Co. Leitrim After 7

Co. Leitrim After 7

 

Refurbishment, renovation and extension of 1980s dwelling located Co. Fermanagh

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As part of the refurbishment a good portion of the existing ground floor was reconfigured to put a kitchen/dining space at the southern gable with an increased window size to maximise the light and the view. The old kitchen was turned into a “winter snug” that was separated physically from the garden room with a screen but this was glazed to maintain a visual connection and once again to maximise the southern light, feeding as many spaces as possible.

1980s refurbishment and extension

Existing interiors of dwelling

 

 

1980s dwelling

refurbished main living room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first floor bedrooms and dressing areas were also reconfigured to give two top quality bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and additional storage space.

 

1980s dwelling

New extension to rear of dwelling

1980s refurbishment

View of new glazing to extension

We have a growing awareness, as we pull ourselves out of the recession and start to build again, that there is a distinct shortage of sub-contractors.  The contractor, Stephen Farry, has done his best to keep to the programme but is continually delayed by the sub-contractors, who,  in turn, are stretched to meet the growing demand while honouring long standing relationships.  In short, delays that we are experiencing on many jobs are nobody’s fault, just a symptom of a general shortage of skilled labour.

In this, and many other cases, we are left to rely on the clients understanding and tolerance.  So far that has been forthcoming and the work is proceeding, albeit at a slower pace than hoped for.

1980s dwelling

Refurbished bathroom

1980s refurbishment

Refurbished Dressing Room

 

Refurbishment, renovation and extension to existing 1980s dwelling located in Co. Fermanagh

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In the early designs it was envisaged that the refurbishment needed to include a half or two storey extension to accommodate the client’s brief which gave the extension a form similar to the existing but with a much more contemporary feel. However, when they revised their brief the reduced accommodation could be incorporated into a single storey. Adding a single storey extension to the existing format of the refurbishment was problematic without using a flat roof, which the Client wanted to avoid. We therefore devised a delta wing roof which, as well as avoiding a flat roof solution, gave us a number of positive contributions to the project.  It provided a clear distinction between old and new while a deep overhang created much needed shadowing for the wall of glass that was important to the Client in order to link the garden room to the landscaped patios and beyond.

To further accentuate the separation between traditional and contemporary the “garden room” extension is to be clad in natural cedar contrasting with the heavier wet dashed block work of the existing dwelling. The refurbishment and extension are designed to passive house levels of airtightness and insulation.

Refurbishment of 1980s dwelling

Refurbishment of 1980s dwelling – Delta wing roof taking shape.

1980s refurbishment

Refurbishment and extension of 1980s dwelling – block work and steel to Pavilion extension

Refurbishment, renovation and extension to existing 1980s dwelling located in Co. Fermanagh

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As Enniskillen architects we were approached by a Client looking to start a refurbishment project.  He had purchased an existing 1980’s dwelling to which he wanted to add more reception areas, to make best use of the south facing aspect and to modernise the existing building, all in a very short time frame.

The project was to be carried out in two phases, the first was to make changes to the existing house to make it habitable and allow the clients to vacate their old house. The second phase involved an extension to the rear but a key question quickly arose, how to join old to new. It was agreed that it was important, visually, to differentiate between the two so the design for the second phase called for a departure from the traditional style of the existing building and one which also allowed the clients to put their own mark on their future home.

1980s refurbishment

Front of existing 1980s dwelling before refurbishment

  

1980s Refurbishment

Rear of existing 1980s dwelling before refurbishment

It was very important to resolve this issue quickly in order to get the design into the planning system and keep the project on schedule. At the same time the issue was so fundamental that rushing it wasn’t an option. The essence of the layout involved bringing the garden to the southwest into play as an outside extension of the new ‘garden room’. This was to be the area where friends and family would gather but it would also be an area from which you could view both old and new together so it needed careful consideration.

We discussed it with our client, changed it around a fair bit and eventually came up with a very different solution.

1980s refurbishment - early design of extension to rear

1980s refurbishment early design

Refurbishment of existing dwelling, Henry Street, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

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Timber boarding

Timber boarding

Following consideration of innumerable sample colours the timber boarding has been painted with a light grey breathable Colortrend Woodcare Solid Colour Woodstain. The timber shutters have been painted to match the Munster Joinery Aluclad timber and aluminium, triple glazed windows. The old railing at the rear has been removed and the gap between the concrete slab walkway around the building and the DOE fence has been filled with Saige Longlife recycled decking to significantly increase the usable space. The walkway has been waterproofed and a granular surface has been applied.

At the rear the old railing has been removed and by fixing the new railing to the outside face of the concrete slab an extra 8” has been added to the useful width of the deck. The glass panels have yet to be fitted.

Upper level balcony

Upper level balcony

The 50mm screed has been laid on 150mm of rigid insulation and the first coat of emulsion paint has been applied to all walls and ceilings

Upper level internal

Upper level internal

 

Refurbishment of existing dwelling, Henry Street, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

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Lower level

Lower level

Lower level

Lower level

The plaster to the lower level was tested and any boast plaster removed and a scratch coat was applied to the remaining sound render in preparation for a “stone” tile to give a visually heavier base to the upper level which is to have a pale grey paint finish to the existing boarding.

The three bedrooms, ensuite, bathroom, hot press and “chill area” were formed from lightweight block work and plastered. A new timber and stainless steel and glass stairs will come down in the centre of the “chill area”.

Internal lower level

Internal lower level

 

 

 

 

 

Upper level living area

Upper level living area

 

The upper level stud work, plastered and skimmed and is almost ready for the insulation and screed. The two way gas fire has been installed and negotiations are underway with the gas companies to find a suitable supplier for the gas which will fuel the heating, cooking and stove.

Internal upper level with gas fireplace

Internal upper level with gas fireplace

Refurbishment of existing dwelling, Henry Street, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

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Henry Street Upper Level

Upper level

On the upper level all the stud walls are stripped away and the entire frame has been strengthened with an internal skin of timber boarding. The chimney breast is being constructed and the two way gas fire installed.

New stud work walls have been erected on the concrete slabs.

view of roof from bridge

view of roof from bridge

The existing manmade slates have been stripped, the chimney has been removed and plywood has been fitted to the entire roof.

The  new aluminium fascias soffits and barges and the steel coated roof have been fitted and after a long delay in the supply chain the aluminium sheeting was fitted.

street view

street view

In order to reduce the noise levels a sound absorbing plasterboard was used on the inside of the elevation facing the road and in addition two of the larger windows where closed up. However, in order that the elevation to the road would not become too bland it was decided to make a feature of the closing of the windows as well as taking the opportunity to add additional sound insulation.  Timber slatted shutters, running at 90 degrees to the main boarding, were constructed and will be painted dark grey to match the windows.

Shutters

Timber slatted shutters

Refurbishment of existing dwelling Henry Street, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

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The building was stripped back to its original 1974 timber frame which exposed the need for some bracing of the external walls.

The entire external wall is to be lined with plywood and reinsulated plasterboard is also to go on top of this.

Upper level stripped back

Upper level stripped back

Wall bracing and stud partitions

Wall bracing and stud partitions

The entire lower level was opened for development and is to accommodate 3 bedrooms and a bathroom.  Two of the bedrooms are to include ensuite shower rooms and dressing rooms.  The central area at the base of the stairs is to act as a “chill” area.  The chill area and the bedrooms are all to lead out onto the water’s edge.

Lower level stud work and stairwell

Lower level stud work and stairwell

 

Lower level

Lower level

The upper level is to feature an open plan kitchen, dining, living and study area with the master bedroom at the northern end and a utility at the southern gable.

The existing railings are badly rusted and are to be replaced with stainless steel and glass.  The walkway which forms a roof over the lower level is to be waterproofed and given a non slip coating.   It is hoped to fix the new railings on the outside of the concrete slab to maximise the area.

Existing External railing

Existing External railing

 

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