Garden room – exterior view
Garden Room – interior view
Garden room external
Much of modern domestic architecture and especially those aspects associated with house extensions is based around two features – daylight and access to the patio (and the garden beyond). Both these aspects are designed to make the best of the little sunshine we get in Ireland. Actually, when we approached the month of May you might be surprised to know that during May and June, our sunniest months we get on average between 5 hours of sunshine a day in the northwest and 7 hours a day in the south east. There are, of course, no free lunches. Windows cost approximately 4 times as much per square meter as an insulated block wall and while triple glazing is now almost standard you also lose 6 times more heat through a triple glazed window than you do through the same area of insulated block work.
view to rear
When it comes to the cost of creating a patio the sky can be the limit, but with some consideration of the materials, the layout and the levels, you can achieve an attractive area on which to enjoy the outdoors at a reasonable cost. In this particular case we managed to reduce the original quotation by almost 50% just by considering those various aspects.
We’ve just finished working with the TY Students at Loreto Community School in Milford, helping them design outdoor classrooms at the school. We had a great time with the students and they came up with some really wacky designs- it was lovely to see them developing their creative ability as we went through the programme. Thanks to the Irish Architecture Foundation for setting up the Initiative- it’s our third year to be involved and hopefully we’ll be back again next year!
Architecture in Schools 1
Architecture in Schools 2
Architecture in Schools 3
Architecture in Schools 4
Architecture in Schools 5
Architecture in Schools 6
Architecture in Schools 7
Architecture in Schools 8
Architecture in Schools 9
Architecture in Schools 10
Now that things are really busy again, maybe it’s a good time to take stock and think about what we hope for in the coming years- we had wolf- proofed our front door but now that threat is gone and the door’s wide open. We’re out and about, and looking up. So, what are we looking at?
Architects are famous for two things: being left- handed and being terrible business people. Well, I’m stuck with being left- handed but having survived the recession I do know that we’ll continue to work according to our principles first and for financial reasons second. The way we’ll develop is by managing ourselves well, so that our work is affordable and available to anyone who wants it. We treat all our clients just the same, and we want to go on providing the highest quality service to everybody. It’d be too easy to prioritise big jobs over the small ones, and we look out for that.
We’re lucky because we’re working in a beautiful part of the world, in an area with a unique spirit and identity. As such, it’s important for us to use our local building forms and materials as our inspiration, but with an added twist of creativity. We want to develop this idea as much as we can in our designs, and the idea of craftsmanship in building work is something that resonates with us. In short, we want our buildings to be robust (able to withstand use and weather, and be low- energy) useful (providing all the spaces and features needed by our clients) and beautiful (having a poetic quality that lifts them above the ordinary).
On a more pragmatic level, we unashamedly want to reach as many people as we can to promote our work. At the same time, we never want to get so big that we lose sight of a healthy work- life balance, or lose the ability to listen to and support one another in our day- to day work.
Really, it all comes down to us wanting to change our little bit of the world for the better, by doing what we’re good at. That’s what we see when we look up. It’s our guiding star.
From wolves to stars