Cottage Refurbishment

project scope: To adapt a family-owned stone cottage in Donegal for modern living, taking advantage of its location overlooking Donegal Bay.

context: The building nestles in low ground sheltered from the atlantic winds. The original out-buildings which occupied the site of the new extension acted as an additional buffer from the weather but also blocked the stunning views of donegal bay from the house.

sustainability: The existing monolithic structure has been upgraded with highly insulated floor slab and roof. The walls are stabilised and insulated internally using a highly breathable lime rendered hemplimecrete and the layout has been adapted to accommodate additional bed-rooms and a kitchen/ dining area.
As well as upgrading the fabric the addition of zone controlled heating and a demand controlled ventilation system ensure that the building is enjoyed by generations to come.
The extension is sensitively joined via the gable of the existing building and is construct-ed using a pre-fabricated timber frame with a thermal bridge free wall. It is clad with un-treated Siberian larch and stone salvaged from the original utilitarian structure, which it replaced.

design challenge: The design idea was to segregate day & night activities for comfort and ease of use. The quiet bedroom zone is located in the original cottage part while the open space family room occupies the extension. Window proportions & locations are carefully picked to frame the most attractive views of the Bay and the rural landscape. The form and scale of the extension respects the pre-existing mono-pitch stone shed that previously occupied that part of the site. The composition as a whole now sits unobtrusively & beautifully in the landscape merging tradition with contemporary living.