House at Lios na Caolbhui Brandon
2007, Kerry, Ireland
The site is an exposed and sloping one acre site at Lios na Caolbhui, above Brandon Village in West Kerry. It is bounded by a road on the north west boundary, and by stone walled fields on all other edges. Views from the site, from the North to the South West are dramatic, this panorama approximately equates to the daily sunpath on the site.
It was imperative that the house and its outbuildings reiterated the traditional settlement pattern of the small farmstead. Simple volumes are used to make a semi-enclosed courtyard space that is arranged on 2 levels; the higher level is paved and leads to the main entrance of the house. The lower pebbled yard is the working space, linking house to outbuildings.
The house is restricted to one storey, with the sloping site exploited to provide a variation of level and height inside. Inside the entrance hall exploits this potential and is split level with views across the kitchen to the landscape beyond. Bedrooms, bathrooms and a study are located in the higher level. The main living spaces are placed below, arranged enfilade, with the voluminous kitchen at the heart of the house.
The house and studio are roughcast rendered using lime render; the house’s crusty overcoat is an effective barrier to the elements. The colour is reminiscent of the pink beaches below, in fact the local sandstone aggregate and sand was used for the mix. The buildings are not painted but like old houses in the area will eventually weather to the deep reddish brown of the mountainside. Inside materials are simple painted surfaces with walnut joinery made by a local company.