Ballynagall House, a renovated bungalow and outbuildings outside Mullingar

Renovation and remodel of existing cottage and outbuilding(s) with light touch site landscaping.

The Brief

The development to provide:

  • Open plan living,
  • kitchen and dining areas.
  • Outdoor living / dining and patio.
  • Separate snug.
  • Utility.
  • Office.
  • Three / four bedrooms.
  • Master suite to have wetroom ensuite and walk-in wardrobe.
  • Feature material preference for zinc / pressed metal and timber cladding.
  • Aesthetic preference for clean lines and contemporary detailing, i.e. hidden gutters, etc.
  • Enhance site and setting with indigenous planting.
  • No concrete path.
  • Maximise solar gains.
  • Maximise the views to the north.

Conceptual Ideas

The collective of the existing cottage and outbuildings forms the heart of the site. The site is surrounded by agricultural fields with mature trees of good visual amenity present to the south and east. The setting is the evolution of a by-gone era and should be respected.

As such, our thoughts for the new dwelling has evolved around the following concepts:

  1. The house and outbuildings should provide clues for the new adaptive use.
  2. Materials take their cue from the traditional materials but in a contemporary twist so as to connect with the site and rural setting;
  3. The transition between inside and outside for the main spaces is blurred with outdoor living promoted;
  4. Spaces arranged according to the sun path and natural body cycle;
  5. Efficient use of space but the sense of space maximised through far-reaching vistas to the garden and agricultural fields;

Conceptual Ideas

Site Plan

Getting the correct relationship between the sun (south) and dominant views (north) is key to the success of the project. As such the design developed as:

House + Out-buildings

The house and outbuildings form an intimately scaled courtyard. Entry to the house and workshop is via this courtyard. The courtyard also provides space for discrete parking thus letting the house to be perceived as almost an object in the landscape. The main social spaces are arranged to face into the mature garden and south sun. Outdoor living extends into the garden by way of a large over-hung roof. Bedrooms are located in the existing cottage and inhabitants will wake up to the morning sun.


The proposed workshop/garage is located to ‘close-off’ the courtyard. Equally, it’s proximity to the house ensures easy access and surveillance. The courtyard can be extended in small areas to allow for convenient car manoeuvring.


The mature trees of high visual amenity should be kept with the trees of lesser amenity to be removed and replaced with indigenous trees, shrubs and hedging. Where possible a pristine lawn is to be avoided in favour of a more ‘natural’ ground covering and allowed to extend right up to the house.

Site Plan

Floor Plans

Floor Plan

External Perspective

Are you planning on Renovating or Extending? 

Meeting with an Architect before you get stuck into your project will save you TIME and MONEY

A good Architect will advise you on how to reduce making timely costly mistakes, on how to avoid getting a bad design or spotting a dodgy builder and how to get Planning Permission for your project if it needs it.




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