Clonoghill House

Design - Planning Permission

Two storey contemporary vernacular dwelling

Clonoghill House

Design - Planning Permission

Two storey contemporary vernacular dwelling

Key Prioities

  • Good flow and light filled spaces.
  • Well-proportioned minamilist exterior.
  • “Broken” plan with focused views.
  • Maximise southernly aspect.
  • Garden to flow with the house.
  • Maximise privacy for outdoor enjoyment.

Project Brief

  • Preference for minamilist exterior and contemporary detailing.
  • Generous Kitchen, Dining and Living. Communal, yet distinct.
  • Pantry in Kitchen.
  • Sitting Room.
  • Utility and WC.
  • Four double bedrooms – three upstairs and one downstairs.
  • Large family bathroom upstairs.
  • Generous storage.
  • Main bedroom to have walk-in-wardrobe and ensuite.
  • Downstairs bedroom for guests. WC / Bathroom in close proximity for flexibility.
  • Office space for home-working.
  • Utility to double up as boot room with outside access.
  • Garden shed detached from house.
  • Garden / Patio design to make the most of the sun while providing privacy from neighbouring properties.
  • Avoid over-use of expansive glass sections and clunky shimneys.

Design Development

The site poses some interesting challenges in so much as newly built neighbouring propertied are orientated towards the sun and as a result the main windows and spaces look towards the proposed site. Therefore, the first challenge was to mitigate the potential loss of privacy while maximising the sunlight.

Project Brief:
Starting with the visual and programmatic brief, the design started as a contemporary vernacular house adopting clean lines and a pared back material palette. The initial idea is to use the house and garage to provide an initial buffer space between the nearest neighbour and from there, the internal spaces are arranged to maximise natural light over the course of the day. Pockets of privacy are then created around the house that relate to the function and expected time of use of internal space. This idea creates varying narratives between the house and garden with the free-flow between inside and outside promoted.

Politeness & Contradiction:
We recently identified and explored the idea of “politeness and contradiction” to great affect and are keen to further develop the concept. We found the results bring about visually interesting internal spaces and external elevations.

Floor Plans

The spatial response opposite is the evolution of ideas tested in the Development Section. The driveway takes you past the front elevation where entry into the house is via a recessed loggia. A double height hall leads you to the kitchen as a progress from North to South. The Garden is always in view as you move through the house.

The sitting room, utility, bathroom and the office are located off the hall. A generous kitchen contains an island and pantry with views in three directions. The kitchen and dining form the heart of the home with the living area complimenting the duo of social spaces.

The kitchen area contains a secluded window seat perfect for chatting or reading. The living area is seperated by a double-sided stove and lofty ceilings over the living and dining areasgive space to breath.

The main social spaces spill out onto two patios. From each, different experiences of the garden, views and the sun are had depending on the time of day. The patios are located to make the most of the sun but are also located to provide privacy.

Moving upstairs, a westerly window crowns the arrival to first floor. The landing connects all three bedrooms, the family bathroom and the office. Windows are positioned for natural light and views. The windows in the circulation spaces offer glimpses of the views while larger windows in the bedroom offer more expansive views as a theatrical experience of tease and reward.

On the landing is a substantial hot press and linen store. The landing also crosses through the double-height entrance hall, further exciting the sense of movement and spatial experience. All three bedrooms are generous enough to take double-beds with a combination of built-in clothes storage.

The main bedroom contains an ample sleeping area with an ensuite and walk-in-wardrobe at the foot of the bed. Pocket doors help to makes access more discrete and will allow diffused light percolate into the main bedroom. Bedrooms are dual-aspect and offer different views of the surrounding landscape depending on which room you’re in.

Site Plan

The aerial view opposite illustrates the relationship of the house and garden and how each is an extension of the other. The shrub lined driveway directs you to the ‘front’ entrance, taking habitants and guests to a parking court before entering the house.

A garage helps to define the parking area and the transition between public and private. The rear of the house is all about the light, views and the garden. The windows are contemporary vernacular in style with a strong interior focused arrangement.

From this view the expansive glazed sections off the kitchen and dining area can be seen to open up to the patio, thus blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. The secluded outdoor area creates a delightful external space for family gatherings on long summer evenings.

From the entrance, an axis running north to south traces through the house and out into the garden, takes in internal focal points such as the stove and raised ceilings. The external material palette uses a combination of traditional materials with contemporary detailing to give a sensitive, yet confident appearance.

From the road, the house appears like a contemporary vernacular styled property befitting of a rural context. The roadside elevation adopts a balanced window arrangement made of different window types and details to enhance the traditional farmhouse aesthetic. The subtle indents and frames around the windows, (the latter taking precendence from the client’s visual brief in the Design Development section), give the elevation depth and intrigue. Going further visually, changes in texture (or material) from smooth to rough, heighten the tactile sense and contrast between the different elements. The house itself sits confidently on the site and in time the new planting scheme will further enhance the setting.

This view depicts also the covered outdoor space to the south overlooking the garden (left of image) and the interconnecting canopy between the house and garage (right of image). The playful external appearance is echoed around the house, and internally, the house reveals itself as a series of playful moments or sequences which excite the senses. Internal theatrics employ sensations of compression to expansion, intimate to generous, low light to bright light, etc. with the aim of creating experintial dexterity duality (i.e., politeness and contradiction) that has enriched the design for the better.

Project Gallery

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