Text description provided by the architects. A repeat client from New York approached LOCAL to turn an old stone barn on his wife’s family farm compound in Ireland into a painter’s studio and vacation cottage. Because she is a landscape painter, she wanted a view and lots of light. At the same time, they wanted to retain the rustic character of the old stone barn. LOCAL decided to keep the façade facing the other buildings on the compound virtually untouched, and instead break out the entire façade facing the best view of the hills beyond the farm. Two skylights, invisible from the street, bring in light into the rear part of the house.
The stone from the demolished façade was re-used to build stone steps leading to the upstairs entrance. Because local materials and craftsmen were used for all the work, and because the client was doing the site supervision, details were kept simple and within the vernacular vocabulary.
The other challenge was to fit a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and stairs into roughly 500 sqf so the interior was treated like a ship’s: stairs, kitchen and bath are as compact as possible and fitted together like a Chinese puzzle.