We were delighted that Carnlough House was a finalist in category "Single House Building of the Year".
Four rudimentary derelict buildings formerly occupied this site, too disparately scattered to evoke a sense of place. Instead, the new dwelling deliberately echoes the archetypal clachan arrangement in layout. A series of different scale buildings are grouped around an external courtyard to create a sense of arrival.
Set within Antrim Coast & Glens AONB, the design had to respond to the stunning Straidkilly landscape sloping towards the coast, whilst also negotiating the small settlement character of dwellings on its approach side.
In section, restrained single-storeypitched-roof forms greeting the arrival-courtyard (GFL) stretch towards the steeper side of the site to gently overhang a stone plinth (lower-GFL), reminiscent of a pre-existing ruin, or suggestive of a rocky outcrop of the mountainous Straidkilly landscape.
Such duality allows a modes treading of the form from the approach side, whilst on the coastal side, the full scale of the house reveals itself.
This shift in scale is navigated via a timber-clad entrance portico presenting onto a generous staircase, revealing the inverted plan (bedroom accommodation below). The social heart of the home is open-plan, abundantly glazed, availing of the magnificent views. This sequence of spaces was carefully considered to allow a continuous flow, whilst maintaining a sense of distinct enclosure for each activity. The kitchen is lit via timber-clad rooflights, admitting morning sun from above. Ancillary utility/larder rooms are tucked underneath this ceiling-scape. The living space/lounge at opposite ends interact via their glazed counterparts, one giving onto an external balcony, the other with a deliberately framed picture-window.
Materials are from the familial palette of the locale: re-used basalt stone from the demolished structures (surplus required for the quantity needed was locally sourced to match), crisp white render to contrast. Irish blue limestone lines external window reveals. Detailing in finely, evenly textured Ayan timber adds warmth.