West Mayo, Ireland

Site Size: 7 acres

Project Size: 5,000 square feet

Program: The client desired a cottage that could be used as either a quiet winter hideaway or a summer holiday home for a large extended family. Located on the Atlantic coastline, the house is exposed to extreme weather and a corrosive environment. The client wanted to take advantage of the views but provide some protection from the rain and wind.

Solution: The architects divided the house into four rectilinear volumes organized around a courtyard, which serves as the main entrance. Much like the modest local farmhouses in the area, the 28-inch-thick walls are built of rugged sandstone with a timber frame and raft foundations.

In the winter, the two-story unit, containing three bedrooms, kitchen, dining, bathrooms, and living areas, can be closed off from the other unused spaces to conserve energy. The materials are simple: the local Lacken sandstone covers the floors, and limed oak appears on doors, window trim, and interior paneling. Curtains and blinds are undyed linen. The house was completed in August 2012.

Tierney Haines Architects
96 Mount Albany, Newtownpark Avenue
Blackrock, Co
Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 2123748


Completion Date: August 2012

Gross square footage: 5,000 sq. ft

Total construction cost: Withheld

Owner: Withheld

Tierney Haines Architects
96 Mount Albany, Newtownpark Avenue
Blackrock, Co
Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 2123748

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Registered architects - Stephen Tierney and Sandy Rendel. Project design team – James Casey, Gabriella Regina, Nicola Haines, Alex Doran, Amy Fitzgerald.

Engineer(s): EDPM Engineers, Frank Endicott, Alan Guildea

Landscape:  Nicola Haines

Lighting: James Hornsby

General contractor: Naughton Builders

Photographer(s): Stephen Tierney

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autocad


Structural system
Timber frame

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:
A-Frame timber frames Ltd.

Exterior cladding
Masonry: Lacken Sandstone by Naughton Builders

Wood: Oak, Geraghty Joinery Ltd. Galway, Ireland

Tile/shingles: Natural slate

Metal frame: Schuco anodized aluminum windows by Alucraft Ltd. Dublin

Skylights: Neo, Rooflight company

Wood doors: Oak, Geraghty Joinery Ltd. Galway, Ireland

Interior finishes
Wall coverings: Oak, Geraghty Joinery Ltd. Galway, Ireland

Interior ambient lighting: Contemporary Lighting Solutions, Dublin Ireland

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: Ground source heat pump