We were commissioned to design a new 3 bed house for a family with historic connections to Ratoath Village in Co. Meath. The form and layout was inspired by the local vernacular and in particular the Irish farmhouse typology. The building was organised around three courtyards and three chimneys.The external forecourt deals primarily with the arrival. The building itself is wrapped around an internal courtyard with each wing carefully positioned in terms of its daylighting and privacy requirements. The bedrooms and private spaces look outwards towards the landscape and the social spaces look inwards towards the inner courtyard providing visual connections across the spaces. A third planted courtyard was positioned between the external forecourt and internal courtyard. This blurs the boundaries between inside and outside. It also serves to control views and the approach to the building as the inner world slowly reveals itself from the outside. The rooms themselves were designed around optimising daylight penetration and framing particular views appropriate to each of the spaces. In the dining room a long horizontal window frames a view through to the cattle field behind, A low window in the bathroom gives glimpses into the courtyard and In the Kitchen a high window scoops in the southern light and frames views of the beautiful Irish cloudscapes. The building appears simple and understated to the passerby and upon entering the space, its ambiguity and spatial complexity slowly reveal itself and make for a house that is constantly changing and evolving.

Project Type
Residential, New Build

Ratoath, Co. Meath, Ireland

Completed 2021

Project Team
Darragh Breathnach, Joe Keohane, Giovanna Santoru

Shane Lynam