The Atlantic coast of Donegal is a rugged and often barren glacial landscape of islands, inlets and sounds. This site, on an exposed headland at Lunniagh, comprised an existing house in poor condition within a cluster of dwellings and former turf sheds, with coastal views west to the islands of Gola and Inishmeane, and inland east to the Derryveagh Mountains.
The owners have a strong connection with the site and with the existing form.
A new dwelling is proposed as a simple gabled barn with a partially enclosed yard. The barn sits on the same footprint as the existing building, and the accommodation is inverted from the normal, with regimented bedrooms on the lower floor and a vaulted first floor space, single volume apart from the insertion of a small timber room. Openings in the walls and roof are carefully proportioned, functional on the ground floor and generous on the first, sometimes engaging with corners to widen a particular view.
Externally, the barn sits on a plinth which steps and extrudes to form a shelter and a yard, the former to provide protection from the weather at the entrance, the latter placed to capture a favoured outdoor space.