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Thatched folly wins Ards Forest Park contest

A local architect and artist team has won the Irish Architecture Foundation-run competition to design an installation for Ards Forest Park in Donegal

The winning scheme entitled ‘Jeffry’s House’ has been designed by totobArk, a collaboration between architect Thomas O Brien and artist Emily Mannion.

The folly will be made from thatch on a wooded frame, and is named after Jeffry’s Lough, a lake in the forest.

The team saw off competition from 43 other submissions. The judges described the winning scheme as ‘creative, refreshing, innovative and imaginative’.

They added: ‘The concept displayed a strong aesthetic form, an intriguing architectural narrative, a great consideration to craft and an understanding of how it would all come together within the natural beauty of the Ards Forest. They gave us more than just an object on a site, and created possibilities for continual appreciation and inspiration, in a subtle and poignant way. In short O’Brien and Mannion created the potential for a magical conversation between the folly, the landscape and the public.’

The competition was the first for an architectural installation in a forest in Ireland, and it was run with the intention of ‘demonstrating the potential of asking architects to respond to an invitation for unique interventions in the natural landscape’.

The completed installation will be launched at the Earagail Arts Festival in July.

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