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Architect and artist duo reveals thatched folly

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] A competition-winning thatched folly has been installed at the Ards Forest Park in Donegal, Ireland

Designed as a collaboration between architect Thomas O’Brien and artist Emily Mannion, the folly was carried out in partnership with the Irish Architecture Foundation.

The 18m² folly, named Jeffry’s House sits on the edge of Jeffry’s lough  - a nearby lake which exists on older maps but has now disappeared.

Constructed from a timber frame the structure is clad in thatch.

It is designed to offer shelter and views of the areas sand dunes, sea and mountains.

The project is the frst carried out by an architect in the forest park and is aimed at ‘demonstrating the potential of asking architects to create interventions in the natural landscape’.

Nathalie Weadick, director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said: ‘Jeffry‘s House displays a great consideration to craft and an intriguing architectural narrative. Thomas O’Brien and Emily Mannion have given us so much more than just an object on a site – they’ve created the potential for a magical conversation between the folly, the landscape and the public.’

Mannion and O’Brien, added: ‘Jeffry is a creator of myths, a storyteller, an inventor of musical pots, a philosopher, a builder, a mischief maker. Jeffry’s House is a respite from the elements and from the everyday. It has portals for the universes of the sky, the sea and for the earth. It is for children and for the child in us.’

Jeffry’s House

Project data

Location Ards Forest Park, County Donegal, Ireland
Type of project folly
Artist/architect Emily Mannion and Thomas O Brien
Commissioner Donegal County Council, Coillte, Irish Architecture Foundation
Thatcher Ivor Kilpatrick
Year 2014
Area 18m2

Previous story (AJ 06.05.14)

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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