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McGonigle McGrath wins planning for rural house

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[FIRST LOOK + PROJECT DATA + PLANS] Belfast-based McGonigle McGrath has won planning for a 525m2 house in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland

The scheme, on a former pig farm near Magherafelt in Northern Ireland, has been influenced by the site’s past use.

Constructed from dark grey brick, the 525m2 house is made up of three single-storey barns with zinc pitched roofs.

The scheme is set to start on site in 2015.

McGonigle McGrath

The architect’s view

The informally arranged single storey ‘barns’ are influenced by the animal buildings and yards which occupied the site, of which a single derelict shed remains, and by an earlier dwelling house on the site evident only in historic mappings. 

The new barns are constructed throughout using monolithic dark coal fired brick, reflecting the presence of the existing structure, while internal insertions are robustly detailed oak. The rath will be restored.

The site is situated in gently rolling farming land to the east of Magherafelt, Northern Ireland. A former pig farm, it has within its demise an unscheduled and badly deteriorated rath, or ‘forth’. The topography rises from the road to the rath, then falls south west towards the town.

The proposal is conceived as contributing to the context and setting of its locale by its representation as a series of single storey long barns, informally arranged to the south west of the rath, rising and falling with the land, and with an enclosed entrance yard, in keeping with the memory of historic farmsteads and animal buildings which previously stood on the site.

The building consists of three forms. Each long, of simple span and single storey with vernacular profile pitched roof. Two of these elements constitute the main part of the dwelling. The first resting on the footprint of the removed dilapidated pig barn, the second assuming its geometry, orientation and scale from an earlier dwelling house on the site evident in early mappings. Both serve as a memory and an anchor to the historic context of the area. These two elements are offset from each other, and connected by a linking element, economic in form, deferring to the strong and simple geometries of the barns it connects. A third element is placed away from the first two, and houses the ancillary functions. The placing of this element, along with connecting walls, creates the enclosure required for the entrance yard, secluded from the rath, the view from the road, and from the long views of the site from the surrounding landscape.

McGonigle McGrath

Project data

Type of project house
Client private
Architect McGonigle McGrath
Structural engineer Design ID
Quantity surveyor David Mawhinney Associates
Main contractor TBC
Funding private
Start on site date due to commence January 2015
Gross internal floor area 525m2
Form of contract and/or procurement TBC
Total cost TBC

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