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The Rock, Kinsale


The development, which gained planning permission in late 2018, following appeal, seeks to maximise the potential of a large garden to the rear of an existing cottage in Kinsale town. The existing cottage, which is of architectural heritage is retained and two new generously sized houses are developed on the site. The development forms a new landscaped entrance courtyard which includes vehicular and pedestrian traffic access as well as car parking, around which the houses are wrapped.

The architectural forms of the houses are conceived as a ground plane of stone garden walls (a ‘walled garden’ reflecting the horticultural history of the site), with simple linear first floor volumes floating above. The scale and material qualities of the first floor reflect the scale of the surrounding bungalows, which follow the topography and faces south, over the townscape.  In developing proposals, we have sought to mitigate potential impact on adjoining properties.  The low profile roof forms allow for existing views from adjoining house above the subject site to be maintained. 

The construction principle of the proposed development is an extension of the architectural concept for the site. The lower ground walls are conceived as the stone garden walls, whilst the upper elements are seen as simple lighter linear forms with smooth render finish, contrasting the rough heavy stone bases. Windows facing onto the new entrance courtyard are grouped together, into linear bands, to both further lighten the visual mass of the upper floors and to create a sense of scale, more appropriate to the communal space then face. The feature panels that group the first floor windows together are composed of timber cladding, which further echo the horticultural / orchard history of the site. To avoid issues of inconsistent weathering or inconsistent maintenance across the two dwellings, the proposed timber is treated by means of been charred using the principle of Shou Sugi Ban. This results in a long lasting self-finish, whereby the grain of the timber is evident whilst the colour blends with adjoining window frames.