Repurposed farm wins architecture award

Baltrasna House by Ryan W. Kennihan Architects bagged a Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) 2021 Award in the Living category, while the Public Choice Award went to a home in Co Galway by beating off competition from a shortlist of 39 projects.

Baltrasna House was designed around a series of simple pitched roof structures, all in ruins, arranged around several yards that provide shelter from the coastal weather.

“We decided to add to the complex of buildings the way it had always happened in the past, with the addition of a single simple building, and left the existing farmhouse and sheds to keep their history and patina, creating a series of outdoor garden rooms within and between the existing buildings,” the winning entry from Ryan W. Kennihan Architects said.

“The form and materials are intended to resonate with the surrounding buildings making a house that is simultaneously old and new.”

Meanwhile Taylor McCarney Architects won the much coveted Public Choice award, only the second house to ever win the accolade. “Field, Stonewall, House” was conceived as a series of parallel field stone walls, that fit within its west of Ireland rural setting.

The project considered how such a building could grow from the site in terms of scale, materials, colour, and landscape. The surrounding landscape, including an apple tree, a shed (a childhood memory), and views to the mountain, Coill Chnoc Meadha, are adopted and framed within the house. 

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. Email

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