Grace Weir and Joe Walker

LMN20

INSPIRATION

Grace and Joe are both artists of international standing and were living and practicing in Dublin. Grace’s family have a family home in Dromahair village. In 2003 they thought about building something of a retreat for themselves in the country to be used as a working space for them.  They bought a plot of land just outside the village of Dromahair.

They had heard of Dominic Stevens and asked to meet him and were delighted when he was the first person to positively react to the site. They spent a long time talking to him about themselves, their art and their lives.  They talked about their ideas on the kind of home they wanted.

The result is a home that they love and suits them. Dominic had taken on board one of Grace’s pieces of work about clouds  and that is certainly reflected in the design, through its constantly changing appearance as it reflects the constantly changing sky and landscape around it.


TYPE OF HOUSE

Modern, new-build


POINT OF INTEREST

They asked him for an ‘unashamedly modern house’.  The first design that he came up with they loved. They were surprised by some elements of it, such as it being placed down into the field rather than being on the edge. It was too expensive though. Dominic’s way to resolve this was to cut it in half; it was then a feasible project.                
They knew that they were taking on an experiment in design and build; this was not house that had been built before. They were happy with that and understood that Dominic was the artist in this instance. 


ECO ELEMENTS

  • Use of recycled materials (tyres)
  • Use of materials that were manufactured originally for something different, he would use them in a non-standard way. 
  • Dominic is creative in sourcing economical parts. The low / no mortgage can be considered an eco-element in design.

Forbo flooring systems


    CREATIVE ELEMENTS

    A highly unusual and modern house that suits its owners so well that, instead of using it as their studio / retreat, they have moved down and now live there full time with their daughter Evie.


    ARCHITECT/DESIGN BY

    Dominic Stevens

    BUILDER

    Conor McManus


    MATERIALS

     

    Foundations   Concrete and rammed earth and tyres.
    Walls  glass
    Roof  turf
    Finishings  modern / minimal

    HEAT SOURCE


    Wanted geothermal but couldn’t afford it. Have a wood burning stove and gas heating.


    WATER SOURCE

    Mains


    WASTE

    Biodigester


    GARDEN

    Field planted with wildflowers 

    Two studios  (designed by Dominic Stevens) have more recently been built in the field.


    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    • Cost: No more than a standard 2 bed house in Dromahair.
    • Time scale: 2 years  start of 2005 – end of 2006
    • Anything you would have done differently? They had the battle with Dominic for the double doors on the first floor, really glad they did now as it can get vey hot.
    • Satisfaction rating: Extremely happy. They have had a lot of attention from the press, neighbours and architecture students and have accommodated requests to visit and photograph their house as they are so happy with it and are happy to help promote Dominic’s work.

    • www.constructireland.ie/Articles/Sustainable-Building-Technology/Ethereal-Leitrim-eco-house-enhances-the-local-environment/Page-4
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