Family home in Churchtown, Midleton

This house was designed as a modern family home, but at the same time, it needed to conform to the Cork County Council design guidelines for houses in the rural areas of Cork. These guidelines seek to impose design ideas which reflect the traditional housing styles from the past, in all new rurally based dwellings.

The design guidelines came about as a result of a trend to import design ideas from abroad, and transpose them into Irish Architecture. This resulted in a shift away from traditional forms, and scale and over a 20 to 30 year period, caused much debate in architectural circles.

The appearance of the Spanish arch, or the French mansard roof, of the American style ranch house made their mark on the landscape of rural Ireland to the detriment of the natural beauty of the native traditional architecture.

Cork County Council recognised this, and clearly saw the results of allowing Architects and their clients too much freedom in the design of their rurally based houses. To assist in guiding the applicants to design their houses in a more traditional style, they introduced a Design Guide to help eradicate the trend away from the traditional shapes, and to encourage Irish people to use the familiar Irish shapes in their house designs.

This house, while very modern internally, still reflects the traditional style, and respects the scale and form of the housing stock which dominate the Irish rural landscape.