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Irish Housing Patterns

Part 2 Project 2001
Gerard Kelly
Lamis Behbehani
Quentin Keohane
University of Liverpool Liverpool UK
The project sprung from knowledge of current Irish housing patterns, and in particular rural development. The initial stages of the thesis involved an in-depth investigation of the Irish "Bungalow Bliss" phenomenon. This analysis challenged the group’s initial aesthetic prejudices, and forced a more fundamental study of low density, one-off, housing trends in the Republic of Ireland.

The group proposed a more sustainable way of dealing with current and projected housing demand in Ireland. The project culminated by challenging the Council development plan for a small village, Timoleague, West Cork. A system of compact plots were proposed, arranged so as to continue existing streetscape and fabric. The decision to carve the site into plots, as opposed to designing a housing scheme, stemmed from a realisation that the prospective Irish homeowner has a desire to build their own home. Combined with a rejection of aesthetics, the scheme focuses on the fundamentals of density, integration, streetscape, and life long homes.


Gerard Kelly
Lamis Behbehani
Quentin Keohane


Essentially questioning whether the Irish Bungalow Bliss phenomenon is culturally sustainable the students undertook a series of investigations, each resulting in an architectural response, driving the project to its next stage. As a starting point the group had to overcome their own aesthetic prejudices in order to gather an understanding of problems such as lack of infrastructure and erosion of communities caused by the sprawl of bungalows across the Irish country side.

A spatial analysis of public and private spaces within the domestic realm and an investigation into the semiotics of privately owned and occupied dwellings led to the formulation of a masterplan on a plot of land in Timoleague, West Cork. The masterplan provided an intermediate scale between the national problem of low density the group had identified and the development of a detailed design for a prototype of one dwelling within the boundaries of the masterplan.

The project Alternative Irish Housing Patterns by these students was executed in a knowledgable and skillful way. Intellectually and with regards to the means, media and scales employed the group mastered a large number of problems with a high degree of professionalism. The scheme itself is representative of a forward looking way for designing culturally sustainable communities and was awarded the highest mark in fifth year for design.

2001
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