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Robin House, Callow

This ‘passive house’ near Foxford in County Mayo was designed to accommodate a young family on a greenfield site with beautiful, and uninterrupted, views of its rolling landscape setting.

The house is orientated to frame the view, and the accommodation is split into two ranges: a suite of living spaces face Callow Lake in the distance, while the private sleeping spaces to the rear face into the lee of the steep hill behind the site.

The house is single-storey, and constructed from a prefabricated system- designed to achieve minimal thermal losses and maximum air tightness. The timber-framed structure is clad externally in sustainably sourced cedar, with stone plinths and terrace walls. The house’s long low profile is a typical indigenous feature, and the simple double-pitch roof corresponds with vernacular long houses in the west of Ireland.

Facing south, the plan optimises daylighting and passive solar gain. Rooflights brighten the internal circulation corridor; increasing natural lighting and reducing energy costs.

Designed for an Australian building contractor living in Ireland - and his family, - the design reflects elements of Australian domestic architecture, especially the influence of Glen Murcutt.

The house has featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles; both for its contemporary interpretation of traditional architecture, and for its credentials as a ‘Passive House’ with high insulation levels, heat recovery system and solar heating system.

Client: Private

Value: €350,000

Size: 185 sq.m.

Reference: On application
Design: 2007
Completion: 2008