Fallahogey Studio is set within the garden of architects McGarry-Moon’s award-winning house in the gently rolling countryside south of Kilrea and is composed of a modestly scaled single form referencing and continuing the tradition of metal skinned architectural sheds, barns and outbuildings which prevail throughout the local countryside. The programme required a studio space for their growing practice, which until now had occupied a dedicated but small space within their home, along with a garage and an accessible guest suite.
The new studio is situated in the lower garden of the family home, and creates a physical separation between ‘living’ and ‘working.’ The building form responds to vernacular architecture of the locality, modelled to reference the rusting agricultural sheds that abound the rural area. Its exterior form appears as a simple pitched-roof shed, cloaked in corten steel. The interior reveals a series of bright overlapping spaces, serving several functions within a small area. The building further serves as a domestic garage, and provides a level-access bedroom and shower-room for relatives with mobility issues.
The studio is accessed via a perforated corten steel bridge, passing through a canopy of mature apple trees. The entrance level houses a private meeting room/bedroom and wc, with stairs ascending to a mezzanine level, and steps downward into a daily meeting space. This overlooks the main office space on the lowest level, sunken into the ground where it enjoys views across the garden. Glazed gables shaded by perforated steel shutters and a long roof light throws light into the triple height space.
The birch plywood glulam structure is left exposed, and doubles as the interior fit-out, forming the wall finish, shelving, drawers and cupboards. The structure has been designed around the dimensions of a plywood sheet and insulation boards to ensure there is no wastage. Being fabricated and painted off-site, and with all dovetail joints, allowed for quick and simple assembly.
The joy of craftsmanship and tactility of the timber imbue the space with a timeless beauty. All trades involved in the construction of the project were local and material was also locally sourced, cutting down on the carbon foot print/embodied energy during construction and increasing social sustainability.
Steven Moon from McGarry-Moon Architects said: “The site is built to passivhaus standards to provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. The passive house standard is achieved through rigorous detailing including thermal bridge free construction, air tight building fabric, high performance windows and high levels of insulation.”
The project has been very successful in the 2017 RIBA awards having won the RIBA Northern Ireland 2017 award, RIBA Northern Ireland Small Project of the Year 2017 and a RIBA National Award. The project was also shortlisted for the Steven Lawrence prize shortlist.
Following its success at the RIBA awards, the project has been nominated for a 2018 Wood Award.
Commenting on the projects award success, Steven added: “This is our first Wood Award nomination and we are delighted to be nominated for these prestigious awards. Being shortlisted alongside projects of such high calibre is a real honour and we look forward to hearing the judges’ feedback.”
McGarry-Moon Architects worked alongside Alan Moon Joinery and Building Contractor to complete the project.