House at Ballynearla exterior, design by Diarmuid Reil Architects


This house provides a sustainable and sensitive solution to the provision of a family home, learning from and leaning heavily on the vernacular traditions of the locality, yet meeting the family requirements of today. As such the modest scale and design of the house has been set to be appropriate to this vernacular tradition and its setting. The architectural language in which the house is designed is without question contemporary, but achieves this contemporary language by careful and studied use of simple vernacular countryside forms and by the use of largely local and traditional material.

Maximised use of site

The proposed house has been designed as a simple mono-pitch block which contains all the primary functions of the house; amenity, living, dining, sleeping and familial social interaction. The accommodation block locates these functions to take best advantage of the sites orientation. As the building turns to face from south-east to the west, the elevation begins to open to allow for the maximum utilisation of natural light and solar heat gains.

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House at Ballynearla interior, design by Diarmuid Reil Architects

Form balanced with function

The main living space of the house is orientated to enjoy the passage of the sun from early sun on a winter’s morning to the full extent of the sunset on a summer’s night, both internally and from the external deck. To the northern side of the site are located the utilitarian and circulation functions and these functions are organised behind a curved ‘utility wall’ and a curved ‘circulation wall’, which provide optimum utilisation of this lower amenity area of the site. These walls provide a strong external identity to the public face of the house, privacy to the house user, whilst providing an exciting and pleasing architectural aesthetic.

House at Ballynearla exterior, design by Diarmuid Reil Architects
Plans of Ballynearla home designed by Diarmuid Reil

Diarmuid Reil MRIAI RIBA is a Registered Architect