A contemplative outdoor living space set against the backdrop of a rural landscape

In collaboration with Landscape Designer Gerard Mullen, the architectural element was formulated as a response to the proposed garden design. This project brief provided for a contemplative modern outdoor living space set against the backdrop of a rural landscape. The design explores a large rural site containing a wetland wild habitat near the Comeragh Mountains in County Waterford.

Rustic meets minimal

The architectural response juxtaposes the crisp minimalist architectural form of the pavilion with the rustic tones of the landscape and the crumbling stone structures. The pavilions metal finish sparkles as a centre point within the garden, yet is subsumed into the garden due to its reflective nature, blurring the lines between garden and structure. The dry stone walling of the pavilion acts as a physical link between new and old, offering both support to the pavilion and allowing the rainwater from the pavilion to find its way to the weir and wetland across its stones. Both the planting and materials were largely sourced locally in County Waterford. The pavilion is clad with local native timber cladding, from a mature Cupresses macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) felled from Lismore Castle Estate.

architecture juxtaposes rustic and modern minima

Gold medal at Bloom

The project was sponsored by the Waterford Harvest Festival and the Grow Project, amongst many others who gave generously of their time and resources, and as such it was completed on a minimal budget. It was a source of valuable practical experience to students of the Grow Project, a Ferrybank Horticulture Local Training Initiative, a community based programme run in the Ferrybank area of Waterford for unemployed people, which offers a Fetac Level 5 certificate. The students were involved in all elements of the build, with specialist trades and craftsmen utilised where appropriate. The project received a Gold Medal at Bloom Festival and was awarded the Best Garden in Category and Designer’s Favourite Award. It was published in the RIAI Journal, Architecture Ireland.

The garden design promotes an appreciation for our native wild habitats, harnessing the beauty of the Irish landscape and evolving it into a modern peaceful outdoor space.

Plans of the Bloom award winning garden with outdoor living space by Diarmuid Reil

Diarmuid Reil MRIAI RIBA is a Registered Architect