- “The floor plan was opened up to create a spacious open plan living, dining and kitchen area that connects to a new private patio area.”
- “With a tight site it can be challenging to incorporate everything that you would hope, to connect to the views to the north and harness the solar gain and natural light to the south.”
- “The zinc cladding is a fantastic material for use in coastal locations such as this and will last for many years with low maintenance.”
FMP Architects is a professional, RIAI-registered architects’ practice, providing clients with a full service from initial site and brief assessment, through planning, tender and construction to client handover.
With a wealth of experience behind us from working on world-class local, national and international projects we know we can exceed our clients’ expectations.
Here, Architect Brian McKeown discusses an extension to a coastal home that offers stunning views of the harbour in Baltimore, West Cork.
“This project involved a complete refurbishment of the existing house and the addition of a new wing that features zinc cladding and a contemporary design.This home has been transformed into a dreamy retreat with beautiful views,’’ explained Mr McKeown.
Bought in 2017 as a holiday home for a growing family living abroad, the existing house was a traditional masonry, two storey, semi-detached house that had a lot of charm but also some limitations.
The rooms were small and dark, the layout was inefficient and the house did not take advantage of its amazing location overlooking the harbour.
“The owners wanted to update their home and create more space for their children and their guests while making the best use of what Baltimore has to offer.
They wanted to make a strong connection with the harbour which is right in front of the property, maximise the views and bring more natural light into their living spaces,’’ continued Brian.
“We looked at several options for the final look of the house while working out a new, all-encompassing plan that met their visions.
New openings were formed in the original house fabric that let in more light and framed the views with a wonderful folding door to really break the barrier between inside and outside.
“The floor plan was opened up to create a spacious open plan living, dining and kitchen area that connects to a new private patio area. A neutral palette of white, grey and wood to create a bright and airy feel throughout the house,’’ he imparted.
“The extension was visually designed as a separate block, but integral to the new plan. The extension has two levels; on the ground floor, there is a new living area with uninterrupted views of the harbour and a den.
On the upper floor, there is a master bedroom with a walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom and two children’s bedrooms that share a bathroom.
“The extension is clad in zinc panels that contrast with the rendered finish of the original house and create a striking visual effect. The zinc cladding is a fantastic material for use in coastal locations such as this and will last for many years with low maintenance
“The highlight of the extension is the upper floor, which offers spectacular views of the harbour. The master bedroom has a large, full height window that spans the entire width of the room.
“The result is a stunning coastal home that combines tradition and modernity, comfort and elegance, space and light.
The owners are thrilled with their new home and love spending time with their family and friends in their beautiful living spaces.
They especially enjoy watching the sunsets over their harbour from their balcony or deck.”
Upon reflection, is there anything you either you or the client (s) would do differently in terms of the design/ layout of the house?
“With a tight site it can be challenging to incorporate everything that you would hope, to connect to the views to the north and harness the solar gain and natural light to the south. It would have been nice to get the harbour view into each room, but not everything is possible,’’ added Brian.
“The project was a team effort, not just by everyone here in FMP, but the engineer Gavin McCarthy, interior designer Louise Keane whose innovated thinking and ability to exploit tight spaces really made the most of the house and the contractors under the direction of John Lar O’Donovan. A great project cannot succeed without a great team!”
For anyone reading this and who may be about to undertake a similar type project, would you have any words of wisdom to offer them? Have an idea of what you are looking for if possible, then find the architect that best suits what you are looking for. For example, if you are thinking of doing a coastal project, look for an architect that specialises in that area,’’ concluded Brian McKeown.