A new dwelling in the countryside near Dungannon, designed to enhance the everyday experience of rural family life and to integrate with an existing cluster of vernacular agricultural buildings. A stone gabled outbuilding is our starting point and connection back to the farm cluster, its age–old walls form part of a new court on arrival.

We have continued to reference the typical arrangement of farm building, lane, paddock and ‘street’ throughout the design via a series of courtyards and terraces. Movement around the dwelling is therefore encouraged according to the time of day and function of spaces. The resulting arrangement responds to the immediate topography and becomes an abstraction of the forms and spaces of the existing cluster.

The plan is arranged on two levels, entrance court and lower garden, to mediate with and relate to this topography. The continuous flat roof of the proposal has three breaks where monopitch roofs demark the primary spaces within the plan, suggesting a hierarchy of space while addressing the slope of the site and sunrise and sunset.

The field beyond the site acts as an extension of the garden. Surrounding field–scape is preferred to ornamental gardens.  An external south facing sheltered terrace opens directly from living spaces to encourage a greater connection these fields and the wider rural setting.  Internal spaces are arranged to address views towards the distant landscape and allow sunlight to enter at appropriate times of the day.

About the Architects

Recently selected by the RIBA as a Practice Role Model, MMAS is a Belfast based, design focused practice founded by Garreth McMahon and Fearghal Murray. We have ongoing projects throughout Ireland ranging from domestic extensions and bespoke houses to larger commercial buildings, housing developments, community buildings and urban studies.

Client and community focused, we aspire to make buildings, spaces and places that are contextually sensitive and socially conscious. Our work is derived from its place and its past, yet appropriate to its time and reflective of wider cultural influences. We work with critical rigour to develop rational, innovative and crafted projects that efficiently and cost–effectively enhance the quality of everyday life.

We bring wide–ranging and award–winning collective experience and a unique set of skills and expertise, gained whilst working for several highly reputable local and European architecture and urbanism practices.

Each project begins with clearly defined aspirations developed through in–depth discussions. Our aim is to build strong professional relationships with each client based on clarity and trust to ensure a feeling of ownership and understanding of the process and the solution.

The design develops through contextual analysis and research to gain an understanding of the nuances and characteristics of a particular place. Conceptual ideas emerge through hand sketching, physical and digital modelling and visualization. We have a particular interest in the emotional, nostalgic and experiential aspects of space and materials. Our process involves a rigorous concern for efficiency, focusing on the economical and environmental impact of a building over it’s life cycle.

Our ultimate ambition is to contribute to a higher standard of built environment and place–making within our urban and rural surroundings.