A deceptively simple house in rural Ireland, which occupies a site that included remnants of ancient stone walls. Steve Larkin has produced a subdued, almost classic building that rests delicately on its land. The stone walls outline a kind of private garden territory, and establish a datum for the lower half of the section, the ground floor that holds the bedrooms. One ascends through a double-height spatial void to the piano nobile, which rewards with views out across the landscape, for the living areas. A terrace is offered at this level. The wide rectangle of the plan is capped with a centralised pitched roof that rises to an oculus at the centre. This gives the building its dominant image, and indirectly reminds one of important small structures of the ancient world, lending a kind of understated monumentality to the house. Not that any overt grandeur is being attempted; the House at Bogworth is anything but show-offy, and is emphatically contemporary, with concrete and timber and large panels of glass. Its internal spatial relationships may have distant antecedents in ancient classicism, but moving through the house, with its careful, studied, built-in furniture and material finishes, one thinks of really fine modern buildings. In fact, the work of Louis Kahn comes to mind, not least because it also tied strongly to ancient predecessors.
There is something about the language and massing of the House at Bogworth that seems entirely connected to its place. The rugged, forceful beauty of rural Ireland, with its silvery light and poetic gloom, complements the building wonderfully. Its straight concrete perimeter walls with openings of different widths slicing through dramatically and that distinctive pyramidal cap, seem to revel in this nature – weather, light, verdant sparseness – so that the house exudes a sort of confidence and ‘at-home-ness’. Then inside it enshrouds the occupants in calm, like a modern, miniature fortress watching over, in excellent taste, its domain. What a wonderful shelter to come home to after a long, bracing day outside.
|Period||01 Oct 2012|
Research output: Other contribution
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review