The Hatchery

Conversion, West Cork, Ireland

  • The Brief

    Barc was enlisted to oversee the major redevelopment of an existing industrial building in the wilds of West Cork. The project involved the conversion of a commercial sea urchin hatchery into a stylish residential dwelling. Great care would need to be taken to ensure that the property would sit sensitively within the surrounding landscape and be as energy efficient as possible. It was also important to consider the property’s exposed position just metres from the sea.

  • The Work

    Barc took the time to understand the client’s lifestyle needs and the aesthetic they hoped to achieve. Rather than designing a property that mirrored traditional west Irish homes, we opted to clad the building in corrugated metal. These darker materials blend with the heathers and the greenery that surround The Hatchery and are robust enough to weather the elements. We also created several sheltered outdoor areas to withstand coastal winds and we incorporated a sustainably heated hot tub into the north facing terrace. Inside, we developed the building’s existing footprint to create a spacious three-bedroom home. In the main living and kitchen space we maintained the property’s original height and introduced floor-to-ceiling windows. We replaced the existing rafters with tie rod trusses and incorporated a highly polished concrete floor throughout the lower level as a nod to The Hatchery’s industrial past. Several rooms benefit from picture windows, which flood the property with natural light and maximise the surrounding scenery. We worked closely with local contractors to maximise the potential of the site without compromising on comfort and efficiency. The Hatchery is highly insulated and makes clever use of a ground source heat pump for heating and hot water.

  • The Client

    “We had a dream to build our own home in the wilds of West Cork and Caroline and her team at Barc helped us realise this by designing a beautiful house for us. From the moment we engaged with Barc we were confident that despite the challenges of the location we were in safe hands. Caroline took time to listen and understand both our lifestyle needs and the aesthetic we were hoping to achieve. The talented design team were able to encapsulate what we were looking for in a modern design, while at the same time managing to be practical and conscious of the harsh environmental conditions. We benefited hugely from Barc’s experience of designing coastal properties and energy-efficient homes. From dealing with the technical aspects of the build, communicating with our builder, to calming us down when we worried, Caroline is the consummate professional.  Without a doubt, we would not be in the house of our dreams if Caroline and Barc were not part of the journey”.
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