McGarry-Moon Architects has designed a new studio for the award-winning practice, set in the lower garden of Jessica McGarry and Steven Moon’s own home, Fallahogey House, which they designed and completed in 2005 in the rolling countryside of Kilrea, Northern Ireland.
McGarry-Moon Architects has designed a new studio for the award-winning practice, set in the lower garden of Jessica McGarry and Steven Moon’s own home, Fallahogey House, which they designed and completed in 2005 in the rolling countryside of Kilrea, Northern Ireland. The building houses a new studio for the expanding rural practice, together with a garage and a level access bedroom with shower room for relatives with mobility issues.
Externally, the building is a tall and simple pitched roof form, its shape a reference to the vernacular agricultural barns of the local area. Like many of them, it is clad with weathered metal sheet, but in this case the use of Cor-ten panels with their deep rust colour, clean lines and seamless surfaces gives a contemporary character. Both gables are clad with perforated Cor-ten panels set in front of large triangular glazed panels, helping to flood the building with daylight. When the office is lit at night the triangular glazed panels glow like lanterns.
In contrast, the interior is a birch plywood glulam structure, expressed and celebrated to create a series of light-filled overlapping spaces which can be used in a variety of ways by the practice. As the architect explains:
“The joy of craftsmanship and tactility of the timber imbue the space with a timeless beauty.”
The birch plywood glulam structure is left exposed internally and doubles as the interior fit-out, forming the wall finish, shelving, drawers and cupboards. The main entrance, a glazed door in the gable at mid-height, is reached by means of a Cor-ten steel bridge with perforated Cor-ten balustrades.
It is slightly skewed on plan and passes through a canopy of mature apple trees. The entrance level houses an accessible bedroom/shower suite, used for guests and relatives but which can also act as a private meeting room. Stairs ascend to an upper mezzanine level, a meeting space within the open pitched roof volume, lit by a long rooflight, and steps downward lead into another daily meeting space, flanked by generous open shelves. This overlooks the main office space on the lower ground floor, an insulated cast in-situ concrete semi-basement partly sunk into the ground up to work surface level, where a strip of continuous glazing gives views across the garden. The basement also houses a small kitchen and, at one gable end, a domestic garage.