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This Award winning studio is an exemplary example of high quality design within a rural setting, Fallahogey Studio nestles sunken within the agrarian landscape of Northern Ireland, providing an architectural studio for the practice McGarry-Moon Architects. Designed to compliment the rural surroundings, the building is informed by shapes and materials prevalent within the locale. The project demonstrates the benefits of investing in good design through attracting new clientele and increasing revenue for the business, while providing an uplifting environment for staff, improving wellbeing and productivity.
The brief for ‘Fallahogey Studio’ emerged from the need to house an expanding rural architectural practice that was out-growing its previous dedicated office space in the directors’ home. The new studio is situated in the lower garden of the family home, and creates a physical separation between ‘living’ and ‘working.’
The building form responds to vernacular architecture of the locality, modelled to reference the rusting agricultural sheds that abound the rural area. Its exterior form appears as a simple pitched-roof shed, cloaked in corten steel. The interior reveals a series of bright overlapping spaces, serving several functions within a small area. The building further serves as a domestic garage, and provides a level access bedroom and shower-room for relatives with mobility issues.
The office is accessed via a perforated corten steel bridge, passing through the canopy of mature apple trees. The entrance level houses the private meeting room/bedroom and wc, with stairs ascending to a mezzanine level, and steps downward into a daily meeting space. This overlooks the main office space on the lowest level, sunken into the ground where it enjoys views across the garden. Glazed gables shaded by perforated steel shutters and a long roof light throw light into the triple height space.
The birch plywood glulam structure is left exposed, and doubles as the interior fit-out, forming the wall finish, shelving, drawers and cupboards. The structure has been designed around the dimensions of a plywood sheet and insulation boards, to ensure there is no wastage. Being fabricated and painted off-site, and with all dovetail joints, allowed for quick and simple assembly. The joy of craftsmanship, and tactility of the timber imbue the space with a timeless beauty. All trades involved in the construction of the project were local and material was also locally sourced, cutting down on the carbon foot print/embodied energy during construction and increasing social sustainability.