This article, Guided by the Elements was part of the Ireland’s Inspiring Homes section in the Sunday Times on 25.01.2015. It features the project, Hillside House in Stradbally, Co. Laois.
Standing in isolation in a Co Laois valley, this modern new-build defies the buffeting winds to achieve an A-grade energy rating
You know you’ve pulled off an architectural design statement when passers-by pull their car over to take photographs. Soon after moving into their split-level super-modern new-build in rural Co Laois, Marc
and Jackie Van Den Bergh and their seven-year-old twin daughters, owners of this home near Stradbally, had to get used to unexpected company beyond the front door, even taking to waving at architecturally curious strangers from their seats at the breakfast table.
A single glance at this daring house, from any angle, makes it easy to understand the reaction. A house that wouldn’t look out of place on the coast of California has nestled itself into a rural, pastoral valley in the midlands with ease and confidence.
Architectural anomalies aside, this is a house that functions perfectly for a family, keeping them cosy in the face of gale-force winds that chase the crops along the hillside. It’s rated A for energy efficiency thanks to the use of the very best of insulation technologies, clever heating and solar-gain marvels.
During its design, however, it was never forgotten that this is a family home, so the playroom was an essential starting point. There’s a vast open-plan kitchen and dining area that brings everyone together during the day, with a television room for evenings.
“There is sheer bravery in planting a strong architectural statement on an isolated greenfield site, with an A energy rating, despite a battering from prevailing winds.”
You can read the full article here.