INCHIGEELAGH – Zurich-based office Markus Schietsch Arkitekten has added on to an Irish cottage in Inchigeelagh, a small town outside Cork. The extension contrasts with the existing home in personality, but it relates in form, adding a new member to a group of traditional, gabled volumes. ‘The new space uses the shape of the existing house as a springboard and develops it further into an expressive sculpture,’ the architects explain. They have essentially taken a generic cross section from the cottage, extruded it, and as it meets a low hill, turned it upward by ninety degrees.
The extension’s interior and exterior finishes were selected to accentuate its sculptural qualities. On the outside, its timber structure is coated in slate-coloured liquid plastic, perhaps taking a cue from the cottage’s dark masonry. On the inside though, the architects note that they have tried to reduce materiality altogether. The new living space and master bedroom contained in the extension flow together in a single volume completely finished in matte white to emphasise the unique and delicate behaviour of daylight on its curved ceiling.
The extension’s layout is unconventional; a master suite sits immediately adjacent to a living space without any firm boundary between them. What seems like a privacy issue in plan is resolved in section. As the house turns upward at the site’s low hill, a corresponding ascent happens inside, offering privacy not by way of partition, but rather by way of elevation. In placing the bedroom on a platform, the architects have also created better views of the pastoral landscape.