Grillagh Water House, Located on the Banks of the ‘Grillagh River’ to locals known as Pixies Paradise, young Architect Patrick Bradley has designed his unique bespoke dwelling set within Northern Irelands Rural Countryside adjacent to the historic Picturesque Drumlamph Woodland, which is the only remains of the ‘Great Forest of Killetra’ which once would have covered the whole of Northern Ireland.
Unlike any other house that has ever been designed and constructed within Northern Ireland, this house takes a completely new approach to rural architecture in the Irish countryside. With the concept an appreciation of agricultural buildings dotted throughout the rural landscape, a house is a refreshing approach to contemporary 21st Century Irish Architecture.
The house is the first modern shipping container construction designed and built in Northern Ireland, with the primary structure made up of four 45ft shipping containers, merged together to form two large daring cantilever forms. The containers are cloaked with a dark grey colored expanded metal to the top form with natural corten steel to the lower form, which could only be considered a piece of art or sculptural nestled into its surrounding landscape. The dwellings layout has been cleverly designed to take full advantage of the site outstanding views to the surrounding picturesque landscape, mountains beyond, historic Drumlamph woodland and nearby Grillagh River (salmon river).
On approach to the house, you travel on a gravel laneway with dry stone walling to both sides which separates the site boundary and surrounding agricultural fields. At the end of access sits the house, and with the smallest elevation, you find only the primary entrance door in bold orange with a minimal cantilevered porch above.
The primary entrance to the house is located at the upper floor on the north side of the site, which leads you through a small entrance gallery into the open planning living area, with a kitchen, dining area, and living space. This area has been designed to have a free-flowing circulation, which also leads you onto two external balcony areas to the South and West. One of the three bedrooms is behind a hidden door of the entrance gallery. The location and position of the upper floor have been designed to take full advantage of the view and natural sunlight, also within this area of the house, it provides such emotion of a calm relaxing atmosphere. In between the galley kitchen and dining area rests the steel sculpture staircase which leads down to the lower ground floor level.
While descending down the staircase there is a large window framing the view towards the natural rock and once you reach the lower floor level, you are exposed to a whole bathroom through a large internal screen, which includes an incredible suspended hammock designed sculpture bath and towards the east a sliding pocket glass door which provides access to a bedroom provides view to the surrounding agricultural fields and a water trough for livestock which provides a barrier between the farm animals and the house. Located beside the bathroom is the utility boot room, which also provides access to the outside gardens with the large cantilevered south balcony above. At the end of the small circulation hallway, there is a hidden door which leads you into the master quarters. The layout of master quarter’s internal design is very hotel style with open shower area with a large internal screen, providing a beautiful view over the bed to the historic Drumlamph
Wood. Hidden Behind a frosted glazed wall are the WC and basin. The bedroom itself is in the most secret area of the house with a large glazed window with incredible views and with the only sound provided is that of wildlife from the woodland and flowing water of the Grillagh River. The feeling and emotions of tranquillity and privacy in the lower level provides a completely different emotion to that of the upper level.
The overall aesthetics and forms of the house which are sculptural like marries beautifully into a completely rural setting and with this very modest size house of just 1236sqft. provides everything that’s required to have a perfect family home.