An ex­cep­tional new house cap­tures the best of Ir­ish ar­chi­tec­tural tra­di­tions, the finest mod­ern crafts­man­ship avail­able and the most up-to-date tech­nol­ogy, as re­ports

Jeremy Mus­son

Country Life Every Week - - Opinion - Pho­to­graphs by Will Pryce

Kil­boy, Co Tip­per­ary The home of Mr and Mrs Shane Ryan

ACoun­try house is al­ways the story of a place and of peo­ple. It is, in its ma­te­ri­als and its pres­ence, the re­sult of a se­ries of choices—some prac­ti­cal and oth­ers ide­al­is­tic. But few coun­try houses built to­day are cre­ated with the cul­tural am­bi­tion of Kil­boy, Co tip­per­ary. this new house, com­pleted in 2013, was de­signed by Quin­lan and Fran­cis terry—their last col­lab­o­ra­tive project be­fore Fran­cis set up an in­de­pen­dent prac­tice—and con­structed on the site of a late18th-cen­tury house, in a fine, ma­ture land­scape park (Fig 1). Late last year, it was awarded the Ge­or­gian Group’s in­au­gu­ral Di­aphoros Award for orig­i­nal, tran­scen­dent Clas­si­cal de­sign.

Kil­boy has a re­mark­able story and the new house is the re­sult of an un­usual col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween ar­chi­tects and a client who had trained in ar­chi­tec­ture and was de­ter­mined to have a house of dis­tinc­tive Ir­ish char­ac­ter. the re­sult is also both a re­vival and an in­ven­tion, as its main façade is mod­elled on that of the orig­i­nal house on this site, built in 1768–71 for Henry Prit­tie (later 1st Baron Du­nal­ley). this 18th-cen­tury house was of a spir­ited Pal­la­dian de­sign, with a pi­ano no­bile over a raised base­ment storey and two storeys above. Its ar­chi­tect was an am­a­teur, Wil­liam Lee­son, a lo­cal landowner who laid out the new town of West­port, Co Mayo, in 1767.

the use of the Doric or­der—with a ped­i­ment over the cen­tral three bays of the

Fig 1: The new house at Kil­boy, de­signed by Quin­lan and Fran­cis Terry, seen across the lake

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