Architects often talk about ‘bringing the outside in’ to our homes, but what if we go one step further and make the space we occupy as much a part of the natural environment it lies in as a woodland, lake or old city wall?
This is the theme of some of the properties we view in the final episode of two-part series Dermot Bannon’s Super Small Spaces on RTÉ1, Sunday night, June 13, at 9.30pm.
Dermot meets well-travelled animal hide trader and father-of-five Derek McCarthy, who came across his Cabin in the Woods while on business in Poland. He was so taken by the small structure, he had one imported so he could create his own quirky hideaway in his back garden.
Meanwhile, originally from Australia, Damian Purcell is very much embracing the outdoors and has set out to renovate a beach hut on his very own desert island — in Ardee, County Louth! How realistic is his dream, especially in an Irish climate? Dermot decides to get stuck in and help him out.
It’s not just woodlands, lakes and trees that should be seen as the natural environment, so too can the concrete buildings and structures that populate our cities. One couple transformed a former warehouse in Phibsboro, Dublin into a beautifully calm and reassuring home.
Interior designer Stephanie O’Sullivan, and her architect husband Graham saw potential in the commercial property. Stephanie has put much thought into how each room functions within the flow of the house — there are no dead ends — while Graham’s structural design makes the best use of light all day.
We also see how architect David Shannon and Susie Dillon, after many trials and tribulations, transformed their space from a 28 sq m rundown cottage to a bright and airy three-bedroom 150 sq m home for their growing family.
In northern Donegal, Dermot visits a thatched roofed pavilion located on top of a rocky cliff in the Ards Forest Park, designed by Tom O’Sullivan.
Also in Donegal, Anna and Pete Higgins — who opted out of the rat race a number of years ago — have created not one but three incredible small spaces that don’t just embrace the outdoors but completely immerse you in the ancient landscape close to Glenveagh National Park.