Ballyvaughan is an idyllic village uniquely surrounded by both the serene Burren limestone and wild Atlantic Ocean. The holiday houses sit on the edge of the village and form part of a wider Burren Coast tourism complex consisting of hotel, adjoining wellness centre and small conference centre.


In such a unique natural setting with the barren limestone backdrop to the rear of the site, a sensitive approach to the development was required. Impact from the road side is minimal with just the hotel’s bar and restaurant fronting onto the main road and pier beyond. The remainder of the hotel and the wellness centre are deeper within the site presenting the way towards the houses.


The 22 no. houses are positioned in a linear configuration along the length of the site in an east-west axis. The various house types along with a combination of different block sizes and make-up create an interesting streetscape enhanced further by the staggered building line.


The houses are built quite literally on the edge of the Burren - there are no boundaries within the site itself and the houses merge with the vast dramatic backdrop. The houses are defined at the front by a blend of paved bounding areas and crushed limestone native to the site creating a sense of situation, control and refinery to the front of the units against the rugged natural limestone to the rear. Both front and back elevations have been designed with equal importance.


The architectural style of the houses is contemporary yet sympathetic to local vernacular architecture. External plastered walls are painted white in keeping with the rural cottage tradition and the dry stone cladding resonates with existing boundary walls. Simple pitched roofs with minimal verge detailing and natural slate creates a sharp finish appropriate to the rocky Burren outcrop.