JOIN the AFICIONADOS
To receive our world of travel and style delivered straight to your inbox.
A family-run affair, MacGabhann Architects, based in the secluded beauty of Donegal has made its mark on the residential landscape with innovative designs that slip right into the natural vernacular of Horn Head.
Run by brothers Tarla and Antoin MacGabhann, the firm was originally set up in 1975 by patriarch Antoin MacGabhann senior, who had already made a name for himself within Ireland. When the two sons completed the triumvirate in 1997, the company grew, able to take on more projects.
Today, their signature style combines contemporary designs with a modern finish, which fit into the natural beauty of Donegal and beyond. By taking into account the surrounding landscapes, designs incorporate the environment. Roofs slope to mirror mountains, windows are large single pieces of glass, reducing the boundary between interiors, and the romantic ripples of Ireland’s rural land and the thrashing Atlantic Ocean is often pulled into focus. Throughout public and private housing, commercial and residential projects, their modern stamp can be seen in cultural centres to schools, bold timber-clad extensions and shoreside coastal retreats.
On a more personal level, MacGabhann Architects strive to keep the client at the heart of the project. Calling it ‘client care’ they aim to ‘take time to understand our clients’ aspirations and requirements and use this as a basis for developing unique design solutions.’
More specifically we can see how this worked with Aficionadas member, design retreat Breac.House.
When Cathrine and Naill, owners of the eco-sanctuary Breac.House found a house on Donegal’s Horn Head Peninsula, with a view so beautiful it took their breath away, MacGabhann were their first choice. They had admired an award-winning house in Donegal and a very modern house on Horn Head, designed by MacGabhann’s and with their plan to keep their structure rooted to the locale in as many ways a possible, MacGabhann Architects were the obvious choice.
They reconfigured the existing bungalow, so the main living areas faced southwest to the sea, while the bedrooms faced the majesty of the mountains. Blackened larch allowed the structure to sink into its surrounds, creating an unobtrusive design that encouraged outward-facing gazing onto the lush green Irish coastal landscapes. The gently sloping roof and the geometric shapes mirror the backdrop of the iconic Muckish mountain is trademark MacGabhann. Continuing with the owners’ desire to connect to the local extended to the inside where locally-sourced materials such as oak, granite, quartzite are the reigning.
When visiting Breac.House or any other MacGabhann Architects property for that matter, guests can feel a wholesome sense of connection to the local area, through sensitive, modern reinterpretation and design which includes natural materials and consideration for the area.