Lake House is a contemporary single-family dwelling on a site of extraordinary beauty on the shores of Lough Erne. Located at the end of a private farm road the house is nestled into the topography minimising its visual impact from land and water. From the lake the house is shielded by two lines of trees. Positioned at a natural level change both levels connect with the landscape around making it feel intimately of its place.
The building’s form and concept are simple – a crisp rectangle of meadow is cut and lifted to create a sheltered courtyard around which are arranged living, kitchen, dining, home office, master suite, gym and pool. The principal living spaces face the lake to the north and benefit from south light whilst allowing lake views from the sheltered courtyard. A lower floor comprises bedrooms, utility and an informal living room.
This house will be an exemplar of low-energy design. The lower ground floor is extensively submerged with high insulation levels throughout. The roof is proposed as a meadow, contributing to biodiversity and supplementing insulation levels. Exposed stone and concrete internally provide high levels of thermal mass, allowing solar gain in the winter and a heat sink in the summer. Heat recovery ventilation systems are provided for three seasons, assisted by high air-tightness levels. Ground source heat pumps will run the underfloor heating and pool. A lift shaft will help the house to adapt to the clients’ needs in later life.
The lower ground floor is to appear as part of the landscape using local stone with deeply recessed window openings adding solidity. The roof is a simple horizontal plane of sandblasted concrete. Between the solid base and the roof plane will be weathered steel clad panels and floor to ceiling glazing, carefully positioned to maximise daylight and views. Outside the house the landscape is carefully designed to appear wild. The simple and local material palette will add to the building’s appropriate sense of place.
The building’s form and concept are simple – a crisp rectangle of meadow is cut and lifted to create a sheltered courtyard around which are arranged living, kitchen, dining, home office, master suite, gym and pool.