The Glazed Link Idea

The Simon community is a charity which tackles homelessness in Ireland, and is supported by Irish Architects who offer their time and expertise for a very small fee, all of which goes to the charity, over the period of a weekend in the year.

It was through this very worthwhile Simon Open Door campaign, that I met Gary Mongey of Box Architecture. He was very generous with his time and gave me excellent advice. He shared some really creative ideas including considering the use of polycarbonate plastic sheeting as an inexpensive, efficient building material.

He also allowed me to consider an alternative placement for the extension on the east side of the garden. I had thought that would not be possible, because of space restrictions and budget,  but he referenced one of his own designs:

“A lightweight steel structure and planar glazing system links the new and the original domestic elements creating a delicate but dynamic connection”
“A lightweight steel structure and planar glazing system links the new and the original domestic elements creating a delicate but dynamic connection”
Plan view of the site at Lough Derg
Plan view of the site at Lough Derg
“The glazed link functions as a buffer between the new and old buildings”Photos of Lough Derg courtesy of Paul Tierney for www.box.ie

“The glazed link functions as a buffer between the new and old buildings”                                                                     Photos of Lough Derg courtesy of Paul Tierney for box.ie

In Gary’s design a glazed link connects the new building with the old…This got me thinking that I too could also use some form of a clear link. The link would substantially increase the scope of our design possibilities: insofar as allowing us to build a separate space not directly connected to the existing building. This could be advantageous for a few reasons:

  • We may not have to impact on the existing building too much. Gary had also given me the important advice, that the less you alter the existing buildings, the lower the cost generally speaking.
  • We could have more room to manoeuvre where to place the structure, therefore we may not be as constrained in the choice of materials by planning regulations. Planning regulations state that a structure bordering a neighbour’s garden would have to be a solid wall

So when Kryzsztof showed me how he had made his conservatory terrace with discarded materials, It planted the seed that perhaps the clear link was not beyond our budget possibilities.

Krzsyztof built this porch from discarded pieces of perspex and found timber. the floor is composite wood boards on a base built from disused pallets compo

Krzsyztof built this porch from discarded pieces of perspex and found timber. The floor is composite wood boards on a base built from disused pallets

Now I realise this is not as  fabulous a glazed structure as Gary’s steel and glass one – but hey! beggars can’t be choosers

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