Coill Dubh


A nondescript bungalow lacking slightly in character and substance is adjusted and extended. Its connection to the garden is firstly improved by clearing away years of overgrown planting. From there new pieces are constructed across the large site with more attention to weight and permanence. A strategy of casting is employed: planting beds, the plinth of a polytunnel, a canopy, and a bench are constructed from various forms of limecrete – low-tech, low-carbon, and DIY – but substantial.

​New structural interventions in the house itself are treated in the same manner. Large limecrete beams make new openings and new columns structure space as figures, left rougher than one might normally expect. Outside, a thick coat of lime roughcast more or less covers the whole house, punctuated by new windows and doors and shiny rainwater goods.

The dense, somewhat cumbersome castings inside the house are complimented by more ephemeral pieces of scenography – a translucent ceiling, thin shiny shelving, fabric light fittings, large mirrors, a painted folding screen – and form a rich domestic landscape which might be used fluidly as well as comfortably. Home-made versions of furniture by Enzo Mari and Donald Judd sit somewhere between the two.