Building of the Month October Meander

Meander was designed by Alan and Mairin Hope and built in 1939 as a home for their family. Considered to be one of Ireland’s most significant modernist houses, it is a two storey modest villa carefully located in a sylvan context to maximize on light and shelter. In combination with the series of ponds and lawns, is a rich and varied woodland setting which was developed into a modulated informal context for a house with a material quality and scale that is in conversation with the rest of its site.
The house is essentially single loaded with the bedrooms and reception rooms located to south and west, embracing the garden; circulation, storage and bathrooms are twisted in to the North side of the house with particular views framed in the gaps between them. Many of the reception rooms are triple aspect & gain advantage of sun throughout the day from early morning to late in the evening. The issue of threshold is explored thoroughly around the house – the continental model of blurring or overlapping the inside with the outside is used to maximise the experiential and the tactile which also translates through to the inside of the house.
Cedar clad both inside and out, Meander sits on a brick plinth that gives slight elevation and allows seamless linkage to terraces and garden. It retains its original steel windows & finishes internally including furniture, joinery, surfaces and colours. It remains in the full time use of the family to this day.

Alice Clancy

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