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President's House

Limerick, Ireland
1 of 7Alice Clancy

The expanding University of Limerick campus has extended across the river Shannon. The Classical Plassey House is known as the 'White House' and so we chose to make a second 'white house' which was to be occupied by the University President. Given it's setting in the more agrarian landscape, this new house situates itself within the continuity of the Irish vernacular tradition. This tradition is as much to do with small construction details as it is to do with the atmosphere created by the way these houses sit alone in the space of the landscape with subtle sometimes invisible means of establishing the territories around them. Traditional landscape techniques are used in the forming of a setting for the house and the form is modulated in order to give a distinct vertical emphasis to the building with a castellated roof profile and prominent chimney.

The two houses will have a complementary role in that Plassey House provides a formal reception area while the President's House will provide a more domestic and personalized setting. The formal rooms of the house occupy three levels facing south. The more private informal rooms and bedrooms are stacked to form a protective wall to the north. Two staircases allow for two parallel worlds to co-exist; that of the private family life and the more formal public role for which the house has to cater. This adds to the intrigue and richness of the house, in the manner of many traditional Irish houses where private or service routes were kept separate from the formal world of the house.

University of Limerick Campus