Site Specific 2021: Baltrasna House

North County Dublin

Here, the lives and stories of generations have been preserved in a contemporary structure. This is a new family home adjoining the ruins of the former home. The hearth and barn are incorporated into the design; rather than a renovation project, the ruins have been left intact. Old and new co-exist. Architect Ryan Kennihan tells us how he approached the project and worked with the owners, to incorporate their needs to reveal a new reading of site, heritage, and family.

Open House Dublin 2021 is delighted to premiere Season Two of Site Specific; A collection of short documentaries commissioned by the Irish Architecture Foundation, directed, and produced by Dyehouse Films, that reveals the impact of designed space on culture, history, and society. Site Specific Season Two crosses scale, time, type, and use. From a family home to a national power station; from a place for health to a place for legislation. It is no accident, within the current context, that we have focused on spaces for health, energy, family, education, law, and commerce.

Each of the six buildings explored in this series convey a different stage of occupation, for example, some are coming into use (Baltrasna House), some have retained or adapted their use (The Four Courts, Catering College and Brú Chaoimhín) and others have fallen out of use (Pigeon House and Iveagh Market). The spaces chosen represent architecture that is in the thick of it, part of the everyday and part of our identity. Each represents an exchange between architecture and humanity, highlighting the simple fact that buildings support life and life supports buildings. In other words, we are responsible for their degeneration, preservation, and regeneration.

This series is interested in time and the coexistence of old with new. We hope the documentaries encourage us to learn from the past and care about the future. They send a message of hope that Dublin will be built with respect for its inhabitants, natural and historic environment and a desire to provide for future generations.

Produced & Directed by Aimie Gavin, Director of Photography Tom Comerford, Drone Photography Martin Osborne Blaine Rennicks, Rerecording Mixer Nikki Moss, Editor Claire Byrne David O’Sullivan.

Contributor: Ryan Kennihan.

Special Thanks: Ryan W Kennihan Architects, Louise Byrne & John Monaghan.

Irish Architecture Foundation 2021 © Produced by Dyehouse Films.

Opinions expressed are the contributors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Irish Architecture Foundation or Dyehouse Films.

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