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Dunboyne Castle Accommodation



Location: Dunboyne, Co Meath

Type: Self Catered accommodation for Dunboyne

Castle Hotel and Spa

Stage: Planning approved

An innovative sustainable development appropriate to its setting.

This scheme of 13 self-contained houses within the grounds of Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa sits within a series of walled garden spaces.

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Image by 3D Design Bureau


Understanding Context

Researching the context of the protected structure we established that the existing tree-stand along the western boundary was part of an original planted woodland within the Dunboyne Castle Demesne, used to screen the lodge and stable buildings behind.


We used this clue to develop a scheme that would sit comfortably between the trees and the formal garden space, enhancing both.

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Extract from 1st edition 6-inch map, 1829-41                                            Present Day

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Designing the surrounds not just the building

We placed the houses in groups of two and three, allowing carefully composed views and glimpses between the buildings to the trees and open spaces, while the spaces between the houses would become courtyards within the woodland.

The entrance to the scheme was threaded through the mature trees, giving a dappled woodland arrival to the scheme.

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Walled Garden

Composing the surroundings and not just the building led us to the 'walled garden' idea which resonated with the existing castle and estate. It enabled us to use classical design concepts to anchor the new intervention.

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This allowed us to create considered courtyards and intermediate spaces - creating glimpses through blocks and oblique views while establishing a sense of place


Optimised Plan

Simply organised, efficient plan types were improved to maximise the aspect to the view. The buildings and parking were organised so that the entrance to the houses would feel comfortable and natural entered from, what might otherwise be considered, the side. This allowed the main spaces to overlook the large green space of the hotel, while retaining an efficient, smarter, plan.

Construction efficiency and space optimisation are drivers that form important parts of our thinking while still striving for creativity.

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Innovative Unit Types


Bringing further innovation to the type, we introduced additional height to the main rooms, planning the house around the central staircase, and bringing an air of luxury and variation to the houses.

An improvement from the norm without blowing the budget.

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Image by 3D Design Bureau

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Shared Surface

There is a growing understanding that streets should be more than just traffic routes; they should be places where people wish to live and spend time. As advocated by Ireland's Design Manual For Urban Roads and Streets, (DMURS) - streets must also facilitate more sustainable modes of mobility such as walking, cycling, and public transportation. There are numerous advantages: improved traffic flow, reduced pollution, safer walks and bike rides for all, and a stronger sense of community.

This is the philosophy we wholeheartedly embrace and carefully designed the external spaces to this reflect this.


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Image by 3D Design Bureau

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