Knocktopher Friary, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland :: This project is an extension and refurbishment of an existing protected friary building in Knocktopher, Co. Kilkenny. The original collection of extensions and lean to structures to the rear of the Friary building and adjoining Church were demolished and a new master plan for this small complex of buildings was conceived around a new central courtyard. This concept was further developed as a contemporary cloister, which was seen as an appropriate method of tying both the existing and new structures together, de ning a clear circulation route through both.
The original friary building has been kept intact and its back elevation used to de ne the open end of the courtyard establishing its shape in plan. Externally, the palette of materials was deliberately kept to a minimum. Full height panels of treated cedar wood boards, board marked in situ concrete and clear double glazing sit on a plinth of fair faced concrete the top of which extends the datum of the Church oor throughout the site. These materials sit on a simple bed of white gravel in the courtyard with the added focus of a mature olive tree set to one corner.
All new living accommodation provides carefully framed views of the surrounding countryside and the building itself when viewed from a distance sits comfortably into the landscape carefully wrapped around the original structures .