They say you should never work with relatives but successful local architect, Jane Meade, thankfully didn't heed the advice and as a consequence the picturesque wooded, hilly grounds of a 19th-century
They say you should never work with relatives but successful local architect, Jane Meade, thankfully didn't heed the advice and as a consequence the picturesque wooded, hilly grounds of a 19th-century hunting lodge in Glanmire, Co Cork, is now the site of three majestic family homes.
Jane is living in Clondra, where she and husband, Donagh, expertly renovated an old farmhouse.
The Irish Examiner recently profiled her work on the Glanmire site.
Jane and her siblings grew up in Barnavara House with their parents, Tom and Joan Meade.
It’s a historic building with links to the Beamish family but as their family had now grown up and went out into the world, it was too big for Tom and Joan.
Fortunately Tom and Joan's daughter, Clare and husband, Willie Healy, had sold their home in Dublin and wanted to relocate to Cork. They opted to build Clare's old family home and that then allowed Jane the opportunity to focus on designing a more suitable home for their parents in the four acre grounds of Barnavara House.
The four acre site, is as the Examiner reported, “a showcase for what can be done with thoughtful and innovative design.”
Jane Meade set up her own architectural practice in 2002 and does a lot of private, one-off houses.
But for obvious reasons this was one of her most challenging tasks.
So Jane opted for a split level build as the site was located on a steep hill and the house was carefully designed to account for parents' changing accommodation needs into the future.
Clearly Jane was doing something right with the site as soon afterwards, another sister, Margaret, and her husband Ronan O’Driscoll, looked to build a family home for them and their two children.
Once again Jane Meade carved out another area on the iconic hillside site.
But this time, it was quite challenging because it was built on an even steeper part of Barnavara Hill.
Again she opted for split level design so when you drive in from the road it looks like a single-storey house but it actually drops down.
Three interlinked houses
The three interlinked houses on the four acre site have been brilliantly crafted and the location is a real boost for the grandparents who have four of their grandchildren in close proximity.
Whilst all three houses are linked through the old garden, each also has their own roadside entrance and their own services.
So they are all very independent but still connected.
The project was a real triumph for Jane Meade and whilst Clondra is very much her forever home she never passes up on an opportunity to go back home and visit any of the three houses now in the grounds of her childhood home, Barnavara House.