Architect and farmer, Patrick Bradley, has managed to combine his two professions by designing the brilliant Grillagh Water House, an amazingly sophisticated and sustainable country retreat set on the architect's own land. Located in the picturesque Northern Ireland countryside, Bradley constructed the entire second floor of his home out of four repurposed shipping containers, creating a perfect example of how cost effective design and sustainable architecture doesn't have to mean forgoing style.
Although architecture and farming may not be two careers that typically go hand in hand, with his beautiful new farm house, Patrick Bradley gives us a sublime example of how pragmatic necessity and sophisticated design can brilliantly compliment each other. When the architect designed his dream country home, the original plans didn’t call for the second level to be made out of shipping containers. However, once he realized that the design was going over budget, Bradley realized that, by incorporating shipping containers into the design, he could make the most out of the low cost and sustainable building material.
The black steel frame of the house supports the grey clad metal containers, which stretch over the first floor creating a cantilevered balcony. The black balcony is covered by steel fins to reduce solar gain on the interior and offers stunning views of the expansive rolling hills that surround the property.
“Even though it’s a house made out of containers I didn’t really want it to look like a house or like an idea of a farm building,” Bradley told Dezeen, “I actually wanted it to act like a sculpture in the landscape but still blend in with its surroundings.”
To repurpose the containers as a durable building material, Bradley had them properly insulated and weatherproofed in order to prevent possible rust damage caused by condensation. The first floor of the structure is clad in a pre-rusted Corten steel, perfectly complimenting the dark-clad upper floor. On the interior, large floor-to-ceiling widows throughout the open plan living areas allow for optimal natural light as well as beautiful views of the architect’s farm.
Photography by Aidan Monaghan