Designed by Irish born architect, Francis Johnston, Townley Hall, near Tullyallen in Co. Louth, was built between 1794-1798. Said to be his masterpiece, it was his first major private commission and is now listed as a building of National Importance.
MVK architects have been working on the refurbishment and restoration of the former kitchen wing since 2012. Phase I of the project, restoration of the façades, has recently been completed.
Louth County Council have recently granted planning permission for Phase II. This phase will include a new permanent roof to the wing, bedroom & bathroom accommodation as well as lift serving three of the four floors of the house.
The proposed new addition has a simple minimalist expression, inspired by the ordered composition and austere simplicity of the Francis Johnston design.
The design concept followed is to add an identifiable contemporary layer to the historic house, in line with conservation principles. However, rather than aiming for contrast, the guiding principle has been to find an architectural solution which is subordinate and deferential to the historic house.
The design process included extensive consultation with Louth County Council Conservation Section and the Department of Arts Heritage & the Gealteacht as well as presentations to The Irish Georgian Society and An Taisce.