The ABC’s of Architects

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but heres a quick and fun little video of the ABC’s of Architecture that I found today and thought I would share 🙂 enjoy x

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St Aengus (Burt Chapel) by Liam McCormick

So as I said in yesterdays post about The Star of the Sea Chapel by Liam McCormick, I loved it so much I visited another, St Aengus’ Chapel in Burt. Since this was just a spur of the moment thing and around 9pm, I couldn’t get inside, but I was able to get some lovely exterior photos as well as a quick one through the window! I also visited The Grainan of Aileach Fort, which the chapel draws it’s inspiration from.

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This is such a famous church that it’s exterior appearance was no real surprise to me, having seen it in photos many times, but what did catch my eye however was the rain drainage system!

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As you can see in the above photo, a shallow moat type trench surrounds the circumference of the church, and along the way are deeper pools, with a spout above each one coming out of the wall. These modern day gargoyles spit out rain water into these pools, and on particularly rainy days ( this is Ireland!!) the water simply overflows into the trench. I really liked how such a mundane necessity had been given so much thought! Despite the fact I could see some tell-tale conventional gutters on the inside of the church, I still found this a very nice design detail.

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This was the only decent interior shot I could get through the window panels at the door, but you can see that similar to the Star of the Sea chapel, coloured light has been considered and is the overriding attribute in the space.

Grianan of Aileach Fort which looks down on this church from atop a mountain was Liam McCormicks inspiration for this chapel in Burt, and it’s easy to see the Fort details he chose to transfer into his own design.

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The circular form has been mimicked in the chapel along with its curved bowed walls. The plan of the chapel also follows the ‘circle within a circle’ design which manifests itself in the Grianan of Aileach.

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Let me know what you think of this 2nd Liam McCormick chapel I’ve reviewed! I’ll leave you with the view from the top of the Fort.

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Star of the Sea Chapel, Liam McCormick

Situated in Desertegney in County Donegal is a beautiful, surprising chapel, designed by Liam McCormick in 1964. McCormick is regarded by some as the ‘father of modern church Architecture in Ireland’, and this isolated church by Lough Swilly certainly lived up to such a sweeping claim. I’ll start by showing you the interior photographs I took, since this is were the church really impresses.

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As you can see, the edges and pillars of the main chapel room have been rounded off and softened. The sheen off the polished pebble walls reflect and bounce the coloured light that streams through the windows, filling the room with a soft ambient light. I’m sure that as the days and seasons change, this light must change also.

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There is a very small and low balcony level with three rows of seats. From this vantage point you are right against the curved ceiling, and feel very snug and unseen.

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The exterior gives no hints to the surprising, curvy interior, and aside from its tall prominent bell tower, is fairly basic.

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You can even climb a ladder up to the first level of the tower and get the views out across the water.

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This little chapel is such a surprise of modern Architecture in the quiet little townland of Desertegney, I enjoyed it so much I went and visited a second Liam McCormick church later that day, but thats for another blog post! For now, let me know if you love the Star of the Sea church as much as I do.