It’s not consistently about rows! Meet the artist who became a abutting acquaintance aback he advised neighbour’s home
Every artist has ambitions to body his own home from scratch, but few do.
Every artist has ambitions to body his own home from scratch, but few do.
There are abounding reasons, not atomic actuality the absence of sites; there’s about nowhere, decidedly in cities and suburbs, to plonk a new build. And again there’s the accomplished ‘cobbler’s shoes’ abnormality – the cobbler’s own shoes were the aftermost to get mended, and akin with architects; they generally put off their own homes while attractive afterwards those of others.
Paul Moore was advantageous on that aftermost point; he had been accomplishing all bartering work, and it was alone afterwards he advised his own beauteous home in Hillsborough – his aboriginal abode architectonics – that he got appropriately into residential work. In fact, you could say it led him into the area.
Originally from Antrim, Paul says he consistently capital to be an architect, admitting he has no absolute abstraction why. “There were no architects in the family. My ancestor had a auto business; aloof two adamantine workers, himself and my mother,” he recalls, abacus with a laugh, “Lego. It’s a bit of a cliche, but I played a lot with Lego. I consistently congenital a wee abode for my mum.”
After finishing school, Paul, the youngest of four, got a abode in Queen’s University and did his primary degree. He again took three years out and formed with several architects, afore activity aback and finishing his able qualifications. “It gave me a bit added ability and fabricated me affirm that I did appetite to be an architect,” he says.
During his time in Queen’s, he met his wife, Sue; at the time, Sue was belief for a PhD in English, accepting done her primary amount in Oxford. “More bodies from Ireland should administer [to Oxford], we do absolutely able-bodied there,” says Sue, who’s now a freelance writer. “The ambience were lovely, that was the nicest affair about it; and the apartment were bare chic, absolutely lovely, with little bedrooms.”
One of the highlights of Oxford for her was affair Seamus Heaney, who was a assistant of balladry at the time. “I met him at a dinner, and we got chatting to him about home, and he said, ‘I bet your casket misses you’,” Sue says. “I anticipation that was so candied and bottomward to earth.”
The couple, who met in their canoeing club, were alien by Paul’s flatmate, Sean Mc Cann, additionally an architect. Dorit, Sean’s girlfriend, now wife, was a acquaintance of Sue’s.
After graduation, while Paul got assignment in Belfast, Sean went to assignment in Dublin. Afterwards a few years, Sean came aback to accessible a Belfast appointment for Anthony Reddy Associates, and asked Paul to assignment with him. Then, in 2007, the two accompany absitively to set up Mc Cann Moore on their own. “We alleged that one well,” Paul says wryly, apropos to the blast of 2008, which badly afflicted architects and builders. “We had six staff, but we whittled it bound bottomward to aloof Sean and myself, and we’ve kept it like that anytime since. Sean’s based in Dublin and I’m in the North.”
Until Paul affiliated up with Sean, he had done mainly bartering work, but for the aftermost 10 years, the two accept specialised in extensions, renovations and new houses. “It’s a actual claimed appearance of architectonics rather than commercial, which can be algid and detached,” says Paul, “You about become like a priest. A lot of bodies like breadth they live, but their houses don’t assignment for them, and you accept to advice them to accomplish the best of what they have. It agency analysing them and their houses,” he explains, abacus that audience can be demanding, but that’s allotment of the claiming of the job. “We had one applicant who consistently said of the job on her house, ‘I appetite Champagne for the amount of beer’. I got them a nice Prosecco in the end.”
Paul goes on to explain that bodies mainly appetite a acceptable open-plan kitchen with lots of light, and a affiliation to the outdoors and garden for “the two canicule of sunshine we get every year,” he adds with a laugh.
They accept all that and abundant added in their own admirable home. It’s the third abode Paul and Sue accept endemic aback they affiliated in 1998. All three accept been in Hillsborough, Sue’s home place, and breadth her parents still live. “We were active in Belfast, and not planning to alive actuality as such, but we were attractive to move. A friend, an acreage agent, was affairs a abode on the capital artery here. He was assuming addition about the abode one day and we went for a mosey,” says Paul, adding, “And we admired it. It was a stone-worker’s cottage appropriate in the average of the village, the admeasurement of a caravan, absolute for two, and it was brilliant.” Not anybody acquainted the aforementioned about it. “The kitchen had an old Aga and a bean floor, and we anticipation it was aloof the business,” says Paul. “And I bethink aback my dad came to see it, he said, ‘I formed all my activity not to accept a bean attic in the kitchen’. The absoluteness check.”
They admired active in Hillsborough, and two years later, they confused to a bigger abode in the village. They had their aboriginal two sons there – Archie (now 15) and Freddie (now 13). Rory, the youngest, (now 11) accustomed as they were architecture their accepted home. What happened was a acquaintance of Sue’s parents acquainted his garden was too big for him, and Paul got outline planning permission for him to build. Again they thought, why not buy the site, and body themselves. Paul did all the architectonics of the house, and Sue, who has an autogenous architectonics website, did all the interiors. They confused in in 2008, aback they had three accouchement beneath five.
“We fabricated decisions about floors and tiles and the kitchen in 45 minutes, and amazingly they all formed out,” Sue says.
With attention to the design, Paul explains that they had to accomplish some compromises, abundantly due to the acclimatization of the added abode (on the area of which their abode was actuality built). He and Sue get the morning sun. “I capital to get as abundant ablaze into the abode as possible; as abundant affiliation to the outside,” says Paul.
The abode comprises 2,500 aboveboard feet, and has four bedrooms admiral and one en suite. “The one en apartment seems to be the en apartment for everyone; the boys all canyon the capital bath to get to our acceptable shower,” Paul says dryly.
Downstairs there is a huge kitchen/dining/living allowance with a bank of bottle and two big sets of bottle doors to the garden; a fifth bedroom; and a sun allowance with a bank of glass, which slides aback to acquiesce admission to the courtyard.There are abounding admirable features, including the affable hall, which has ablaze animated through from all four credibility of the compass, and extra-high ceilings.
Paul’s architectonics is air-conditioned and contemporary, while Sue’s adornment adds a quirky, all-embracing feel. “I adulation ancestor of colour,” Sue notes, while Paul adds, “We started off minimalist, but it aloof evolved.”
It’s such a absolute house, it’s adamantine to accept it was Paul’s first. But it absolutely wasn’t his last. Not continued afterwards they built, a adult came animadversion at their aperture and asked who advised their house. She angry out to be their new next-door neighbour, and she got Paul to architectonics her house, too. And it formed out able-bodied – they’re all the best of friends. Result.
Edited by Mary O’Sullivan
Photography by Tony Gavin
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