Apartments, Kilmantan Place, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

When we design buildings, our intention is to make something a bit special; something that holds its own identity and contributes positively to its environment. We always do this carefully and in full knowledge that we have to ask for permission from local planning authorities and that it has to be affordable! In this case, we were designing a small apartment building on a derelict stand-alone site just off the High Street in Bray, Co. Wicklow for Ark Housing, a local housing charity.

Using our 3-D software, we can play around with different material finishes quite easily , so we can examine options and offer choices where appropriate. Also different time settings, day and night for instance, as per images below.


Nearly always, we are dealing with sites that have complex parameters, such as being very adjacent to existing buildings, overlooking issues, restrictive access, or steep gradients. These tend to inform our designs rather than hamper our creativity. Planning policies, budgets, practicability, energy conservation, fire safety and other building regulations will always have a bearing on the final design. This site was no different as its boundaries were shared with properties with residential and commercial buildings in-situ, had no adequate drainage and was limited in size as well as access.

Unfortunately, planning appeals to An Bord Pleanala may also have a bearing on whether or not a project takes place. In this case, Wicklow County Council granted planning permission but a local person submitted an appeal to An Bord Pleanala and they decided to refuse permission, so the 5 families due to finally find their forever home had to stay in their temporary accommodation for the foreseeable future.