An Tigín

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An Tigín | est. 2022



ABOUT THE CLIENT The Client’s family lineage traces back to Ireland to a family of stone masons. Pictured below is what still stands of the family’s home dating to the 1700’s. As with any of the homes of this vernacular, the materials came directly from the land. This, in combination with a love of the country itself, is where the family drew a large part of the inspiration for their new vacation / retreat / lake home, commissioned in the Kennebec neighborhood on Lake Martin in Alabama.


PRINCIPLES THE ARCHITECT SHOULD CONSIDER IN DESIGN: No mater how long you’ve been away - It welcomes you home. The home communicates comfort, friendliness, and beauty. The unique thing the Client observed about Ireland is the ability of people, surroundings, and land to “tell a story”. The Client’s family home overlooked the Shannon River. The origin of Shannon is Shanna-key with the meaning “Storyteller.”

THE CLIENT WANTED THEIR HOUSE TO TELL THEIR IRISH STORY THROUGH: Sightline teases both in the house and landscape. Low slung roofs Low rugged wall foundations Central circulation interiors that support storytelling. Whimsical stonework over windows Modest facades show simple openness to visitors. A lake-level bar area that is reminiscent of Irish pubs.


IRISH INSPIRATION After purchasing the property, the Client returned from an Irish vacation with a clarity of ideas and images to inspire their new home. The home itself would be named An Tigin, translated as “the little cottage” in Gaelic, referencing their ancestors vernaculor home in the Irish countryside.

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EIGHT ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF KENNEBEC DESIGN 1 to 1 1/2 story masses that hug the landscape Collection of building masses connected to great courtyards and outdoor spaces Lower-pitched roofs that reinforce horizontality. Outdoor living spaces that seamlessly connect to indoor rooms Native materials with a neutral color palette Large expanses of glass at prominent spaces of the home. Lakeside porches and balconies to great views Exposed structural details on interior and exterior (brackets, beams, etc.)

LAKE MARTIN, KENNEBEC When it is fully built out, Kennebec will be one of the best places to invest in a home for a long-term hold on Lake Martin. As Lake Martin develops, the homes in Kennebec will have the potential to appreciate faster than other developments that were less well-considered. Beyond the investment, the quality of life derived from being in Kennebec will pay itself back with every visit to the lake.

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SITE ANALYSIS The Client selected a spectacular property allowing the opportunity to plan for privacy from another house Jones Pierce designed - the adjacent property to the southeast. We wanted to locate the house as close to the lake as possible to provide a 180-degree plus view of the lake. The property topography allowed a grade parking court at the entry-level and a walk-off terrace below. We could also position the dock to give way to the most extended lake view to the southeast. The Client’s images from Ireland below inspired the site work.

Stone walls define terraces that grow out of the ground. Like in the Irish example. (left)

Hidden paths and pockets in the landscape allow discovery destinations instead of giving them all away at once

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THE ARCHITECTURE The team designed An Tigín with the words comfort, friendliness, beauty, rugged, and irregular in mind. From the low-slung roof to the humble façade An Tigín doesn’t attempt to impress with grand gestures; instead, it pulls you in like a fire-lit hearth. Referencing the family’s heritage, the architectural team worked with Irish-style detailing, including voussoir arches, decorative rafter tails, battered masonry walls, flat dormers that taper back to the roof, and arched brackets.

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SIDE ELEVATION The side view of the two-level porch organizes the house on the site. The views are 180 degrees. Roll-down screens on the upper porch allow the upper porch to open to the kitchen and family room at night. The stone walls at the lake level anchor the house to the ground.

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LAKE ELEVATION The glass connection between the public spaces to the primary wing creates a break in the house’s massing to provide a compound feeling. The lake elevation is designed with over-scaled battered porch columns to ground the house to the site and provides two porch experiences. The upper porch feels more like the overlook of big water and views. The lower patio is heavier, cooler, and more of a connection to the dock.

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ENTRY LEVEL The entry-level allows for the family to live large in an efficient footprint. The stair is positioned in the center of the public space to provide circulation options, and the folding doors at the kitchen and family room open to an outdoor porch. The laundry and pantry are organized in the corners away from the lake to provide symmetrical edges to the open space of the kitchen, living, dining, and entry foyer. The office is a bridge between public space and private spaces: the primary wing.

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KITCHEN AREA The kitchen area is on one end of the entry-level open space and opens to the porch with a large folding door. The kitchen allows for functionality and organization, with plenty of storage and an oversized island for the family to gather around.

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STAIR CORE View from the family area to the dining and kitchen on the opposite end of the house. An accent wall grounds the stair core and contains an oval opening to allow for a view from the entry through the stair to the lake. The decorative shiplap application spans all three floors, which gives consistency and completes the design.


OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE EXPANSION The main-level porch is large enough to accommodate different living functions: a grill area, a dining area, and seating for lounging by the fireplace.

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CUSTOM METAL DOOR View to the custom metal and glass barn door to the office. The client and architect designed the door to separate spaces, not isolate views.

DRY BAR The subtle lighting of the dry bar creates unique mood lighting for the family room. The textured back paneling reminds you of aged stone or iron and again reminds you of the family’s heritage.

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PRIMARY WING The "remote office" is the transition vestibule between the public space and the primary bedroom. The bed wall blocks the view from the office space, and creates privacy and a place to position the bed to take advantage of the long view down the lake.


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SECOND LEVEL The second level serves the extended family and guests. Two upstairs guest suites with overflow bunks at the top of the stair allow guests to sleep on the same level as their kids, but their kids to sleep outside the bedroom. We have also heard a rumor that adult guests prefer the twin bunks because of the spectacular view down the lake.

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LAKE LEVEL Ideas designed into the lake level include a second living space, game area, exercise, lake bath and owner storage area. Additionally, a bunk room is designed to accomodate more guests and is equipped with a camp-style bath with private showers large enough to change clothes in a separated water closet. The lake porch has a pass-through window to create an indoor-outdoor bar. Lake storage under the primary bedroom also accommodates a UTV.

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OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE EXPANSION The downstairs patio hosts a bar space for late nights with friends and an outdoor swing - the family’s favorite spot. The large barn door below the primary wing (right) is access to conditioned lake storage for safe storage off the dock.

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THE LAKE CATHEDRAL The dock is framed with heavy timber in keeping with the entry-level porch. The timber design will be used again when the carport is added as a future phase. The dock, house, and landscape provide total use of a fantastic property.

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Architecture: Bryan Jones Angel Shockey Karlla Dreser Interior Finish Selection: Monica Rudolph

Photography: Lukas Dreser Creative Director: Foster Denney Graphic Design: Walden Jones

General Contractor: TCC Contractors Project Manager: Steve Bridgman

"An Tigín" simply means "little cottage" in Gaelic.

An Tigín

from Jones Pierce, Studio J


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