Sheares Villa

Client – Private Client

This project includes the careful refurbishment and extension of a protected structure of regional importance and provides for the contemporary needs of its new owners.

Sheares Villa is an early Georgian Villa, constructed in the early to mid-18th Century (circa 1729-40) (NIAH 20866215, Cork City PS609). The dwelling is located to the west of Cork City on the Glasheen Road and is sited among several ancillary buildings, on approximately 1.2 acres of land. Owned and lived in, by a series of prominent Cork families, the house has historical significance with two of its inhabitants (brothers Henry and John Sheare’s) being executed as rebels in 1798.

From 1949 to 1981 the dwelling along with its ancillary buildings, was used as a secondary school and by 1973 it had 180 pupils and 10 teachers. It is relatively intact in both form and material, despite the ravages of time and variety of uses it has experienced.

The principal dwelling consists of a 5 bay, gabled, 3 storey structure (including attic accommodation) with a two-storey return. The central entrance is located on the upper ground floor level, accessed by a dressed stone perron, with solid masonry balustrade. Sanitary facilities were provided in a late Victorian two storey extension to the north.

The original window frames with Victorian replacement sashes are still in place in most cases. Panelling throughout the upper ground floor in the hall, dining room and drawing room are also original and will be conserved and repaired to retain the original character of these rooms.

Planning permission has been granted to restore the dwelling to its former splendour as a single-family home, including energy upgrades using bio-composite external wall insulation and roof sarking systems and mechanical ventilation will be installed to control air quality. Careful thermal and hygrothermal analyses have been used to ensure appropriate technology and conservation methods are applied. This refurbishment, balances the demands of a modern house with the analysis and protection of the fabric and grandeur of the original villa.

The existing ancillary buildings to the rear of the dwelling will be demolished, along with the two-storey 1950’s side extension. A new timber and glass single-storey extension housing a kitchen and garden room is proposed to the northeast of the original house to help reinstate the relationship to both the house and the newly landscaped gardens. The extension is tied into both the lower and upper ground floors of the original dwelling to ensure continuity of use but is set back from the front elevation so that the original dwelling form is brought to the fore.

The aspiration for this exceptional, 300-year-old Georgian Villa, is to protect and prepare it for the next 300 years!