Robin Walker: O'Flaherty House

1963 | Kinsale, Cork, Ireland

Robin Walker, born in Waterford in 1924, was known for his Miesian design led buildings throughout Ireland. On his return to Ireland after studying under Modernist Architect Mies van der Rohe in Chiacgo for two years, he was made a senior partner at the newly created Scott Tallon Walker Partnership. Notable projects Walker carried out include the Irish Pavillion for the 1939 Universal exhibition, and Sandycove in 1938. Following his retirement from Scott Tallon Walker in 1982, Walker chose to focus on teaching at the University of College Dublin, along with his writing and interests in town planning. He is considered one of the most important modernist architects in Ireland still today.

Designed for Michael O’Flaherty, a bachelor, this open plan pavilion sits on concrete ‘pilotis’ and provides panoramic views over Kinsale Harbour. It was very well received with Walker receiving the RIAI’s Triennial Gold Medal for the project. O’Flaherty House is clearly heavily influenced by Mies’ Farsnworth House, in taking a similar form, with the most notable difference being the trading of steel columns for reinforced concrete. The form includes eight octagonal ‘pilotis’ which carry through to roof level and the sloping site below, that hold a centre square profile form with glass on all sides.

 Photographs: Henk Snoek | Norman McGrath | Scott Tallon Walker Architects | Source: OFHouses