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Image / Living / Interiors

Take a tour of the Galway home that won the RIAI Public Choice Award 2021


By Megan Burns
10th Jul 2022

Photo; Doreen Kilfeather

Take a tour of the Galway home that won the RIAI Public Choice Award 2021

The striking family home beat off some stiff competition to win the award, which was determined by a public vote.

The RIAI Awards recognise the best of Irish architecture, from public buildings to workspaces and private homes. And while most categories are chosen by a team of architects, the Public Choice Award allows anyone to vote for their favourite new building.

Last year’s winner will be familiar to many as the cover star of the spring/summer issue of IMAGE interiors, a contestant on RTÉ’s Home of the Year, or from its owners’ popular Instagram account @florenceandhenri.

It belongs to Tanya Lee Conroy and her husband Noel, as well as their two daughters, Florence and Henri. Designed by Taylor Mc Carney Architects, the home is the result of five years of planning and a 19-month build, and the couple considered every last detail in depth before a single sod was turned.

They built with sustainability in mind, so the home is passive standard, with triple glazed windows, sheep’s wool insulation and an air-to-water heating system.

Photo: Doreen Kilfeather

What has gained them so many fans, however, is undoubtedly their careful attention to the home’s interiors. A definite mid-century slant through the numerous pieces of vintage furniture is balanced by the pared-back nature of the home’s spaces.

Concrete floors and walls, as well as an exposed stone wall provide a striking backdrop for the family’s furniture and artwork.

The home also sits well within the landscape, despite its large size. It is built on Tanya’s family’s homeland, so it is a place that is special to them, and they made sure to respect it. Local stone is used to clad parts of the exterior, while steel is reminiscent of agricultural buildings in the area.

The house itself also prioritises the beautiful views that surround it, making the landscape feel very much a part of the house.