The existing ruined structures on this farmyard site in Co. Derry were unsuitable for retention due to their unstable condition. It was decided instead to retain the courtyard configuration of the site, and to use materials that relate to vernacular agricultural buildings. The stone/rubble from the demolished structures would also be re-used in the new building to construct the ‘landscape stair’.
The flat nature of the site and surroundings led to the decision to place the main social areas of the house on the first floor level. The building is organised around a set of steps or tiered seating that rise from the courtyard to the entrance terrace. From this slightly elevated position, the view to the Glenshane mountains is revealed. The Landscape Stairs is thus a device to connect the enclosed courtyard with these expansive views beyond the immediate site. From the road, the dwelling appears like an innocuous farm structure, revealing itself only to the south-west-facing courtyard side with large areas of glazing and sliding timber doors.