One could be forgiven for taking the view that the Irish countryside cannot be improved upon with the addition of any man-made structure. That said, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a shelter more sympathetic to its surroundings than Jeffry's House, a rural installation by architect Thomas O’Brien and artist Emily Mannion that's located at Ards Forest Park, Co. Donegal

Reminiscent of Scotland's Lookout in purpose if not form, Jeffry’s House was commissioned by Donegal County Council and the Irish Architectural Foundation (IAF) earlier this year, following a competition by the latter body. The structure is open to the public and believed by its creators to be Ireland’s first architecture installation in a forest park. It is hoped that similar structures will follow in its wake.

Jeffry’s House measures roughly 18 sq m (193 sq ft), and was built on-site by architect Thomas O’Brien and artist Emily Mannion. It takes its name from Jeffry’s Lough, a lake which O’Brien says was once nearby and can be viewed on older maps but has since disappeared.

The installation comprises a wooden frame structure covered by thatch, and rests on stilts to be sure that the ground beneath is not unduly disturbed. It is located toward the edge of a forest, offering visitors shelter and views of the nearby sea, sand dunes, and distant mountains.

"Jeffry's House displays a great consideration to craft and an intriguing architectural narrative," said Nathalie Weadick, Director of the IAF. "Thomas O’Brien and Emily Mannion have given us so much more than just an object on a site – they’ve created the potential for a magical conversation between the folly, the landscape and the public."

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