• Client – Irish Lights and Irish Landmark Trust
  • Contract Value – €950k
  • Timeline – Summer 2014 – Summer 2015

2018 RIAI Regional awards Exhibition – Restoration of Fanad Head Lighthouse for Irish Lights
2018 Featured in the Journal of the RIAI – Into the West
2017 Featured in Living Design Spring 2017 – To the Lighthouse

Fanad Head is one of the most iconic lighthouses on the island of Ireland. It is a place of dramatic and spectacular beauty. The light was first lit on St Patrick’s Day 1817 and has been ever present for over 200 years.
We were very privileged to work for the Commissioners of Irish Lights to help them protect the wonderful heritage they have created around the coast of Ireland. The lighthouse and the stunning location are the attraction and no ‘grand statements’ were needed in terms of the architectural approach; instead it is in the background, being quiet and respectful.
The living accommodation had lain abandoned for a number of years since the last lighthouse keeper retired in 1983. We were asked to restore and renew the derelict cottages as high quality tourism accommodation and a visitor centre for tours of the lighthouse. The buildings were carefully adapted and sensitively restored. The restoration philosophy with this 200-year-old building was a ‘light touch intervention’. The plan respects the original layout with a few small but crucial changes.
This project was extremely challenging, as the building is a protected structure of national significance on a stunning coastal location. The complex lies within the sensitive Natura 2000 network. It is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA).

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Keys and Monaghan Architects

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