The Callan Cowshed

The Cowshed Collective, Callan, 2012


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  • Twilight    
  • Cow & shed    
  • Through the farm    
  • Across the farm    
  • Water collection area    
  • Across the yard    
  • Ground floor    
  • Ground floor    
  • Hayloft    
  • Cladding detail    
  • Materials    
  • Night view    
  • Site map    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Axonometric    
  • Brick laying workshop    
  • Volunteers learning construction on site    
  • Volunteers Constructing first floor structure    
  • Materials recycled for the build    
  • Commonage Design & Construction Summer School    
  • Detail    

A new-build milking parlour with hayloft above, on an existing farm. Constructed with primarily recycled materials by volunteers as part of an architectural summer school

The Callan Cowshed is a collective project formed through a shared interest in architecture that responds to the ordinary. The building was constructed through an architecture summer school, in collaboration with Commonage Callan, giving volunteers interested in design the opportunity to learn and build.

The brief was for a small milking parlour, for a cow and her calves, with a hayloft overhead. Enclosing inside and out, the structure gives the farm a yard, with a roof designed to gather and provide a source of rainwater to the building and the farm. More than a shelter, the cowshed collects.

The design is concerned with adaptability, material properties, the process of construction and a format for the building workshop. Building took place over three weeks with an emphasis on the exchange of skills, the method of making and the reuse of existing resources, including: salvaged bricks, telegraph poles, steels, plywood panels and galvanised sheets.


  • Begun: Aug 2012
  • Completed: Sep 2012
  • Floor area: 67m2
  • Sector: Industrial
  • Total cost: £2,415
  • Funding: Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
  • Procurement: Self Build
  • Address: Westcourt Farm, Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland