Glencomeragh House Poustinia by Architects Bates Maher

Located in a valley between the Comeragh Mountains and Slievenamon, the Poustinia is a series of small cabins used for quiet reflection and meditation belonging to Glencomeragh House Retreat Center.

The hermitages are functional, modern constructions, three on the hillside and one lower down on the river edge, each Poustinia is orientated to capture different views over the surrounding countryside.

Architects: Kevin Bates, Tom Maher / Architects Bates Maher
Location: Kilsheelan, Ireland
Photography: Ros Kavanagh

The locally sourced timber cladding in alternating strips of smooth sawn larch and rough sawn douglas fir contrasts with the minimalist interior with its bespoke furniture.

Inspiration from architect:

As In Kavanagh’s poem of Christmas memories, three platonic figures enigmatic forms against the sky ride across the hilltop, at once belonging to nature and set apart from it. Small spaces for contemplation confound their modest scale by encapsulating at their cores tiny gardens, idealised images of the world outside.

The word “poustinia” itself means ‘desert’ in Russian, and in old Russia, a poustinia was a quiet place where people went to find god within themselves, far from the noise of everyday life.