Project Idea Bank 2016: Ballyhaunis Community School, Mayo
Posted by admin, July 20, 2016

Key facts_

School:BallyhaunisCommunity School, Mayo

Teacher:Patrick McGarry, Engineering Teacher

Name of Architect:Patrick Dunne

No. of students: 20 mixed

Workshop schedule: 6 x triple classes, 1 x double class

When it took place: Jan – March 2016


Ballyhaunis Community School: What we did!

Each student designed a small building to reflect their own interests.


Design of  buildings to express the personal tastes of each student.

Main Activities:

-Introduction to architecture as thoughtful building.

-Presentation and study of architectural buildings relevant to the students’ initial ideas.

-Study and discussion of how an architectural idea can be represented in drawing and model form.

-Model making.


Circular links:

Engineering, art, English, history, geography, physical education.

Skills gained:

Independent thought, conceptual thought, visual communication, translation of ideas into physical proposals, drawing, model making.


Brief_ Personal Buildings


The students drew on their own individual interests to design small buildings for their own personal use. They were introduced to a variety of building types, historic and contemporary, before starting to sketch and make study models for their own projects. They undertook individual studies of well-known pieces of architecture as relevant to each project and worked towards presentation models and drawings. Mr McGarry provided perspex and timber cut to sizes to speed up the model making.

 Ballyhaunis 1

Get started!

  • The students were shown examples of historic building styles and why people chose to build as they did at different times in the past. We discussed what the students might do differently if they were the designer.
  • The students brainstormed for individual ideas for small buildings and discussed the possibilities for representing them in model and drawing format, before starting to explore ideas with study models.


Architect’s perspective:

“I thoroughly enjoyed every minute spent in the company of this group of students and their teacher. They worked hard and wholly engaged with the project. The quality, variety and individuality of the designs surpassed my expectations. I hope they are as proud of the work as I am.”

Student’s  perspective:

“ The model making was fun.”

“Paddy taught me how different buildings can be”.

Teacher’s  perspective:

“The Architectural project was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all involved. The students were totally engaged and intrigued in the process right from the first lesson. It was invaluable to have the expertise of a professional architect to guide the students through the stages from design to realisation of their individual models. I would highly recommend this project and we certainly look forward to participating again next year. Patrick McGarry, DCG teacher, Ballyhaunis Community School”



  • The aim was to formulate and explore original ideas  about design.
  • Each student designed a small building .
  • We aimed to produce a presentation model and drawings of each design.


Ballyhaunis 2Ballyhaunis 3Ballyhaunis 4

Ballyhaunis 5Ballyhaunis 6Ballyhaunis 7

Ballyhuanis 8

Ballyhaunis 9Ballyhaunis 10Ballyhaunis 11

Ballyhaunis 12Ballyhaunis 13Ballyhaunis 14

Get In Touch
For more information contact:

Irish Architecture Foundation
15 Bachelors Walk
Dublin 1

+353 1 874 7205
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