It was a real pleasure to work with the Cushen family to design and realize the new showroom and shop space in Graignamanagh, Co. Kilkenny. The project involved the transformation of the existing shop and the creation of a new space in what was previously a courtyard in their 13th century woollen mills. Originally founded by the Cistercian monks of Graignamanagh. the Cushens took over the mills in the 18th century and are now passing into their 6th generation.

With a new branding identity that focuses on tradition in contemporary form, we worked with Miriam Cushen and her partner, Trevor, to continue this theme in the retail space. All the shelving and furniture are constructed using birch plywood and solid maple with acrylic mat varnishes to maintain the natural aspect of the wood. The clarity of the design, the materials and the fine joinery combine to guide the visitors’ attention to the beautiful products with richly coloured dyes of Irish wool. We sought to reference the vernacular and combine with the contemporary by leaving certain elements of the 13th stonework visible, window views into the fabrication workshops with subtle contemporary furnishings.

Presenting ideas of design, I used the industrial design program Rhinoceros 7. This program of 3D modulation enabled us to create a space with built and freestanding presentations. These perspective drawings show the process of the design phase.

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