Innovative interiors

If you thought what's under your floors and walls was purely functional, it's time to think again.

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Rooms Made For You offers some incredible possibilities. This innovative product collection from British Gypsum let's you build useful and creative ideas into the very fabric of your home.

Lifestyle Wall is an exciting new alternative to traditional plasterboard. Its toughened, super strong core means you can screw directly into the Lifestyle Wall and hang up to 15kg from one single wood screw. There's no need to fuss with specialist fixings. It's ideal for everything from flatscreen TVs to kitchen cupboards.

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'Walls can also be turned into creative spaces with Thistle Magnetic Plaster. Suitable for new or existing walls, it can be covered with paint, wallpaper or even chalkboard or whiteboard paint, and attracts magnets. It adds a whole new dimension to kids' rooms, kitchens and home offices.

But the innovation doesn't stop with walls. Silent Floor is a system to reduce noise disturbance between floors. Loft conversions and multi-level homes can benefit from a reduction of up to 15dB. So you can turn up the TV or your music knowing you won't disturb anyone else.

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If you want to see these innovations for yourself visit the Rooms Made For You website at www.roomsmadeforyou.british-gypsum.com

Alan, who’s a tutor at Queen’s University in Belfast, has been studding the local landscape with modern buildings since returning to Ireland from London with his family in the late Nineties. He bought this plot for £55,000 and spent the next two years, and £250,000, creating what can only be described as an architectural anomaly. As fellow architect and friend Patrick Lynch says, ‘It’s completely bonkers.’ The house hovers, dark and menacing, over the landscape. Its arrow-slit windows and jagged profile conjure up thoughts of armour, battles and even Darth Vader. Despite this apparent nonconformity, it also sits comfortably within its landscape; at night, it almost disappears. ‘In scale it matches the front elevation of the neighbouring Masonic hall,’ says Alan, ‘while the form, with its pitched roof and gable presented to the road, follows local traditions.’

The graphite-blue fibre-cement tiles that clad the exterior are indigenous to the area, appearing on a number of pub extensions and a police station in Belfast. ‘I was impressed with the way the material dappled with age,’ says Alan. ‘Our tiles have only a 10-year guarantee. We could repaint, but I like the idea of them fading, as if the building will shed its darkness as it becomes more accepted within the community.’ The house has the air of an impenetrable fortress yet, in common with many of Alan’s projects, there is a complete contrast between the exterior and interior. Stepping from the porch through the large glass front door, you are struck by the light, airy and playful interior. The ground floor consists of a large open space, roughly dissected into a formal living room, dining room, kitchen and TV area. The room partitions vary in height and angle, allowing views through the entire length of the interior and also providing blind spots for privacy. If the communal aspect gets too much, the TV area can be completely shut off from the kitchen, thanks to discreet built-in doors. ‘Spatially, my work has become a lot less formal since my days in London,’ says Alan. ‘The spaces were very precise, whereas here it’s as if you’ve taken the architectural tray and given it a good shake.’

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