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Breac.House
  Breac.House

Breac.House

A modern retreat at the far edge of Ireland

The peninsula of Horn Head in North West Donegal is a location that could credibly claim the title ‘the edge of Europe’. It’s a beautiful, wild place that for the most part is sparsely populated and undeveloped. As such it’s a perfect location to build a modern, high end retreat for those looking to truly escape and get away from it all.

We worked with Catherine and Niall from an early stage. Their vision was to create a world class luxury retreat that celebrated the location, being in the landscape rather than disrupting it, working with local materials, produce, makers and businesses. They wanted to provide a thoughtful, understated experience every step of the way and to ultimately grow these ideas into other businesses in hospitality, food and retail.

We worked closely with them throughout the project, creating a name and visual identity, developing descriptions and content, and delivering a digital and physical experience that made their ideas tangible.

A simple website was launched before the house was completed. A short looping film featuring the elements - wind, earth, water, fire introduce the unique Hornhead landscape from dawn till dusk.

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24 hours on Hornhead – We commissioned photographer Mike O’Toole to produce a document of the unique location and it’s changing light and mood throughout the day and night. 

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Tactile, natural materials were used in everything produced for Breac. Postcards were printed on card partially made from seaweed.

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A 'brochure' that's a box of postcards. Used to promote the experience as well as allowing guests to send notes to friends during their visit, growing the brand by word of mouth. 

The website features an in-browser film that shows the house, location and landscape over the course of a day.

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The site was designed to be mobile first delivering a simple and clear experience and ease of navigation all the way through to booking a room.

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We designed the website to reflect the experience of visiting Breac.House – Arriving and seeing the striking modern architecture in wild landscape, settling into your room, exploring the local area before diving into local culture.

A simple animated map shows where the house is while suggesting the diversity of nature in the area.

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A subtle approach to branding – Natural materials, muted colours, held together with our speckled monogram, placed whenever possible in the North West corner.

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The monogram was designed to add to the tactile nature of the brand, allowing it to be cut out of metal, embossed on paper or punched into leather.

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The icon is used subtly across the experience, never overwhelming and showing ownership, always as a simple sign of quality.

Our Thinking

In a super-connected technology driven world, access to space, time, nature and things that are well made by human hands offer a new kind of luxury. Catherine and Niall had a vision of establishing a business that provides this access – offering escape from it all, celebrating the best local produce and makers and providing a thoughtful, understated and high quality hospitality experience.

We started the process by mapping the whole experience, from first impressions to checking out. This allowed us to gain deeper understanding, clarify their ideas and define a set of guiding principles that would help align all brand and business decisions. With these guiding principles in place we used them to inform the ideas, content and interactions across every aspect of the project. 

  • Capture the uniqueness of place in everything.
  • Celebrate the luxuries of nature, space and time.
  • Thoughtfulness and generosity in every part of the experience.
  • Quality and structure meets human and organic.

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Rooted in place

The unique location is central to everything in the project and so we built it into the very fabric of our brand. The house sits on a townland called Lurgabrack, or ‘speckled hill’. The word Breac can also mean salty, speckled and stars, all of which capture the unique spirit of place. Our speckled compass motif is always placed in the northwest corner while the dot also finds it’s way into the brand architecture, allowing us to expand the brand to describe different offerings, the first of which being Breac.House.

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A unique offering

Not a boutique hotel and not a traditional guest-house. Understated, high end hospitality in an intimate setting. One of our core challenges was to explain this unique offering quickly and clearly. We developed a set of descriptions and messages that outlined the core ideas and highlighted what was special about the offering – escaping to space and nature while living in luxury.

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Tactile & tangible

While Breac.House offers escape from our digitally saturated lives and get back to nature, much of our communications will happen online. We produced a content package that felt intimate and tactile, capturing the textures, colours and atmosphere of the place and experience.

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Spending time

A visit to Breac.House is an opportunity to slow down and enjoy watching time pass by. We produced films for use on the website and social channels that capture this sense of time slowly passing and the ever changing mood, light and sky.

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Invisible Guidance

The owners ethos regards hospitality was to provide an understated but thoughtful service, guiding people through their stay in an almost unnoticable way. We extended these principals to the website. Simply structured to reflect your visit while providing all the information you might need about any given aspect. Every interaction was developed for simplicity and clarity across all devices.

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A personal touch

From the modern architecture in a wild setting to the approach to service, the whole experience balances the structured with the natural. We rolled out the identity to echo this idea, providing consistency and reliability while also allowing for personal touches and the hand-made.