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Donkeys to benefit from designer shelter

It’s not every donkey that gets its own unique, architect-designed shelter. But two elderly donkeys – Sally, 35, and Snowball, 40 – have finally got theirs. The finer architectural points may be lost on them – from above the shelter looks like a donkey’s hoof – but the bottom line is, they seem to like it.

Stephen Tierney, a recent graduate from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College, London, made the shelter for the donkeys at his mother’s home in Co Tipperary. He spent a total of five years fine tuning the final design.

Stephen says: “I was doing the work while on leave from college, but it would have taken about two months if I’d been working on it consistently.

“The donkeys definitely do seem to like it, both for shelter from cold winds and for shade from the heat.”

The building is made from local materials, mainly Killaloe slate, and the roof uses an age-old boat building technique from thewest of Ireland, whereby canvas is stretched over a frame and tarred, making it strong and light.

The roof overhang frames a view of the lake at the end of a path from the garden, in the same way as the nearby oaks with their curved branchs.

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