50 Wonders | John Tuomey: The Aran Islands, Ireland

Aran 3 by John Tuomey

The O’Donnell & Tuomey co-founder and RIBA Gold Medal winner (with Sheila O’Donnell) explains his love for the structures and geology of the wild isles

Aran 3 by John Tuomey

The 12th-century chapel of Cill Ceannanach

Wonder: The Aran Islands, Ireland

Architect: Anonymous individuals

Nominator: John Tuomey

Every year at about this time we go back to the Aran Islands, and each time we wonder again at its singular complexity, how its natural formation has been combined with manmade construction, at the ingenuity of human response to a unique geology.

Every structure on the island landscape, from fortress to field wall, from water tank to pier, from holy well to chapel, from cowshed to cottage – everything is built from the same grey matter: stone.

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