At the cuffsborough institute we aid in the enlightenment of the arts and sciences by providing a safe sanctuary for contemplation, growth and the merging of ideas

C.I encompasses the perpetual restoration and “greenification” of an 18th-century Palladian manor house into an intentional artists community and sustainable permaculture homestead, where members and students mix their energy in an atmosphere of continued life learning and interdisciplinary collaboration.

The institute is facilitated and guided by Architect, Engineer and Sculptor, P.F. Colclough, Artist Ella De Burka, Writer and philosopher Anthony Colclough, Entrepreneur, Writer, Historian and Architectural heritage advisor John Colclough and World famous culinary master, businesswoman, amateur marine biologist and feminist rights activist Alix Gardner.


The concept of designing and implementing a social experiment and alternative to the “normal” systems of governance and interpersonal systems was formed between a group of family and friends in the year 2000.

The concept grew and evolved and different contributing elements alternated their desires and needs, spinning of into different solutions to the defined problem. Through education and travel, new requirements and directions were discovered and outlined till the current working concept was formulated.

A place where creative and innovative people from a range of professions could gather and share their skills and experiences, developing new solutions across academic and defined boundaries and sectors, while maintaining a sustainable life cycle view of the human condition and interaction with both the built and natural environment, allowing for a level of sustainability and autonomy, with an aim to be both an example of a functioning alternative and allowing for the freedom to experiment and learn from what occurs while living inelegantly.

It is a holistic community where individuals could come and explore their creativity and connection with the earth, other mediums outside their specialty, and their relationship with themselves.

Design Strategy

A holistic approach to the development of the site was used. Incorporating not just the conservation of a grade one listed building and heritage site in Ireland, but also the conservation of the land and heritage of the people of the land. The building must be seen as an extension of the pace and a link between time and space. What was and what could be. It started with an idea, developed through study and experience, and was refined through travel and hands-on research, both in a myriad of international intentional communities, collectives, and communes.

Like all things, C.I. does not have a strictly defined beginning and end but a cycular process, adapting and morphing as it grows, while ensuring required results are met by periodic and defined responses to need with a planned and documented progression. It is a continued development venture.


The Cuffsborough institute is divided into communal and private spaces, allowing for shared use of land between nature and built structures. Incorporating permaculture and life cycle approaches to design and construction to ensure a balance interaction between all site sectors. Maximizing land and resource use by incorporating communal services and utilities without impeding autonomy or comfort for sentient components of the project, thus minimizing waste.

There are smaller spaces and residents designed in a myriad of adaptable styles, allowing space for growth and adaptation. 

The driving principles were based on permaculture, social change with an emphasis on fluid interpersonal dynamics and a connection with our past and our heritage.

The main aspects are a sustainable, permaculture-based, farming of the land to allow for co-existence with the landscape and the normal flow of nature, artists residences and workshops developed in distinct styles and building technology’s, to experiment with eco principles and spark creativity and thought through an eclectic assembly of established styles and community building and involvement to peel back the boundaries we have developed within ourselves in our interactions with the inforced vision of assumed social norms and requirements created by a systematic and unnatural warping of the human condition.


Issues such as how the residence interacts with their environment and each other, how the space can allow for such interactions and promote positive collaboration. how visitors interact with the space and how they are engaged with the vision of the project, both supporting its progress and realization and contributing with ideas and energy were considered in the formati0on of the Cuffsborough institute.

The use of communal and private spaces, allowing gestation and reflection and collaboration, and amalgamation as the flow of the residence requires. were incorporated into the vision of Cuffsborough as allowing for these spaces and ensuring their relation to one another reflects and strengthens their purpose. 


The historical relevance has been forefront in the development of the Cuffsborough institute. The land has had significant meaning to the inhabitants of Ireland during every stage of its settlement. From the first neolithic waves of recognizable society to more recent social centers of power. This connection with the past, and through holistic workshops and continued spiritual connections with the land we aim to use Cuffsborough’s rich lineage to birth a new form of community existance.

The history and legacy of the land can be found at:

The Cycle

The process of creating is intrinsically linked with that of living, the modern style of survival has been so removed from its origins that many creation s have lost touch with the muses that once gave them meaning. It is our intention that, even if never incorporated, a true understanding of the cycle of life is needed to fulfill a truly whole and rounded creation.

Incorporate sustenance, waist management, and natural rhythm into participant’s interaction with the built and lived environment allow for this.

Cuffsboroughs walls do not seporate us from our souroundings but create and incoporate them. The buildings and designs incorporate the life and movement of both structure and inhabitants, not just a static location of the time and space of construction.

Creation must breathe, it must consume and it must destroy, producing waste, at every stage of its existence. Incorporating all of these aspects, not just aesthetics and priamry function, must be considered when engaging with the imagination and the fruition of potential.