RTÉ One,Sunday, 9.30pm
Dermot Bannon: Architect

Programme One - Tipperary

Room to ImproveRoom to ImproveRoom to Improve

At the village of Puckaun in north Tipperary, teachers Darragh Egan, his partner Sarah Lovett and their three month old son Donagh are moving home.

What could be simpler or more straightforward? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot.

Home is the 1960s bungalow where Darragh grew up - built on the site of the old village school by his late father Jim and currently occupied by his 70 year old mother, Mary, herself a retired schoolteacher.

Architect Dermot Bannon's challenge is to split the house into two private, self-contained wings - one for Mary, the other for Darragh and Sarah. But it's easier said than done.

Extended in the early 80s, the bungalow's construction is idiosyncratic to say the least. Built to last from recycled site supplies with foot thick floors and walls filled with hidden surprises, a seemingly endless demolition process takes a costly toll on local contractor Brendan Cormican and his crew.

Delays on site aren't helped as Dermot makes last minute design changes, leaving QS Patricia Power struggling to square his vision with their 200K budget.

As if this wasn't enough, Dermot's vision of natural materials and contrasting colours fails to impress the school board. With every decision queried and corrected by three headstrong teachers, the architect will do well to improve his dismal grades.

Can a naughty schoolboy ever hope to become the teachers' pet?

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