Sunday 11 December 2016

Contemporary living with lots of light in Clontarf

Published 15/05/2016 | 02:30

Sharp design by architects Tyler Owens in Clontarf
Sharp design by architects Tyler Owens in Clontarf
Sharp design by architects Tyler Owens in Clontarf

A shortage of large plots of undeveloped land means that when it comes to new homes, Clontarf is unlikely to see any large-scale projects.

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New home developments in the area tend to occur in infill sites; small parcels of land that lend themselves to schemes of anything from just a couple of houses, to 10 or 20. The former site of Dollymount House on the seafront, now home to Seascape Apartments, is one such site. The upcoming launch of townhouses at Churchfield, another seafront site at 59-60, Clontarf Road, is another, while construction has begun at Norabrook, at 118 Howth Road, which sold with planning permission for 18 houses.

Infill sites tend to benefit from being located in the midst of an established community, close to existing facilities and amenities, and 197, Howth Road, the latest project from Clontarf residential builder Ballyfarna, is no different. Situated on the grounds of a former bungalow, yards from where Castle Avenue intersects with the Howth Road, the two detached houses, approx 208sqm, and selling at €875,000, enjoy proximity to shops, schools, travel services, restaurants and sports facilities.

Although located in Clontarf, they are adjacent to Killester village, which in reality services a large proportion of the Clontarf community, and whose village atmosphere has improved hugely in the past number of years. They are also well situated to benefit from numerous bus routes into town, and Killester Dart station.

The surrounding homes are mainly bungalows and red brick semi-detached. In comparison, these two units, designed by Tyler Owens Architects, have, refreshingly, bypassed any efforts at pastiche and are uncompromisingly contemporary. It can be a challenge to get permission on infill sites for such a modern design as the planning office tends to look for something in sympathy with the surrounding buildings.

The site was originally sold with planning permission for a row of duplex units, but the builder went back for new planning permission, with a preference for a higher-spec project.

The front garden is fully paved, with secure gates. The ground floor comprises a separate living room, WC, storage cupboard, and large kitchen/dining room, with a glass wall at rear, including sliding doors to the garden. The fully-fitted high-gloss kitchen units are in light grey and charcoal. All appliances are included and one entire wall is given over to further storage units. There is a utility room, with rear access, off the kitchen. The garden is small but well executed. Part of the patio area benefits from an overhanging section of the first floor, so in the likely occurrence of your BBQ being interrupted by rain, you can still enjoy the garden. The first floor includes three large double bedrooms, including master bedroom with en suite, and a main bathroom. All have fitted wardrobes.

The second floor includes one room that could work as a small double bedroom, or home office, with a walk-in storage space, and access to the roof garden, with views of Howth and the Wicklow mountains.

One downside of many infill sites is that they are overlooked by others, but the architects have, through clever placement and design of the triple-glazed windows - some horizontal windows are situated above eye-height, frosted glass is used in some cases - largely maintained a sense of privacy within. Several skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows, and large rectangular windows on the stairs, all contribute to the sense of light throughout. In all, this is an opportunity to purchase a house in North Dublin's most popular suburb that combines the efficiency of a new home with striking modern design.

Address: 197, Howth Road, Clontarf

Agent: Gallagher Quigley (01) 818 3000

Viewing: By appointment

Sunday Independent

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