Sunday 4 December 2016

Donegal home modelled on a megalithic tomb hits the market for €750k

The Dolmen House Drumacloughan, Milford, Co Donegal €750,000

Katy McGuinness

Published 01/11/2015 | 02:30

The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.

The owner of The Dolmen House grew up in Drumacloughan, and built this spectacular modern home on land that was given to him by his family. In Dublin, the 350 sqm house would be considered substantial, but there's plenty of land in Donegal, says the owner, so in local terms "it's not that big".

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"I had this great idea; the same as a lot of Donegal people, that I wanted to go home," he says. "That was the dream and why I built the house. But the reality is that Dublin is where the work is, and where I have my business, and so that's where home has to be for the time being."

With a young family, the owner says that life is too busy to make the trip back to Donegal more than a few times a year.

Completed in 2010, The Dolmen House is the work of MacGabhann Architects, based in Letterkenny, whose design was inspired by the ancient monuments scattered around the area. The house sits on a commanding site overlooking Lough Swilly, Donegal and Derry, across the lake from Grianan of Aileach and a ringfort from the early Christian period.

The architects say that the form of the house is modelled on Gortnavern dolmen, a megalithic portal tomb located a few kilometres away, above Mulroy Bay. The flat, crowning stone of Gortnavern has been interpreted in the design of The Dolmen House as a substantial volume that contains the bedrooms of the house on the first floor.

The exterior of the first floor is clad in fibre cement panels, respecting the local tradition of blue-black slate roofs, and appears to float above the landscape as it rests on the glazed ground floor.

The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.
The Dolmen House by Donegal-based MacGabhann Architects is modelled on a megalithic portal tomb a few minutes away.

A section of the façade at ground-floor level is in solid stone and appears to help suspend the first floor, impersonating a dolmen. It contains the more enclosed downstairs spaces.

The stones used in the build were gathered from the owner's family farm.

The extensive use of glass at ground-floor level maximises the views and ensures that the house is flooded with natural light throughout the day.

The kitchen is smart and well-equipped, with white high-loss kitchen units, quartz worktops, and a Bosch double oven, microwave and grill. The kitchen and the adjacent dining area have a beautiful grey slate floor. Steps lead down to a seating area with an open fireplace that backs on to the sun room. Doors open on to the patio outside.

There's a separate utility room and a guest lavatory. Two of the six bedrooms also have lavatories, although these are currently used as a playroom and an office.

Upstairs, a sitting room opens out on to a decked terrace and there are four double bedrooms. The master is en suite but also has an additional bathing area positioned to make the best of the views.

The second bedroom is also en suite, while a large family bathroom is shared by the remaining bedrooms.

For a house inspired by a megalithic monument, The Dolmen House is not lacking in modern conveniences. The whole house is double glazed and some of the heating is solar-powered. There's a smart home system to control lighting and sound and the electric blinds in the main living areas are operated remotely.

And there's air-conditioning, which will come in very handy if there's ever a good Irish summer again.

Era: Completed in 2010

Size: 350 sqm

Agent: Franklins (074) 918 8000

Viewing: By appointment

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