Mount Merrion mews built in a 300 year old stable block
Located in south Co Dublin, an 18th-century building has been transformed into finest modern living, writes Liadan Hynes
While new homes vastly overshadow those available on the second home market when it comes to their environmental credentials, it is fair to say they can lack character.
However, this is not a criticism that could be levelled at the projects completed by Centurion Homes whose previous developments include Cluain Mara in Kinsale. Like The Stables, this week's new launch, Cluain Mara is distinguished by a design approach that is individual and layered, unlike that often seen in new homes show houses. The company works with interior stylist Niamh MacGowan, whose style favours a textured look.
The company's latest development, at Mount Merrion, is set partly within a 300-year-old stable block. It is a conservation project that has been transformed into a boutique development.
Mark Leonard, who runs Centurion Homes with his cousin Noel Barry, knew the spot as a child. "I used to live in the area, so that's how I knew it. I played football out the back as a kid, and I always wondered what was in there."
The Stables, located on The Rise in south Co Dublin, sits on lands formerly owned by the Fitzwilliams of Dundrum, who originally built there in 1711.
It includes 10 units, seven within the original stables, and three entirely new mews properties that overlook a landscaped courtyard. Of these two-bedroom mews houses, No 8 is sized at approximately 131sqm, and priced at €875,000, No 9 is approximately 132.2sqm, and priced at €870,000, and No 10 is approximately 136sqm and priced at €875,000.
The Stables house comprises five three-bedroom units, starting at 132sqm and ranging to approximately 181sqm, and priced between €875,000 to €1,075,000. There are also two two-bedroom units in the stables: No 3 at 117sqm and priced from €700,000; and No 5 at 126sqm, and priced from €900,000.
Creating the homes in the stable block involved a detailed, painstaking conservation project, according to Mark Leonard. The process included a four coat lime render finish which allows the old brick in the building to breathe and so avoid damp, handmade windows and slate roofs.
"We believe the structure dates from around 1711," says Mark. "We had to retain the entire façade, and as much of the original brickwork to the rear as we could."
This proved particularly challenging as the original building was built on packed clay without foundations, a typical method of the times. "The challenge was putting in what we had planning to put in, while maintaining the façade. Making it look like you'd never touched it."
While the houses are exempt from BER ratings, the stables units have been built with a high level of insulation for all walls, floors and roofs, and high levels of air-tightness with regard to doors and windows.
The three newly-built mews units include light-filled reception rooms and first-floor sun terraces. There are two parking bays for each unit, and a separate bike store will be included.
The purchaser can choose the finishing materials and colours for the bespoke hand-crafted kitchens from a range created for the development. A similarly bespoke offering will be on offer for the fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms, while AB Projects have designed bespoke joinery throughout.
Bathrooms will feature full-sized baths and walk-in showers with matt black Crittall-style shower screens, high quality tiling and brushed brassware in taps, bath and shower controls, and rainwater shower heads.
Underfloor heating runs throughout the ground floors, each house is constructed to be fully airtight and uses a heat recovery ventilation system to ensure an ambient room temperature at all times.
Each of the stable properties has a private garden or patio area to the rear. Each of the mews properties will include ground-floor patios as well as the sun terraces.
"What we try to do is just something different, something that stands out in a crowd," Mark says. With this latest project, they have most certainly achieved that aim.
Viewing: By private appointment
Agent: Savills new homes (01) 618 1300