Tuesday 23 July 2019

The car turntable: How Dublin homeowners have put the brakes on their parking issues

Celine Naughton looks at how Dublin homeowners north and south of the Liffey have put the brakes on their parking issues

The study at 104 Roebuck Road
The study at 104 Roebuck Road
Stained glass detail on the front door of 122 Phibsborough Road
The lounge of 122 Phibsborough Road
The carport at 122 Phibsborough Road
The facade of 122 Phibsborough Road
The extended kitchen/dining room of 122 Phibsborough Road
The car turntable at 104 Roebuck Road in Clonskeagh

There's a lingering scene in the film, Batman and Robin, where the latest svelte and smouldering Batmobile is introduced as it spins on a rotating turntable, ready for the Dark Knight and his sidekick to zoom off and save Gotham city yet again.

A house in south Dublin has taken a leaf right out of the superhero's playbook. Beyond the remote-controlled front gates worthy of Wayne Manor in the driveway of 104 Roebuck Road, Clonskeagh, is a car turntable that would not be out of place in the Batcave. Cloaked in the same red-brick cobble finish as the driveway, you'd barely notice it was there until it whirrs into action. The owner, a builder, drives on to the turntable, presses a button and holy technology! the car is turned seamlessly facing the road, ready to launch for the next trip. Or the driver reverses up to the front of the house, leaving space for two more cars and a fourth to park on the turntable.

Supplied by Tudor Engineers at a cost of €14,000, the device was manufactured in the UK, where car turntables are not only coming into fashion, they're increasingly required by planning authorities. With Stillorgan, Belfield, Milltown and Dundrum all orbiting Clonskeagh, Roebuck Road is a busy route and the turntable at No 104 makes multiple parking a lot easier.

It's one of the star attractions of this smart house built on a site which once served as a meeting place for the Plymouth Brethren, the global, evangelical Christian movement founded in Dublin in the 1820s. Having bought the site at auction in 2016 for €360,000, the owner secured planning permission for a four-bedroom, two-storey house.

The car turntable at 104 Roebuck Road in Clonskeagh
The car turntable at 104 Roebuck Road in Clonskeagh

Designed by renowned architect Paul Brazil, the modern house that stands on this once holy ground could still be counted as a place of solace for those who adore the very latest in home comforts. Extending to 2,368 sq ft, the A-rated property has all the gadgets you would expect of a cutting edge contemporary home - underfloor heating on the ground floor, an energy-efficient water-to-air heating system and Munster Joinery triple-glazed windows.

A double-storey floor-to-ceiling window floods light into the polished marble-tiled hall, which has a living room and guest wc off. This leads on to a study with sliding doors and utility room.

A large kitchen-dining-living room to the rear has folding glass doors leading out to a patio and south-facing lawned back garden. The kitchen has Silestone worktops, a Rangemaster cooker and an island unit with wine cooler. Upstairs the main bedroom has a dressing area and en suite bathroom. There are three more bedrooms on this floor.

No104 Roebuck Road is on sale for €1.195m through Sherry FitzGerald Ranelagh (01) 496 9909.

On the north side of the Liffey, Time Out magazine may rate Phibsboro as the 27th coolest place in the world to live, but parking can also be a challenge, especially when you live on the main thoroughfares. When Joanne and Philip Whelan moved into 122 Phibsborough Road, they used to park their cars in a residential disc zone on a side street. That was fine until babies arrived and the pair were driven to come up with a better way to park on their doorstep.

"We have a three-year-old daughter and a three-month-old son and between babies, buggies, bags and bottles, you'd be in and out four or five times before you've transported everything from the car to the house," says Philip.

The carport at 122 Phibsborough Road
The carport at 122 Phibsborough Road

He avoided getting into a spin with a simple but effective solution by converting a storage shed at the rear of the house into a carport with a remote-controlled door leading on to a laneway.

It's not the only upgrade the couple made to the Victorian house, which Joanne inherited from her late uncle in 2014. Highest on their priority list was insulation. "It's a great house in a great location, but it was crying out for renovation," Philip recalls. "We set out with a budget of €110,000 and a schedule of six months, but as work progressed we discovered just what a state it was in.

"We gutted the place and we built it back up, damp-proofing, installing new joists and beams, insulating, replastering, rewiring and plumbing."

They were careful to keep period features intact, including five original fireplaces and a stained glass front door. The hallway, lounge and interconnected dining room have 12ft high ceilings.

Upstairs, the main bedroom spans the width of the house. There are two more bedrooms on this floor and a family bathroom. Another flight of stairs leads to the converted attic. No122 Phibsborough Road is on the market for €695,000 with Quillsen (Glasnevin) (01) 850 0900.

The lounge of 122 Phibsborough Road
The lounge of 122 Phibsborough Road

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