Carrigbrae House on Bray's Church Road has seen its share of incarnations: it was built as a private residence in 1816, before being turned into a bathing lodge in 1838, just as the then-new railway to Dublin was helping to transform Bray into a seaside resort. By the 1950s, Carrigbrae was operating as a school.
Now, Durkan is developing 15 high-end homes on the Regency-era building's land, creating fresh stock in a town that has witnessed a dearth of new-builds compared to its southerly neighbour Greystones.
The four and five-bed houses arranged around a cul-de-sac at The Friary are likely appeal to buyers priced out of south Dublin suburbs such as Dalkey, Killiney and Dun Laoghaire but keen on coastal living near the Dart line. While the official launch of The Friary will be held tomorrow, a handful of the 15 three-storey houses have already been reserved off the plans.
Prices at the scheme start at €630,000 for a four-bed terraced style from the 1,733-sq ft D range. The four-bed semi-detached A design, which has 1,776 sq ft of space, costs from €640,000, while the slightly larger A1 version, which spans 1,927 sq ft, is priced from €670,000. The most expensive house type is the 1,873-sq ft B style, the only five-bed design at The Friary, which costs from €685,000.
The homes were designed by Downey Planning & Architecture, the firm responsible for Coopers Wood in Kinsealy and Kingsland in Donabate. There is red brickwork to the front, rear and gable ends of the houses, complemented by a Tudor Revival-style dry-dash finish to the gabled-fronted dormer in the front bay. The multi-paned front windows from Munster Joinery are high-performance and double-glazed, and there is an Ultratech composite front door in grey tones.
Each front cobblelocked driveway has enough space for two cars. To the rear, a bank of high-performance, alu-clad glazing spans the entire width of the kitchen/diner, incorporating sliding doors that open on to a patio with outdoor lighting and a landscaped back garden. The garden, which comes with a timber shed with a power supply, is fenced with timber panels.
Inside, 9ft-high ceilings to the ground floor lend a bright and airy feel. The hallway leads off to a living room with a bay window and dark oak timber laminate flooring and to a kitchen/diner with an informal living space and a feature island unit.
Nolan Kitchens supplied the kitchen units and stone countertops. In the four-bed styles, the kitchen is contemporary by design, with handle-less units, while the kitchen in the five-bed house type is classic in style with painted units. All the homes come with integrated AEG appliances.
The sleek built-in bedroom wardrobes from Bedroom Elegance have a light-grey finish and recessed handles. The master ensuite bedroom on the second floor has a walk-in wardrobe, with space for seating or a study area in the house types with a front dormer window.
The ensuites and bathrooms are fitted with contemporary-style Sonas sanitaryware, vanity units, and wall and floor tiling. There are also large floor tiles to the ground-floor hallway, the kitchen, store room and utility, and patterned designer tiles to the floors of the guest lavatory.
An air-to-water heat pump and a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system was installed in each house. The homes were designed not just to achieve an A rating but also with passive house principles in mind, all of which combine to slash heating costs.
Viewings at The Friary will take place tomorrow and Sunday, from 11am to 1pm.
Buyers at The Forge, a residential estate at the edge of Lusk, north Co Dublin won't have to stray too far to enjoy the local amenities - the development has direct pedestrian access to the adjoining tennis courts, park, and playing pitches, and is a 10-minute drive to the beach.