Tuesday 22 May 2018

Space in the city

St Paul's Road, Galway City: €895,000

This architecturally interesting three-storey build, clad in iroko and zinc, is in turnkey condition.
This architecturally interesting three-storey build, clad in iroko and zinc, is in turnkey condition.
One of the few Galway city houses to have a roof-top garden
Stylish living at St Paul's Road
The designer kitchen at St Paul's Road
Light and space at St Paul's Road

Words by Katy McGuinness

Having lived at St Paul's Road only since October of last year, the current owners of this newly built detached house in Galway city have put it on the market with some reluctance, as a change of job means moving to another part of the country.

They bought the site with planning permission already attached, delighted by the prospect of a stylish contemporary home located right in the city centre. For anyone who spends much of their working week in the car, there is huge appeal in being able to park up on a Friday night and not have to drive again until Monday morning, walking everywhere over the weekend. Located just off the Crescent and beside Sea Road, the house is a short walk to Quay Street, Spanish Arch, Salthill Promenade and the Saturday farmers' market.

The house was designed by architect Emer Maughan, who lectures in GMIT, and the vendors hired another local architect to supervise and project-manage the build, which took the best part of a year.

"We loved the design," they say. "In some ways, it was too big for our needs, but the location was perfect."

The house sits behind sliding electric gates and there is parking for two cars. Externally, the house is distinctive - clad in iroko and zinc. As the footprint takes up most of the site, there is a small, city garden that is laid in artificial grass for ease of maintenance, and a limestone-paved courtyard, accessed from the kitchen, that is designed to be suitable for eating out doors and summer barbecues. The current owners say that they regard the Promenade, a few minutes' walk away, as their real garden.

The 204sqm of living space is arranged over three floors, and the house has an impressive A3 BER - achieved by an air to water heat pump system, heat recovery ventilation system and triple-glazed windows - meaning that it is highly energy efficient.

Large picture windows throughout maximise daylight, and the feeling of space is enhanced by open corridors and high ceilings.

"We love the modern warehouse aesthetic," say the current owners, who add that they will miss the polished concrete finishes - a real giveaway that the house was designed by an architect - in particular.

The entrance hall is filled with natural light thanks to a towering glass wall that extends across most of the east elevation of the building from ground level all the way to the upper third floor level. The hall leads to the open plan kitchen/dining/living room, which the vendor says is the place that the family gathers to chat and 'watch television and devices'; there is a separate utility room. Also on the ground floor, to the front, is a double bedroom with en-suite shower-room.

The two upper levels are floored in reclaimed parquet. On the first floor, the master bedroom has its own dressing area and en-suite; the two other bedrooms share a luxurious family bathroom.

The main living room is on the upper level, and has direct access onto a large south-west facing roof garden, which the current owners say is very unusual for Galway. In winter, there are sea views from here, but once the leaves are on the trees these are obscured.

Among the attractions of the area is the proximity of one of Galway's best restaurants, Kai, located only two minutes' walk from the house. Owned by New Zealand chef Jess Murphy and her husband, David, who looks after front of house, Kai consistently features in every 'Best of the West' list. The weekend brunch is particularly popular, as are Murphy's excellent cakes.

Galway's reputation as a food destination continues to grow. The city has two Michelin-starred restaurants, Aniar and Loam, but Galway doesn't just have fine dining - it also has one of the best Japanese restaurants in Ireland, the charming Wa Cafe, and The Dough Bros pizza restaurant, one of the busiest in the country. JP McMahon also has two casual restaurants - Cava, which focuses on tapas, and Tartare, a new wine bar. Each one of these great places to eat is within walking distance of St Paul's Road.

For families, there are a number of primary and secondary schools within walking distance, music to the ears of parents who have enough stress in their lives without having to add a morning school run into the equation, and a plethora of sporting facilities, based both on land and at sea.

Era: 2016

Size: 204sqm

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Galway (091) 569 123

Sunday Independent

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