Let there be light, twice, in Gal­way

Two ar­chi­tect-de­signed homes are new the mar­ket in Gal­way, one a six-bed­room home with ex­ten­sive grounds, the other a town­house with a dra­matic ex­ten­sion

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Property The Market - ROSE DOYLE 975,000 and Gal­way ROSE DOYLE 895,000

De­scrip­tion: De­tached, ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed house with six bed­rooms close to Gal­way city Agent: Sherry FitzGer­ald Aille­brack, with its tree and plant-filled gar­dens, putting green, bunker and tee box, is the home the ven­dor dreamed of when, in the early 2000s, she gave spec­i­fi­ca­tions to ar­chi­tect Peter O’Con­nell of Sean Dockry Ar­chi­tects.

“We wanted loads of light, a modern de­sign that took ad­van­tage of south-fac­ing gar­dens, plenty of space and an open-plan kitchen,” ven­dor Joan ex­plains. O’Con­nell’s de­sign came up with all of this, and more.

“We bought the site, a beau­ti­ful Menlo field, in 2002 and moved into the com­pleted house in 2005,” Joan says. “The back wraps around the gar­den with ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing the kitchen sink, look­ing on to the court­yard, pa­tio and gar­den.”

Aille­brack is off a quiet, coun­try road lined with sim­i­larly de­tached houses that was the one-time Sean Béthar (Old Road) into Menlo. “It’s an undis­cov­ered spot just out­side Gal­way city,” says Joan, “five min­utes from Wood Quay and the city cen­tre.”

Lough Cor­rib and des­ig­nated walks are min­utes away, as are the ru­ins of the 16th-cen­tury Menlo Cas­tle. Fam­ily reared, Joan is down­siz­ing.

‘‘ The back wraps around the gar­den with ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing the kitchen sink, look­ing on to the court­yard, pa­tio and gar­den

On a thought­fully land­scaped 0.28-hectare (0.69-acre) site, Aille­brack has a floor area of 344sq m (3,700sq ft). Two of its six bed­rooms are en-suite, there is a large open-plan kitchen/ d i n i n g / f a mi l y area, a stu­dio/of­fice, laun­dry, util­ity and fam­ily bath­room, all with un­der-floor heat­ing. A rear, de­tached shed al­lows for ex­tra stor­age. Agent Sherry FitzGer­ald is ask­ing ¤975,000.

The kitchen/din­ing area is a high, vaulted space filled with light from its many win­dows and from pa­tio doors to the gar­dens. A break­fast bar/is­land is made of stain­less steel. This area leads to the fam­ily room, again with vaulted ceil­ings and pa­tio doors, from where a dis­creet stair­case leads to an of­fice/stu­dio.

Cur­rently in use as a mu­sic room, this could equally be put to use as a gym or play­room. The sit­tin­groom too is vaulted, with pol­ished tim­ber floors and, as well as glass pa­tio doors, Velux win­dows flood­ing the space with light.

All of the bed­rooms have pol­ished, tim­ber floors while floors in the bath­rooms, store­room and laun­dry are tiled. The bed­rooms also have gar­den views with, in the main bed­room, a walk-in wardrobe and en suite with wet shower. A Stira stairs gives at­tic ac­cess from the fam­ily bath­room.

The putting green mea­sures 40sq m and has a sand bunker. De­scrip­tion: Re­designed and re­built split-level ter­race house with four bed­rooms Agent: Sherry FitzGer­ald What was once, and for many years, a s i mple t wo- uptwo-down ter­race house in Gal­way city be­came a light-filled, ar­chi­tec­tural tri­umph when the ven­dors knocked it down and had ar­chi­tect David Hef­fer­nan de­sign the fam­ily home of their dreams.

Unas­sum­ing to the front, it has a star­tlingly con­tem­po­rary, glass-dom­i­nated rear with views of Lough Atalia from all of its liv­ing spa­ces.

Ven­dors Breda and Mike bought the orig­i­nal house 20 years ago but waited un­til 2008 to go for break and re­build. “We knocked it down,” Breda ex­plains, “told David Hef­fer­nan we wanted a light-filled house to coun­ter­act Gal­way’s grey, plus space for the chil­dren, and gave him carte blanche.

“This house is vividly warm when you walk into it and bright. The chil­dren are grown now and I don’t want to have to clean a house this big any­more. I want some­one else to love it.”

The end re­sult is a good-sized 225sq m (2,420sq ft) split-level, con­tem­po­rary home with four bed­rooms (two en-suite), open-plan kitchen/ fam­ily/din­ing area, sit­tin­groom, study space, util­ity and guest WC.

A rear sweep of land­scaped, ter­raced gar­den has bar­be­cue and al fresco din­ing ar­eas with unim­peded views of Lough Atalia.

The de­tached garage has ac­cess to Lough Atalia Road and the site in­cludes a green space on the verge of the lake. Agent Sherry FitzGer­ald is ask­ing ¤895,000.

Bal­cony

The stairs, climb­ing through the house as it brings the five lev­els to­gether, is in it­self a sculp­tural fea­ture.

The guest bed­room and WC are off the hall at ground level, the open-plan kitchen-fam­ily-din­ing area a T-shaped space a few steps lower at gar­den level.

The first-floor sit­tin­groom has a bal­cony and views stretch­ing as far as Ren­more while two bed­rooms on this floor share the fam­ily bath­room. The main, mar­ble- t i l e d en-suite bed­room has un­par­al­leled views on all sides, a laun­dry chute and walk-in wardrobe.

An air man­age­ment sys­tem, un­der­floor heat­ing and so­lar pan­els en­sure com­fort. The fit­ted kitchen and wardrobes are by Cal­wood, floors are mar­ble tiled.

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