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
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.
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.