Hol­ly­wood style on Meath beach for ¤1.25m

This 10,000sq ft prop­erty stood half built for nearly a decade, but now it’s com­plete to the high­est spec, with a guesthouse, apart­ment and di­rect beach ac­cess

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Front Page -

What a week to launch a prop­erty with a sandy beach at the end of the gar­den. This unique house has echoes of the strik­ing water­front home in the 1991 film Sleep­ing with the Enemy star­ring Ju­lia Roberts and Pa­trick Ber­gin. That build­ing was in fact only a shell and was de­mol­ished af­ter film­ing of the psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller con­cluded.

The Beach Haus in Bet­tys­town, also lay idle as a shell for al­most a decade un­til it was pur­chased by the cur­rent owner who could see be­yond the van­dalised, ex­posed and un­fin­ished struc­ture. It had started life as a builder’s swan­song, but like many oth­ers fell foul of the re­ces­sion.

“It had been left to the el­e­ments for so long but I could see what the fin­ished prod­uct could be. I had a pic­ture of all white and wal­nut against the back­drop of the beach,” says the owner who pur­chased the shell in 2012.

“One of the things that re­ally sold the house to me was the magic door at the end of the gar­den wall (which gives res­i­dents di­rect ac­cess to the beach but keeps passers-by out) and the first thing we did was put a key­pad on the door so we can go for a swim with no need for keys.”

Boxy con­struc­tion

The Beach Haus – in a nod to the Bauhaus style of the prop­erty – has tell-tale el­e­ments of that de­sign in the rec­ti­lin­ear boxy con­struc­tion and huge em­pha­sis on ex­panses of glass. And like Bauhaus, this house is a great ex­am­ple of how func­tion­al­ity need not be bor­ing – in fact this house is any­thing but.

De­signed by New Zealand ar­chi­tect Craig Brad­ford, the prop­erty (which in­cludes a three-bed guest house and two-bed apart­ment, both un­fin­ished and amal­ga­mated into the main house) ex­tends to a very size­able 929sq m (10,000sq ft).

The orig­i­nal plans in­cluded a gym, a sauna and wine cel­lar in the base­ment – which the owner cur­rently uses as stor­age – but all the bones are there should new own­ers wish to fin­ish out the vi­sion of the orig­i­nal de­sign.

“It was planned to be a James Bond-style house and was even wired for an elec­tric grand pi­ano, and the dumb waiter (which con­nects the apart­ment with the main house) was where staff were to pass meals through.”

Set over three lev­els, the main house has all the liv­ing and sleep­ing ar­eas on the up­per floors to max­imise the great sea views.

The ex­panse of glass is in­cred­i­ble. The two sea-fac­ing bed­rooms have bal­conies, while the two to the rear have ter­races over­look­ing an in­ter­nal court­yard.

Floor­ing through­out the en­tire house is ter­razzo, which lay hid­den un­der years of de­tri­tus. Now freshly pol­ished and shiny and heated un­der­foot, it re­flects the vast swathes of light through­out. In the cen­tral foyer – off which lies ac­cess to the guest house – a float­ing can­tilevered stair­case was so cum­ber­some it had to be poured on site and the glass balustrade was so large it re­quired bul­let-proof glass.

“The orig­i­nal builder owner to­tally for­ti­fied the house. It goes down 3 me­tres on the beach side, so it would take a tsunami to knock it, and our en­gi­neer told us the amount of con­crete used could sup­port a build­ing four times its size,” says the owner who spent 18 months fin­ish­ing the house.

In­te­ri­ors are high end and high spec with mo­torised blinds, zoned LED light­ing and a Sonos au­dio sys­tem. The 10-foot high ceil­ings have acous­tic pan­elling to en­sure sound­proof­ing.

Ex­ter­nal cladding

Cedar was used as ex­ter­nal cladding and the in­te­ri­ors are wal­nut – which in­cludes an en­tire wall with a hid­den panel for the 65-inch tele­vi­sion screen. Cedar was also used on the four-car double garage just in­side the elec­tric gates.

“It’s like a green house, most of the time I don’t have the lights on (the prop­erty has a BER rat­ing of B1) and with the views it feels like a con­stant hol­i­day.”

This im­pres­sive one-off prop­erty, sits on a 0.5 acre site 16km from the M1 Dublin-Belfast mo­tor­way.

It is on the mar­ket through Sav­ills for ¤1.25 mil­lion, an ask­ing price which sug­gests strong value con­sid­er­ing its size, water­front set­ting and high-end fin­ish.

‘‘ One of the things that re­ally sold the house to me was the magic door at the end of the gar­den wall

Float­ing stair­case

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