Architect's dream brings California style to north county Dublin coast
Longacres House is not what you would expect to find at the bottom of a lane in the Burrow, Portrane, Co Dublin. The neighbouring houses on Porter’s Lane and nearby Valley Lane are mostly cottages and bungalows, but this is a 9,500sq ft architect-designed beacon of cutting-edge living.
The house was built in 2009 by architect Damien Murtagh on the site of a smaller property. It overlooks part of Burrow peninsula and has direct access to the beach.
As well as being used by Murtagh as a family home, it has been let out for periods as a luxury beach holiday home ( longacreshouse.com) and as a wedding venue. The family also used to hold private swimming lessons in the pool, converting part of the cinema room in the basement into changing areas.
The six-bedroom house is now on the market for €1.95 million through Gunne. It is set on 12 acres, of which more than two acres is designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). A further five acres is a proposed National Heritage area.
The Burrow, a sand and gravel ridge of salt marshes and dune grasslands, is home to a number of rare plants including the green-winged orchid and is also a sanctuary for migratory birds.
Despite its size and the sharp lines of its exterior, the house doesn’t jar with its sensitive surroundings. Although large expanses of the exterior are white, there are panels of grey stone and cedar cladding as well as green patina copper on the roof that help it to blend into the palette of the landscape.
Inside, the quality of design and the standard of finish is impressive. It has a grade A energy rating, helped by triple glazing, and geothermal and solar-powered heating. Other bells and whistles include smart home wiring and a central vacuum system.
The house, which is set over three levels, has several show-stopping rooms. On the ground, it’s the enormous open-plan kitchen cum dining area. Italian designed with white Corian and wood, the kitchen has a large island with a countertop induction hob, grill and several fryers.
Behind the island, there is a wall of concealed storage and appliances, which includes a giant fridge and a built-in steam oven. The dining area is double height glass atrium style with sea views across to Lambay Island on one side and garden views on the other.
Three of the bedrooms are on this level. There’s also a study with a chute for dirty clothes that leads to the laundry in the basement.
The 12-metre pool, also at ground level, is tiled in glittering mosaic blue. Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors keep the pool room lovely and bright and provide access to the garden. There’s also a steam room, shower and sauna in this area.
A few steps up from the kitchen, there’s a sitting room with an open fire. Another flight of stairs leads to the first floor where the “seascape” room is arguably the nicest in the house.
This large living room has a wall of floor-to-ceiling frameless glass and the sea views are mesmerising.
Off that room, there’s a mezzanine with a bar overlooking the dining room. The large main bedroom suite, also at this level, is triple aspect with doors to a balcony.
A walk-in wardrobe passage off the bedroom leads to a huge en suite with double sinks, a double jacuzzi, a double shower and a separate bathroom.
The separate family bathroom has fantastic sea-green mosaic tiling and a big Duravit bath. Another bedroom at this level, has access to one of a number of large terraces at the front of the house. One of the terraces is plumbed for a hot tub.
A glass bannister leads to the basement, the hub of operations, with two control rooms, one of which has the water tank and the heating system, while the other has the pool controls and a storage area. There’s also a laundry room and a cinema room, which has been used as a changing room.
Outside, there are some lawns, pathways and gravelled areas around the house but beyond that is wild grassland and wild flowers.