Rest on Laurel Hill in Killiney for €1.25m

An award-winning five-bed house combines clever design energy efficiency in a tranquil setting

Thu, Sep 26, 2013, 09:13

Seven years ago, consulting engineer Brian Homan sat down with colleagues at ABK architects to design his new family home. They had previously worked as a team on projects including the Cork City Council Civic Offices, and what they came up with for the Killiney site was an award-winning pair of houses, sheltered by mature trees, reached via a private laneway. The Homan family live in one of them, and the second, which had previously been rented, is now for sale through Sherry FitzGerald for €1.25 million.

Laurel Hill is in a lovely setting, and it is also secluded. Looking out through the picture windows that line the long livingroom, you could be in another world, even though Killiney and Dalkey are just down the road. Killiney Golf Club is next door.

The quality of the design work, and of the materials used, is evident everywhere. The entrance hall has a Carrara marble floor, and a glass wall that looks out on to spot-lit bamboo planting, so you have a real sense of the outside from within.

Natural light
The lighting design is clever, while skylights also wash the walls with natural light. Homan remembers long conversations about materials and finishes. “We discussed the colour of the pointing in the brickwork for weeks,” he says.

Downstairs, the kitchen is fitted out with high-tech gadgets, and has a polished granite- topped island unit. A feature window frames more bamboo planting behind.

Opposite, the room opens up to a large living/diningroom, with an open fire, and glass doors on to a terrace and deck, with views down the lush garden, beyond which you can see the Dublin mountains.

Up the solid oak stairs, there are five bedrooms, two of which are en suite. There is also a family bathroom with a whirlpool bath and power shower.

A great deal of thought went into the heating systems, and the house has a geothermal heat pump and a solar hot water tank. It is very well insulated too, and the internal walls and upper floor are solid, so the house not only stays warm, but you also don’t have to put up with creaky floors or noise carrying through between rooms. There is underfloor heating on both levels, with individual room-by-room temperature controls.

The best contemporary architecture isn’t flashy or gaudy, but restrainedly elegant, making living not just easier, but better looking too: which just about sums up all that’s good at Laurel Hill.

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