Deceptive canal bank head-turner off Leeson Street for €1.25m

Radical rethink of living and outdoor space makes most of canal views

View from conservatory.
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Address: 38 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2
Price: €1,250,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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Commuters along the canal, whether they’re in cars stuck in traffic at Leeson Street bridge or cyclists whizzing along on the canal-bank cycle path, will be familiar with the rear of 38 Adelaide Road. It’s hard to miss, especially at night when the large glass conservatory at first-floor level, with its sloping glazed roof, is lit up and it’s clear that this is a house renovated and reconfigured with a great deal of architectural skill.

From the front, it looks entirely different, an end-of-terrace, modest two-storey redbrick Victorian, with the original coloured glass in its bay windows.

Open-plan living area with stairs up to mezzanine.
Contemporary kitchen.
38 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.

Soon after they bought in 2002 the house’s previous owners commissioned award-winning architect Robin Mandal to modernise and extend their home. His radical rethink of how the living and outdoor accommodation flows started with knocking everything except the front and side wall. Then the traditional layout was cast aside with the main bedroom, adjoining dressing area and en suite located at ground-floor level – the en suite is where the original front reception would have been.

Living area

The living area is located upstairs – to take in those canal views – a double- height open-plan living space that incorporates the kitchen (with large island and top-of-the-range appliances), dining and seating area. Up here too is the second bedroom and adjacent shower room.


Against one wall of this airy and bright open-plan room is a grey metal staircase – not suitable for small children or those of a nervous disposition as it appears to hang from the ceiling via metal cables with no hand rail or balustrade – leading up to a mezzanine office area with built-in furniture, its half-wall not impeding the canal views.

Glazed doors linking master bedroom with conservatory.
View from upper terrace back into living area.

It’s the triple-height conservatory that pulls it all together and the property now has 148sq m (1,600sq ft) of living space.

At the first floor there’s a perforated steel metal walkway and a door leading out to an upper terrace while at ground floor the master bedroom opens into this glazed space which works as a second living area.

There are two further rooms at this level, a utility room fitted with custom beech cupboards and what was originally called the den, now used as a third bedroom. It’s a curious room that, with its built-in beech units and panelling and its gingham covered day beds, is reminiscent of a well-appointed caravan.

View from conservatory.

The outdoor space to the south-facing rear is surprisingly spacious with two patios, accessed via the conservatory.

Not long after the building work was complete, the house went to auction selling for €1.9 million – a very 2005 price for an end-of-terrace Dublin 2 house with no parking (except on street), albeit one so well located and with such striking contemporary character where every detail has been thought through. Number 38 Adelaide Road is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald seeking €1.25 million.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast