Lofty living in a D8 warehouse for €450k

Clanbrassil Street apartment extends to 95sq m

  • Address: 21 The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace The Blackpitts Dublin 8
  • Price: € 450,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
This article is over 1 year old
 

The notion of loft conversions became popular with artists in New York since the 1940s; high ceilings and open spaces meant they could work and live in one vast unit. One of the most famous of these in the 1960s was East 47th Street, also known as The Factory – used as a crash pad and studio by bohemian pop artist Andy Warhol. Back then they were the preserve of the artistic classes, as many lacked hot running water and were seen to be cold and stark.

21 The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace The Blackpitts Dublin 8
21 The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace The Blackpitts Dublin 8

Fast forward 50 years to the conversion of the Puck Building in New York by Jared Kushner. The former print works are now some of the most sought after apartments in Manhattan, six of which are on the market for between $21 million (€17 million) and $60 million (€49 million).

The recent announcement by Diageo to develop lands which include old vat houses, cooperages and brew houses in Dublin 8 sparks excitement for those of us who find many Dublin apartments to be bland and soulless.

In 1999, the old Crowe & Wilson building on Clanbrassil Terrace – a former clothing factory, was purchased by developer Michael Roden with the intention of converting the factory into contemporary apartments.

Architect Mary Donohoe, who also designed Ireland’s first church to apartment conversion at St Kevin’s Church on Bloomfield Avenue in Dublin 8, was charged with the design from an obsolete factory to pure clean lines within an industrial space. “The idea was to sell space, like New York loft apartments where people would be more interested in space and size rather than the number of bedrooms” says Donohoe. “The market wasn’t really ready at that stage so the concept took several years.”

Structural columns

Because the internal structural columns were spaced far enough apart, it allowed Donohoe to design very generous apartments which range from 92sq m to 225sq m, which are laid out around a central courtyard. The three-metre ceilings in addition to large powder coated steel framed windows add to the sense of space.

The location just off Clanbrassil Street is in an area known as the Blackpitts. Historical records state that the area took its name from the mass graves of the bubonic plague in the 14th century but recent archaeological excavations have revealed evidence of a tanning industry, whereby the name Blackpitts may actually refer to the dark pools created by tanning pits which would have stained the earth.

21 The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace The Blackpitts Dublin 8
21 The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace The Blackpitts Dublin 8

Number 21 The Warehouse is home to Dan O’ Neill and his wife Jen O’Dwyer, who have lived here since 2011. O’Dwyer runs her bespoke leather design business from here and her studio in Smithfield where she both trades and designs in leathers. “Having an online business means I can work from anywhere but we have a growing family and need more bedrooms,” she says.

The couple rented the apartment initially before taking the bold move of emailing their landlord in 2014 and offering him €285,000 to purchase the space, which was duly accepted. “It was a bit unceremonious at the time, as with other buyers they go through the excitement of receiving the keys – but we just woke up the next morning as the owners.”

Transformation

After purchasing, the couple decided to transform the apartment which they describe as “like living in a cigarette” as the walls were stained with nicotine by a previous tenant which matched the tones of the overuse of pine throughout.

Dan, who works as a creative strategist with Facebook, designed the kitchen which features no upper units – and this works so well with the industrial vibe. He imported Ivanka floor tiles from Hungary, where “the shipping costs were the same as the tiles as they are so heavy but you get to design and choose your own colours”.

21 The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace The Blackpitts Dublin 8
21 The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace The Blackpitts Dublin 8

The apartment has one large bedroom which they took a slice off to create another smaller bedroom for their son. It cannot be listed as a bedroom for sale, as it has no windows. It does, however, have glass blocks which feeds light from the main bedroom, and could work well as a home office.

There are two terraces – one off the bedroom and another accessed from the open-plan living room.

The walls are adorned with art, all of which have a significance to Jen, as her now husband collected pieces over the course of two years as a proposal gift. “She doesn’t wear jewellery and as we both studied fine art I thought it was fitting,” says Dan.

Apartments in The Warehouse have sold well – even through the recession when a 204sq m (2,195sq ft) penthouse sold for €785,000. Number 21 at 95sq m (1,022sq ft), in turnkey condition, is on the market through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €450,000.