Modernist 1930s house in Clontarf for €850,000

Number 78 Kincora Road is a cool Art Deco home in a great Dublin suburb

  • Address: 78 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3
  • Price: € 850,000
  • Agent: DNG
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During the building boom of the 1930s in Dublin, some brave builders and their architects tried something different, designs that were more recognisably cutting-edge and international. They built pockets of Art Deco houses – gorgeous flat-roofed white boxes with curved bay windows – and there are several in the Dublin suburbs, particularly in Clontarf, Raheny and Howth.

In the early part of that decade, on an infill site on Kincora Road in Clontarf, a line of 16 semi-detached family homes were built in the international style – more restrained than the more determinedly Art Deco houses elsewhere in the suburb – but standing out in their boxy simplicity from the more traditional bungalows across the road.

Number 78 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3: Art Deco house four double bedrooms.
Number 78 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3: Art Deco house four double bedrooms.
Number 78 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3: Art Deco house four double bedrooms.
Number 78 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3: Art Deco house four double bedrooms.

Flat-roofed and two-storey, with redbrick detailing around the windows and white-painted render, the houses built in pairs differ from each other in the location of their entrance doors. One will have a traditionally placed front door while its neighbour has its entrance door to the side.

Number 78 Kincora Road is now for sale. It has its door to the side – with a typical modernist feature of a jutting out shelf-type porch covering – so the front facade is made up of four windows, two upstairs, two down. They are not the original steel bar windows but much later replacements. Indeed there is little left of the original in this house inside as it has been extended – to 127sq m/1,367sq ft – and modernised by its owners who have lived here since the 1990s.

Number 78 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3: Art Deco house four double bedrooms.
Number 78 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3: Art Deco house four double bedrooms.

Bright and colourful

It’s a bright, colourful house – one of its owners, Angela Forte, is a textile designer whose stunning wall hangings decorate several rooms. Her studio is a self-contained, single-storey building just outside the back door. There is also a Shomera at the end of the rear garden where her husband, Neil O’Brien, a wellness coach, works.

The interior layout is dictated by that original decision to place the “front” door to the side. To the right of the hall is the living room with those two windows looking out over the front garden. To the left is the open plan living/dining/kitchen area with a small room off it used as a TV room. Upstairs there are four double bedrooms and the family bathroom.

If new owners are purists and buying number 78 because of its distinctive modernist appearance, they will likely want to replace the interiors with 1930s light fittings, bathroom fixtures, kitchen units and fireplaces. A rethink of the layout of the main kitchen and living area is probably going to be high on the wishlist of any buyer – there’s wasted space in the large pantry area, created when the kitchen was moved, that could be put to better use. And if they have no use for a standalone studio, they will be looking to incorporate that space into the living accommodation in the house.

Then there’s the garage – a luxury feature when built in the 1930s (and now once again a luxury feature of new-builds) – new owners might consider incorporating it into their plans for reorganising the accommodation.

 There is off-street parking. DNG is seeking €850,000 for 78 Kincora Road.