Old meets new at architect’s Blackrock home for €2.45m

Waltham Terrace house on a wide 0.3 acre site incorporates a two-storey rear extension in keeping with the original build

  • Address: 20 Waltham Terrace Blackrock Co Dublin
  • Price: € 2,450,000
  • Agent: Sherry FItzGerald

What is most unique about Waltham Terrace, a popular road for fine family homes in Blackrock, Co Dublin, is “technically if you were to take a mirror and put it down the centre of the road, the houses, though different along each side are exact replicas of the properties on the other”, says architect John Cantrell.

Cantrell is a founding member of Cantrell & Crowley, the architects who won the Opus Building award in 2007 for the work the firm did on Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.

20 Waltham Terrace Blackrock Co Dublin
20 Waltham Terrace Blackrock Co Dublin

Built in 1835, number 20 Waltham Terrace has been home to Cantrell and his family for the past 25 years, during which time they added two extensions to the property.

Today’s planning requirements – when it comes to extensions to period houses – require the new build to be a contemporary statement. When Cantrell added on, it allowed for the additions to match the size and scale of the existing house, which appear seamless and as though they were always there. The effect is best appreciated from photographs of the rear.

Cantrell explains that the property sits on “one of the widest sites on the road” and this allowed for such a large extension, bringing the total floor space to a generous 351sq m (3,800sq ft).

The extra space allowed for a sunroom, second dining room and a two-storey build that gave the property a fourth bedroom.

With an empty nest, the Cantrells are downsizing and building a smaller, single-storey home in the area.

“In terms of location it is ideal. When the kids were growing up, to have Blackrock College literally at the back door, Sion Hill up the road, St Andrew’s round the corner meant the kids could walk everywhere.”

In addition, the location has nearby tennis, bowling and pitch-and-putt clubs, while four yacht clubs are not too far distant, which goes to explain why properties in the area come at a premium.

Generous site

The southwest-facing garden is one of the selling points of the property, giving sunshine from morning to sunset. It sits on a generous 0.3 acre site, which has been tended to over the years and now offers a good-sized lawn fringed by mature herbaceous borders.

“It was great in lockdown as we really got to enjoy the gardens. I had also worked out a ‘walk’ throughout the house, in which I could take 600 steps every day in case it rained.”

A further feature of the property, besides its space and sunny aspect, are the near 200-year-old windows to the front: “I will really miss these, as their bubbles and air pockets are something you do not see every day. The fact that they have survived almost two centuries is quite amazing,” says Cantrell.

When he added the conservatory and sunroom to the rear, he ran cedar timber up to the apex to meet at glass roof lights. “We did this to ensure only a portion of light comes in, to stop the room becoming a sauna and the cedar – now painted white – acts like a blind.”  

The property has four bedrooms, six reception rooms, a wine room and a granite-faced storage unit to the side.

While new owners will more than likely want to change the carpets in the hall and living room to more contemporary shades, the property on this much sought after road, is in turn-key condition and is on the market through Sherry FitzGerald seeking €2.45million.