Sea Frontage: Malibu-style beach house in Dublin… the master bedroom takes up the entire second floor
Traditionally, great road frontage lent an Irish home some social status – but at Ouvane, a 2,400-sq ft Malibu-style beach house on Sutton Strand, it’s the sea frontage at the back that matters.
This sleek, contemporary-style home has a gate at the bottom of its landscaped garden that leads onto the beach. Glazed doors and full-length windows at the rear of Ouvane, which sits on the tombolo that connects Howth with the mainland, command 180-degree views of Dublin Bay and North Bull Island.
“At high tide, the sea comes within metres of the house,” says selling agent Conor Gallagher. “At Sutton Strand, a number of Ouvane’s neighbours can be seen coming out of the back of their homes with a kayak under their arm.
“While there are plenty of homes in Ireland facing the sea, there are fewer than 100 properties that back directly onto a beach.”
Ouvane is one of a trio of modern beach houses that have just been built on the site of a 1960s house of the same name. This sprawling property sat on a third of an acre, across the street from St Fintan’s Church on Greenfield Road, a stretch that once counted former president Patrick Hillery as a resident.
Clondev Properties, a company associated with developer MKN Property Group, acquired the original Ouvane for €1.2m, demolished it, and built three new detached homes in its place. MKN, owned by the McKeon family, didn’t have to go far to find the site: John McKeon lives next door, at a property called Water’s Edge that he redeveloped.
The McKeon family has a penchant for north Dublin coastal developments: it built the Seafield apartments on the site of the former Dollymount House pub, following it up with Churchfield on the Clontarf seafront.
In Sutton, the three homes that make up MKN’s new development are called Ouvane, Seascape and Shoreline. Shortly after planning permission was granted in 2017, the selling agent was approached by prospective buyers interested in Shoreline, a four-bed two-storey home measuring 2,055 sq ft, and Seascape, a three-bed spanning 1,807 sq ft. When the scheme was finished a few weeks ago, interested buyers for these two-storey homes were given first refusal. Shoreline was sold for €1.45m, while Seascape fetched €1.25m. Both were bought by downsizers.
MKN saved the largest, tallest and most expensive property till last – Ouvane, a five-bed, three-storey home has just gone on the market. Designed by Adrian Hill Architects, Ouvane, like its two neighbours, is mostly clad in aluminium, with the rest of the façade finished in a light-coloured brick and dashes of render. The sea-facing rear of each level has glazed panels to maximise the coastal views and bring the light in.
Hill finished off the design with a granite-paved rear patio and a wrap-around garden with planted borders. There is a glazed wall to the rear of the sea-facing garden. Despite Ouvane’s waterfront location, Gallagher says buyers need not worry about rising sea levels due to climate change.
“The original house was already a couple of metres above sea level and nowadays, when you go for planning, a property has to be at least 1m above the original floor level,” he says. “High tide never reaches the back boundary of the house and at low tide you can go for walks along the beach.”
On the Greenfield Road side, Ouvane has a cobble-lock driveway behind a set of electric gates linked to an intercom system. A short flight of steps leads up to the front door of the house, which is illuminated at night by wall-lantern light fittings and feature bollard lights to the front and rear of the property.
Immediately to the left of the entrance hallway is a study and a guest WC – a layout that makes it ideal for a resident who wants to keep an office at home. Straight ahead from the hall is a large open-plan kitchen/dining/living room spanning the width of the house. Large glazed sliding doors open from this space onto the terrace and garden.
The living space is fitted with a wall-mounted Dimplex Optiflame fire. The sleek handle-less kitchen, which was supplied by McNally Kitchens, has a matt finish to the soft-close doors, Silestone worktops and upstands, porcelain floor tiling, an island unit that incorporates a breakfast bar, and under-cabinet mood lighting. The kitchen comes with integrated Siemens appliances. The utility room off the kitchen has access to the side passage.
A turning staircase with an oak handrail and a side window leads to the first floor, where there are two en suite bedrooms, and two further bedrooms that share the main bathroom. One of the bedrooms is a sea-facing room with sliding glass doors that open onto a terrace. It also has a walk-through wardrobe that leads to the en suite.
The entirety of the second floor is taken up by the master en suite, which enjoys some of the best sea views of the house. This space, which could also be used as one of the most enviable studies in Ireland, comes with a walk-in wardrobe and sliding glass doors that lead to a decked roof terrace.
The central heating, provided by an A-rated Dimplex electric heat pump, can be thermostatically controlled in different zones of the house. Other energy-saving features include triple-glazed windows from Carlson and a Vent Axia heat recovery ventilation system that recovers as much as 91pc of the outgoing heat energy and delivers a constant supply of fresh air.
Ouvane is just a short walk from Sutton Cross and the DART station. Its purchaser will also be within walking distance from the Sutton Dinghy Club, Sutton Golf Club and the Sutton Lawn Tennis Club.
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